So much for a strong finish to the week.
Wall Street lower is bracing for a lower open on Friday. Indeed, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures are tumbling, and Dow futures are down more than 200 points, despite a small gain on the S&P yesterday and previously rallies throughout the globe earlier in the week.
Across the pond, the Euro Stoxx 600 index retreated 1%, heading for its second straight weekly drop as a gauge of business activity in the private sector indicated that the euro region has fallen further into contraction as output fell to a two month low and Germany cut its economic growth forecasts. The European Central Bank is predicting a higher possibility of a double-dip recession as stricter coronavirus-related lockdowns are causing the restriction in economic activity.
Yields on Treasuries and German bunds edged lower and crude oil slid below $52 a barrel.
Italian stocks underperformed and bond yields rose after reports Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is early elections.
Amid these growing concerns about Europe, the U.S. dollar is strengthening for the first time this week.
Meanwhile, in Asia, the Nikkei 225 sank 0.4%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1.6% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4%.
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Bitcoin plunged below $30,000 amid concerns about a so-called “double spend” which threatened the technology platform behind the crypto currency. Meanwhile, bitcoin — a peer to peer currency with no Central Banking authority — is increasingly raising concerns among world governments who question its long-term viability. Nonetheless, recent institutional investors including insurer Mass Mutual and BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company, have signaled their approval by indicating their willingness to diversify into bitcoin futures.
Google (Shares of Alphabet)
Google on Friday threatened to make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government went ahead with plans to make tech giants pay for news content.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison quickly hit back, saying “we don’t respond to threats.”
Walt Disney Co.
Walt Disney was upgraded to buy from neutral at UBS, and the price target on the stock was raised to $200 from $155. “We believe Disney is positioned to achieve scale similar to industry leader Netflix with 340 million+ global subscribers by 2024, while its premium IP creates pricing power and enables the company to spend less per sub on content, driving better economics over time,” said analysts. Shares of Disney closed Thursday at $171.28.
Facebook Inc. says it is turning to its own “Supreme Court” to consider a permanent ban on former President Donald Trump’s account.
The independent oversight board — a collection of 20 people that include a Nobel Peace Prize laureate from Yemen, law professors, journalists, and free speech advocates that functions as the social-media giant’s “high court” on content — will review the decision to suspend Trump following the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol, and decide on whether to ban him permanently.
New products on the way… reports suggest a new MacBook Air design that includes magnetic charging, and a VR headset