Market Outlook – May 21, 2018

Meaningful Progress in U.S.-China Trade Talks

 

All the U.S. stock futures – Dow Jones futures, S&P 500 futures, and Nasdaq futures – rose sharply early Monday morning after the announcement by the White House on Sunday that a ceasefire has been declared on the trade war with China.

U.S. President Donald Trump has suspended China trade tariffs for now since the two are making “meaningful progress” in the current trade talks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News on Sunday: “We are putting the trade war on hold.”

On Saturday, China proposed to “significantly increase purchases” of U.S. goods. There was no mention as to how much U.S. imports would be bought.

U.S. Dollar Hits Fresh High

 

With new that the U.S.-China trade war is “on hold,” the dollar hit a fresh five-month high on Monday. Investors U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s that an agreement was reached by the two countries to suspend the tariff threats.

Since its rally that started on April 17, the dollar has already surged more than 5%. That’s the biggest rising streak of the dollar since late 2015. It occurred just before the U.S. Federal Reserve’s first interest rate hike since the 2008 financial crisis.

Buyback Bonanza on Wall Street

 

Investors are rejoicing as Corporate America poured $178 billion of stock buybacks on Wall Street during the first quarter of 2018. The data from S&P Dow Jones Indices showed that the number of buybacks was a 34% increase from last year. It also erased the previous record of $172 billion posted in 2007.

Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) $22.8 billion stock buyback was the most any company made in any quarter ever. The total reward to shareholders for the past 12 months included dividends.

The total amount could reach more than $1 trillion for the first time ever. The buyback bonanza happened following the signing of the corporate tax cut law by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Deadpool 2” Reigns Supreme at the Box Office

 

After Walt Disney Co.’s (DIS) huge financial success with “Avengers: Infinity War,” it is 20th Century Fox’s moment to shine with “Deadpool 2.” The R-rated superhero film raked in an estimated $125 million on its opening weekend and won big at the domestic box office.

The feat dislodged Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” from the top spot which it held for three weeks. With $1.81 billion global earnings, the Infinity War remains the highest grossing superhero film of all time.

Both Deadpool 2 and Infinity War are Marvel flicks but from different movie studios.

Tesla’s Superfast Model 3 to Cost Double than Basic Model

 

It was Elon Musk himself who revealed the price of the amped-up version of Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 via his Twitter account. The CEO said on Twitter over the weekend that the superfast version of the Tesla Model 3 will sell for about $78,000. The starting price of the basic Model 3 is $35,000.

Musk explained the price is comparable to the high-performance version of the BMW 3-series sedan which is the BMW M3. However, he added that the high-end Tesla Model 3 will be “15% quicker [and] with better handling.

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