CNBC Daily Open: Boeing ‘guilty plea,' French far-right gains

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This report is from today's CNBC Daily Open, our international markets newsletter. CNBC Daily Open brings investors up to speed on everything they need to know, no matter where they are. Like what you see? You can subscribe here.

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Dow lags tech rally 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 3.8% in the first six months of the year, lagging way behind the Nasdaq, up 18.1%, and the S&P 500, which jumped 14.5% as investors plowed into artificial intelligence-related stocks. On Friday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs before pulling back. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose as investors digested the latest inflation data. U.S. oil prices rose for the third straight week amid fears of a war between Israel and the Iran-backed militia Hezbollah

Boeing 'guilty plea'
U.S. prosecutors plan to seek a guilty plea from Boeing over a charge related to two fatal 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019, attorneys for the victims' family members said. The Justice Department is reviewing whether Boeing violated a 2021 settlement that shielded the company from federal charges. Boeing agreed then to pay a $2.5 billion penalty for a conspiracy charge tied to the crashes. The DOJ revisited the agreement after a door panel blew out of a new 737 Max 9 in January, sparking a new safety crisis. Separately, Boeing agreed to buy Spirit AeroSystems for $4.7 billion in an all-stock deal to improve safety and quality.

Far-right gains
Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally (RN) party made significant gains in the first round of France's parliamentary election, securing 34% of the vote, according to exit polls. The leftist New Popular Front (NFP) alliance received 28.1%, while while President Emmanuel Macron's centrist bloc was pushed into third place with 20.3%. Macron called a snap election to counter far-right influence, but it seems his gamble has strengthened his political adversaries. The final outcome will be determined after a run-off on July 7.

Under fire
Nike CEO John Donahoe faces growing discontent as the company's stock plummeted 20% on Friday, its worst day since 1980, after forecasting a significant decline in sales. As Wall Street digested the dismal outlook from the world's largest sportswear company, at least six investment banks downgraded Nike's stock. Analysts at Morgan Stanley and Stifel took it a step further, specifically calling the company's management into question.

Asian stocks mixed, China dips
Mainland China's CSI 300 fell 0.1% as official PMI figures showed manufacturing contracted for a second straight month. However, a private manufacturing survey showed the sharpest improvement in business conditions in three years. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was closed for a public holiday. Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei 225 was little changed as revised first-quarter GDP data showed the economy contracted by 2.9% year on year, from 1.8% reported earlier. The Taiwan Weighted index Asia's top-performing market so far this year rose and South Korea's Kospi inched higher, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell.

 [PRO] Rally will broaden
The tech sector has driven market performance in 2024, with the S&P 500 tech group up 28% and Nvidia soaring 149%, while small-caps have lagged. Oppenheimer's chief market strategist John Stoltzfus believes the rally will broaden. CNBC's Lisa Kailai Han looks at the reasons behind his call

The bottom line

The New York Times editorial board has lost faith in President Joe Biden, calling for him to step aside. Iranians will need another go at electing a new president, French voters cast their votes in the first round of snap elections that saw big gains for Marie Le Pen's far-right party and Brits will go to the polls on Thursday.

It's a busy political environment for markets to navigate. Wall Street has shown remarkable resilience thanks to the AI-powered rally in the first half of the year, which has seen the Nasdaq soar 18% so far. Nvidia is up almost 150%. There could be more to come; Bank of America believes Nvidia and Apple could still deliver "superior returns."

While one of the biggest bulls on the Street expects the rally to broaden away from the mega-caps, Wall Street wasn't feeling any love for Nike's CEO. The company had its worst day of trading since its IPO in December 1980, losing $28 billion in market cap on Friday after slashing its sales forecasts.

John Donahoe was brought in from eBay to transform the athletic apparel giant's digital channels. The company ditched its retail partners, became too dependent on its aging sneaker ranges and lost ground to new contenders Hoka and On Running. It'll certainly make an interesting case study for MBA programs for all the wrong reasons. As Wall Street questioned Donahoe's position, he still had the approval of its founder.

Friday also saw the Fed's favored inflation measure come in line with expectations, raising the prospect of interest rate cuts later this year.

"I really think the Fed should tee up a cut at the July 31 meeting, confirm it at Jackson Hole in August and do it in September," Wharton finance professor Jeremy Siegel told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." He added that one or maybe one-and-a-half rate cuts have already been priced in.

"I actually think there will be more because there might be a little bit more softness in the economy and better inflation numbers, both of those feeding better rates," he continued. Siegel also said it is "hard to say" where the bull market's trajectory currently stands.

In a four-day trading week — markets are closed for the July 4 Independence Day holiday — the big economic number to watch is the June jobless data on Friday. CNBC's Sarah Min has more on what to expect.

 — CNBC's Lisa Kailai Han, Yun Li, Jeff Cox, Leslie Josephs, Gabrielle Fonrouge, Hakyung Kim, Brian Evans, Spencer Kimball, Ryan Browne, MacKenzie Sigalos, Holly Ellyatt and Lim Hui Jie contributed to this report.

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