March 14, 2018 Market Outlook

U.S. Stocks End Lower

After choppy trading, U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday. The Dow Jones went down by 171.58 points. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose in early trading but eventually dipped by 0.6% and 1.0% respectively.

Microsoft was the Dow’s worst performing stock as it fell 2.4% while Qualcomm was the worst in the S&P 500 index, dropping 5%. Worries over the brewing tension with China pulled the market down.

Trump Ousts Tillerson as Secretary of State

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday ousts Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. The president thanked Tillerson for his services although he cited the absence of personal chemistry between them as the reason for the sacking.

Trump will nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson’s replacement. He also picked Gina Haspel to be the new CIA director. She will be the first woman to head the intelligence agency.

Broadcom Drops Bid to Acquire Qualcomm

With odds turning against them, Singapore-based Broadcom Ltd. announced that they are withdrawing its $117 billion bid to acquire Qualcomm Inc. The company said they are complying with Trump’s order to abandon their aggressive pursuit of Qualcomm.

Even if they expressed disappointment, Broadcom will still move their headquarters to the U.S. Broadcom also withdrew their list of nominees presented to sit as Qualcomm’s board members.

Walmart Challenges Amazon in Home Delivery Service

Walmart announced on Wednesday that they will expand its grocery home delivery services to more than 100 metro areas this year. The areas will be added to six existing cities.

The new service in the expanded area of coverage would cover more than 40% of U.S. households by the end of 2018. Delivery cost would be $9.95 at a minimum order of $30. Uber Technologies Inc. and other delivery companies will provide transport services.

Google Clamps Down on Cryptocurrency Ads

Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) will be changing its advertisement policy and ban ads for cryptocurrencies and other content related to or associated with cryptocurrency.  Come June this year, search engine giant Google will ban ads promoting financial products and services linked to virtual currencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Facebook Inc. (FB) first announced in January that a similar move will be implemented across all their social media platforms. Alphabet promises an improved ad experience as all Google’s proprietary and affiliated advertisement platforms will be rid of unregulated or speculative financial products.

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