Brexit Talks Stall, ECB Set To Extend Stimulus

European markets have had a muted open this morning as ongoing Brexit talks continue to yield any real progress. The deadline of this Sunday has been set for talks to reach a conclusion and with many markets pricing in an agreement of some sort, a derailment of negotiations could well bring on some significant volatility. UK GDP figures also showed a slowdown in recovery rising just 0.4% in October.

All eyes will also be on the ECB meeting later today, where extended stimulus is expected to be unveiled in the form of asset purchases and cheap credit.

In corporate news, online grocer Ocado is down 3% despite raising its full year forecasts once again as the pandemic continues to drive huge demand for home delivery. Our research shows that 67% of people who have done at least some grocery shopping online during the pandemic plan to continue afterwards, which could be good news for Ocado. Despite today’s dip Ocado’s (OCDGF) share price is up 76% year to date.

Tech stocks slip, Facebook hit with antitrust suit

US technology stocks slipped on Wednesday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500’s technology sector both down by 1.9%. Netflix fell back by 3.7%, while Facebook (FB) fell 1.9% after being hit with antitrust lawsuits by the Federal Trade Commission and 46 states. The suit accuses the social-media behemoth of being anti-competitive in its acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, and seeks to roll back the deals. Just weeks previously, the Justice Department brought a case against Google alleging it is illegally maintaining a monopoly in the search engine business.

Facebook responded by pointing out the FTC approved both the Instagram and WhatsApp deals. There are signs the efforts will continue under the Biden administration, as the FTC voted three to two to file the suit, including two Democrat votes in favour, according to The WSJ.

All three major US indices in the red, AirBnB IPO sets $47bn value

All three major US stock indices were in the red on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq down 1.9%, the S&P 500 down 0.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.4%. Three of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors were in the green, with the communication services and real estate sectors the biggest fallers alongside information technology stocks. Among the Dow’s 30 names, Goldman Sachs (GS) led the way with a 1.7% gain, while Salesforce (CRM) brought up the back with a 3.2% loss.

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