February 26, 2018 Market Outlook

Big Firms Worried Over Rising Transportation Costs

Some of the biggest U.S. firms across the food, consumer goods and commodities sectors firms are now complaining of rising spending on delivery costs. U.S. trucking and railroad operators are charging them higher transportation fees. Companies like General Mills Inc. and Hormel Foods Corp. are considering raising their own prices and passing the costs to consumers.

Executives from 10 companies have revealed that they are contending with how to defend their profit margins as transportation costs climb at nearly double the inflation rate.

With the emergence of inflation, the prospect of higher prices on chicken, cereal and snacks costs is imminent. Earlier this month, the U.S. Labor Department reported that underlying consumer prices in January posted their biggest gain in more than a year.

Air Alliance Formed to Develop In-Flight 5G Services

U.S.-based Delta Air Lines Inc. and European plane maker Airbus SE have formed an alliance with U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp, India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd, and satellite startup OneWeb backed by Japan’s SoftBank to develop in-flight 5G services. Delta Air also said that their existing partner and in-flight connectivity provider Gogo will be joining the alliance.

The companies call the alliance as “Seamless Air Alliance.” The alliance aims to let mobile operators provide services to airline customers through satellite technology. Sprint’s Chief Commercial Officer Dow Draper announced on Monday that the company will be launching its 5G network next year.

All Big Brands Converge in Spain for MWC 2018

The Mobile World Congress (MWC), the biggest mobile event of the year, opens in Barcelona, Spain today where industry heavyweights are expected to launch their latest smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets. The world will also witness the emergence of the hottest new trends in mobile, including the next gen 5G.

Nearly all the big brands will be in attendance except Apple Inc. (AAPL). However some of the trending accessories to be presented are compatible with their iPhone models. MWC continues to be the launch platform for many of the year’s big smartphones.  This year, some known manufacturers are expected to showcase their always-connected laptops.

Qualcomm Bats for Due Dilgence with Broadcom

Although they maintain that all of Broadcom Ltd’s (AVGO) previous offers materially undervalued the company, Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) said that they had made progress on regulatory and other deal certainty issues at a meeting last week.

The Board of Directors of Qualcomm is now encouraging Broadcom to enter into direct negotiations on a price for merging the two companies.

“Black Panther” Rakes in $100 Million in 2 Weeks

Disney (DIS) and Marvel Studios film “Black Panther” became only the fourth movie to cross $100 million in its second weekend. It is the Number 1 film in the U.S. for the second weekend in a row. The estimated gross at the box office is $108 million.

The “Black Panther” joins “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Jurassic World,” and “The Avengers”in the elite group.It isalso the second highest second weekend for a film behind only “Force Awakens.” Globally, the movie has already crossed the $700 million mark in just two weekends. The film has yet to be released in China or Japan.

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