Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
U.S. stocks added to Friday’s rally as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s soothing comments Friday carried over the weekend and trade talks between the U.S. and China resumed. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
Stocks Extend Rebound
U.S. stocks rallied Monday but gave back some early gains as small-caps and technology shares led the way amid the resumption of trade talks with China. The dollar fell to its lowest level since October and Treasury yields ticked higher with traders assessing the seemingly dovish remarks from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on Friday. All major U.S. equity benchmarks ended higher. The S&P 500 Index added 0.7 percent after rising as much as 1.4 percent earlier in the session on strength in retailers, automakers and clothing companies. The biggest jump among major gauges came from the small-capitalization Russell 2000 Index, which picked up 1.8 percent. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq benchmarks rose more than 1 percent with telecommunications services and semiconductor shares pacing gains, giving the Nasdaq 100 Index its first back-to-back 1 percent gains since November.
Trade Deal Seen Within Reach
The Trump administration expressed optimism it can reach a “reasonable” trade deal with China as President Xi Jinping dispatched one of his top aides to negotiations in Beijing on a lasting truce to a conflict that has roiled financial markets. “There’s a very good chance that we’ll get a reasonable settlement that China can live with, that we can live with, and that addresses all the key issues,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC Monday. Such a deal could involve the Chinese buying more American soybeans and liquefied natural gas, while agreeing to deeper “structural reforms” on issues such as intellectual-property rights and market access, Ross said.
Kim Stepping Down at World Bank
Jim Yong Kim abruptly resigned as president the World Bank more than three years ahead of schedule, potentially sparking an international tussle over who replaces him as the Trump administration questions the development lender’s purpose. Kristalina Georgieva, the lender’s second in command, will take over as interim president on Feb. 1, the Washington-based bank said Monday in a statement. In an email to employees of the lender, Kim said he’ll join a private firm focused on infrastructure investments in developing countries.
SoftBank Pares WeWork Investment Plans
SoftBank Group Corp. has decided against taking a controlling stake in real estate company WeWork Cos., and is instead planning to make a smaller $2 billion investment, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because the talks are private. SoftBank, which has already invested more than $8 billion in WeWork, had discussed taking a controlling position in the co-working startup, potentially spending $16 billion to buy a larger position in the company, the person said. SoftBank declined to comment. SoftBank controls two large pockets of money, the $93 billion Vision Fund and its own corporate coffers. Originally the SoftBank Vision Fund, in part backed by the Saudi government, was considering buying the controlling stake. Now, SoftBank the company is planning to make the investment directly.
India’s Newest Bank Plans $12 Billion Merger
Bandhan Bank Ltd., India’s newest, will combine with mortgage financier Gruh Finance Ltd., in a $11.7 billion deal bringing the lender closer to meeting the regulator’s shareholding rules. Gruh Finance is a unit of India’s Housing Development Finance Corp. The deal would be valued at about 818 billion rupees ($11.7 billion), calculations based on closing share prices on Monday showed. The deal will reduce Bandhan Bank founder and Chief Executive Officer Chandra Shekhar Ghosh’s stake in the lender to 61 percent from 82 percent. The Reserve Bank of India imposed penalties on the bank after it missed a September deadline to bring Ghosh’s stake down to 40 percent, in line with bank ownership rules. The RBI froze any further increases in Ghosh’s pay and withdrew the bank’s right to open new branches without seeking prior approval.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- China adds to gold reserves for the first time since October 2016.
- India’s economy is forecast to grow at the fastest pace in three years.
- Three reasons why trade war will become a pain for the U.S. economy.
- The UN takes custody of a Saudi female runaway trapped in Thailand.
- A crypto exchange takes on behemoths with physical Bitcoin futures.
- Apple’s TV deals with Samsung and LG showcase its shift to services.
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