Tuesday, February 6, 2018
What to watch today
On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its largest single-day point decline in history. The blue chip index fell 1,175 points, or 4.6%, to bring its year-to-date performance into the red. The Dow has now lost 1.5% this year. The benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq also fell sharply on Monday, with the S&P declining 113 points, or 4.1%, and the Nasdaq losing 273 points, or 3.8%. These declines were the worst single-day losses for the market since 2011 and make clear that after a placid 2017 in which stocks seemed to float higher for much of the year, volatility has returned.
On Tuesday, investors will face a busy earnings schedule with Disney (DIS), General Motors (GM), Chipotle (CMG), and Gilead (GILD) all set to report results. Disney, and specifically results at its ESPN unit, will be the biggest focus for markets.
The economic calendar will bring investors reports on the trade balance in December as well as job openings during the month.
Senate to spotlight virtual currencies as bitcoin plunges: Digital currencies such as bitcoin (BTC.USD) will be in the spotlight again on Tuesday as lawmakers in the U.S. Senate question top markets watchdogs over how to better regulate the highly volatile and risky emerging asset class. The hearing follows a rout in the price of bitcoin, which plunged more than 15 percent to near a three-month low on Monday on concerns ranging from a global regulatory clampdown to a ban by some banks on using credit cards to buy bitcoin. [Reuters]
Lululemon CEO resigns, retailer cites ‘breach of conduct‘: Lululemon Athletica (LULU) CEO Laurent Potdevin is resigning from the retailer, effective immediately, the company announced Monday. Lululemon said Potdevin “fell short of … standards of conduct” to respect employees and show integrity. Meanwhile, the company’s board of directors has started searching for a new global CEO. ” [CNBC]
Paul Tudor Jones says Inflation is back: Paul Tudor Jones said inflation is about to appear “with a vengeance” and may force the new Federal Reserve chair to accelerate interest-rate hikes. The hedge fund manager said policy has focused on a “low inflation problem” and years of rates near zero amid economic expansion will have “painful” consequences. Policy makers should have been more aggressive in tightening policy and “rejecting the fiscal impropriety associated with this most recent tax cut,” he said. [Bloomberg]
Banks shutter 1,700 branches in fastest decline on record: Banks are closing branches at the fastest pace in decades, as they leave less profitable regions and fewer customers use tellers for routine transactions. The number of branches in the U.S. shrank by more than 1,700 in the 12 months ended in June 2017, the biggest decline on record, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data. [The Wall Street Journal]
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