February 7, 2018 Market Outlook

Major Benchmarks Headed for Weak Opening

The U.S. stock index futures seem to indicate the market is headed for a weak opening on Wednesday. Wall Street was on a roller coaster ride, with sharp swings, from the previous session. The Dow Jones in particular is seen to drop by 300 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are likewise headed in the same direction.

The blue-chip index rallied on Tuesday after starting significantly lower, jumping by 567.02 points to close at 24,912.77.  Asian and European markets were boosted by the positive sentiment seen on Wall Street yesterday. Markets will remain on edge with investors focusing on more earnings reports.

U.S. SEC Want Improved Oversight on Virtual Currency

U.S. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday to ask Congress to consider passing a virtual currency bill. U.S. regulators see the need to improve oversight of virtual currencies like bitcoin. There are rising concerns about the risks posed by the emerging asset class.

The hearing came after the price of bitcoin dropped sharply and lost about half its value since the start of 2018. The number of countries that will implement regulatory clampdown is increasing and some banks are proposing a ban on using credit cards to buy bitcoin.

Snap Shares Skyrockets by 25%

Snap Inc., parent company of Snapchat, posted its first ever better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday. The great numbers thrilled investors and pushed its stocks to climb up by more than 25% in after-hours trading. The company has been hobbled by user growth problems since going public last year.

But its fourth-quarter earnings showed things are looking up. There is marked improvement in user growth rate as it rose from 2.9% in the third-quarter to 5% this past quarter. About 8.9 million new users were added. CEO Evan Spiegel unveiled the redesigned version of the Snapchat app last November and still in the process of rolling out worldwide. Snap hopes to reclaim some of its early-stage popularity.

Goldman Sachs Offers Loan Facility for iPhone X Buyers

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Goldman Sachs (GS) is prepared to offer financing to buyers of iPhone X and other Apple Inc. (AAPL) products. Buyers of iPhone X that cost $1,000 could obtain a loan from Goldman instead of using credit cards with higher interest rates. Talks between the iPhone maker and the Wall Street bank are still ongoing and no confirmation has been released.

SpaceX Launches World’s Most Powerful Rocket

Billionaire Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and SpaceX head, was astonished at the launching of ‘Falcon Heavy’, the world’s most powerful rocket to date. SpaceX, the pioneering rocket firm, pulled off the unexpected and carried out a flawless first-ever launch of the massive new rocket. Falcon Heavy took flight Tuesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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