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Stock futures rise, Nasdaq paces toward back-to-back sessions of gains

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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 22: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the opening bell, August 22, 2018 in New York City. Today marks the longest bull market rally in U.S. history, stretching back to March 2009. The longest previous market rally was from 1990 to March 2000. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Stock futures rose Tuesday morning, with the Nasdaq tracking toward back-to-back sessions of gains as tech stocks continued to recover last week’s losses.

Better-than-expected economic data out of China helped boost contracts on US stock indices and global equities, as signs that the economy first hit by the coronavirus pandemic was bouncing back at a faster than anticipated clip. China’s retail sales rose in August by 0.5% year-over-year, marking the first increase so far this year and topping expectations for a flat reading. Industrial production increased 5.6% in August over last year, versus a 5.1% rise expected.

The early equity moves set stocks up to extend gains from Monday, when each of the three major indices closed more than 1% higher, and the Nasdaq rose for the first time in three sessions. Apple (AAPL) shares rose more than 1% in pre-market trading after rising 3% on Monday, paring some declines after last week’s tech-led selloff. The company is set to hold a virtual product launch event Tuesday morning, which is expected to focus on the Apple Watch. Information technology was the second best-performing sector in the S&P 500 on Monday, closely following the real estate sector.

“Last week was rough. I think markets are at a crossroad since we’ve gained so much since March. And the economic data’s been better, the health data has been encouraging, since cases are falling. But from a markets perspective, nothing is really decisive,” Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, told Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker on Monday.

“I think investor are still torn, and I think that’s why they’re sticking with these tech stocks,” he added. “But I don’t think tech needs to roll over for cyclicals to work. I think for cyclicals to work, investors just need to be confidence that the good news on the economy is continuing. And then the cash comes off the sidelines and the sentiment which was really bearish turns positive, and I think that’s what fuels the rally into year-end.”

A slew of new deal-making activity helped contribute to a more risk-on session in markets. Nvidia announced the largest-ever chip industry deal to purchase SoftBank’s Arm unit, Gilead (GILD) unveiled its intent to purchase tumor-fighting drug-developer Immunomedics (IMMU) and Oracle (ORCL) confirmed it was in the running to become a “trusted technology provider” to ByteDance’s TikTok, edging out Microsoft (MSFT) for a tie-up with the fast-growing social media platform. Oracle – which will still need to undergo a US national security review and win approval from President Donald Trump for its partnership with TikTok to come to fruition – saw shares trade slightly lower in late trading, after closing 4.3% higher earlier in the day.

Tuesday will also mark the first of two days of meetings for the Federal Open Market Committee. The Federal Reserve will release its September monetary policy statement Wednesday afternoon, followed by a press conference with Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Both the statement and remarks are expected to reaffirm policymakers’ cautious tone on economic growth during the pandemic, and potentially lay the groundwork for more specifics on the central bank’s plan for forward guidance, following its newly announced policy framework around inflation announced at its annual symposium in late August.

“Given we just got a significant update from Fed Chair Powell at the annual Jackson Hole Symposium, the upcoming meeting should garner much less fanfare than usual,” RBC Capital Markets economists wrote in a note Friday. “Most of what Powell touched on at Jackson Hole was very forward-guidance driven. So we will hear about 1) more willingness to let inflation run above 2% (the inflation averaging provisions) and 2) letting the unemployment rate drift well below the natural rate in the future (the de-linking of employment and inflation that Powell promoted).”

“From our lens the recent tweaks are merely a concretization of an already active process,” they added.

7:20 a.m. ET Tuesday: Futures rise after better than expected economic data from China

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:21 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,407.00, up 24.5 points or 0.72%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,182.00, up 189 points or 0.68%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,388.75, up 108.25 points, or 0.96%

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.66 (+1.77%) to $37.92 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$15.50 (+0.79%) to $1,979.20 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.3 bp to yield 0.682%

6:05 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures open little changed

Here were the main moves in equity markets, as of 6:05 p.m. ET Monday:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,382.75, up 0.25 points or 0.01%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,994.00, up 1 point or flat

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,295.00, up 14.5 points, or 0.13%

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 22: Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the opening bell, August 22, 2018 in New York City. Today marks the longest bull market rally in U.S. history, stretching back to March 2009. The longest previous market rally was from 1990 to March 2000. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Falling highway sign crushes passing pickup truck, kills driver, Ohio police say

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Falling highway sign crushes passing pickup truck, kills driver, Ohio police say

A driver was killed in Ohio Thursday morning after a highway sign tumbled and crushed his truck, police say.

