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CNBC Daily Open: French left-wing shock victory, Boeing guilty plea

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

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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French far-right march blocked
France's left-wing New Popular Front coalition unexpectedly blocked a far-right advance in the parliamentary run-off vote, securing the largest number of seats but falling short of an absolute majority. The coalition could secure 182 seats, according to results published by the Interior Ministry, while President Macron's Ensemble party and its allies were set to gain 168 seats and the far-right Rassemblement National 143 seats. French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said he would submit his resignation on Monday. No party achieved the 289 seats needed for a majority, indicating a likely hung parliament in Europe's third-largest economy. Here's what a hung parliament could mean for markets.  

Boeing guilty plea
Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal fraud charge related to the 737 Max crashes, following a near-disaster in January that led the Justice Department to reconsider a previous settlement protecting Boeing from prosecution. The plea deal, pending court approval, requires Boeing to pay a $243.6 million fine, equivalent to the amount paid in the 2021 settlement. This development marks a significant legal and financial setback for the aerospace giant as it continues to grapple with the fallout from the deadly crashes.

Skydance, Paramount merge
Skydance Media and Paramount Global have agreed to merge, ending the Redstone family's control of the iconic Hollywood studio. The deal combines Paramount's storied film library with Skydance's recent blockbuster successes like "Top Gun: Maverick." Skydance founder David Ellison will emerge as a new Hollywood power player, inheriting a media giant facing challenges in the streaming era.

Record highs
The S&P 500 reached its 34th record close of the year. The tech-centric Nasdaq Composite joined the broader S&P, setting session highs and closing records. All three major indexes had a positive week, the Nasdaq climbed 3.5%, the S&P advanced nearly 2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, adding 0.7%. Year-to-date gains for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are 16.7% and 22.3% respectively. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell after the unemployment rate rose unexpectedly. U.S. oil prices booked a fourth-straight weekly gain. 

Asia down, euro slips
Asia-Pacific markets were mostly lower, with mainland China's CSI 300 falling 0.43%, marking its fifth consecutive day of losses. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index also dropped 1.34%. Japan's export-heavy Nikkei 225 remained relatively flat, while the Topix dipped 0.2% as real wages fell for the 26th straight month. South Korea's Kospi hovered near the break-even point and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined. The euro weakened against the U.S. dollar amid projections of a left-wing victory in France's snap election.

[PRO] Neutral Nvidia
Nvidia's stock, propelled by the AI boom, has skyrocketed 154% this year, capturing investor enthusiasm. However, recent profit-taking and valuation concerns led to a pullback and a rare downgrade from a Wall Street analyst.  

The bottom line

You're only as good as your last call. Marko Kolanovic might have accurately predicted a stock market rebound during the Covid-19 pandemic; however, he remained bearish on the S&P 500 despite the index soaring almost 17% this year.

Kolanovic, now leaving JPMorgan where he served as chief global strategist, steadfastly stood by his prediction that the S&P 500 would end the year at 4,200. It currently stands at 5,567.19, hitting its 34th closing high of the year.

Kolanovic wasn't the only Wall Street strategist to be caught out by the bull run — but rival banks have incrementally increased their calls. RBC Capital Markets head of global equity strategy Lori Calvasina raised her target for the S&P 500 to 5,700, up from 5,300. Calvasina called this "a nervous raise."

"We've described ourselves as a 'tired bull' and 'neutral' recently. Today, we would alter that slightly and characterize ourselves as a 'nervous and jumpy bull,'" Calvasina wrote in a research note released Tuesday.

Who would stand in the way of a bull or bear market? As Tesla wiped out its loss for the year, rising 27% over the week to end Friday at $251.52, RBC analyst Tom Narayan joined "Squawk on the Street" to explain his $227 call.

Narayan said, "I doubt many investors pushing this up have done the rigorous math I have." The whole conversation is worth a listen as Narayan explains in detail how he arrives at his price target.

An influx of retail investors since the pandemic has further complicated the landscape. These investors are increasingly looking beyond Wall Street for investment advice, turning to figures like "Roaring Kitty," a popular meme stock trader.

Tastytrade CEO Tom Sosnoff believes Roaring Kitty's influence marks a significant shift in retail investing. He argues that this disruption should be respected and studied, as it represents a new era in the financial markets.

"Is this any different than Bill Ackman telling you what he's buying? Is it any different from Warren Buffett saying what he's buying?" Sosnoff said. "Disruption has many different faces."

CNBC's Pia Singh, Alex Harring, Holly Ellyatt, Ruxandra Iordache, Ryan Browne, Samantha Subin, Lim Hui Jie and Leslie Josephs contributed to this report. 

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