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Business / Business Education / Finance / Money / Personal Finance

Opening Bell: 9.4.18

Opening Bell: 9.4.18

Stocks’ Return to Records Paves Way for Volatile Autumn [WSJ]
Few would dispute that the general outlook looks bright. Inflation, which investors earlier in the year had feared would stall the economic expansion, has plodded along at a benign rate. Corporate earnings are growing at the second fastest pace since 2010. Even the threat of a trade war has appeared to dim in recent weeks, with the U.S. and Mexico reaching a trade agreement in late August after months of tense negotiations.
Yet many investors, burned by previous snapbacks, can’t help but view September with a degree of apprehension.

Trump accuses Sessions of hurting U.S. Republican congressional races [Reuters]
Trump wrote on Twitter the Justice Department’s decision to file charges will hurt safe Republican seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Election analysts believe there is a 50 percent chance the Democratic Party will take control of the House, in which all 435 seats are up for grabs in the Nov. 6 elections. Republicans currently hold a 236-193 advantage and there are six vacant seats.

Facebook shares fall after downgrade on ‘toxic brew’ of slowing sales growth and regulation risk [CNBC]
The firm lowered its rating to neutral from buy for Facebook shares, predicting the internet company will generate earnings below expectations this year.
“We believe that revenue growth deceleration coupled with the company’s long-term margin guidance does not provide a meaningful near-term path for outperformance,” analyst Michael Nathanson said in a note to clients Tuesday. “Facebook is increasingly under the eye of global politicians and regulators, which will force the company to become more aggressive on spending to show contrition … The deceleration in growth, coupled with continued regulatory scrutiny, is a toxic brew for any stock.”

Trump slams AFL-CIO chief on Labor Day [NYPost]
“Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, represented his union poorly on television this weekend,” Trump tweeted minutes after wishing the nation a “Happy Labor Day!”
“Some of the things he said were so against the working men and women of our country, and the success of the U.S. itself, that it is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly. A Dem!” he added.

Republicans Consider Dropping Second Phase of Tax Cuts After SALT Backlash [Bloomberg]
The proposal would make the individual changes in last year’s overhaul permanent — including the $10,000 annual cap for state and local tax deductions, one of the law’s most disputed provisions. That would put Republican lawmakers in high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and California in the tricky position of either supporting the cap, or voting against tax cuts backed by their party.

Amazon Sets Its Sights on the $88 Billion Online Ad Market [NYT]
On Black Friday last year, when millions of online shoppers took to Amazon in search of deals, a Verizon ad for a Google Pixel 2 phone — buy one and get a second one half off — could be seen blazing across Amazon’s home page. And on July 16, what Amazon calls Prime Day, an event with special deals for its Prime customers, Verizon again ran a variety of ads and special offers for Amazon shoppers, like a mix-and-match unlimited service plan.
Amazon, which has already reshaped and dominated the online retail landscape, is quickly gathering momentum in a new, highly profitable arena: online advertising, where it is rapidly emerging as a major competitor to Google and Facebook.

Let These Dinosaurs Check You In At Japan’s ‘Weird’ Hotel [HuffPo]
A Japanese hotel is offering guests one of the strangest check-in experiences possible ― a reception desk manned by robot dinosaurs.
Whether it’s Japanese, English, Chinese or Korean, the pair of dinosaurs are more than happy to assist customers arriving at the hotel in east Tokyo through the use of a tablet system.

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