Closing Bell: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

 | Feb 14, 2018 | 4:05 PM EST
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Closing Bell

All three major indices closed trading up more than 1% Wednesday, with the Nasdaq closing up nearly 2% on the day.

Markets shrugged off a slow start to close trading up for the fourth straight session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1%, or 253 points, to 24,893 while the Nasdaq gained 1.86%, or 130 points, to 7,144 and the S&P 500 gained 1.34%, or 36 points, to 2,699.

SpaceX Wins FCC Approval for Satellite Broadband Plan

Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket venture just received backing from the Federal Communications Commission to build a broadband network using satellites. 

"Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. 

SpaceX previously received approval for plans to launch a pair of experimental satellites later this year. On February 6, SpaceX successfully launched the world's most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy, from Florida, proving to the U.S. government that it could handle the privatization of space exploration. 


Snapchat to Give Creators Access to Analytics

Snapchat (SNAP) is continuing to revamp its platform by allowing content creators to see detailed analytics for the first time. 

Creators will now be able to see total story views for the week, month and year to date intervals, daily unique story viewers, average time unique viewers spent watching, audience demographics and other analytics. 

The changes come about a week after the social media platform changed its user interface, much to the chagrin of users. 


YouTube TV Raises Prices to $40 a Month

Google (GOOGL) is raising the price of its cable television alternative YouTube TV as the company adds channels from Turner, the NBA and MLB. 

YouTube TV was priced at $35 a month when it launched less than a year ago. Now a subscription will run you $40 a month. 

"Sports is really one of the key offerings that a millennial would be willing to pay for a live TV service," YouTube TV director of content partnerships Heather Moosnick said. 


Punjab National Bank Discovers Nearly $2 Billion Fraud

Punjab National Bank has detected fraudulent transactions worth about Rs 110 billion, or $1.8 billion, from one of its Mumbai branches. The fraud was allegedly committed by diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his relatives and business partner Mehul Choski, according to the Business Standard

The state-run bank fell 10% in trading. 

"The bank has detected some fraudulent and unauthorized transactions (messages) in one of its branches in Mumbai for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance. Based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad," the bank said. 


Futures Collapse on Inflation Data

U.S. futures reversed course Wednesday morning with the Dow dropping more than 200 points after the consumer price index rose 0.5% in January, hotter than the 0.3% increase economists were expecting. 

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield jumped to about 2.87% after trading at about 2.82% before the data was released. 

Markets are looking to build on the first three-day winning streak of the year following a steep selloff last week. 


Chipotle Names Brian Niccol as Its New CEO

Chipotle (CMG) shares were up more than 11% premarket Wednesday after the struggling Mexican restaurant chain named former Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol as its new CEO. 

"Brian is a proven world-class executive, who will bring fresh energy and leadership to drive excellence across every aspect of our business," current CEO and founder Steve Ells said in a statement. "His expertise in digital technologies, restaurant operations and branding make him a perfect fit for Chipotle as we seek to enhance our customer experience, drive sales growth and make our brand more relevant."

Niccol joined Taco Bell in 2011 before becoming CEO in 2015. 


United Plane Forced to Land After Losing Engine Cover

A United Airlines (UAL) flight was forced to land in Honolulu Tuesday after the plane's engine cover came off during its flight from California. 

"Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft," United said in a statement."

The Federal Aviation Administration said that it will investigate the incident. 


Premarket

U.S. futures were indicating a strong opening for markets Wednesday, as the major indices look to build on the first three-day winning streak of the year.

Dow futures were indicating an open 140 points higher while Nasdaq futures were up 32 points and S&P futures were indicating a 12 point increase. 

Asian markets had a strong session with the Hang Seng rising 2.27% and the Shanghai Composite climbing 0.45%. The Nikkei fell 0.43%. 

European markets were rising across the board with the CAC 40 gaining 0.9%, the DAX in Germany was up 0.7% and the FTSE 100 was rising 0.75%. 

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