A dump truck was leaving an interstate construction site in Cleveland when it struck a highway sign on westbound I-480, WEWS reported.

The dump truck’s bed was raised, which caused it to hit the sign, according to Cleveland.com.

The sign fell and crushed a passing Ford F-150, killing the driver, WKYC reported.

Officials in Ohio say a highway sign fell and crushed a pickup truck, kiling the driver.

Officials have not released the name of the victim.

The dump truck driver wasn’t injured, WOIO reported. Officials said they’re investigating to determine if the bed was raised due to a mechanical issue or operator error, according to WEWS.

Traffic was backed up most of the morning, but all lanes were reopened by noon, WOIO reported.

Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, according to Cleveland.com.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Selena Gomez shows kidney transplant scar in swimsuit

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Selena Gomez proudly shows off her kidney transplant scar in a swimsuit photo, explaining she's "confident" in who she is.

Selena Gomez is proud of what she’s gone through. The singer got personal with her 193 million Instagram followers, sharing with fans a glimpse of the scar from her 2017 kidney transplant. Gomez, 28, posed in a blue swimsuit to promote her friend’s new line, making the scar visible on her right inner thigh. It’s a big step for the actress, who previously found it “difficult” to show the mark.

“When I got my kidney transplant, I remember it being very difficult at first showing my scar,” the Rare Beauty founder wrote on Thursday. “I didn’t want it to be in photos, so I wore things that would cover it up. Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through…and I’m proud of that.”

Gomez congratulated her friend Theresa Marie Mingus, co-founder of La Mariette, for launching a line “whose message is just that…all bodies are beautiful.”

Gomez was praised by her friends and famous followers.

“You are so incredible,” wrote JWoww.

“Omg I love you,” added Mingus.

Bang Bang Tattoo, where Gomez has gotten inked, commented, “Scar looks like just another beautiful tattoo.”

13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford wrote, “Love you lady, you’re a strong one!”

“Beauty,” Lily Aldridge said.

Gomez, who received a kidney from friend Francia Raisa, revealed earlier this year that she had major complications during what was supposed to be the two-hour surgery.

“The moment I came out I remember starting to shake and my mom screaming and then being put back under,” Gomez told WSJ Magazine, explaining that she went back into surgery for another seven hours. “That’s what makes you go, ‘You know what, I’m just so happy to be alive.’”

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Facebook is a ‘whole different animal’ and may not be able to exist in its current form under a new regime: expert

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Facebook is a ‘whole different animal’ and may not be able to exist in its current form under a new regime: expert

The Trump Administration is laying out a plan to launch an antitrust suit against Google. Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi and Alexis Christoforous discuss the lawsuit, and President Trump’s railing against social media giants with Econ One Managing Director, Hal Singer.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: Google and the rest of big tech are back in the sights of Washington. The Trump administration is laying out its plan to launch an antitrust suit against Google, while also pushing to change a law that gives immunity to social media giants. Hal Singer closely watches tech and antitrust at Econ One, and he joins us now. Hal, good to see you again. So how concerned should Google be?

HAL SINGER: I think they should be pretty concerned. The suit is coming. And as you mentioned, the immunity shield that they have used– not just Google, but other dominant tech platforms– have used to push off certain liability suits might be coming down as well.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Hal, I want to turn to that changing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. We know President Trump continues to rail against social media, now you have the Justice Department out with its proposal to take away some of those legal protections. Is this really going to make a difference at the end of the day, do you think, for these big tech companies?

