We preview next week's trading around the Christmas holiday. http://blog.trading212.com/the-coming-week-22-26-12-2014/
Intel Corporation has announced that Lenovo Group Limited will integrate its Atom chips into two new smartphones in 2015. According to a report from CNET, the chip maker’s 64-bit Atom processor and its LTE-advanced modem chips would be used by the Chinese smartphone maker.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd founder and CEO Jack Ma expressed interest in joining hands with Sony Corporation Corp on movie franchises including “Ghostbusters.” Sony emails revealed by hackers show that Jack Ma discussed it during his meeting with Hollywood executives in October. The Hangzhou-based company also wanted to invest in Pixels, a 3D animated comedy starring Adam Sandler, reports Bloomberg.
Facebook is no longer as cool a place for teenagers to hang out, according to a new report. The percentage of people ages 13 to 17 who use Facebook in the United States fell to 88% this year, says a report based on a survey conducted by research firm Frank N. Magid Associates. That number revealed a drop from 94% in 2013 and 95% in 2012. But use of Facebook also showed a decline among all the other age groups examined in the study. In total, Facebook's popularity dipped to 90% this year from 93% the past two years.
Facebook Inc has come up with a new feature ‘Sell Something,’ which is only available for some users, according to a report from the Next Web. Using this new feature, users will be able to sell goods when posting to the group. The selling option can be seen on some Facebook groups next to the normal “Write Post” button.
BlackBerry Ltd announced Friday that it has completed the acquisition of Germany company Secusmart GmbH. The Dusseldorf-based company makes voice and data encryption software that protects voice, text and messaging communications against eavesdropping. Privately-held Secusmart sells encrypted mobile and landline phones to the German government.
San Francisco Fed President John Williams called the "patient" description of monetary policy a bridge toward rising interest rates. The Fed is "getting closer to consider normalizing policy and I consider it a bridge," Williams said on Bloomberg Radio.
Mercedes-Benz is bringing luxury cars to India and creating a new brand to meet increasing demand. The cars that will be sold out of 12 new ‘Mercedes-Benz Certified’ outlets in the sub-continent will include A-Class, B-Class and GLA-Class automobiles that have passed a rigorous vetting process. At the very least no car may have more than 10,000 kilometers on the odometer, any history of accident, and the cars can’t have had more than two prior owners. Additionally, each car sold will include a one-year warranty or 20,000 kilometers.
Microsoft Corporation is reportedly suing scammers who disguise as tech support. Nearly 1/3 of citizens in the United States were contacted by fake tech support scammers. This particular problem is nothing new. For many years, people have been contacted by companies that claim to be official tech support for Microsoft. Such scammers often convince the victim there is a virus on their computer and will offer to fix it for a fee. This has blown up to a huge problem. Since May 2014, Microsoft received over 65,000 customer complaints involving tech support scams with costs consumers approximately $1.5 billion in financial losses each year. This is why Microsoft is filing a civil lawsuit within the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Shares of Apple turned red, trading lower by 0.5% to $112.00 Friday morning, after allegations of poor working conditions at the company's suppliers working on the iPhone 6 in China, by U.K. broadcaster BBC. Apple's Senior VP of Operations Jeff Williams sent an email to 5,000 staff members in the U.K. this morning saying that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by the BBC's claims, CNBC reports. Yesterday, BBC aired an undercover investigation that made allegations that workers at the Pegatron factories near Shanghai, China were treated poorly, Reuters reports. BBC also accused Apple of "routinely" breaking promises to protect workers.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has officially pointed to North Korea as the culprit behind the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment – an incident that was allegedly connected with a now-pulled film called The Interview, about the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Although recent days have seen several stories in which unnamed U.S. officials said North Korea was to blame, this is the first time the authorities have openly said as much. According to the FBI, the malware used in the attack “revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed,” including similarities in the code, encryption algorithms and data deletion methods.
Demand for Apple Inc.’s iPhones is above analyst and investor expectations, with particular strength in China and Brazil, according to a research report that Morgan Stanley sent to clients. Apple’s stock inched 0.1% lower in midday trade. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said her research indicates demand is tracking at 67 million units for Apple’s fiscal first quarter, which ends this month. That’s well above the consensus estimate of Wall Street’s sell-side analysts of about 63 million, Huberty said.
Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted Friday that a battery-pack swap station is operating between San Francisco and Los Angeles in "limited beta mode." Drivers of Tesla's electric cars would be able to swap their drained batteries "faster than visiting a gas station," Musk said on the tweet. In a video available on Tesla's website about battery swaps, Musk said drivers can either use a Tesla supercharger station to recharge the battery in their car, which "is and always will be free", or choose to swap the battery, which would take a minute and a half but would not be free. The battery swap option is another step in "convincing the skeptics," showing that an electric car is more convenient than a gasoline car, Musk said in the video. "That's what convinces people finally that electric cars are the future," Musk said.
Following in the steps of Apple and Microsoft, Google is laying the groundwork for a custom operating system suitable for infotainment purposes, according to Reuters. The publication's sources say the firm's new technology will be a major step-up from Android Auto software. Android Auto, based on the standard mobile Android OS, requires a phone to be plugged into a compatible car which is equipped with an infotainment screen. Android Auto can be used to access maps, music, weather and other apps.
BBC claims that the iPhone maker isn't doing enough to improve working conditions in Chinese factories. The BBC's "Panorama" show that aired earlier this week sent undercover reporters to factories outside of Shanghai that are used to manufacture iPhones and iPads. The reporters concluded that the factories, owned by Apple supplier Pegatron, were in violation of standard labor rights, including overworking employees and not allowing them to take time off. Jeff Williams, Apple senior vice president of operations, said that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by the claims, according to The Telegraph, which obtained a copy of the alleged document.
EUR/USD broke below 1.2250 and dropped to 1.2221 reaching the lowest level since August 2012. The pair remains under pressure, near the lows, headed toward the lowest weekly close in 30 months. Greenback strengthened and reached new highs across the board while the euro dropped against the euro and Swiss franc.
New data from FactSet show that Apple has been the biggest buyback spender of 2014 among the S&P 500, spending more than $56 billion into the program on a trailing 12-month basis as of the end of the third quarter. That’s nearly three times the outlay of runner-up IBM Corp., which spent $19.2 billion. Apple bought back $17 billion in shares last quarter. It’s second only to Apple’s own record of $18.6 billion set in the first quarter as part of the same buyback program.
Germany’s DAX 30 fell 1% to 9,716.3 as shares of market heavyweight BASF extended their decline to 2.8%. The shares dropped after the chemicals maker and Russian energy firm Gazprom OAO late Thursday, said they won’t go through with an asset-swap plan in Russia. The move comes at a time when Western nations have issued sanctions against Russia over what they see as the country’s role in political unrest in Ukraine. The BASF-Gazprom agreement was established in 2012. With its demise, BASF shifted down its 2014 expectations for earnings. Also hurting on Friday, shares of Air France-KLM SA fell 8.6%, after the carrier cut its 2014 earnings forecast by 200 million euros in its third profit warning this year.
Instagram is now worth $35 billion and is positioned to begin driving meaningful revenue for Facebook Inc., Citi analyst Mark May told clients Friday. May previously valued Instagram at $19 billion, but said he raised it due to faster user and monetization growth. While Instagram’s monetization is still minimal today, he believes the photo-sharing app is “quickly gaining monetization traction” and has the potential to contribute more than $2 billion in high-margin revenue to Facebook at current user levels.
The dollar traded at its highest level against the yen in a week Friday after the Bank of Japan reaffirmed its commitment to stimulus by continuing purchases of Japanese government bonds, exchange-traded funds, and real-estate investment trusts during its Thursday meeting. USD/JPY traded at 119.61 compared to 118.94 Thursday. The central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.1%, as BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said that Japan’s economic recovery continues at a modest pace.
Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota issued a statement Friday explaining his dissent at Wednesday's meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, saying the decision to continue gradually removing accommodation creates an "unacceptable downside risk" to inflation and inflation expectations. "In my assessment, the FOMC's failure to respond to weak inflation runs the risk of creating a harmful downward slide in inflation and longer-term inflation expectations of the kind that we have seen in Japan and Europe. I see this risk to the credibility of the inflation target as unacceptable, given how hard it would be for the FOMC to respond successfully if this eventuality did indeed materialize," he said. Because of Kocherlakota's plans to step down, that was the last time the regional president will vote.
