Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Wednesday.
1. The Trump administration on Tuesday released its initial list of Chinese products that will be subject to roughly $US50 billion in new tariffs, taking the next step toward a crackdown that experts fear will trigger a trade war.US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer unveiled the list, which includes a wide array of products including raw materials, construction machinery, agricultural equipment, electronics, medical devices, and consumer goods.
2. US stocks rebounded on Tuesday as investors shook off a recent tech selloff and trade war anxieties.The S&P 500, which had led losses the day before, was up 1.15% following a strong prodcution report form Tesla and news that the Trump administration isn’t actively seeking to target Amazon.
3. Shares of Spotify slid as much as 10% in their first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday.After receiving a reference price of $US132 the day prior to the offering, the stock officially began trading at $US165.90 per share at 12:44 p.m. ET Tuesday, netting the freshly public company a valuation of about $US30 billion. After initially spiking as high as $US169, shares eventually slid to close at $US149.60, according to Markets Insider data.
4. Special counsel Robert Mueller remains focused on President Donald Trump as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, but does not consider Trump a “criminal target,” The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing three unnamed sources familiar with the discussions.Mueller reportedly shared that information with Trump’s attorneys last month, during negotiations with the president’s legal team about a possible interview with Mueller’s investigative team.
5. Pfizer is in talks with Procter & Gamble for a sale of the U.S. drugmaker’s consumer health business, CNBC reported on Tuesday, citing sources. Pfizer is considering options with P&G, including a joint venture, according to the report, adding that the companies were far apart on a price for the business.
6. Litecoin rose as much as 15% on Tuesday after Abra, a high-profile crypto startup backed by American Express, doubled down on its decision to use litecoin’s smart contracts feature to power the company’s exchange and wallet products.Abra’s CEO explained his reasons for switching to litecoin for smart contracts in a Reddit AMA.
7. Goldman Sachs has hired Charles Elkan, a former machine-learning expert at Amazon, to run the bank’s artificial-intelligence efforts.Elkan will build and lead a “center of excellence to drive machine learning and artificial intelligence strategy and automation,” the bank said in an internal memo viewed by Business Insider.
8. Apple’s reported plans to ditch Intel’s processing chips in favour of its own has the potential to wipe billions of dollars of revenue from the chipmaker.That total potential impact could reach between $US3 billion and $US4 billion of lost sales, according to RBC Capital Markets. The bank looked at the number of Mac computers with Intel units sold last year, which was roughly 19 million units, as well as the average selling price for its microprocessing units ($US170 to $US215) to arrive at that number.
9. The US mobile home market is showing signs of stress, and it could be a bad sign for the wider economy.The delinquency rate on mobile home loans has increased by 200 basis points, or two percentage points, over the past year, according to research cited by UBS, with the 30-day-plus delinquency level now at around 5%, the highest level since 2005. The increase in the number of struggling mobile home borrowers suggests that a large chunk of these individuals haven’t benefitted from the economic growth of the past few years, despite the current low level of unemployment.
10. An official who oversees investments for New York City’s pension funds thinks Mark Zuckerberg should step down as Facebook’s chairman.Scott Stringer, New York City’s comptroller, called for an overhaul of Facebook’s board after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He made the comments to CNBC, and we first saw the news via the Financial Times. New York City’s pension funds hold an approximately $US1 billion (£710 million) stake in Facebook.
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