Saturday, March 18, 2017

Today's Headlines

  • U.S. Stocks Eke Out Weekly Gain, Led by High-Dividend Companies. U.S. equities rose this week thanks largely to advances in companies with high dividends that investors turn to when bond yields fall. The S&P 500 Index added 0.2 percent to 2,378.25. The biggest boost came Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark lending rate a quarter point and maintained its projection for two more increases this year. At the same time, the Bloomberg Economic Surprise Index advanced for the fourth straight week as data from payrolls to inflation figures met or exceeded estimates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed at 20,914.62. The Russell 200 Index jumped 1.9 percent, the most since December.
  • G-20 Nations Renew Commitment to Global Bank-Capital Overhaul. Finance chiefs of the Group of 20 nations renewed their pledge to finalize an overhaul of global bank-capital rules, but stopped short of making progress on certain proposals that have led to a standoff between Europe and the U.S. In the statement capping a two-day meeting in the German town of Baden-Baden, the G-20 urged the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision to finalize the Basel III reforms “without further significantly increasing overall capital requirements,” sticking to previous language. After the work already missed a year-end deadline, the document didn’t include a new time frame.
  • China Home-Price Rises Regain Speed, Defying Purchase Curbs. China home prices rose last month in more cities despite increased restrictions on property transactions by local authorities. New home prices, excluding subsidized housing, gained in February in 56 out of 70 cities tracked by the government, compared with 45 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday. Prices climbed in 67 out of 70 cities from a year earlier, compared with 66 in January.
  • Tim Cook Says Apple(AAPL) Not Aiming for Specific China Market Share. Apple Inc. doesn’t have a specific goal for market share in China, where it faces the fiercest local competition anywhere, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said. China has unique characteristics, in that its mobile payment market is well ahead of the U.S. and local consumers have a greater willingness to change habits, Cook said at a panel discussion at the China Development Forum in Beijing. He added that Apple’s new research and development centers in the country should help the company reach China’s university community.
  • Buffett Opposes Proposal to Disclose Political Donations. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. investors will have a chance to vote on three shareholder resolutions opposed by Chairman Warren Buffett and his board, including a call for the firm to disclose any political contributions. Other proposals by shareholders would push Berkshire to divest holdings in companies that produce fossil fuels, and set targets for cutting methane emissions related to its operations, according to a proxy filing issued Friday. Berkshire said that its board unanimously opposes all three proposals.
Wall Street Journal:
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