As of Thursday, Apple's website offers a ship time of one business day for people ordering the 16GB or 64GB version of the iPhone 6 Plus. That estimate is down from 1 to 3 business days earlier this week and 3 to 5 days last week. Shares of Apple continue to advance and rose to as high as $113.19 a share after the opening bell today.
The steep decline in oil prices was attributed to the market’s oversupply, according to many oil analysts. But research by the University of Michigan shows the American economy is less dependent on road transportation than in the past, and that is the real factor behind that curbs gasoline demand. The paper says the decline in crude’s prices reflects greater fuel efficiency of contemporary vehicles, but also a structural shift in the country’s economy. Industries less dependent on moving goods or people along roads, like Web publishing and data processing, have developed much faster than the overall US economy.
Russia's lower house of parliament passed a draft bill that would give the banking sector a capital boost of up to 1 trillion rubles (USD 16.5 billion) today. The law is part of the new measures aimed at protecting banks from Western sanctions that have restricted banks' access to international capital markets, increasing sharply their funding costs. USD/RUB fell to 58.41 in today’s trade.
Crude-oil prices rebounded from the lowest closing levels since May 2009 in the last hour as comments from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister yesterday set the scene for the most volatile market in 3 years. Saudi Arabia’s official said on Thursday that the drop in prices was temporary, and added that it would be “difficult, if not impossible” for OPEC to reduce its oil production amid a glut of oil. January futures surged 3.6% to $56.03 a barrel.
The EUR/USD pair erased its intraday drop and rebounded to the upper-side of its daily range as the greenback slipped across the board at the beginning of the US session. EUR/USD bounced toward the area around 1.2295.
Canadian monthly retail sales stayed unchanged in October as stronger consumer spending on building materials, electronics and food, offset outflow from cars and gasoline. Sales were flat at CAD 42.85 billion following an unrevised 0.8% increase in September, Statistics Canada said today. Market expectations were for monthly sales to decline 0.3%.
Canada is joining other countries with oil-inspired inflation decreases. The country’s monthly consumer price index (CPI) shrank the most in almost 2 years in November as sliding oil prices pushed down gasoline costs, leading to a bigger-than-expected slowdown in the annual inflation rate. Core prices, which exclude some energy and food costs, however, posted a surprise slump from October. The data is a validation of central bank’s assertion that the recent rise in inflation was temporary.
October Retail Sales are 0.0% on a monthly base, it was expected to be -0.3% versus 0.8% previously.
November CPI (Consumer Price Index) is 2.0% on a yearly base, it was expected to be 2.2% versus 2.4% previously.
November CPI (Consumer Price Index) is -0.4% on a monthly base, it was expected to be -0.2% versus 0.1% previously.
Nike Inc. slipped 2.7% in pre-market trade today after future orders for the world’s largest sporting-goods maker increased less than analysts had expected. The company, however, reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of 74 cents a share on revenue of $7.38 billion. Analysts projected earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $7.15 billion.
Samsung Electronics Co. announced today it plans to lift its annual dividend payout for 2014 by 30% to 50%. The move will come as good news to shareholders who have been insisting demanding higher returns as the company's core smartphone business slows.
British American Tobacco PLC is about to settle a long-running dispute over dividend payments and asbestos claims with US company Flintkote Co. for $575 million. Flintkote sued British American Tobacco's Canadian subsidiary in 2006 over issues stemming from its purchase of Flintkote's parent company – Genstar Corp.
The ruble continued to rebound today from a colossal selloff earlier this week but is still volatile. The Russian currency climbed to 58.41 against the US dollar in the last minutes. Earlier this week the Russian finance ministry said it was ready to sell as much as $7 billion to strengthen the ruble after the central bank tightened monetary policy by raising its key interest rate by 6.5 percentage points to 17%.
Crude oil production from US wells is set to hit a 42-year record in 2015 despite the recent decline in price. US energy producers plan to pump more crude next year as declining equipment costs and enhanced drilling techniques more than offset the commodity’s price collapse, say industry experts. Global giant Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest US energy company, will boost oil production in 2015 by the biggest margin since 2010. So far, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ hopes that American drillers would be crushed by falling prices have hit a wall.
The euro-area's current account surplus shrunk in October from an upwardly revised print in September, as the surplus on both goods and services narrowed, official data showed today. The current account balance showed a surplus of EUR 20.5 billion in October, down from EUR 32.0 billion in September, the European Central Bank (ECB) reported.
