Closing Bell: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

 | Feb 16, 2018 | 4:06 PM EST
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Closing Bell

Markets had a mixed day Friday with the Nasdaq snapping its five-session winning streak while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were able to pull up from a midday nosedive. 

The Dow was able to hold on to slim gains, rising 0.08%, or 19 points, to 25,219 while the S&P gained 0.04%, or 1 point, to 2,732. The Nasdaq fell 0.23%, or 17 points, to 7,239. 


Lloyd Blankfein's Compensation Rose 9% in 2017

Goldman Sachs (GS) must be happy with CEO Lloyd Blankfein because the investment bank gave the executive a 9% pay raise in 2017, bringing his compensation to $24 million. 

Blankfein received a cash salary of $2 million, which was in line with his 2016 salary after taking a pay cut, plus a cash bonus of $4.4 million. The rest of his compensation was based in stock. 

Blankfein's 2017 compensation placed him third among Wall Street Bank CEOs behind Goldman Sachs' GS Jamie Dimon ($29.5 million) and Morgan Stanley's James Gorman ($27 million). 


U.S. Probes First-Ever Possible Drone-Linked Aircraft Crash

A helicopter that crashed in South Carolina last week could have been interfered with by a civilian drone, according to the Charleston Police Department, according to reports

The non-fatal crash Wednesday occurred after a small drone appeared directly in front of a helicopter that was being flown by a student pilot and an instructor. The instructor took over control of the aircraft and attempted to avoid a collision when the tail of the helicopter hit something resulting in a crash landing.


Steel Stocks Soar on Reports of Commerce Department Push for Steel Tariffs

The Commerce Department will recommend wide-ranging tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, according to Axios. The reports have sent steel stocks soaring in trading Friday.

The department, which is led by Secretary Wilbur Ross, recommended a global tariff of 24% on all steel imports, with a tariff of at least 53% on imports from Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

The Department of Commerce is also recommending a 7.7% tax on aluminum imports from all countries with a 23.5% tariff on all products from China, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Steel stocks spiked immediately following the report.

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (RS) jumped 3.16% following the report after spending much of the morning in negative territory. U.S. Steel Co. (X) gained 10% to $42.90 at 12: 15 p.m. on Friday. Steel Dynamics Inc. (STLD) rose 3.85% to $48.96. Nucor Corp. (NUE) was up 4.21% to $68.34 after also spending much of Friday's session in the red.


Broadcom Rejects Qualcomm's $121 Billion Takeover-Bid

Broadcom's (BRCM) $121 billion offer for Qualcomm (QCOM) wasn't sweet enough apparently, leading Qualcomm to reject the bid. 

In spite of the decision, Qualcomm said that it found Wednesday's meeting with Broadcom officials to be "constructive" and that the company would be open to further negotiations. 

"The board remains unanimously of the view that this proposal materially undervalues Qualcomm and has an unacceptably high level of risk, and therefore is not in the best interests of Qualcomm stockholders," Qualcomm said in a letter to Broadcom Friday.

Qualcomm shareholders can still approve the proposal during a shareholder vote at the company's meeting on March 6. A slate of Broadcom nominees are up for election to the company's board, and if enough join the board, Qualcomm's no may turn into a yes.


Walmart to Launch Apparel Brand 

Walmart (WMT) will a debut low-cost clothing brand for women, kids, and plus-sized customers, Bloomberg reported. 

The move comes just months after Amazon began its own branded apparel business as the two retail giants continue their turf war.

The brands, Time, Tru (ladieswear), Wonder Nation (kids) and Terra & Sky (plus-size), will replace the company's now-defunct DanskinNow label. 


U.S. Home Construction Rises 9.7% in January

Construction of new U.S. homes rose 9.7% in January, the highest level its been since October 2016, according to the Commerce Department.

New home starts totaled an annual pace of 1.33 million in January, up from 1.21 million in December and 1.24 million in January 2017. 

The Northeast was the busiest region for new home starts, with a 45.5% increase, while home construction rose 10.7% in the West and 9.3% in the South. 


Wynn Resorts Says Former CEO Isn't Entitled to Severance

Steve Wynn may not have the golden parachute some thought he would receive following his departure from Wynn Resorts (WYNN) .

The company says that Wynn is not entitled to severance payments or any other compensation, contradicting earlier reports that his contract could pay him up to $300 million following his departure.

Wynn was forced to step down earlier this month after the Wall Street Journal published a report detailing decades of sexual misconduct allegations against the Las Vegas magnate. Shares fell heavily following the allegations before Wynn departed. 


Evan Spiegel Says Snapchat Update Is Here to Stay

Snap Inc.  (SNAP) CEO Evan Spiegel is sticking to the update of Snapchat, in spite of widespread criticism from long-time users about the social media platform's new features. 

Spiegel told the Goldman Sachs Internet & Technology Conference that people need to get used to the new format. 

"The tech is an important piece but I think the harder part you can't get around is the time it takes to learn," Spiegel said. "You do need folks to use the product, to communicate with their friends to learn how to better provide that feed. The tech to some degree is a solved problem, the time to... to learn is a hard problem to solve. Even the complaints we're seeing reinforce the philosophy. Even the frustrations we're seeing really validate those changes. It'll take time for people to adjust, but for me using it for a couple months I feel way more attached to the service."

Users have started an online petition on Change.org to get the company to reconsider. 


SEC Rejects Chinese Consortium's Bid for Chicago Stock Exchange

U.S. regulators nixed a bid by a Chinese-led consortium to purchase the Chicago Stock Exchange Thursday. 

The bid apparently did not meet the SEC's rules governing stock exchanges and the governing body said that it couldn't resolve concerns over the deal's proposed ownership structure, which would have given 29% of the company to a China-based shareholder. 

The Chicago Stock Exchange currently only handles 1% of daily U.S. stock trading, but saw the deal as an opportunity to attract international listings to beef up volume. 


Premarket

U.S. futures were climbing ahead of the market open Friday as markets look to close the week on a six-session winning streak. 

Dow futures were climbing 0.11%, indicating an open 29 points higher, while Nasdaq futures rose 0.24%, indicating an open 16 points higher, and S&P futures rose 0.2%, indicating an open 5 points higher. 

Markets around the world were having a strong day of trading Friday with the Hang Seng closing the day up nearly 2%, the Shanghai Composite rising 0.45% and the Nikkei gaining 1.2%.

In Europe, the CAC 40 rose 0.92%, the DAX climbed 0.56% and the FTSE 100 gained 0.64%. 

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