Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Tuesday.
1. The US Department of Justice’s investigation into Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal is now looking at Facebook itself, not just the defunct data firm that gained access to its user data, according to a report from The Washington Post. Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the Justice Department and the FBI in the inquiry, according to the report.
2. Ad agency holding group Interpublic Group announced Monday a deal to acquire Acxiom’s Marketing Solutions business for $US2.3 billion in cash in the latest major mashup in the advertising industry. Under the agreement, the Marketing Solutions group – which accounts for three-fourths of Acxiom’s revenue and develops software that helps companies and their brands manage large volumes of data – will be folded into IPG’s properties.
3. Chinese state-backed media group CMC said on Tuesday that it had raised around 10 billion yuan ($US1.49 billion) in a fund-raising round from investors including rival tech giants Alibaba and Tencent. CMC, which stretches from sports to amusement parks, said the A-round fundraising was led by the two tech firms along with new investors such as property developer China Vanke.
4. Asian shares dropped in tentative morning trade on Tuesday as sentiment remained fragile in the face of tense trade relations between the United States and major economies, with investors braced for another potentially rocky day for Chinese markets. Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.12%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 1.62% at the time of writing (7.35 a.m. BST/2.35 a.m. ET), and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.34% at the same time.
5. A federal judge has said PricewaterhouseCoopers should pay the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp $US625.3 million in damages for failing to uncover a fraud scheme between its client Colonial Bank and the mortgage lender Taylor, Bean & Whitaker. U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein ruled after a non-jury trial on damages held in March. She had ruled in December that PwC was liable, without setting damages.
6. US Treasurys are heating up, and now Nasdaq is launching a new product to capitalise on what could be a $US1 trillion shift in the market. The New York exchange operator is launching a new futures contract tied to US Treasurys, which would allow investors to hedge investments in maturities ranging from two years to 30.
7. Société Générale is buying Commerzbank’s Equity, Markets and Commodities business – EMC – as the French bank looks to push further into the German market. The Financial Tims reports that the deal will see SocGen taking on Commerzbank’s investment products, flow products, and asset management businesses worldwide, including associated market making, sales and structuring capabilities.
8. Anthony Levandowski is tied to a new self-driving truck company, named Kache.ai, that will focus on commercial trucking. Last year Levandowski was in the middle of a scandal involving Uber, his employer at the time, and Waymo, his former employer. He was accused of stealing trade secrets from Google’s self-driving car program.
9. Tesla said on Monday that Doug Field, senior vice president of engineering, is stepping down after five years with the electric carmaker. Earlier in the day, Tesla announced that it crossed its long-elusive target of making 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week.
10. Facebook is closing down three apps it operated due to “low usage.” One of them, tbh, was an app aimed at teens that it acquired just eight months ago. The company is also closing a fitness app, Moves, it acquired in 2014, and Hello, an app it launched in 2015.
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