January 17, 2018 Market Outlook

State Attorneys File Suit vs. FCC on Net Neutrality

U.S. state attorneys from 21 states filed a suit to challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to do away with net neutrality. Senate Democrats said they needed just one more vote in the chamber to repeal the FCC ruling.

The state attorneys, including those of California, New York, Virginia, and District of Columbia, filed a petition to challenge the action. They are calling it arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion. They said FCC has violated federal laws and regulations. The petition was filed with a federal appeals court in Washington on Tuesday.

Tax Cut Led to Citigroup’s $18.3 Billion Quarterly Loss

Citigroup (C) reported a whopping $18.3 billion quarterly loss after it took a one-time charge of $22 billion because of the tax cut. Like other financial firms, Citigroup adjusted the value of so-called deferred tax assets because the corporate tax rate is going down.

The change in the value of those deferred assets amounted to $19 billion while the $3 billion charge came from the earnings from foreign subsidiaries that was returned to the United States. Citigroup complied with the provision of the new tax law. Without the tax cut, the bank had a decent quarter and it pushed the stock higher on Tuesday.

GM Deploys DHL Employees in China Plant

GM is now deploying third-party logistics contractors inside all 17 of its joint-venture general assembly plants in China. DHL employees have been brought in to transport materials, and manage parts warehousing outside the plant and delivery to the plant. A senior GM executive told Reuters that they’re now outsourcing in-plant material handling jobs, traditionally done by GM workers.

GM China’s manufacturing chief Paul Buetow said the move will allow the automaker’s workforce to focus on the more critical work of improving quality and efficiency. The plant is jointly owned by GM (GM), Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp. and Guangxi Automobile Group.

Ferrero Wins Bid to Acquire Nestle’s U.S Candy Brands

Italian candy maker Ferrero will become the third-largest confectionery company in the U.S. Nestle has agreed to sell its U.S. candy brands, including Butterfinger, BabyRuth and Nerds to the maker of Nutella. The deal will be worth $2.8 billion Ferrero and will constitute more than 20 U.S. confectionery brands.

Nestle will now focus on non-candy products from its U.S. division like pet products, bottled water, coffee, frozen food and baby nutrition. Hershey did not win the bid although it holds the license for KitKat in the United States. Nestle still owns the brand but is not part of the Ferrero deal.

Global Cyrptocurrencies Lose $200 Billion in Value

Prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and other smaller digital coins fell sharply as talk of tougher regulation in the key markets of China and South Korea sparked a massive sell-off.

More than $200 billion in market value of global cryptocurrencies has been wiped off at the peak of the recent sell-off which extended into Wednesday morning. At around 7 a.m. London time on Tuesday, the total market value of every digital coin stood at $653.8 billion according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.

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