Friday, February 2, 2018
What to watch today
To cap a busy week for markets, the January jobs report is expected out in the morning. Economists expect the U.S. economy added 180,000 in the first month of 2018, a projected increase after a somewhat disappointing 148,000 jobs were added in December. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.1%.
On the earnings side, notable results expected in the morning include Clorox (CLX), Chevron (CVX), and Merck (MRK). Other economic data expected out on Friday include the January consumer sentiment reading from the University of Michigan as well as factory orders for December.
Bezos fortune jumps $6.5 billion after hours in tech’s wild ride: Jeff Bezos’s fortune struck an all-time high in after-hours trading after Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) reported the strongest holiday quarter sales growth in eight years. The net worth of the world’s richest man had already risen $17.4 billion in the first month of the year, and he will see his wealth reach a record $123 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index if the gain holds Friday. [Bloomberg]
Apple shares climb in late trading on iPhone X optimism: Apple Inc. (AAPL) quelled concern over lackluster iPhone demand with results showing that when consumers buy the gadget, they’re willing to pay up for the flagship model. Apple shares rose 2.3% in extended trading, after closing at $167.78 in New York on Thursday. The average selling price for the iPhone, Apple’s most important gadget, was $796 in the crucial holiday quarter. That was up from less than $700 a year earlier, suggesting people gravitate toward the iPhone X, which starts at $999. [Bloomberg]
Bitcoin slides, headed for worst week since 2013: Bitcoin fell 9% on Friday, leaving the best-known cryptocurrency down more than 30% this week and headed for its worst weekly performance since April 2013. [Reuters]
Loeb, Laffont hedge funds start year with big gains: Hedge fund managers Dan Loeb and Philippe Laffont are picking up this year where they left off in 2017: making lots of money. Loeb’s Third Point Ultra fund returned 5.5% in January and his Third Point Offshore fund rose 3.7%, according to a person familiar with matter. Laffont’s Coatue Qualified Partners surged 9.9% last month, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg News. [Bloomberg]
CBS, Viacom explore merger: CBS Corp. (CBS) and Viacom Inc. (VIA) have formed special committees to explore a merger, the companies said on Thursday, the first step in potentially reuniting the companies split by media mogul Sumner Redstone more than a decade ago. [Reuters]
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