Friday, March 2, 2018
What to watch today
The economic data calendar will feature the final reading on consumer sentiment in February from the University of Michigan; the preliminary reading on confidence in February showed consumers were undeterred by the stock sell-off seen in early February.
We’d also note that while Friday is the first Friday of the month we will not get a jobs report, with the February jobs report due out on March 9.
Trump’s proposed tariffs won’t be as bad as what could happen next: President Donald Trump said Thursday that he would soon impose tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports from countries around the world. Analysts agree the tariffs themselves are likely to have minimal impact as steel and aluminum account for about 2% of imported goods. Rather, analysts worry that the response from U.S. trading partners could be major. [Yahoo Finance]
Smith & Wesson maker plunges on weak outlook for gun sales: American Outdoor Brands Corp. (AOBC), the maker of Smith & Wesson guns, plunged after warning of a lengthy sales slump. Consumer demand for firearms is falling to “new, lower levels” that “may continue for some time,” the company said in a statement Thursday as it reported earnings. American Outdoor said it’s cutting costs and repaying debt to weather the downturn. [Bloomberg]
Female-led investor group to buy Weinstein Co. assets: A former Obama administration official reached a deal to purchase assets of The Weinstein Company and said she will use a majority-female board to rebuild the Hollywood studio tarnished by sexual misconduct allegations. Former Small Business Administration chief Maria Contreras-Sweet plans to launch a new company, save about 150 jobs, protect the small companies that are owed money, and create a victims’ compensation fund that will supplement existing insurance coverage for those who have been harmed. [Reuters]
YouTube excluded White, Asian males for some jobs, lawsuit says: YouTube last year stopped hiring white and Asian males for technical positions because they didn’t help the world’s largest video site achieve its goals for improving diversity, according to a civil lawsuit filed by a former employee. The lawsuit, filed by Arne Wilberg, a white male who worked at Google for nine years, including four years as a recruiter at YouTube, alleges the division of Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOG, GOOGL) set quotas for hiring minorities. [The Wall Street Journal]
Boom in share buybacks renews question of who wins from tax cuts: U.S. companies are buying back their shares at an aggressive pace, stirring questions in Washington and on Wall Street about the way that the new corporate tax cuts are being used. Share buybacks announced by large U.S. companies have exceeded $200 billion in the past three months, more than double the prior year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data for S&P 500 companies. [The Wall Street Journal]
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