March 6, 2018 Market Outlook

Major U.S. Benchmarks Increase as Tariff Fears Subside

Although the trade barbs are intensifying between the U.S. and EU along with other trading partners about the new steel and aluminum tariffs, the major benchmarks ended with gains on Monday.

The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones increased between 1% and 1.4%. The U.S. stock futures also opened higher today before the market opens. The European markets climbed in early trading with some indexes adding more than 1%. Majority of the Asian markets ended trading with 1% to 2% gains.

Euro Automakers Urge Trump Not to Impose Tax on Cars

It’s becoming a tit-for-tat affair after the trade chiefs from European Union (EU) threatened to impose a 25% tax on $3.5 billion of U.S. in response to the planned tariffs on steel and aluminum.

European automakers are urging U.S. President Donald Trump to shelve his plans to impose a retaliatory tax on car imports in response to the EU’s threat. Such tax could have severe repercussions because the U.S. is their prime market.

The trading partners of the U.S. are angered with Trump’s plan. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are criticizing the move as well.

U.S. Govt Orders Review of Broadcom-Qualcomm Deal

Broadcom’s (AVGO) bid to acquire Qualcomm (QCOM) has been stalled following the U.S. government’s order for a national security review. The deal, reported to be worth $140 billion would be the biggest merger ever in the technology sector.

If the Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom to succeeds to buy U.S. rival Qualcomm, it would create the world’s third-largest chipmaker behind Intel and Samsung.

Many see the participation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) as unusual because the CFIUS rarely gets involved in deals before an agreement is reached. The U.S. government has requested for 30 days to review the potential deal.

Non-Profit Group Files Lawsuit on Fox-Disney Deal

Protect Democracy Project Inc. filed a lawsuit on Monday in a U.S. District Court in Washington seeking any records of communications about Fox’s Rupert Murdoch or the Fox-Disney transaction.

The objective of the nonprofit group, whose mission to protect democracy, is to obtain any records of communications between the White House and the Justice Department over Walt Disney Co.’s (DIS) $52.4 billion deal to acquire film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA).

The group also wants to know if there were “any related antitrust enforcement efforts by the DOJ and whether U.S. President Trump or his administration is inappropriately interfering with the independence of the DOJ out of favoritism for a political ally.”

Aramco’s CEO to Attend Energy Conference in Houston

The CEO of Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco will be arriving in Houston to speak at an energy conference. Aramco is looking at the possibility of listing a small portion of the company’s shares on stock markets in 2018. Major exchanges around the globe are competing to win the listing which is expected to be a massive one.

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