Microsoft on Top, Boeing Deal, UK Public Debt – What’s Moving the Markets — Microsoft has regained its status as the world’s most valuable company after Nvidia’s stock price tumbled, Wall Street is off to a quiet start, and Boeing is on the verge of taking back control of Spirit AeroSystems.

1. Microsoft reclaims the top spot for now

Microsoft (NASDAQ:) reclaimed its spot as the world’s most valuable company after NVIDIA’s shares fell more than 3% on Thursday.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:), which surpassed Microsoft in market cap on Tuesday, lost more than $100 billion, closing at $3.21 trillion.

Microsoft’s market capitalization also fell to $3.31 trillion as its shares fell slightly in trading on Thursday.

Nvidia, Microsoft and Apple (NASDAQ:) are in a three-way race to become the world’s most valuable company. The iPhone maker has a market capitalization of $3.22 trillion.

But with the company’s shares nearly tripled so far this year, this may just be a blip in the company’s relentless upward trend.

Nvidia is at the forefront of a massive technology shift as a leading provider of chips supporting artificial intelligence applications, with revenue expected to double to $120 billion this fiscal year and rise to $160 billion next year.

By comparison, software giant Microsoft is expected to see revenue growth of about 16% during the fiscal year.

“With the Fourth Industrial Revolution in full swing and more businesses and consumers rapidly embarking on this path, Nvidia’s GPU chips are essentially the new gold and oil in the tech sector,” Wedbush analysts said in a note.

The investment firm noted that Nvidia’s dominance in data center AI spending has positioned the company as a key player in the AI ‚Äč‚Äčrevolution, with all generative AI applications relying on the company’s GPUs.

Wedbush predicts that over the next three years, more than 70% of businesses will adopt AI use cases, leading to an increase of $1 trillion in AI spending over the next decade.

2. Futures flat ahead of major economic data releases

U.S. stock futures traded little changed on Friday but are set for a bullish week ahead of the release of some highly-anticipated economic data.

By 4 a.m. ET (8 a.m. GMT), the contract was down 60 points, or 0.2 percent, while another was down 4 points, or 0.1 percent, and another was up 10 points, or 0.1 percent.

A drop in market favorite Nvidia weighed on both the stock and stock indexes on Thursday, with the former down 0.3% and the latter down 0.8%, while the stock index rose 0.8%, its biggest gain this month.

Still, all three major indexes are expected to post weekly gains: the S&P 500 is expected to rise 0.8%, the Nasdaq is expected to rise 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is expected to rise 1.4%.

Used-car retailer CarMax (NYSE:) is due to report its quarterly earnings, while investors will also be looking to June US Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) figures for clues about the health of the US economy.

Data for May is also due to be released.

3. Boeing moves closer to buying back Spirit AeroSystems

Boeing (NYSE:) is on the verge of agreeing to buy back former subsidiary Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:), according to a Reuters report.

The airline earlier this year began talks to buy back the supplier it separated from in 2005, but has faced difficulties because Spirit Airlines did work for Boeing’s main rival, Airbus.

The European group had threatened to block any deals involving Boeing making parts for its latest models.

But progress appears to be being made on this thorny issue, as Boeing and Airbus have managed to roughly split up the Spirit Airlines program, with some work to be taken over by Boeing and others to be taken over by a European rival.

Boeing’s move to restore Spirit is aimed at stabilizing a key part of the supply chain for its best-selling jetliner after a new 737 Max plane exploded in mid-air in January.

4. UK public debt soars

With the UK general election approaching, a change of government seems increasingly likely, with Keir Starmer’s Labour Party holding a significant lead in opinion polls over Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party.

But the latest data suggests that either party will have a harder time stabilising the country’s finances, with Britain’s public debt reaching its highest level as a share of the economy since 1961 last month.

The UK’s Office for National Statistics said on Friday that domestic consumption as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) rose to 99.8% in May from 96.1% in the same month last year.

Britain’s public debt has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, with finances also being hit by slowing growth and Bank of England interest rates rising to their highest level in 16 years.

Both parties have said they intend to stick to current budget rules and have pledged not to raise income tax, value-added tax or other key tax rates.

5. Oil prices set to rise for the week

Oil prices fell slightly on Friday but were on track to rise for a second straight week, supported by signs of improving demand in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer.

By 4 a.m. ET, futures (WTI) were trading down 0.3% at $81.09 per barrel, while contracts were down 0.3% at $85.50 per barrel.

Both indexes are on track to post gains of more than 3% this week and are on track to trade near seven-week highs.

U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 2.5 million barrels in the week ended June 14, more than the expected decline of 2.2 million barrels, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Crude Oil Inventory Agency.

Additionally, U.S. government data showed total supply, a gauge of the country’s demand, rose by 1.9 million barrels from the previous week to 21.1 million barrels.

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