Market Outlook – August 21, 2018

U.S. Stocks Close Higher For a Third Session


It was a good start for U.S. stocks this week as they closed higher for a third straight session on Monday. All three main benchmarks advanced. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 89.37 points (+0.35%) to finish at 25,758.69. The S&P 500 Index added 6.92 points (+0.24%) while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 4.68 points (+0.06%) after paring earlier losses.

There is optimism as the trade talks between the U.S. and China will resume on Wednesday this week. A couple of billion-dollar deals also reaffirmed confidence that the U.S. economy is steadily expanding.

Trump Unhappy with Feds Raising Interest Rates


U.S. President Donald Trump said during an interview on Monday that he was “not thrilled” with the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates. He was criticizing his own appointee, Chairman Jerome Powell, and said the U.S. central bank should do more to help boost the economy.

Trump said, “We’re negotiating very powerfully and strongly with other nations. We’re going to win. But during this period of time I should be given some help by the Fed. The other countries are accommodated.” Trump is not about to stop future criticism should the central bank keep lifting rates.

Trump expressed his issue with the Feds during an interview with Reuters. He also aired as accusation against China and Europe for manipulating their respective currencies.

Tyson Foods to Acquire Keystone Foods


Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) announced Monday that it would acquire Keystone Foods from Brazil’s Marfrig Global Foods in a deal worth $2.16 billion. Marfrig bought Keystone back in 2010 but sounded off selling it this year.

Tyson Foods is the largest U.S. meat supplier by sales while Keystone is a supplier of meat protein to fast food restaurants and retail stores across the world. will expand its range of products and have a larger global reach with the acquisition.

Included in the purchase are Keystone’s six processing plants and an innovation center in the U.S. in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. It will also include eight plants and three innovation centers internationally, in China, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia. Tyson can now expand its range of products and have a larger global reach with the acquisition.

This is  one of the two billion dollar deals announced early this week. The other one is the $3.2 billion purchase of Israel’s household drink-machine maker SodaStream International Ltd. (SODA) by PepsiCo (PEP).


JPMorgan Slashes Price Target on Tesla’s Stock


JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) dramatically slashed its price target on Tesla Inc. (TSLA) which caused the electric-car maker’s stock to dip on Monday. The Wall Street bank may be sending a signal that it is the beginning of the Tesla crash.

Ryan Brinkman, a JPMorgan analyst, wrote in a critical research report that it’s “premature” to value Tesla based on a go-private deal that may or may not even happen.  The tweet of Tesla CEO Elon Musk last August 7 said the funding for his plan has been secured.

JPMorgan believe events are showing that there is no funding or any formal proposal. Brinkman added, “By valuing Tesla on fundamentals alone, TSLA should sink to $195 by December.” JPMorgan had a price target of $308 for TSLA on August 8 based on Musk’s optimism about a go-private deal.

Microsoft Thwart Attempts to Hack Think-Tank Sites


Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said it thwarted attempts by hackers linked to the Russian government who tried to target the websites of two right-wing U.S. think-tanks. It seems to suggest that the attacks were intensifying as November elections near.

The software giant said the attempts happened last week. They were able to take control of sites. Hackers had designed to mimic the pages of The International Republican Institute and The Hudson Institute. The websites redirect users to fake addresses while prompting them to enter usernames and passwords.

Russian authorities country has repeatedly dismissed all accusations that it has used hackers to influence U.S. elections and political opinion.


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