Market Outlook – August 31, 2018

Trade War Fears End Wall Street’s Win Streak


With the report that United States President Donald Trump will move ahead with the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, trade war jitters resurfaced on Thursday. U.S. stocks finished lower to end a four-day winning streak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Index lost 137.65 points (-0.53%) and fell below the 26,000 mark. The S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped by 12.91 points (0.44%) and 21.32 points (-0.26%) respectively. The Nasdaq was testing an intraday record of 8,133.30 in early trading before finishing at 8,088.36.

Bloomberg News published the report on Trump’s intentions to proceed with the said tariffs. The deadline set for companies to comment on the proposed duties is until September 6. After that, Trump would impose the tariffs.

Tesla Shareholders Rejected Proposal To Replace Musk


It was revealed on Thursday that the BlackRock-managed funds filed a proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requiring the chairman of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) to be an independent director. However, the said proposal was defeated during a shareholder meeting last June.

According to Tesla, more than 86 million shares voted against the proposal while fewer than 17 million voted in favor. The board of Tesla had said that the company’s success “would not have been possible” without Musk’s “day-to-day exposure to the company’s business.” But top proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. supported the proposal, citing concerns about Musk’s pay and board independence.

Coca-Cola Expands Into Coffee Business


Coca-Cola Co. (KO) will acquire the world’s second largest coffee chain Costa from Britain’s Whitbread Plc as it expands into the coffee market. CEO James Quincey said, “Hot beverages is one of the few segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand.” He added, “Costa gives us access to this market with a strong coffee platform” he added.

The deal is reportedly worth $5.1 billion and will open a new front for Coca-Cola as it moves away from traditional sodas. On Friday, Whitbread said the deal will give Coke almost 4,000 coffee outlets in the UK and across Europe. The transaction had been agreed unanimously by board members of Whitbread. It is also for the best interests of shareholders.

Berkshire Hathaway Buys More Apple Shares


Value investor Warren Buffett confirmed on Thursday during an interview with CNBC that he had purchased “just a little” more of Apple Inc. (AAPL). In a regulatory filing by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA) earlier this month, the company had bought 12.4 million shares of Apple in the second quarter. Their total shares are 252 million as of June 30.

The shares of the first $1 trillion company by market capitalization closed at $225.03 or +0.92% higher after Buffett revealed the purchase on the business network. The billionaire also admitted becoming a fan of the Apple iPad.

Apple To Showcase New iPhone Models


Apple Inc. (AAPL) sent out invitations to reporters for the unveiling of a number of their iPhone models and other new gadgets on September 12. Aside from showcasing the latest iPhones and gadgets, Apple is also expected to announce the release date of its next iOS operating system. The event will take place at the Apple Park headquarters.

Many customers think Apple could expand the iPhone X design and naming across its entire phone lineup. More sizes, colors and price points will be introduced as well. Both the Apple Watch and Air Pods could also get a refresh. The invitees said Apple did not give many hints about the forthcoming event.

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