Qatar Airways Takes Deliveries of Airbus' Largest Jet: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

 | Feb 20, 2018 | 3:14 PM EST
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Airbus Delivers Largest Planes It's Every Produced to Qatar Airways

Airbus (EADSY) is delivering the A350 dash 1000, the largest plan it has ever produced, to Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways will execute its first commercial flight using the aircraft on February 24 between Doha and London Heathrow. 

The jet is 242 feet long and can fit 440 passengers in an all-economy configuration or 366 in a three-class layout. 

Tesla Cloud Account Hacked to Mine Crypto

Hackers gained access to Tesla's (TSLA) Amazon (AMZN) cloud account and used it to mine cryptocurrency, according to security research firm RedLock.

RedLock discovered the intrusion last month while it was looking for which organization left credentials for an Amazon Web Services account open to the public internet. It was Tesla. 

Tesla said that no customer data was compromised in the breach. 

"We maintain a bug bounty program to encourage this type of research, and we addressed this vulnerability within hours of learning about it," a Tesla spokesperson told The Verge.  "The impact seems to be limited to internally-used engineering test cars only, and our initial investigation found no indication that customer privacy or vehicle safety or security was compromised in any way."

Applebees to Close 80 Stores This Year

Applebees parent company Dine Brands Global (DIN) announced that it will close 80 of its casual dining restaurants this year after closing nearly 100 last year. 

Applebees saw comparable store sales fall 5.3% last year.

Fell Dine Brands restaurant IHOP is expected to close between 30 and 40 restaurants this year, even though it will also open as many as 100 new locations.

"The expected closures will be based on several criteria, including meeting our brand and image standards as well as operational results," Dine Brands said in a statement. 

Snap Downgraded at Citi Due to User Backlash

Snapchat (SNAP) users have been vocal about their opposition to the recent redesign of the social media network's platform, and analysts at Citi have taken note. 

The firm downgraded Snap to "sell" saying, "while the recent redesign of its flagship app could produce positive long-term benefits, the significant jump in negative app reviews since the redesign was pushed out a few weeks could result in a decline in users and user engagement." 

Snap shares were down 4% on the news. 

Dog Food Recalled Due to Presence of Poison

Dog food brands under the J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM) were forced to announce a recall by the Food and Drug Administration after tests showed the presence of a potentially fatal sedative.

Pentobarbital was found in certain canned dog foods made by Smucker by the FDA, prompting the company to recall the products.

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate drug that is most commonly used as a sedative, anesthetic or agent for euthanasia. The FDA's tests determined that the levels of the drug found in the dog food were low enough that animals would not be harmed from ingesting the food.

However, the detection of the drug is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which led to the decision.

Anonymous Investor Purchases $400 Million in Bitcoin

Someone is buying the bitcoin dip after an anonymous investor purchased $400 million in the digital currency. 

The investor purchased the coins between February 9 and February 12, increasing his bitcoin balance to more than 96,000 from 55,000. 

Bitcoin had been searching for a bottom for weeks after falling nearly 75% to $6,000 from its all-time high of $20,000.

Bitcoin prices were up 2.44% to $11,432 Tuesday morning. 

South Korean Crypto Regulator Found Dead in Home

Jung Ki-joon, the 52-year old South Korean regulator for cryptocurrency, was found dead in his home Sunday following what officials believe was a fatal heart attack. 

The police have opened an investigation into the death.

South Korea has been active in attempting to regulate digital currencies in recent weeks following the spike in the price of bitcoin and other currencies at the end of 2017. 

South Korea's won is the fourth most popular fiat currency in bitcoin trading, according to CryptoCompare, and the country recently mandated that it would only allow trade in cryptocurrencies from established-name bank accounts. 

Qualcomm Raises Bid for NXP Semiconductors

Qualcomm (QCOM) is now offering NXP Semiconductors NV (NXP) $127.50 per share for its business, a 16% increase from its previous offer of $110 per share. 

The equity value of the deal is approximately $43 billion. 

Qualcomm upped its offer shortly after rejecting another bid from Broadcom (AVGO) , which upped its offer for the company to $121 billion. However, Broadcom has said that that price is contingent on Qualcomm purchasing NXP for the original offer price. 

Qualcomm says that it raised the offer price because of the company's improved earnings. 

Walmart Tanks on Weak Guidance and Slowing Online Growth

Shares of Walmart Inc. (WMT) were down 6.5% premarket after the company reported that operational hiccups resulted in slowing online sales growth in the holiday quarter. 

The company also said that it would cut the marketing budget for, which it acquired in 2016 to help compete against Amazon (AMZN) for online retail dollars, as it expects the e-retailer's growth to slow. 

The company reported a profit of $2.18 billion, compared to a profit of $3.76 billion a year ago. Walmart reported an adjusted profit of $1.33 per share, short of analysts $1.37 billion expectations. 

Albertsons to Acquire Remaining Rite Aids

Grocery chain Albertsons announced plans to acquire the remaining Rite Aids stores that were divested as part of Walgreens Boots Alliance's (WBA) deal to acquire the drug store chain. 

A combination of Albertsons and Rite Aid would result in a company with annual revenues of $83 billion. Albertsons' shareholders would control about 71% of the company while Rite Aid investors would control the rest. 

Current Rite Aid CEO and Chairman John Standley is set to become CEO of the new company if the cash-and-stock deal goes through. 

The combined company would operate about 4,9000 locations in 38 states and the District of Columbia. 

Rite Aid shares were up 24% in premarket trading Tuesday. 


U.S. markets were looking at a muted open Tuesday on a holiday-shortened week of trading. 

Nasdaq futures were indicating an open 0.71% lower, while Dow futures indicated an open 185 points lower and S&P 500 futures indicated an opening 19 points lower. 

Asian markets had a mixed session Tuesday with the Nikkei and Hang Seng falling 1% and 0.84% respectively while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.45%. 

In Europe, the FTSE 100 was down 0.11%, the DAX was even and the CAC 40 climbed 0.12%. 

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