Closing Bell: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

 | Jan 30, 2018 | 4:13 PM EST
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Closing Bell

The major U.S. stock indexes suffered their worst trading session since August 2017 on Tuesday, Jan. 30, and the second consecutive day of losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 363 points to 26,076 while the Nasdaq fell 64 points to 7,402 and the S&P 500 declined 31 points to 2,822.

Bond and Stock Selloff Goes Hand in Hand

Investors were selling the benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year note, sending yields higher once again Tuesday afternoon to 2.723% after yields reached a near four-year high Monday. 

The dip in markets yesterday was partly blamed on the rising bond yield as concerns about rising government deficits in the wake of the GOP tax overhaul bill take hold. 

The major U.S. stock indexes were suffering their worst trading session since August 2017 on Tuesday, Jan. 30, and the second consecutive day of losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 350 points to 26,085, while the Nasdaq fell 0.85% to 7,401 and the S&P 500 declined 1% to 2,825.


SEC Moves to Halt $600 Million ICO

The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a court order to seize $600 million in cryptocurrencies held by Dallas-based AriseBank that were raised in an initial coin offering, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

The SEC alleged that the company and its executives committed fraud by misleading investors about its ownership of a federally insured bank as well as claims that it could offer customers a Visa card back by 700-plus cryptocurrencies. 

AriseBank raised $600 million between November and December before offering its digital coin, ACO, at $1.40 per coin on January 18.


Americans to Bet Nearly $5 Billion on This Year's Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is an unofficial holiday in the U.S. and Americans are expected to celebrate by wagering $4.76 billion on the big game, according to the American Gaming Association. 

Only 3% of that total will be wagered legally in Las Vegas, according to the AGA, with the rest of the toal being bet with offshore sports books and local bookies. 

"Thanks to the failed federal ban on sports betting, Americans are sending billions of their hard-earned dollars to corner bookies, shady offshore operators and other criminal enterprises," Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, said.


Chesapeake to Layoff 13% of Its Workforce 

Oklahoma news outlets are reporting that Chesapeake Energy (CHK) is preparing to layoff as many as 400 workers or 13% of its entire workforce. 

The layoffs will reportedly center around the company's Oklahoma City headquarters. 

"The decision to reduce headcount did not come easily for the leadership team. Dedicated, value-driven, hard-working people have been affected," CEO Doug Lawler said in an email to the company obtained by KWTV in Oklahoma City. 


Consumer Confidence Rose in January

Consumers were more confident in the economy in January than they were in December, according to the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index that was released today. 

The index now stands at 125.4 which is up from the 123.1 level in December. 

"Consumers' assessment of current conditions decreased slightly, but remains at historically strong levels. Expectations improved, though consumers were somewhat ambivalent about their income prospects over the coming months, perhaps the result of some uncertainty regarding the impact of the tax plan. Overall, however, consumers remain quite confident that the solid pace of growth seen in late 2017 will continue into 2018," the report said. 


Flagging Sales Force Closure of KC Harley-Davidson Plant

Harley-Davidson (HOG) announced that it is moving forward with a consolidation plan that includes closing its Kansas City production plant amid flagging sales. 

The company reported that net income fell 82% in the fourth quarter to $8.3 million. Earnings for the period also fell more than 80% to 5 cents per share from 27 cents per share. 

Earnings suffered partly due to a one-time charge associated with the GOP tax reform bill and a $29.4 million voluntary product recall charge. 


Wall Street Isn't Confident About iPhone X Sales

Apple (AAPL) will take the earnings stage Thursday, but Wall Street is growing increasingly bearish on the company's iPhone X sales. 

Wall Street has lowered its consensus revenue expectations for the second-quarter to as low as $60 billion from the previous average of $67 billion. This reflects the concern that the $999 iPhone X hasn't sold as well as initially thought. 

For the just-concluded quarter, analysts still expect Apple to report record revenue near the top of its guidance in the $87 billion range. However, the thought is that sales will slow in the March quarter.


Amazon Partners With JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway on Healthcare

Amazon Inc. (AMZN) announced that it is partnering with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) to create a company to address the healthcare needs of their U.S. employees.

As a result, healthcare providers across the board were tanking Tuesday before the opening bell.

Anthem Inc. (ANTM) was down 7%, Humana Inc. (HUM) fell 5%, Aetna Inc. (AET) declined 3%, CVS Health Corp (CVS) fell 7% and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) dropped 6.75%. The Health Care Select Sector ETF (XLV) dropped 2%.


Waymo Expands Self-Driving Vehicle Fleet

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) has agreed to a deal to supply Google's (GOOGL) Waymo self-driving vehicle arm with a fleet of thousands of additional Chrysler Pacifica minivans. 

Waymo currently has 600 Fiat Chrysler minivans in its fleet. The two companies declined to disclose exactly how many vehicles were sold or at what price. 

Waymo's partnership with Chrysler isn't exclusive. The company also has a fleet of self-driving Lexus RX SUV's.


Premarket

U.S. futures were indicating a soft opening for markets one session after the Dow fell more than 100 points and the S&P 500 had its worst day of trading in 2018.

Dow futures were down 0.72%, or 189 points, while Nasdaq futures dropped 0.41% and S&P futures fell 0.43%. 

Indices around the world weren't fairing much better with markets in Asia getting routed across the board. The Nikkei fell the hardest, dropping 1.43% while the Hang Seng declined 1.09% and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.99%.

In Europe, the DAX in Germany was declining 0.58%, the FTSE 100 dropped 0.64% and the CAC 40 fell 0.41%. 

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