Market Outlook – August 23, 2018

U.S. Stock Market Makes History

 

August 22, 2018 will go down in history as the day the U.S. stock market registered the longest bull market run despite the stocks’ lackluster performance. The current bull market started on March 9, 2009. At that time, the S&P 500 Index was at 676 points.

Since then or 9 ½ years later, it rallied 323%.The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was the biggest winner with the tech sector exhibiting its strength, gaining 611%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed about 300%.

On Wednesday, the Nasdaq advanced 29.92 points while the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 slid 88.69 points and 1.14 points respectively.

U.S.-China Trade Talks Resume as Tariffs Take Effect

 

Even if the mid-level trade talks between the United States and China are ongoing, their hostility continues as the punitive 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of each other’s goods takes effect on Thursday.

The world’s two largest economies have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on a combined $100 billion of products since early July. And more in the pipeline are forthcoming which would add to risks to global economic growth.

China’s Commerce Ministry in a brief statement said, “China resolutely opposes this, and will continue to take necessary countermeasures.” Beijing will also file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Alibaba’s Quarterly Revenue Jumps 61%

 

The U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) rose 3% in premarket trade Thursday after reporting first-quarter revenue that topped estimates.

The world’s biggest online retailer attributed the revenue increase driven to the growth of its core e-commerce business. According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, Alibaba’s revenue for the April-June period rose 61% to 80.9 billion yuan ($11.77 billion) versus the average analyst estimate of 80.7 billion yuan.

Bayer Unfazed by Monsanto’s Legal Risks

 

Bayer, the German drug maker, sees no reason to re-assess the legal risks from the American company Monsanto. The U.S. unit has been ordered to pay damages in a lawsuit over alleged links between weed-killer glyphosate and cancer.

German daily Handelsblatt quoted Bayer’s Chief Executive Werner Baumann as saying, “The safety assessment of glyphosate has not changed since the time of the acquisition. If that were to change and we were to find that something was missed during the due diligence we would act accordingly. But that is not the case.”

Australia Bans 5G Network of Huawei and ZTE

 

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei said the Australian government banned the company from providing 5G technology for the country’s wireless networks. Huawei’s Twitter account read, “This is a extremely disappointing result for consumers.”

Australia knows that the 5G technology is the next stage of mobile internet connectivity. The technology promises faster data download and upload speeds. Huawei also added that Chinese communications firm ZTE Corp. had also been banned.  The reason cited for the double ban is because of national security concerns.

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