Morning Brief: Apple secretly developing its own MicroLED screens

Monday, March 19, 2018

What to watch today

There aren’t any notable market-moving economic events on the schedule for Monday. Everyone, however, will be focused on the Federal Reserve, which holds its two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. At the conclusion of the meeting, economists expect the Fed to announce an interest rate hike, an upward revision to its economic outlook, and an upgrade to its forecast for interest rates. Wednesday will also come with Jerome Powell’s first press post-meeting conference as Fed Chair.

Top news

Apple is secretly developing its own screens for the first time:  Apple Inc. (AAPL) is designing and producing its own device displays for the first time, using a secret manufacturing facility near its California headquarters to make small numbers of the screens for testing purposes, according to people familiar with the situation. The technology giant is making a significant investment in the development of next-generation MicroLED screens, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal planning. [Bloomberg]

CACI seeks to break up General Dynamics’ acquisition of CSRA:  U.S. defense contractor CACI International Inc. (CACI) said on Sunday it had offered to merge with larger peer CSRA Inc. (CSRA), seeking to disrupt the latter’s $6.8 billion acquisition by General Dynamics Corp. (GD). The move comes after CSRA agreed last month to sell itself to General Dynamics, another defense contractor, for $40.75 per share in cash, as companies in the sector seek to position themselves for a pickup in government spending under President Donald Trump’s administration. [Reuters]

Facebook on defensive as Cambridge case exposes data flaw: Facebook Inc. (FB) wants you to know: this wasn’t a breach. Yes, Cambridge Analytica, the data-analysis firm that helped President Donald Trump win the 2016 election, violated rules when it obtained information from some 50 million Facebook profiles, the social-media company acknowledged late Friday. But the data came from someone who didn’t hack the system: a professor who originally told Facebook he wanted it for academic purposes. [Bloomberg]

Trump tweets revive chatter he’s preparing to fire Mueller: President Donald Trump is not considering firing the special counsel investigating Russian election interference, a top White House lawyer said, after a cascade of Trump tweets revived chatter that the deeply frustrated president may be preparing to get rid of the veteran prosecutor. In a first for Trump, he jabbed directly at special counsel Robert Mueller by name in weekend tweets that both challenged the investigation’s existence and suggested political bias on the part of Mueller’s investigators. [AP]

China appoints US-trained central banker: A U.S.-trained economist was appointed Monday to succeed the longtime governor of China’s central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan, at a time when the ruling Communist Party is trying to reduce financial risks and surging debt. The elevation of Yi Gang, a two-decade veteran of the central bank, to head the People’s Bank of China was in a slate of promotions approved by China’s ceremonial legislature of finance and economic officials as President Xi Jinping tightens control over government. [AP]

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The UMBC Retrievers celebrate their 74-54 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2018 in Charlotte, NC. UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in tournament history. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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