Last week was the worst for equities in 2023. Today, stocks are trying to claw back some of those losses in the early going.

Treasuries, gold, and silver are trading like they forgot the weekend is over (unchanged). The dollar is slightly lower along with oil.

On the news front:

S&P 500 companies are going to spend more than $1 TRILLION buying back their own shares this year, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. That would be an annual record if the projection pans out. Goldman Sachs (GS) is the latest large cap company to join the buyback bonanza, authorizing a $30 billion repurchase plan Friday.

Pfizer (PFE) may launch a $30+ billion bid for the biotech firm Seagen (SGEN) in order to add more cancer-fighting treatments to its portfolio. Fellow pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. (MRK) had previously sought to buy SGEN, but no deal was reached in the end.

Morgan Stanley is out there warning about the market again. Strategist Michael Wilson was the top-ranked prognosticator in 2022, according to Institutional Investor, and he thinks high valuations and negative earnings revisions will hurt stocks in March. The good news? Conditions should improve in the back half of the year.

With the war in Ukraine dragging on, the question of how much aid China is willing to provide Russia is on everyone’s mind. The U.S. warned of “real costs” to China if the latter provides Russia with lethal aid like drones or ammunition. We recently passed the 1-year anniversary of the conflict, and no end is in sight.