Financial and Economic Brief - August 1, 2017

by © Liberty Publishing, Inc.

Discovery To Acquire Scripps

Discovery Communications (Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, and the Oprah Winfrey Network) reached a deal to acquire Scripps Networks (HGTV, The Food Network and Travel Channel) for about $11.9 billion. This is a major consolidation of cable TV networks during a time when viewers are changing the way they consume entertainment. "Scripps is one of the best run media companies in the world with terrific assets, strong brands and popular talent and formats," Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a statement. Discovery said it "sees strong opportunities" to pursue more female viewers through the transaction.
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SNAP Shares Fall

Today as markets open, shares of Snap Inc. owner of the Snapchat messaging app fell as much as 5% to a new low, below its initial public offering price, as a "share lock up" ended. The impact to the stock may have been softened by investor awareness of the "expiration date," said Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White, who recommends that investors buy the stock. "If you can look out one year, this is a great buying opportunity at this level. The company is a big disrupter and an enormous mobile advertising platform," White said.
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Fischer: Weal Economy = Low Rates

The Fed's vice chairman Stanley Fischer said in a speech that interest rates aren't just low because the Federal Reserve is keeping them there but rather because of a weak economy and other factors. He also noted that low rates send "a powerful signal that the growth potential of the economy may be limited." At a time when President Trump is discussing raising the pace of the U.S. economy to at least 3% growth, Fischer cited Congressional Budget Office estimates closer to 1.5%. Since December 2015, the Fed has raised the funds rate four times, but government bond yields remain low and financial conditions have eased rather than tightened.
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Latest News

Financial and Economic Brief - August 15, 2017

• Eurozone Industrial Output Down - According to the Eurostat statistics agency, industrial output across the 19 countries that make up the eurozone fell in June, likely illustrating the “export-sapping” impact of the rising euro.

• Consumer Prices Rise Less Than Expected - According to the U.S. Labor Department, U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in July rising only 0.1%.

• All S&P Sectors Higher - Wall Street opened higher today, all 11 major S&P sectors, as investor sentiment was lifted by easing tensions in the Korean peninsula.

Financial and Economic Brief - August 8, 2017

• Economic Reporting Outlook - The latest reading on inflation is due out this week. It has been “persistently weak” in recent months.

• Positive Jobs Report - According to a government report, the U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July while the unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, the lowest since March 2001.

• Dow at Record High - On Monday, the Dow hit another record high, the Nasdaq opened “slightly” higher, and the S&P was even.

Financial and Economic Brief - August 1, 2017

• Discovery To Acquire Scripps - Discovery Communications reached a deal to acquire Scripps Networks for about $11.9 billion.

• SNAP Shares Fall - Today as markets open, shares of Snap Inc. owner of the Snapchat messaging app fell as much as 5% to a new low, below its initial public offering price, as a "share lock up" ended.

• Fischer: Weal Economy = Low Rates - The Fed's vice chairman Stanley Fischer said in a speech that interest rates aren't just low because the Federal Reserve is keeping them there but rather because of a weak economy and other factors.

Financial and Economic Brief - July 25, 2017

• Economic Outlook Looking Better - According to the Conference Board, leading economic indicators increased 0.6% in June, beating expectations which were for a 0.4% gain.

• This Week’s Economic Releases - This week’s economic reports will reveal whether growth accelerated in Q2 after a slow start to 2017.

• OPEC Caps Nigerian Oil Output - OPEC has agreed with several non-OPEC producers led by Russia to cut oil production by a combined 1.8 million barrels per day from January 2017 until the end of March 2018.

Financial and Economic Brief - July 18, 2017

• NY Manufacturing Slows - Manufacturing in New York State grew in July but at a much slower pace than June and remains at a “mostly healthy level”.

• This Week’s Financial News - This week is an “unusually” light week of economic news but does include the kickoff of the second-quarter earnings season.

• Wall Street Opens Flat - Today U.S. stocks opened flat and held steady at record levels. Analysts estimate Q2 earnings for the S&P 500 companies rose 8.1% from Q2 2016.

Financial and Economic Brief - July 11, 2017

• Job Market Better Than Expected - The U.S. job market created 222,000 new positions in June which was higher than expected and the unemployment rate held at 4.4%.

• More Sears and Kmart Closings - On Friday Sears Holdings announced that it will close eight Sears department stores and 35 Kmart locations, adding to the list of 236 stores Sears has closed in 2017

• Steel Demand Forecast Rises - European steel association, Eurofer, raised its 2017 EU steel demand forecast but said a U.S. plan to levy steel tariffs on national security grounds could be terrible for global trade flows.