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Opening Bell: 2.6.18

Opening Bell: 2.6.18

Stocks are headed for another drop at the open as global markets plunge [CNBC]
During Monday’s late hours, Dow futures were down 826 points, and S&P 500 futures were lower by 76.5 points as of 11:25 p.m. ET, indicating that the implied open for the Dow, based on futures, was a decline of 1,203.75.
Around 7:05 a.m. ET, Dow futures were indicating a roughly 800 point drop at the open, S&P 500 futures suggested a decline of 71 points and Nasdaq futures indicated a 131 point drop.

Committee Votes to Release Democratic Rebuttal to G.O.P. Russia Memo [NYT]
The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to make public a classified Democratic memorandum rebutting Republican claims that the F.B.I. and the Justice Department had abused their powers to wiretap a former Trump campaign official, setting up a possible clash with President Trump.
The vote gives Mr. Trump five days to review the Democratic memo and determine whether he will try to block its release. A decision to stop it could lead to an ugly standoff between the president, his top law enforcement and intelligence advisers and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Bitcoin slides below $6,000; half its value lost in 2018 [Reuters]
Bitcoin has fallen heavily in recent sessions as worries about a regulatory clampdown on the nascent market and panicked investors push prices lower. The virtual currency hit a peak of almost $20,000 in December.
On the Luxembourg-based bitstamp exchange, bitcoin fell to as low as $5,920, its lowest level since mid-November, before recovering slightly. Other cryptocurrencies have also dropped sharply in value this week.

IPO Shortcuts Put Burden on Investors to Identify Risk [WSJ]
Seven of the eight companies that listed on U.S. exchanges in 2017 under a provision of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act known as Reg A+ are trading an average 42% below their offer prices, according to Dealogic. The S&P has risen 18% since the start of 2017. The average traditional initial offering on the major U.S. exchanges in 2017 have climbed roughly 22% since their IPOs through Friday’s close, Dealogic said.
The poor showing is the latest episode to raise questions about the JOBS Act, a 2012 law that aimed to bolster employment by removing some IPO hurdles for so-called emerging-growth companies with less than $1 billion in annual sales. After final amendments were adopted in 2015, last year marked the first time companies used the rules to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market.

Wells Fargo Aside, Washington Is Getting Friendlier to Banks [Bloomberg]
“No one should conflate regulation with enforcement,” said Ian Katz, an analyst at Capital Alpha Partners LLC in Washington. “There’s a deregulatory effort that is going on and it is going to continue.”
By Monday, investors seemed to conclude that Wells Fargo’s pain was unique to Wells Fargo. It fell as much as 10.3 percent in New York trading, while big rivals such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. slipped more in-line with the slumping stock market. Winds at banks’ backs include the massive tax cut that just passed Congress and the fact that officials appointed by Trump are increasingly populating the Fed and other agencies that regulate Wall Street.

Samsung Heir Freed, to Dismay of South Korea’s Anti-Corruption Campaigners [NYT]
Mr. Lee’s arrest a year ago, and his subsequent conviction and sentencing, were hard-won victories for millions of protesters who took to the streets from late 2016. The demonstrations also felled President Park Geun-hye, impeached on charges of collecting bribes from family-controlled conglomerates, known as chaebol, like Samsung.
But here in South Korea, Mr. Lee’s detention was as big a piece of news as Ms. Park’s ouster. His father — Lee Kun-hee, the son of Samsung’s founder and the conglomerate’s chairman — was twice convicted of bribery and other corruption charges but never spent a day in jail, creating an image of Samsung as untouchable. Many South Koreans hailed the lower-court ruling, which sentenced the younger Mr. Lee to five years in prison on corruption charges, as an important milestone in their country’s long-running campaign toward greater transparency and accountability.

Seagull bites man in the face while he brags about ‘saving’ it [NY Post]
When 50-year-old Robert Tahau attempted to earn some social media praise for rescuing a bird, things didn’t go according to plan. While holding the seagull

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