The US stock market closed Thursday’s session mixed after hitting new record highs on Wednesday’s session after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president.
Major themes that investors are keenly watching include Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package which is expected to be passed during the first week of February.
The market was mainly driven by tech giants with Apple, Intel, and Facebook among the top performers.
Joe Biden has announced that everyone flying to the US will need a negative coronavirus test before boarding a plane and must quarantine after arrival.
He also mentioned that it will take “months” to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19 and all travellers will be required to wear masks.
Global Markets News
American multinational technology company Google LLC announced on Thursday the company has reached an agreement with French publishers on the issue of copyrights and will now start paying publishers for their content displayed on Google.
Google has since signed deals with French daily newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro.
This comes as France resumed collecting digital-services revenue tax from US tech firms, while Italy and the United Kingdom are expected to follow suit.
Meanwhile, Google says it is considering disabling its search function in Australia if the country’s Parliament approves a law that says that both Google and Facebook have to pay local media companies for their content.
“If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” Google Australia managing director Mel Silva was quoted by BBC.
Alphabet Shuts Down Loon
Google parent firm Alphabet has decided to shut down Loon, its subsidiary working on providing Internet access to rural and remote areas using floating balloons.
Through Loon, Alphabet launched its first commercial internet service in Kenya and has provided internet services to areas affected by natural disasters, among which are Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017 and Peru after an earthquake in 2019.
“Doing many things previously thought impossible, like precisely navigating balloons in the stratosphere, creating a mesh network in the sky, or developing balloons that can withstand the harsh conditions of the stratosphere for more than a year — the road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped.” It said in a blog despite the achievements over the past 9 years.
Boeing’s $2.1 billion contract with US Air Force
The Boeing Company has announced it has signed a new contract worth $2.1 billion the United States Air Force for the production of 15 KC-46A aircraft.
“The KC-46’s adaptability is going to be a game-changer for the US Air Force. We know our defence customers will need to transform how they fight and win in the modern era. That’s why Boeing is focused on making sure the KC-46 grows and changes with them,” Boeing KC-46 tanker vice president and program manager, Jamie Burgess said.
Ford & GM Share Rally
Shares of American car manufacturing giants Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are surging on increased optimism as the companies push to introduce more electric vehicles.
According to the Wallstreet Journal, Ford shares are up by about 17% this week and have risen about 31% in January, marking their best month since July 2009.
On the other hand, GM’s stock price is up 32% in January toa record high of $55.08.
Intel Q4 Earnings
American multinational corporation and technology company Intel Corporation on Thursday released its q4 earnings with net revenue declining by 1% to $20 billion.
For the full year 2020, Intel’s revenue was up 8% to $77.9 billion while net income fell 1% to $20.9 billion.
“We significantly exceeded our expectations for the quarter, capping off our fifth consecutive record year,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO who is expected to step down on February 15.
IBM has released its earnings for the fourth quarter with revenue dropping by 6% to $20.4 billion.
GAAP net income plunged 66% year on year to $1.3 billion, or $1.41 per share. For full-year 2020, the company’s revenue declined 5% on an annual basis to $73.6 billion and GAAP EPS stood at $6.13.
“We made progress in 2020 growing our hybrid cloud platform as the foundation for our clients’ digital transformations while dealing with the broader uncertainty of the macro environment,” CEO Arvind Krishna stated.