02/19/2020 The Highlight
Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s space flight company is going parabolic, with shares nearly tripling year-to-date.
The company is quickly becoming a favorite stock among retail investors, as Fidelity said it was the third most traded stock in recent sessions, behind only Apple and Tesla.
The race to pioneer space tourism is a battle of the billionaires, with Jeff Bezos’ highly secretive Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX fighting to be the first-mover in this highly competitive new industry.
Virgin Galactic says 600 people from over 60 countries have already made their reservations to take a trip to space.
Treasury Yields Hit Record Low: The U.S. Treasury Department sold $19 billion worth of 30-year bonds at a record low yield last week, at just 2.061 percent. Persistently soft inflation, which has limited one of the main threats to the value of longer-term Treasurys is propping up demand, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Big 5 Or Bust: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet are responsible for the S&P 500’s fourth-quarter earnings growth, according to Goldman Sachs. Without these 5 tech giants, the index’s year-over-year earnings growth is flat, says the investment bank.
Walmart Posts Weak Holiday Sales: The world’s largest retailer reported a fourth-quarter earnings miss on Tuesday, partly due to a weaker holiday season from stores. Walmart said U.S. comparable sales in the fourth quarter increased just 1.9 percent. Walmart’s e-commerce sales rose an impressive 35 percent in the quarter, however.
Coronavirus Takes A $45 Billion Bite Out Of Apple: Apple shares were down over 3 percent on Tuesday after the company announced it will miss its second-quarter revenue expectations due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. The company says the outbreak “temporarily constrained” global iPhone supply and weighed on demand in China.
Macy’s Debt Rating Cut To Junk: Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings cut Macy’s company debt rating to junk status, saying the retailer “faces unique challenges.” S&P said the company’s excess stores and shifting consumer preferences skewing towards value-oriented offerings are weighing on the company. Earlier in the month, the company announced its plans to close 125 stores as a part of its turnaround.
HSBC To Cut 35,000 Jobs: Shares of the bank were down over 5 percent on Tuesday after announcing the company would eliminate 35,000 jobs after seeing its profit fall by a third in 2019. The company also said it will shed $100 billion in assets, and close a third of its US branches as it shifts resources to the Middle East and Asia.
Alternative Investing News
Jeff Bezos Pledges Billions To Fight Climate Change: The world’s richest man announced on Monday that he is donating $10 billion of his own money to combat climate change, calling it “the biggest threat to our planet.” The initiative is called the Bezos Earth Fund, and it will fund scientists, activists, and NGOs in an effort to preserve and protect the natural world.
Bitcoin Surpasses $10,000 Mark: The world’s largest cryptocurrency has now regained the $10,000-mark. Bitcoin is off to a solid start in 2020, gaining nearly 40 percent in value year-to-date.