Closing Bell: LIVE MARKETS BLOG

 | Mar 06, 2018 | 4:03 PM EST
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Closing Bell

U.S. indices had a topsy turvey day Tuesday, but all three major averages closed the day in the green after spending time in negative territory. 

The Dow Jones Indusrial Average closed the day up 0.04%, or 9 points, to 24,884, while the Nasdaq rose 0.56%, or 41 points, to 7,372 and the S&P 500 closed the day up 0.26%, or 7 points, to 2,728.


U.S. Says Qualcomm Sale to Broadcom Could Hurt National Security

U.S. officials are not too keen on the proposed unsolicited takeover of Qualcomm (QCOM) by Singapore-based Broadcom (AVGO) , saying that the sale represents a potential security risk for the country. 

The U.S. Treasury Department "has identified potential national security concerns that warrant a full investigation of the proposed transaction. Articulation of the potential national security concerns, in a significant part, is classified."

Qualcomm has postponed a shareholder vote on Broadcom's nominees for the company's board as Broadcom attempts to push ahead with its $117 billion bid for the company over Qualcomm's objections. 


Xfinity Gets a Download Boost on the East Coast

Comcast (CMCSA) boosting the download speed for its Xfinity broadband network in 14 states along the eastern seaboard. 

The states receiving the boost range from Maine to Virginia, including the District of Columbia. The change will occur sometime next month without any increases to the subscription price. 

Comcast plans to improve its Performance Starter tier speeds to 15 Mbps from 10 Mbps and the Performance tier to 60 Mbps from 25 Mbps and its Performance Pro tier to 150 Mbps from 100 Mbps. 


UPS Names Jim Barber as New CFO

Jim Barber, a 57 year old company veteran, was named UPS' (UPS) chief operating officer Tuesday, a position that was most recently held by current CEO David Abney who took the job in 2014. 

Barber started with the company as a delivery driver in 1985 before helping the lead the company's international expansion in Europe in the '90s. He has been head of the international division since 2013. 

Another company veteran will replace Barber. Nando Cesarone, 46, will now become international president after serving as president of the company's European division since 2015. 

UPS shares were up 3.4% in afternoon trading Tuesday. 


CVS Preps for $44 Billion Bond Sale, Largest Corporate Sale in 2 Years

CVS Health (CVS) is prepping for a $44 billion bond sale, which could happen as early as Tuesday, to help finance its $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna Inc. (AET) .

The sale would be largest largest single corporate bond sale in over two years. 

Falling interest rates around the world resulted in a record $3.32 trillion of investment grade corporate bond issuance in 2017. 

The Aetna deal still has to pass regulatory muster and a decision on the tie up isn't expected until late this year. 

CVS' current bond issuance due 2026 have a yield of 4.19% as of Monday, according to MarketAxess. 


51 Billionaires Call Florida Home, Forbes Says

51 of the world's wealthiest people call Florida, the sunshine state, home, according to the annual world's richest list compiled by Forbes. 

The number of billionaires living in Florida remained flat year over year, but their net worth jumped significantly thanks to the performance of the stock market of the last 12 months. 

The wealthiest Floridian is Thomas Peterffy, chairman and CEO of Interactive Brokers Group, who is worth $20.3 billion. Peterffy jumped up to the 47 spot after being ranked 82 last year. Appaloosa Management hedge fund manager David Tepper is the second richest Floridian, with a net worth of $11 billion. 

Florida does not collect an income tax, which may explain why so many wealthy people are attracted to the state. 


United Airlines Abandons Bonus Lottery Plan Following Backlash

United Airlines UAL grounded an idea to replace its regular quarterly bonus for employees that meet performance incentives with an annual employee lottery that awarded one lucky winner a $100,000 bonus. 

"Our intention was to introduce a better, more exciting program, but we misjudged how these changes would be received by many of you," United President Scott Kirby said in a statement. "So, we are pressing the pause button on these changes to review your feedback and consider the right way to move ahead."

Currently, United employees eligible for a bonus get at $1,200 extra per year, according to media reports. The new system would have had drawings for cash prizes between $2,000 and $40,000, vacations and luxury cars, along with the big $100,000 draw. 


McDonald's Promises to Have Fresh Beef at 3,500 U.S. Restaurants

McDonald's (MCD) is continuing the push to reinvent itself, announcing that it has begun serving fresh beef Quarter Pounders and other premium burgers at about 3,500 restaurants in the U.S. with plans to have most of its other U.S. locations follow suit by May. 

A year ago McDonald's said that it would make the transition from frozen to fresh beef by mid-2018.

"Our suppliers have invested about $60 million updating their supply chain to be able to make this conversion from frozen to fresh," McDonald's U.S President Chris Kempczinski said.


Jeff Bezos Is the World's Richest Billionaire After Growing Fortune by Nearly $40 Billion

Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos is now the world's richest person, according to Forbes' annual list of the richest people on the planet. Bezos' fortune rose by $39.2 billion over the past 12 months as Amazon's stock has risen by nearly 60% over that time period.

Bezos fortune sits at $112 billion, followed by Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates at $90 billion and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) chairman Warren Buffett at $84 billion. 

Luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault, leader of LVMH, saw his fortune rise by $30.5 billion last year. He is the richest European for the first time since 2012 and the fourth richest person in the world. 

Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg rounded out the top 5 with a fortune of $71 billion. 

President Donald Trump's fortune fell by $400 million, according to the magazine, and currently sits at $3.1 billion.


20 Year Old Sues Dick's, Walmart Over Gun Purchase Age

A 20-year old Oregon man is suing Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) and Wamart (WMT) after the company raised the legal age to purchase weapons at the retailers to 21 years old in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, FL in February. 

Tyler Watson says he is being discriminated against due to the new policy after attempting to buy a .22-caliber Ruger rifle on February 24 from a Field and Stream store -- a Dick's subsidiary. 

"While we haven't seen the complaint, we will respond as appropriate with the court," a Walmart spokesman told local newspaper the Oregonian


Kobe Steel Admits to 5 Decades of Data Fraud, CEO to Step Down

Kobe Steel (KBSTY) , Japan's third-largest steelmaker, admitted that the data fraud that came to light last year has been going on since the 1970's. The company also admitted to previously undisclosed incidences of cheating. 

As a result, CEO and chairman Hiroya Kawasaki announced that he will step down April 1. "I feel heavy responsibility as our data falsification has caused trouble to so many customers," Kawasaki said. 

The company admitted to supplying products with falsified specifications to nearly 500 customers, including hundreds of foreign customers. 


Premarket

Investors seem to have gotten over the threat of a potential trade war with futures trading strongly in the green before the opening bell Tuesday, one session after all three major indices rose at least 1%. 

Dow futures were rising 0.58%, indicating an open 143 points higher, while Nasdaq futures also rose 0.58%, indicating an open 40 points higher, and S&P futures rose 0.41%, indicating an open 11 points higher. 

World markets were equally positive Tuesday morning. In Asia, All three major indices gained at least 1%, led by the Hang Seng which closed the day up 2.14% and the Nikkei which gained 1.79%. 

In Europe, the CAC 40 was the lone major index not to gain 1%, but it was up 0.91% with about 4 hours left in trading. 

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