Market Outlook – April 18, 2018

Major U.S. Benchmarks Gains for Two Consecutive Days

 

As the flow of fresh corporate results intensifies, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 Index, and the Nasdaq Composite Index all gained for a second day in a row on Tuesday. The Nasdaq is now up by 5.5% in 2018 while the S&P 500 and Dow Jones are up by 1.2% and 0.3% respectively.

On Wednesday, the U.S. stock futures pointed to a rise before the open, placing the blue-chip index Dow in a position to build on an earnings-driven rally that has brought it back into positive territory for the year.

Amazon Launches International Shopping Feature

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) has launched a new feature that will enable customers across the world to shop more than 45 million items outside their home markets. The ordered items can also be shipped to their country from the United States.

The international shopping feature is available on a mobile browser and the mobile app for both iOS and Android devices. It comes in five languages, including Spanish, English, Spanish, Brazilian, German, and simplified Chinese,

Amazon made the announcement on Tuesday. The feature can only accept 25 currencies for now. But more languages and currencies will be added in 2018. Details such as pricing, shipping costs and import duty estimates will be displayed by the feature.

Lockheed & German Firms Tie-Up on Heavy-Lift Helicopter

In order to win the bid on a $4 billion euro ($5 billion) heavy-lift helicopter contract from Berlin, Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT) Sikorsky has teamed-up with more German firms. The newly-formed industrial team will make its appearance at next week’s Berlin air show.

Beth Parcella, head of international sales for the Sikorsky program, told Reuters on Wednesday, “This shows how important this campaign is to us. We believe it’s a must-win.” The U.S. weapons maker’s new Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion helicopter will make its global debut at the Berlin air show with a “very compelling flight demonstration,” Parcella added.

IBM Shares Drop in After-Hours Trade

Despite reporting a second quarter of revenue growth, the shares of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) fell 6 % in after-hours trade. The tech firm’s reported profit margins fell short of Wall Street expectations on Tuesday. Investors are getting impatient because IBM’s reinvention was taking time.

For the recent years, IBM has shifted its focus to higher-margin businesses such as cloud computing, cybersecurity and data analytics. The company needs to counter the slowdown in its legacy hardware and software businesses. But the move is not going as fast as some shareholders had anticipated.

China Readies Additional 25% Tariffs on Whiskey

U.S. whiskey importers, spirits dealers, and other small traders are facing rough times. China, their major market, is preparing to slap a 25% additional tariff on hundreds of American products, including whiskey.

Uncertainty has now gripped the niche market that is worth only $8.9 million last year. The trade standoff between the U.S. and China could trigger major disruption for American products. U.S. whiskey imports are second to Scottish whisky but growing rapidly.

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