10 things you need to know in markets today

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Friday.

1. The Labour Party has failed to make significant gains in local council elections across the UK held on Thursday.Labour failed to gain flagship Tory seats it had targeted in London like Wandsworth and Westminster. Outside London, the Conservative have made some important gains in Leave-voting areas.

2. HSBC posted an unexpected 4% drop in first-quarter pre-tax profit on Friday, missing estimates, and announced plans to initiate a new share buyback of up to $US2 billion.“Given the growth opportunities we currently see, we expect this to be the only share buyback that we announce in 2018,” Europe’s biggest bank by assets said, adding the process was expected to start shortly.

3. BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, reported a 17% decline in quarterly net profit, in line with expectations, weighed down by weakness in fixed income trading revenues in Europe.First-quarter net income fell to €1.57 billion ($US1.9 billion), in line with analysts’ estimates of €1.55 billion, according to a Reuters poll of five analysts.

4. Federal investigators have kept records of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s phone calls, three senior officials told NBC News on Thursday.Initially, NBC News reported federal investigators wiretapped Cohen’s phones, but that story was ultimately retracted and corrected to say investigators established what is known as a pen register. A pen register is a log of calls made from a specific phone or phone lines and doesn’t constitute a wiretap, which would allow investigators to listen in on calls.

5. Berkshire Hathaway can now add a new designation to its ever-expanding list of qualifications: America’s second-largest residential real-estate brokerage.At the end of last year, the franchise network for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices included over 365 franchisees in over 1,500 brokerage offices, employing more than 48,000 real estate agents, according to a filing.

6. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire also upped its stake in Apple in the first quarter of 2018, adding 75 million shares of the consumer tech giant’s stock.CNBC reported the news on Thursday night. The additional shares add to the more than 165 million Apple shares Berkshire owned at the end of 2017.

7. Twitter is advising all its 330 million users to change their password after a glitch left them exposed in the company’s internal systems.Twitter discovered the glitch and did not find any “breach or misuse by anyone,” the company said in a blog post.

8. Spotify shares fell as much as 6% on Thursday after the streaming-music giant released its first quarterly earnings report as a public company. The bottom-line results were a lot worse than Wall Street was anticipating.Spotify reported earnings-per-share of -1.01 euros, missing the -0.23 euros consensus. Revenue was 1.14 billion euros, in line with expectations.

9. Goldman Sachs has hired a senior chemicals banker away from Barclays, according to people familiar with the matter. Ken Grahame, a managing director who focused on chemicals companies at Barclays, is joining Goldman in a similar role, the people said.

10. Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur is getting into the private equity business, partnering with $US2 billion London-based firm Metric Capital to invest in consumer businesses. Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, is reportedly aiming to raise as much as $US500 million from institutional investors around the world with the intention of pursuing “consumer deals of up to €2bn in enterprise value,” according to the Financial Times.

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