The Nasdaq set a new record high for the first time since January as all three major indices closed trading in the green Friday, bolstered by strong jobs numbers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.77%, or 440.46% to closed the day at 25,336, while the Nasdaq gained 1.79%, or 133 points to close at 7,561, and the S&P 500 gained 1.74%, or 48 points, to close at 2,787.
Universal Entertainment Gets $2.4 Billion Settlement from Wynn Resorts
The hits keep coming for Wynn Resorts WYNN after the company agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by Japanese gaming company Universal Entertainment for $2.4 billion.
Universal was forced to sell its 20% stake in the casino under the direction of former CEO Steve Wynn. Wynn claimed that former Universal exec Kazuo Okada breached fiduciary duties by putting Wynn's gaming licenses at risk by making illegal payments to Philippine regulators.
Okada was forced from the company last year and isn't party to Wynn's settlement. Wynn's claims against him for fiduciary breach is still pending.
Lloyd Blankfein to Step Down by End of the Year
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein will leave his position as head of the investment bank by the end of the year.
It has been a strong run for Goldman Sachs under Blankfein's leadership. Blankfein, who took over as leader of the bank in early 2006 after former CEO Henry Paulson left to be Treasury Secretary in the George W. Bush administration, oversaw the ascension of his company's stock from its nadir during the 2008 banking recession to a more than 72% increase since he took over.
Blankfein has been compensated handsomely during his nearly 12-year run at the bank, officially joining the billionaire club in 2015, according to Bloomberg which estimated his net worth at $1.1 billion.
iPhone Users Like Smart Speakers More Than the Rest of Us
People who have iPhones (AAPL) are 22% more likely than Android users to own a smart speaker, according to a survey of 1,057 U.S. adults conducted by Voicebot.ai. in January.
Despite their affinity for smart speakers, iPhone users haven't turned to Apple's offering yet. Amazon's (AMZN) Echo makes up 72% of the market, followed by Google Home (GOOGL) which makes up 18.4% of the market.
19.7% of U.S. adults use smart speakers with men making up about 58% of users while women make up about 42% of users, according to the survey. All told, there are 47.3 million adult smart speaker owners out of an adult population of 252 million.
Morgan Stanley Sees Tesla Competition from Amazon Ahead
The good news is that Tesla (TSLA) will overcome Model 3 production issues throughout 2018, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas. The bad news is that Amazon (AMZN) is standing the way of the company's trucking ambitions.
Jonas maintained his "equal weight" rating and $379 price target on the company, but did warn that Amazon could have a negative impact on the transportation logistics market and Alphabet (GOOGL) may hurt Tesla's autonomous car plans through its Waymo subsidiary.
"Amazon has a vested interest in taking the marginal cost of transportation to its lowest possible level," Jonas said. "We're in no position to say whether Amazon would be a partner or a potential competitor to Tesla in the area of transport, trucking, and logistics, but we point out the scale that large e-commerce players can bring, which could lead to surprisingly deflationary long-term trends in some of Tesla's core initiatives."
Qualcomm Shuffles Board Amid Hostile Broadcom Takeover Bid
Qualcomm (QCOM) announced that Dr. Paul E. Jacobs is stepping down as executive chairman of the company's board of directors and the position is being discontinued. Dr. Jacobs will continue to serve on the Qualcomm board, but not in an executive management capacity.
The move comes as Broadcom (AVGO) steps up its hostile $117 billion bid for the company.
Jeffrey W. Henderson, an independent Qualcomm director since 2016 will serve as non-executive chairman of the company's board.
Qualcomm shares were up 0.65% in morning trading Friday. Broadcom shares were up 1.24% to $250.
Strong Jobs Report Sends Futures Soaring
The U.S. added 313,000 new jobs in February, the strongest monthly gain since July 2016.
Markets were gaining however on the news that wage growth rose by only 2.6% from a year ago, easing concerns that the Fed will move quicker to raise interest rates.
Markets suggest there is a 33% chance the Federal Reserve raises rates four or mote times this year, according to the Wall Street Journal, compared to 36% odds before Friday's jobs report.
Dow futures were up 0.67% ahead of the open, indicating an open 167 points higher, while Nasdaq and S&P futures rose 0.66% and 0.56% respectively.
Broadcom Pledges Not to Do any Harm, Make U.S. 5G Best in the World
Broadcom sent a letter to Congress saying that it is committed to making the U.S. the global leader in 5G and any notion that its acquisition of Qualcomm would result in a step back for 5G mobile technology is unfounded.
To sweeten the pot, Broadcom has offered to create a new $1.5 billion fund to focus on employee development and innovation.
"Ninety percent of Broadcom's shareholders are in the United States; in fact, we are largely owned by the same United States institutional investors that own Qualcomm. More than half of Broadcom's total workforce is in the United States, across more than 25 states," Broadcom said in its letter.
Bog Iger's Pay Package Voted Down by Disney Shareholders
Disney's (DIS) annual shareholder meeting in Houston did not go as CEO Bob Iger might have hoped after 52% of shareholder voted against his compensation package.
The company proposed to pay Iger up to $48.5 million a year over four year on top of an equity grant worth about $100 million. Shareholder rejected the plan in a non-binding vote Thursday.
The total compensation is contingent of Disney closing its planned $52.4 billion acquisition of assets from Twenty-First Century Fox FOXA as well as meeting performance targets.
ISS: Elon Musk's Tesla Compensation Is Too Rich
Elon Musk's unprecedented 10-year $2.6 billion compensation package from Tesla (TSLA) is too rich, and actually worth $3.7 billion, according to proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services.
Tesla shareholders are scheduled to vote on the proposed compensation package, which ties Musk's pay to performance incentives that would max out if Tesla's market value rises to $650 billion over the next ten years, on March 21. Tesla currently has a market cap of about $56 billion right now.
The package "locks in unprecedented high pay opportunities for the next decade, and seemingly limits the board's ability to meaningfully adjust future pay levels in the event of unforeseen events or changes in either performance or strategic focus," ISS said.
Markets were showing small signs of confidence before the opening bell Friday after President Trump's tariff announcement failed to spook markets the way many expected it to.
The steel and aluminum tariffs announced at 3:30 PM EST Thursday exempt Canada and Mexico, two of the U.S. biggest steel importers, and offers countries looking to import in good faith a chance to appeal the taxes.
U.S. futures were muted with Dow futures climbing 0.08%, indicating an open 20 points higher, while Nasdaq futures were up 0.04%, indicating an open 3 points higher, and S&P futures were rising 0.02%, indicating an open half a point higher.
World markets were strong in Asia and Europe. The Hang Seng led the Asian averages, rising 1.11% on the day. In Europe, the Dax was the lone major index to decline for the second straight day, falling 0.32% with about four hours left in trading.