Morning Brief: Markets take hit after Merkel's failed coalition bid

Monday, November 20, 2017

What to watch today

After stocks lost ground for the second week in a row, investors in the U.S. will be facing a shortened holiday trading week and a light economic and earnings calendar. Economic highlights will come on Wednesday, with the final reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan and the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting. Major earnings releases will all come before the Thanksgiving holiday, with (CRM), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Campbell’s Soup (CPB), and Lowe’s (LOW) reporting on Tuesday, while Deere (DE) will report earnings before the market open on Wednesday.

This week, markets in the U.S. will be closed on Thursday in observation of Thanksgiving and will re-open for just a half-day on Friday in what should be some of the lightest-volume trading of the year. And as Keith Bliss of Cuttone & Co. noted on Yahoo Finance’s Midday Movers program on Friday, after next week there are really just four full trading weeks left this year, as Christmas falling on a Monday will see trading desks become veritable ghost towns the rest of that week. So while investors will come into the holiday-shortened week with stocks coming off a so-so two-week period, 2017 is still shaping up to be one of the best years since the financial crisis with the Dow up over 18% this year, the S&P 500 up 15%, and the Nasdaq up over 24%. And don’t forget that December is traditionally one of the strongest months of the year for stocks.

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Top news

Failed Merkel talks a hiccup, not dealbreaker for Europe stocks: While Chancellor Angela Merkel’s failed bid to form a new government is damping sentiment toward the region’s stocks in the short term, the strength of the German economy will help stock prices withstand the uncertainty, according to traders and analysts. [Bloomberg]

Alibaba goes offline with $2.9 billion stake in China’s top grocer:  Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) said on Monday it would invest HK$22.4 billion ($2.87 billion) for a major stake in China’s top hypermart operator, Sun Art Retail Group Ltd, part of a wider push into offline retail. [Reuters]

Former Obama administration official in bid for The Weinstein Co:  Maria Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has submitted an offer to acquire the Weinstein Co. Contreras-Sweet has put together a consortium of investors who have offered $275 million for The Weinstein Co., according to a source. [Reuters]

Marvell Technology clinches roughly $6 billion deal: Chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd (MRVL) has agreed to acquire smaller peer Cavium Inc (CAVM), as it seeks to expand in the networking equipment sector, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.  The deal will allow Marvell to diversify away from its traditional storage devices business. [Reuters]

Bitcoin’s price climbs to hit new all-time high: Bitcoin’s price rose above $8,100 for the first time on Sunday. Data from CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) indicates that the price climbed to $8,101.91 between 20:00 and 20:15 UTC.

Yahoo Finance Originals

Meet some people getting rich from bitcoin

Why Papa John’s reversal on NFL protests won’t fly

Roger Goodell vs. Jerry Jones is latest sign of NFL’s political problems

Intuit CEO: Old-school accountants will be ‘struggling in 5 years’ because of A.I.

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.