Good morning! Stocks rose on Tuesday on the first day of a shortened trading week. Ahead of Wednesday’s market open, here’s what you need to know:
Oil Sold Off Again On Tuesday. On Tuesday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell about 5% to move back below $US47 a barrel after gaining last week for the first time in about two months. Brent crude also on Tuesday, and on Tuesday morning, WTI was roughly unchanged.
BHP Is Closing Nearly Half Its US Shale Rigs. In an announcement on Wednesday morning in Australia, Australian mining giant BHP said it would shut down 40% of its US shale oil rigs by the end of its fiscal year.
SpaceX Raised $US1 Billion From Google And Fidelity For A One-Tenth Share Of The Firm. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has raised $US1 billion from Google and Fidelity, confirming earlier reports from The Information and The Wall Street Journal. The two new investors will now own just less than 10% of the company. This new funding round is more than four times bigger than all its other rounds combined.
Netflix Shares Are Soaring. Shares of the streaming video service were up as much as 15% in pre-market trade on Wednesday after the company reported earnings per share that beat expectations after the market close on Tuesday.
IBM Revenue Fell Again. IBM reported earnings per share that beat expectations while revenue fell for the 11th straight quarter, and these two charts highlighted by Business Insider’s Julie Bort show that revenue declined in all of the company’s major business segments and geographic regions.
The Oil Fallout Is Hitting Companies. On Tuesday, one of the world’s leading oilfield services providers Baker Hughes said it would lay off 7,000 employees, an announcement that follows news from Schlumberger that it would cut 9,000 positions.
The Bank Of Japan Cut Its Inflation Forecast. The Bank of Japan cut next fiscal year’s inflation forecast on Wednesday and expanded a loan scheme aimed at boosting lending, hoping to deflect criticism it is sitting idly by as a slump in oil prices pushes inflation further away from its target.
Toyota Was The World’s Top Auto-Maker Again In 2014. Toyota sold 10.23 million vehicles last year, it said Wednesday, outpacing General Motors and Volkswagen (which logged 10.14 million) to remain the world’s biggest automaker, but a shaky outlook for 2015 could see it lose the title to its German rival.
Almost Everyone Is Expecting QE From The ECB Tomorrow. After President Francois Hollande’s slip-up earlier this week, in which he declared that QE would be announced on Thursday, Kit Juckes at Societe Generale outlined the results of a recent client survey showing that about 70% of the 176 clients polled expect the ECB to announce QE this week.
President Barack Obama’s State Of The Union Address Pushed For “Middle Class Economics.” Obama called for a $US3,000 tax cut to provide childcare for middle class and lower income families, as well as a congressional vote on paid sick leave. Additionally Obama said he wants laws passed to ensure equal pay for women and an increased minimum wage.