The Chinese fast-fashion juggernaut Shein, valued at $66 billion, has confidentially filed for a 2024 U.S. IPO to expand globally. However, the opaque retailer faces lawmakers' scrutiny over supply chain-forced labour and Beijing ties. Shein courts allies like Forever 21 and taps Goldman, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley to lead, working to sway regulators before its enigmatic CEO Xu takes the stage. If the controversial clothing giant can convince the SEC that its factories are forced labour-free and address national security concerns, its rock-bottom prices may soon dress American closets.
Retail stocks rallied on Black Friday as consumers ramped up spending to record levels. Markets are eyeing deep Cyber Monday sales for further consumer signals, while strong online demand is seen lifting sales to new highs. Deutsche Bank strategists predict the S&P 500 to continue to a record of 5,100 in 2024 based on earnings growth and historical post-election rallies, identifying labour trends as further upside catalysts, though other analysts foresee more modest gains.
Gold glittered to a 6-month high after breaking above October's high as easing inflation and slowing home sales tarnished the dollar and raised imminent Fed rate cut hopes. Still, bullion could lose its glimmer if consumers resume spending, or the Fed turns hawkish again. For now, it is floating above $2000 and expected to retest May highs.
Oil prices ticked slightly higher on Tuesday, pushed up by a weaker dollar and growing expectations that OPEC+ will agree to steeper production cuts. OPEC+ countries and Russia will meet on November 30th to talk about production quotas for 2024, expected to boost prices after Brent dropped over 18% and WTI fell more than 21% from September peaks. Factors driving the declines include robust output from non-OPEC players, especially the United States.
The US dollar has been on a rollercoaster ride lately as it declined further after showing signs of slight recovery. Asian currencies have been gaining strength lately as perceptions of the Fed's hawkish stance begin to shift as the yen slowly crept upwards against the dollar, though still weaker than others. With the dollar now at a three-month low, there is growing talk about whether the Fed might start pivoting away from interest rate hikes.