December CBI (The Confederation of British Industry) Balance of Distributive Trades is 61 points, it was expected to be 30 points versus 27 points previously.
The Swiss National Bank (SNB)'s decision to impose negative rates to lower demand for the franc isn't very clever, according to Commerzbank analysts, who were astonished as to why the SNB should want to avoid intervention after only limited activity in the market recently. They say this step has damaged SNB's credibility and they suspect that in the medium term the Swiss central bank will have to intervene more notably in order to rebuild its credibility.
In November, the public sector net borrowing excluding temporary effects of financial interventions (PSNBex) was 14.1 B pounds. It was expected to be 15.1 B pounds, following a previous value of 7.7 B pounds.
Standard & Poor's lowered its ratings on a number of Italian banks yesterday, including UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo, citing rising economic risks and this month’s downgrade of Italy's sovereign rating. The agency downgraded Italy's credit rating earlier this month from BBB to BBB-, just one notch above junk, pointing at weak growth and poor competitiveness as factors undermining the sustainability of Italy’s huge public debt.
European stocks continued to gain momentum in early trading today, echoing a rally on Wall Street yesterday amid buying inspired by the US Federal Reserve's commitment to adopt a "patient" approach regarding next year’s increase in interest rates. The futures on Germany’s DAX 30 index gained as much as 0.8% to 9,921.2 points, the contracts on France’s CAC 40 index added 0.8% to 4,303.3 points after the session’s start, while the fututres on the UK's FTSE 100 edged up 0.2% to 6,519.7 points.
Germany's producer prices offered a positive surprise November thanks to steady energy prices, official data from showed today. Producer prices in Germany were steady on a monthly basis last month and slipped 0.9% year-on-year. Economists expected the PPI to fall 0.2% on a monthly basis and drop 1.1% in annual terms.
European Union leaders gave a green light to a new investment programme aimed at boosting economic growth in the region at a summit in Brussels yesterday. The summit was supposed to continue on Friday, but leaders decided to end it late on Thursday, half a day earlier than planned. The new European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) will be launched in 2015 and will be worth EUR 21 billion and is intended to attract 15 times more private capital to help boost fragile EU growth and create jobs without inflating public debts.
The declining value of the Russian ruble has brought a lot of economic uncertainty in Russia. But in London, real estate agents are enjoying huge interest for luxury property from wealthy Russian oligarchs looking to store their savings. As well as buying expensive homes, they're also looking for residential and commercial investment properties, London realtors said.
Gold prices continued to fluctuate slightly higher today, sticking close to the key $1,200 mark even as investors revived their appetite for equities. Spot gold gained 0.3% to $1,201.18 a troy ounce. A day earlier, the momentum caused by the Federal Reserve’s dovish policy statement faded, leaving the precious metal just fractionally higher.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept unchanged its unprecedented stimulus measures, as Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s efforts to boost inflation faces growing challenges from the drop in oil prices. The Japanese central bank will increase the monetary base at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen, BOJ announced in its statement earlier today, as projected by economists.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced today the national currency would definitely stabilise at the beginning of 2015. Siluanov also confirmed his ministry had been selling foreign currency and it could buy some for its own purposes at the start of the new year. Since yesterday, the USD/RUB pair hovers around 60-61 after a record slump this year.
German consumer confidence is set to start the new year on a strong footing, reaching its highest level in 8 years, on hopes economic growth in Germany will accelerate in the coming months, GfK’s survey showed today. The monthly survey by the German market research group reveals consumer confidence in the Europe’s biggest economy surging to 9.0 points for January from 8.7 this month. That beats economists' estimate for small gain to 8.8 points.
• Аt 9:30 GMT today, the UK Public Sector Net Borrowing will be released. The median forecast is for state spending to exceed the income by GBP 14.8 billion in November. During the previous month, the public sector recorded a deficit of GBP 7.1 billion.
• At 13:30 GMT, the Canadian inflation data will be released. The Consumer Price Index is expected to fall 0.2% in November from the previous month when it climbed 0.1%. Usually higher inflation leads to an appreciation of the national currency.
• At the same time, 13:30 GMT, the Canadian Retail Sales will be announced as well. They are expected to decrease 0.2% in October from the previous month when they increased 0.8%. A bigger gain in the total value of the retail sales would support the Canadian dollar.