1. The Dow went into freefall just before close, losing 565 points before making a small recovery. It closed closer to 500 points, nearly its lowest level since November 2017. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both lower by about 2.5%. The US Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting starts Tuesday (US time) and is expected see rates increase by a quarter percentage point, a move loudly criticised by Trump.
2. The Aussie dollar kept quiet compared to international players, oscillating between .7169 and .7187, an incredibly small range in comparison to historic averages. There were some more interesting moves in the other major crosses. David Scutt has more.
3. The mid-year economic and fiscal outlook was released yesterday. Ahead of an election year next year, the government has announced a number of small Christmas miracles that leading economists are calling overly optimistic — particularly around wage growth. You can read our summary of key projections here.
4. The Brexit vote in UK Parliament has (finally) been determined. Well, the date has. Theresa May has announced that vote will occur on the week of 14 January 2019. The vote is required under the EU Withdrawal Act (2018) UK. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has moved for another vote of no-confidence, which is largely being ignored by other Labour MPs.
5. A sharp fall in housing prices across Sydney and Melbourne saw home prices drop another 1.6% in the past month. Here’s the latest scoreboard:
6. The top concerns of CEOs were collected at a recent Yale CEO summit. From Trump to Facebook, it makes for a dire list of worries. The same CEOs also stated that they thought the recession would come by the end of 2018. After the Dow’s performance overnight, and only a few more trading days left in the year, investors will be feeling panicked.
7. NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn is taking a period of extended leave after spending months dealing with the massive fallout from the Royal Commission. Thorburn released a statement that he would be returning at the end of Jan/ early February before the final royal commission report is released.
8. Watch out, Apple. Chinese smartphone brands Huawei and Oppo are now the fastest growing mobile brands in Australia. While the two brands remain well behind the two market leaders in Apple and Samsung, their growth is impressive to say the least. Just look:
9. Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has denied new sexual-harassment allegations from former protégé Yael Stone, star of Netflix series Orange Is The New Black. The latest allegations against Rush were put forward in Sunday’s New York Times and allege he “danced naked in front of her in their dressing room” and “used a mirror to watch her while she showered”. Rush denies the allegations.
10. Facebook officials have reported to US Congress that the Russian campaign to influence US politics reached 126 million people on Facebook received 185 million likes on Instagram between 2013 and 2017. Russian propaganda particularly honed in on Black Lives Matter to use the movement as a platform to divide voters and create distrust in the US electoral system.
BONUS ITEM: Still don’t know what to buy for the teenager in your life who is only interested in technology and video games?
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