HAL SINGER: Oh, sure it will. Amazon, just to pick on one, has been successful in part at using that shield to push back certain lawsuits depending upon the state in which those suits were brought. So I could see a pairing, maybe not exactly along the lines of what the DOJ suggested, but for example, saying you can no longer use the shield in the sale of physical goods. This was never the intention of Congress originally. It was always about ideas. And so if you’re selling a counterfeit Chinese battery that some child swallows, you shouldn’t be shielded from the liability suit that would come.

BRIAN SOZZI: Hal, what would the worst case scenario be for Google in your view?

HAL SINGER: Well, the worst case for the 230 that we’re still talking about? I mean, I presume we’re still talking about that. Worst case is that they would now be opened up for lawsuits and being held responsible for the kind of things that are going across the transom on their platform.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Hal, how likely does a breakup of any of these big tech companies look to you, regardless of who’s in the White House?

HAL SINGER: Well, the breakup could come in one of two forms. Everyone thinks that it’s going to come, potentially, at the end of a successful antitrust lawsuit, you know, in five, six, seven years. But a breakup could also come via legislative fiat. You know, when senator Elizabeth Warren talks about a breakup, she’s talking about one that’s written into law, right? And so the question is whether or not she could gather a collection of Democratic senators to get on board with that, and ultimately whether a President Biden would be willing to sign on.

But short of the breakup, you know, there are a lot of other remedies that we could enforce, beginning just, for example, with a non-discrimination regime, which would be a– which would be another regulatory solution. So it could happen, but it’s– you know, it’s probably a low likelihood event.

BRIAN SOZZI: Hal, a breakup of Google, a Facebook, you name it– wouldn’t that just cause another entity that has a significant amount of power too?

HAL SINGER: Well, it could open up the possibility for a new entity to move in. I don’t know if it would open up the possibility for a new entity to come in and monopolize the way that Google has. So I think it’s a very viable and plausible and elegant solution. And it ought to be on the table alongside other, less invasive remedies, including, for example, this nondiscrimination regime that I spoke of.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Which big tech company is most at risk? Is it a Google that would make most sense to be broken up? Is it Facebook?

HAL SINGER: Well, you know, Facebook– it’s difficult to think about the different parts of Facebook. One natural thing we could do is that we could go rollback all the acquisitions that Facebook made. But I think that what’s very interesting is that Facebook defies convention. The way that Google has, you know, gotten into the content space and now leverages its platform power into content, we can take care of that with either a structural solution or behavioral solution– nondiscrimination. Amazon the same thing– they’ve used the private labels to kind of leverage their platform power and steer users into search of their own wares, and everyone recognizes that’s unfair.

And again, it lends itself to these very traditional forms of relief– you know, either structural separation along those product lines or a non-discrimination regime. When you come to Facebook, what it’s doing, you know, the way that it’s kind of propagating misinformation, causing extremism, undermining democracy– it largely defies kind of these conventional tools. And so I think we have to think about Facebook in a very different way, including just dismantling it– dismantling the entire business practice, potentially banning, for example, targeted advertising. This is a whole different animal, something we’ve really never confronted before. And Facebook may not be allowed to exist in its current form under a new regime.

BRIAN SOZZI: Hal, before I let you go, back on the Google potential antitrust suit, how long would it take before a decision is rendered down? Is this– are we looking at tech gig here? Is it a year? What’s typical for something like this?

HAL SINGER: Antitrust is slow. I mean, I did an analysis that looked at cases that I think ended around 2000, and even then just to get a resolution in the lower court, the district court, took you on the order of three, 3 and 1/2 years. But if you’re talking about appeals to a federal court and then ultimately up to the Supreme Court, we could be looking at five, six, seven, eight years. And so the problem here that I keep stressing is that we cannot wait seven, eight years to solve this innovation problem.

If we’re worried that Google is leveraging its power into the edge and making it difficult for independent content creators to survive and thrive, we cannot wait seven years. So I’ve been pushing– even alongside a suit, I’ve been pushing for a regulatory solution that would bring some relief to the edge in our lifetime.

BRIAN SOZZI: All right, we’ll leave it there. Hal Singer of Econ One, always good to see you.

HAL SINGER: Good to see you. Thanks for having me.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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