The British pound dropped to a 31-year low against the US dollar after UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the legal proceedings to leave the European Union will kick in no later than the end of March 2017. The pound fell to a three-year low against the euro.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 18,129.96, -123.89, (-0.68%)
- S&P 500: 2,145.76, -15.44, (-0.71%)
- Nasdaq: 5,277.28, -23.59, (-0.45%)
- Gold: $1,270.05, -42.65, (-3.25%)
- 10-year yield: 1.685%, +0.061
- Sears Holdings has received bids for its Craftsman tool business, Bloomberg reported. Stanley Black & Decker and Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries have made bids for the business, according to sources close to the matter. The company has been in turmoil, shutting down stores and bleeding profit. It shares jumped by as much as 17% on the news.
- Darden Restaurants, the owner of chains including Olive Garden, reported higher-than-expected earnings and guidance for its first fiscal quarter of 2017. But amid falling traffic and other ongoing challenges the restaurant industry faces, CEO Gene Lee said “we’re not assuming the industry is going to get a whole lot better” during the company’s earnings call.
- South Carolina became the fifth state to have only one company offering health insurance through its Affordable Care Act exchange. The South Carolina Department of Insurance announced that Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina will be the sole provider for residents looking to get covered through the ACA, better known as Obamacare, according to The Post and Courier. Aetna and United Healthcare announced earlier this year that they would withdraw from the state’s exchanges.
- The IMF cut its US growth forecast. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF said that a drop in U.S. growth for 2016 due to a weak first-half performance would be offset by strengthening in Japan, Germany, Russia, India and some other emerging markets.
- Google is going all in on the hardware business. The company unveiled the Pixel smartphone to rival the iPhone, the smart Google Home speaker to tackle Amazon’s Echo, the Google Wifi router, and the Daydream View, a virtual reality headset.
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