Market Talk – Thursday, Feb. 20

Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London has met with officials in Brussels this week as he discusses the impact of Brexit on the city of London. He stressed to the politicians that he hopes London still plays a vital role in Europe. He also tried to pitch the idea of allowing UK citizens to opt into a European citizenship program which would allow the freedom of movement within the EU.

The major Europe stock markets had a negative day today:

  • CAC 40 decreased 48.94 points or -0.80% to 6,062.30
  • FTSE 100 decreased 20.38 points, or -0.27% to 7,436.64
  • DAX 30 decreased 125.00 points or -0.91% to 13,664.00

The major Europe currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • EURUSD decreased 0.0021 or 0.20% to 1.0787
  • GBPUSD decreased 0.0043 or 0.34% to 1.2878
  • USDCHF increased 0.0005 or 0.05% to 0.9841

Some economic news from Europe today:

Euro Zone:

Consumer Confidence (Feb) increased from -8.1 to -6.6

UK:

Core Retail Sales (MoM) (Jan) increased from -0.8% to 1.6%

Core Retail Sales (YoY) (Jan) increased from 0.7% to 1.2%

Retail Sales (MoM) (Jan) increased from -0.5% to 0.9%

Retail Sales (YoY) (Jan) decreased from 0.9% to 0.8%

Spain:

Spanish Trade Balance decreased from -1.86B to -2.09B

France:

French CPI (YoY) remain the same at 1.5%

French CPI (MoM) (Jan) decreased from 0.4% to -0.4%

French HICP (MoM) (Jan) decreased from 0.5% to -0.5%

French HICP (YoY) (Jan) increased from 1.6% to 1.7%

Germany:

German PPI (YoY) (Jan) increased from -0.2% to 0.2%

German PPI (MoM) (Jan) increased from 0.1% to 0.8%

GfK German Consumer Climate (Mar) decreased from 9.9 to 9.8

Swiss:

Trade Balance (Jan) increases from 1.975B to 4.778B

US/AMERICAS:

Robinhood, the commission-free trading app, announced plans to combine their platform into a social media-trading hybrid. Users will soon have the ability to create profiles, complete with pictures and bios, and share their portfolios with other users. The idea behind the role of social media is to crowdsource trading strategies, but this certainly comes with a heightened risk as misinformation could easily spread among the mostly young and inexperienced user base. “The stock market is inherently social,” co-CEO Baiju Bhatt said. “From the days of open outcry in the pit it’s always been about humans interacting and transacting. What we’ve got in our product right now is the beginning of a much longer product focused on social.”

Morgan Stanley will acquire E-Trade to the tune of $13 billion. E-Trade currently hosts five million clients with a combined $360 billion in assets. The acquisition is an attempt to target retail clients, especially after many brokerages turned to commission-free trading platforms. CEO James Gorman told reporters at CNBC that he was first “intrigued” with the fact that “there was always going to be segments of clients who only want to do [trades] electronically and digitally. It was always buy verses build.”

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