Market Outlook – June 29, 2018

Broad-Based Gains at Wall Street


On Thursday, the main U.S. stock-market indexes closed higher with the financials and technology sectors leading a rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 98.46 points (+0.41%) but still finished below its. 200-day moving average.

In the S&P 500 Index, the financials ended its 13-day slump and climbed nearly 1%. The broader index added 16.68 points (+0.62%). The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 58.60 points (+0.79%). Volatility was very evident as the major indexes saw big swings in both directions. The shifting views on trade policies and worries over the impact of protectionist policies have been influencing trades in recent days.

Bill to Expand Government Power to Block Investments


Venture capital firms, including China’s Danhua Capital, have invested in Silicon Valley’s most promising startups. The focused areas are artificial intelligence and cyber security, and drones. Most of the said firms are based just outside Stanford University which is the epicenter of U.S. technology entrepreneurship.

Based on available information, more than 20 Silicon Valley venture capital firms have close ties to China and are state-owned entities. But the Trump administration is taking a hard line stance against Chinese firms penetrating the tech space.

The U.S. Congress is now finalizing the legislation that aims to expand the government’s power to block foreign investment in U.S. companies, including venture investments.

Amazon Prepares to Compete with Drugstore Chains Inc. (AMZN) is preparing to disrupt major players across the drug supply chain in the U.S. The world’s biggest online retailer said on Thursday it would acquire small online pharmacy PillPack. The move will put Amazon in direct competition with drugstore chains, drug distributors and pharmacy benefit managers.

With the announcement, AMZN jumped 2.5% but triggered a sell-off in shares of potential rivals. PillPack is a supplier of pre-sorted prescription drugs. It also provides other services to people who take multiple medications. Amazon is entering a growing market as the U.S. population ages and requires treatment for multiple complex, chronic conditions. The total U.S. prescription drug market is worth $450 billion and Amazon wants a piece of the market.

UK Lawmakers Find Facebook Evasive


The British parliamentary committee examining the recent Facebook Inc. (FB) said the social network giant continues to be evasive. Committee Chairman Damian Collins said on Friday, “Facebook continue to display a pattern of evasive behavior – a pattern which has emerged over the course of our inquiry.”

Britain’s digital and media committee is examining fake news and what Cambridge Analytica did with the data obtained from Facebook. Collins added, “Facebook appears to prefer minimal over rigorous scrutiny… We will be addressing this point as part of our interim report being published in due course.”

ZTE Corp. to Announce Major Shakeup


ZTE Corp. will soon announce a change in its board composition following an annual general meeting (AGM) on Friday. The Chinese telecoms giant is making the radical overhaul as a condition laid out by the U.S. to lift the supplier ban.

Shareholders who attended the AGM at ZTE’s Shenzhen headquarters in southern China expressed dismay at the massive losses the company suffered due to the U.S. ban. The shares of ZTE tanked by almost 60% and wiped out more than $11 billion of the company’s market valuation.

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