STOCKS LITTLE CHANGED AS TECH SHARES RALLY
- The Nasdaq touched a record intraday high on Wednesday.
- The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its Beige Book – a summary of commentary on economic conditions – later in the day.
- Traders have priced in a 15 percent chance of a hike in September and a 45.7 percent chance in December.
- Chipotle rose 5% after activist investor William Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square bought a 9.9 percent stake in the burrito chain operator.
US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Goldman now views the Fed as having a 40% likelihood of raising interest rates this month, down from 55% on Friday.
- Goldman now sees a 70% chance that the U.S. central bank will raise rates at least once this year, down from 80%.
- Activist investor William Ackman bought a big stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill.
- Mr. Ackman disclosed a 9.9% stake, worth about $1.2 billion.
- Chipotle is still reeling from a series of food-safety problems, including a case of salmonella in Minnesota, E. coli in Oregon and Washington, and norovirus in California and Boston.
- Acquisition of SanDisk has brought in more customers and a broader portfolio.
- The Irvine, Calif., company has been moving into flash-storage technology as disk-drive sales dwindle.
- Western Digital now sees revenue for the three months ending Sept. 30 in a range of $4.45 billion to $4.55 billion, compared with its earlier forecast of $4.4 billion to $4.5 billion.
- Energy firm says overlooked ‘Alpine High’ area potentially holds billions of barrels of oil.
- Allergan said it would limit annual price increases on its prescription drugs.
- Allergan, the maker of such products as Botox, plans to raise prices no more than once a year and keep price hikes to no more than low-to-mid-single-digit percentages, slightly above the current annual rate of inflation.
- The iPhone 7 is expected to make its global debut on Wednesday, but many consumers and investors are already setting their sights on Apple’s 2017 version of the popular gadget, hoping for more significant advances.
- The man who launched Morningstar from his Chicago apartment in 1984 is stepping down as chief executive.
- Joe Mansueto will become executive chairman of the mutual-fund data company in January. His successor will be the firm’s president, Kunal Kapoor, who joined Morningstar in 1997 as a data analyst.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Employers posted 5.9 million job openings in July, a rate of 3.9 percent, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) report.
- That compares to 5.62 million job openings in June.
- The hiring rate was steady at 3.6 percent, or 5.2 million in July. The separation rate was also little changed in July at 4.9 million — a rate of 3.4 percent.
- It took nearly nine years for total fuel use to surpass its prerecession peak.
- Americans purchased about 406 million gallons of gasoline per day, on average, in June.
- U.S. consumer spending recovered to its peak level in two years.
- Purchase applications rose 1.0 percent.
- Low rates continue to encourage applications to refinance, which also increased 1 percent in the week.
- Rates were marginally higher from the previous week but still near record lows, up 1 basis point at 3.68 percent as the average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages of conforming loans ($417,000 or less).
- It “makes sense to get back to a pace of gradual rate increases, preferably sooner rather than later,” San Francisco Fed President John Williams said.
EUROPE & WORLD
- Volkswagen is exploring a joint venture to make electric cars in China with a state-run company.
- Volkswagen, which derives more than a third of its global vehicle sales from China after three decades of operations there, currently has two car-making partners in the country: SAIC Motor Co. in Shanghai and FAW Group Co. in the northeast.
- Global demand for air travel rose 5.9 percent in July, the first month of the peak summer travel period, thanks to the low price of oil helping to keep fares low and thus boosting demand.
- European carriers saw the slowest growth in demand, of 4.1 percent in July, IATA said in its monthly traffic update on Wednesday, after attacks deterred tourists, especially from Asia and the United States.
- Amazon is the newest entrant to an increasingly competitive market which includes Just Eat, UberEats and Deliveroo.
- Amazon said in a statement on Wednesday that its “Amazon Restaurants” service would be available to subscribers of its Prime delivery scheme and that delivery would be free for orders over 15 pounds ($20).
TODAY in HISTORY
Brazil declared its independence from Portugal (1822)
The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) made its debut on cable TV (1979)
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