Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finally crossed and closed above 20,000 for the first time on Wednesday. The so-called Trump rally that took stocks — and financial stocks in particular — to new highs after the election stalled at the beginning of this year. But in his first week, President Donald Trump pushed the pro-business agenda promised on the campaign trail.
However, Dow 20K is overrated. That is because the average is heavily dependent on the moves of individual stock prices, and it actually exposes a big criticism in the way the Dow continues to be touted as a benchmark for the whole market. The Dow is a price-weighted average, meaning a company with a higher stock price will have a bigger impact on the benchmark.
Britain’s exit from the EU could be triggered within weeks as the UK government attempts to rush through a bill authorising Brexit. Government sources have told Business Insider that ministers will publish a “straightforward” bill today which once passed would authorise Article 50, the two-year process by which Britain leaves the EU.
The UK’s latest GDP figures will be released on Thursday morning. Gross domestic product data for the fourth quarter of 2016 will drop at 9.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m. ET) with the British economy expected to have seen growth of 0.5% in the quarter, and 2.1% across the whole of last year.
The pound’s role as an international reserve currency is going to be permanently diminished as a result of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, according to new research from Deutsche Bank. “The pound’s diminishing role in international capital flows post-Brexit should permanently reduce its reserve status,” Deutsche forex strategist Robin Winkler writes in a note circulated to clients on Wednesday.
The pound’s recent mini-rally will be short lived and there is only pain in the currency’s future, according to a group of senior analysts at Swiss bank UBS. Speaking on Monday at a briefing on the European equity markets, UBS Investment Bank’s Chief European Economist Reinhard Cluse said that he and the bank’s forecasters believe the pound will hit parity against the euro in the medium term.
Google’s parent company Alphabet will announce its fourth quarter earnings on Thursday afternoon US time. Last quarter’s results will represent the first time Google significantly ramped up its hardware efforts. Its first-ever phone, the Google Pixel, launched to universally positive reviews, but has struggled to meet demand.
The US has been downgraded to a “flawed democracy” from a “full democracy” by the Economist Intelligence Unit in its 2016 “Democracy Index” report. Although the report’s publication comes shortly after the election of President Donald Trump, the EIU analysts write that the US was not downgraded because of him.
Kia Motors said on Thursday it is drawing up a contingency plan to cope with the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, reflecting growing wariness by Asian exporters about the prospect of U.S. protectionism. “We acknowledge that there are a lot of concerns about the uncertainty stemming from the new U.S. administration,” Han Chun-soo, Kia’s chief financial officer, said during an earnings conference call.
Facebook has hired Hugo Barra, the most prominent global executive at Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, to lead its virtual reality business including the Oculus unit, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said. The 32-year-old Facebook founder has spoken about virtual reality as an important part of the company’s future business.