Market update: Retail sales disturb markets

This week in the markets

  • Some US stocks were down after reports were released on Thursday by the Census Department, which showed retail sales fell during December 2018.
  • This week, Amazon canceled plans to build its second headquarters in Queens due to backlash from local lawmakers.
  • Morgan Stanley agreed to buy Solium Capital Inc. for $900 million, making it the biggest acquisition for the investment bank in 10 years.

US stocks were down after a gloomy retail sales report

Although major US market indexes were up at Wednesday’s close, possibly due to optimism around trade negotiations, retail reports were released on Thursday that left some investors concerned and pushed stock markets down.

The Census Department released reports that showed retail sales fell during December of 2018 by 1.2% from the previous month, despite the fact that many analysts had expected sales to increase during the holiday season. However, shoppers may have been reluctant to spend possibly due to stock market volatility and the government shutdown. The retail report seemed to leave major US stock indexes mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) decreased 0.41%, the S&P 500 fell 0.27%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.089% at Thursday’s close. Many experts believe the reduced holiday sales to be unrepresentative, and don’t expect a general downward trend in sales as a whole. As investors, it’s important to look at the big picture and not be alarmed by small market slips.

Amazon cancels plans to build headquarters in New York

In November of 2018, after a year-long search, Amazon announced it had chosen Queens, New York, and northern Virginia as the split locations for its second headquarters. However, the e-commerce giant now plans to cancel its New York campus after facing backlash from some lawmakers and union leaders. The company said in a statement that it canceled plans because “a number of state and local politicians have made it clear they oppose our presence.” Amazon still plans to add 25,000 jobs to northern Virginia, and will now take the other 25,000 jobs that would have gone to Queens and spread them over its 17 tech hubs across the US and Canada. The announcement did not change its stock value.

Morgan Stanley buys Solium Capital Inc.

This week, Morgan Stanley agreed to buy wealth management company Solium Capital Inc. for $900 million. This is the biggest acquisition for the investment bank in a decade, and the largest financial deal so far this year. The investment bank will gain access to younger clients and tech startups through the purchase. Welcome to Silicon Valley!

And now for your weekly Lionomics wrap-up. 🤓

Lionomics: Finance made easy

This week in Lionomics, we discussed the role of equity analysts, and how they gather stock-related information to provide you with detailed recommendations. Find out which information you should consider looking at when analyzing a stock.

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