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Business / Business Education / Finance / Money / Personal Finance

Opening Bell: 3.20.18

Opening Bell: 3.20.18

Stocks Struggle After Tech Selloff; Dollar Rises: Markets Wrap [Bloomberg]
Trading was mixed and muted in equities across both Europe and Asia following Monday’s selloff, which was sparked by a series of negative tech stories including Facebook Inc.’s data issues and a fatal accident involving an Uber Technologies Inc. self-driving car. U.S. stock futures drifted lower on Tuesday, with contracts for the Nasdaq 100 pointing to more tech declines. Metals were once again under pressure, but Bloomberg’s broader index of raw materials increased.

Trade war threat is now Wall Street’s top economic fear, survey says [CNBC]
Protectionism tops the list of worries on Wall Street, the survey shows, far outpacing concerns over inflation, terrorism and even the Fed itself.
“The market has shifted from a fear of a monetary policy misstep, tightening too aggressively, to a trade policy mistake, escalating into a trade war with China,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR, wrote in his response to the survey. “The balance of risk for equities has moved from the Fed to the White House.”

A Curveball From the New Tax Law: It Makes Baseball Trades Harder [NYT]
The provision is raising concerns and questions across Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, starting with: How do you value a player?
“There is no fair-market value of a baseball player. There isn’t,” said Daniel R. Halem, the chief legal officer of Major League Baseball. “I don’t really know what our clubs are going to do to address the issue. We haven’t fully figured it out yet. This is a change we hope was inadvertent, and we’re going to lobby hard to get it corrected.
The N.B.A. is similarly perplexed. It sent teams an email this month detailing the disruption of the trading system under the new law, but told executives it was still figuring out how to respond.

EU Offers U.K. ‘Improved’ Equivalence for Financial Services [Bloomberg]
It’s not clear what “improved” would mean. What is clear is that the EU is rejecting the U.K.’s bid for its banks to have access to the EU on the basis of mutual recognition of rules. British institutions would only be able to trade in the EU if its rules are deemed equivalent by the European Commission — a unilateral approval that can be withdrawn at short notice.
Equivalence also means limited access to the bloc’s single market and accepting rules without having a say in making them — something the U.K. government and its banks reject. The commission has already started to review financial services legislation, to ensure that equivalence rules are appropriate for the situation after the withdrawal of the U.K., according to the document seen by Bloomberg.

RBS Chief McEwan hopes to resolve Justice Department case in 2018 [Reuters]
“I’ve got the timing of this completely wrong for the last 15 months, I thought we would’ve had it tidied by end-2017… all I’d say (is) it will be in hopefully in 2018,” Ross McEwan said at the Morgan Stanley European Financials conference in London.
The expected multi-billion-dollar settlement would be a key milestone for the state-owned lender, allowing it to resume paying dividends to shareholders and paving the way for the British government to resume selling its shares in the lender.

Facebook facing a level of uncertainty it hasn’t seen before, Goldman Sachs says [CNBC]
“It certainly introduces a level of uncertainty that we haven’t seen with Facebook before,” Heath Terry, lead internet research analyst at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC on Tuesday.
Terry explained that every fast-growing tech giant was likely to face a similar crisis, before singling out the so-called click fraud scandal which threatened Google’s growth prospects in recent years.
“That’s going to be the same here for Facebook. It’s going to be how they manage through this that will ultimately determine their long term future,” Terry said.

Uber Suspends Driverless-Car Program After Pedestrian Is Killed [WSJ]
In response, Uber on Monday temporarily pulled its self-driving cars off the roads where it has been testing them in four cities. An Uber spokeswoman said the company is investigating the incident and cooperating with authorities.
Police in Tempe, Ariz., said the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety operator at the wheel when it hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg on Sunday night while she was walking her bicycle outside of a crosswalk. The woman later died from her injuries, according to a police statement.

From Wall Street to weed: How the financial crisis lit up the pot industry [Reuters]
At the time, he was managing approximately $120 million in client assets, but was growing disenchanted with what he saw as a U.S. stock market driven by high-frequency trading and algorithms rather than fundamentals. He started looking for other opportunities, and soon stumbled on some of the first legal medical marijuana dispensaries that had opened in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“I started looking at this through a finance guy’s eyes and saw that maybe there was something going on here,” he said.
He soon discovered that dispensaries were bringing in sales of more than $4,000 per square foot, a rate higher than any U.S. retailer but Apple Inc , and more than 12 times the average $325 per square foot among all companies in the sector.
“You had places the size of Starbucks bringing in $15 million a year, which is absurd,” Peterson said.

Guy In Bear Costume Has No Problem Voting In Russian Election [HuffPo]
During Sunday’s national election, a voter in the Siberian town of Severobaykalsk ― more than 3,400 miles east of Moscow ― decided to show he was bullish on Russia by dressing up as a bear.
Russian government-controlled Sputnik News reported that the unnamed voter scared a few people with his loud roar, but that most people seemed amused.
However, there were some challenges. For one, the bear could barely fit into the voting booth, the video below shows.

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