Market Outlook – June 18, 2018

China’s Retaliatory Tariffs to Impact on U.S. Oil Firms

 

China will retaliate and slap tariffs on several American commodities, including oil. U.S. oil imports have soared in the last two years and its worth is nearly $1 billion month.

However, with the intensifying tiff over the United States’ trade deficit with majority of its trading partners, investors expect U.S. oil firms to be hit the hardest.

On Friday, the shares of Chevron Corp. (CVX) and ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) already fell by 1.95% and 1.5% respectively. U.S. crude oil prices fell by around 5% as well. Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore, said, “This escalation of the trade war is dangerous for oil prices.”

Major oil producers like OPEC and Russia would benefit from the decline in American oil exports to China. OPEC’s key player Saudi Arabia and Russia indicated last week that they would relax supply restraint and start to raise exports.

Google Forms Broader Partnership with JD.com

 

Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google will be investing $550 million in JD.com which is China’s e-commerce behemoth. The investment is part of Google’s efforts to expand its presence in the fast-growing Asian markets. The move is in preparation to compete with rivals, particularly Amazon.com. Inc. (AMZN).

The broader partnership will include the promotion of JD.com products on Google’s shopping service. This could expand JD.com’s base outside of China and Southeast Asia. JD.com desires to  establish a meaningful presence in the U.S. and European markets.

Ford Acquires 18-Story Michigan Central Station

 

Ford Motor Co. (F) will announce on Tuesday the plan to restore  the Michigan Central Station in Detroit. The 18-story building has been abandoned for decades and remains idle.

Ford Motor purchased the collapsing building and will convert it to a major technology center. The automaker’s  chairman Bill Ford told CNN, “I remember the train station when it was vibrant and it was an awesome place.”

The structure, built in 1913, was the tallest train station in the world when it opened. It was once a symbol of Detroit’s status as a center of American industry. Ford will fully restore the landmark building and envisions a revitalized neighborhood.

Restaurants, shops, bars, and cafes will open on the ground. They will rent out spaces to companies  in the office tower soon. Ford Co. wants to see a revitalized neighborhood.

“Incredibles 2” Dominates Domestic Box Office

 

The Disney and Pixar animated film “Incredibles 2” scored big at the domestic box office this weekend.  The sequel to the popular 2004 computer animated film raked in an estimated $180 million.

“Incredibles 2” is now the biggest animated film opening in box office history, shattering the $145 million record of another Pixar film, “Finding Dory.”

The box office feat of “Incredibles 2” placed it as the third largest opening of the year behind “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther.” The two superhero blockbusters are from Disney’s Marvel Studios.

Apple Signs up Oprah to a Multi-Year Deal

 

Apple Inc. (AAPL) confirms the signing of revered talk show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey to a multi-year content partnership. The team-up will create original programs and capitalize on Oprah’s unmatched ability to connect with global audiences.

 

Most of Ms. Winfrey’s projects will form part of Apple’s new lineup of original content.  Apple is looking to  reduce its reliance on iPhone sales and is attempting to become a Netflix of sorts.

 

Sources say Apple has a big budget to sign up entertainment heavyweights. However, it does not equate to the huge spending of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) or Netflix Inc. (NFLX) in web video streaming.

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