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U.S. market drops 700 points as hot inflation continues

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Investor watches markets

Stocks faced a downturn following the release of data indicating that inflation did not ease as much as anticipated last month.

 

The report revealed a 3.1% increase in consumer prices in January compared to a year earlier, marking a slight slowdown from December but surpassing the 2.9% rise forecasted by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

The news has left investors grappling with uncertainties regarding the Federal Reserve’s stance on interest rates. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has emphasized the need for additional evidence demonstrating a return to the central bank’s 2% inflation target before considering rate adjustments.

Earnings report

Amidst this economic backdrop, several major companies, including Coca-Cola, unveiled their earnings reports today. Investors are also anticipating results from Airbnb and other key players later in the afternoon.

In today’s trading session:

– U.S. stocks experienced broad declines, with all three major indexes—Dow industrials, S&P 500, and Nasdaq—registering losses of at least 1.6%. The Dow industrials saw a decline of around 650 points. Despite today’s setback, all three indexes remain in positive territory for the year.

– Across the S&P 500, every sector faced downward pressure.

– Following the inflation report, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged higher, reaching 4.312%.

– Bitcoin, after surpassing the $50,000 mark on Monday for the first time in over two years, hovered around $49,000 today.

In global markets:

– European stocks mirrored the downward trend seen in the U.S.

– Markets in China and Hong Kong remained closed for holidays.

– Japan’s Nikkei index reached a fresh 34-year high, contrasting with the downturn observed elsewhere.

As investors continue to monitor inflationary pressures and corporate earnings, today’s market activity reflects ongoing volatility and uncertainty in the economic landscape.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Money

AI pushes the Nasdaq to a record-breaking close

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The Nasdaq achieved a record-breaking close, surpassing its previous record high of 16,057.44, which was established on November 21, 2021.

Artificial assistance

Artificial intelligence-related technology stocks, such as Nvidia (NVDA.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O), have greatly boosted the index.

The Nasdaq Composite has increased by almost 7.2% this year.

The tech-focused index surged 43% in 2023, and as chipmakers gained traction and confidence increased that the Fed might achieve a soft landing—that is, curb inflation without inciting a recession—stocks surged strongly by year-end.

In contrast, Nvidia increased by 1.9% on Thursday, bringing its total gain from a year ago to around 250%.

Market boom

Every S&P 500 subs sector saw a gain at the end of the month.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank report that the index has now increased for 16 of the past 18 weeks, matching the record most winning weeks last attained in 1971.

Bitcoin also moved closer to its all-time high.

The price of the virtual currency momentarily surpassed $64,000 as spot bitcoin ETFs helped drive it to heights last seen in 2021.

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Disney sign off on mega merger with India’s largest conglomerate

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India’s top conglomerate Reliance Industries and Walt Disney announced the merger of their India TV and streaming media assets, forming an $8.5 billion entertainment juggernaut.

Disney, Reliance sign non-binding agreement for India’s largest media conglomerate

Reliance, led by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, will inject $1.4 billion in the merged entity, with the company and its affiliates holding a more than 63% stake, with Disney owning the rest, the companies said in a joint statement.

Mukesh Ambani, Reliance’s multimillionaire CEO

Media rivals

With two streaming platforms and 120 TV channels, the combined company will be a formidable opponent for competitors like Netflix and Sony of Japan in the $28 billion media and entertainment market, which is expected to grow to $100 billion by the end of the decade.

Disney’s lengthy battle to stop users from leaving its collapsing Indian streaming service and the financial burden resulting from billion-dollar payments for Indian cricket rights before the deal, providing yet another illustration of how difficult it can be for Western companies to expand in India.

Ultimate alliance

“The combined entity will create a sports behemoth in India,” stated Jinesh Joshi, an analyst at Prabhudas Lilladher in India.

“This merger will give Reliance great bargaining power when it comes to negotiating advertisement contracts … For Disney, coming together with a bigger player, in terms of (financial) pockets, will give it a cash cushion,” he continued.

According to the corporations, the combined company will serve the approximately 750 million viewers in India as well as the Indian diaspora worldwide.

According to Disney CEO Bog Iger’s statement, “Reliance has a deep understanding of the Indian market and consumer,” and the acquisition will enable “us to better serve consumers with a broad portfolio of digital services, entertainment, and sports.”

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Warner Bros Discovery plans to shutdown popular NZ news network

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One of New Zealand’s two free-to-air television networks claimed it will be shutting down all newsroom operations, television news broadcasts and website from June 30, with the loss of up to 200 media jobs.

The once-thriving network, which had been a staple in the New Zealand entertainment industry, is now facing financial turmoil, sending shockwaves through the media landscape.

Warner Bros Discovery, who own the NZ news network, stated the decision comes following further attempts to reduce costs and that meant major changes including the planned shut down of the newsroom.

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