Thursday, February 22, 2018
What to watch today
Bonds matter again! On Wednesday, stocks were higher, then moved way higher, and then sold off hard into the close after Treasury yields hit new highs as investors brace for a more aggressive Federal Reserve. When markets settled, the Dow fell 167 points, or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 dropped 14 points, or 0.5%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 16 points, or 0.2%. After the release of the Fed minutes at 2:00 p.m. ET, the Dow had been up more than 200 points. The 10-year Treasury yield hit 2.95% on Wednesday, the highest since 2013, with the two-year hitting 2.26% after the minutes from the latest FOMC meeting indicated Fed officials are expecting inflation to rise in the year ahead. Higher interest rates, you’ll recall, were originally cited as the trigger behind the stock market sell-off earlier this month.
On Thursday, the economics calendar will be calm with the weekly report on initial jobless claims serving as the only notable piece of data due out. Earnings expected out Tuesday include results from HP Enterprise (HPE), Hewlett Packard (HPQ), Intuit (INTU), Herbalife (HLF), and Wayfair (W). Investors will also be keeping an eye on shares of Roku (ROKU) on Thursday, as the stock — which has more than doubled since its late-2017 debut — was down about 20% after reporting earnings after the market close.
Ford US chief departs abruptly after behavior probe: Ford Motor Co. (F) said that Raj Nair, its president for North America, was leaving the company immediately after an internal investigation found his behavior was “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.” A company spokesman said the review was launched in the past few weeks after Ford received a report of inappropriate behavior. [Reuters]
Twitter, Google sued from opposite sides over White pride: Twitter Inc. (TWTR) is accused of censoring a self-proclaimed “white advocate,” while Google (GOOG, GOOGL) faces claims that it didn’t protect employees from supremacist bullies. Silicon Valley was plunged deeper into the culture wars with a pair of new lawsuits in San Francisco Superior Court. [Bloomberg]
Angry Birds maker hit by worst selloff since September IPO: The maker of the mobile game Angry Birds slumped more than 40% in Helsinki trading after analysts and investors were stunned by its weak guidance for 2018. Rovio Entertainment Oyj (ROVVF) shares fell the most since an initial public offering in September. The Finnish company said revenue will decline this year and expects adjusted profit of only 9% to 11% of sales. FIM, a bank, said that outlook was “hugely disappointing.” [Bloomberg]
Walmart to launch new online home shopping experience: Walmart Inc. (WMT) is launching a new online home shopping experience in the coming weeks that will let shoppers discover items based on their style. The move is the first glimpse of the company’s broader campaign to redesign its site with a focus on fashion and home furnishings. [AP]
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