DAILY MARKET REPORTS
- Wall Street main indexes hit their lowest levels in six weeks on Monday after Republican’s pulled a healthcare bill, raising questions about President Donald Trump’s ability to deliver on his ambitious economic agenda.
- Financial shares were among the biggest decliners.
- On Friday, House Republican leaders ultimately abandoned their bill on a health-care plan amid a lack of support, leaving investors fretting about the likely success and party support for other complex legislative efforts, including a tax overhaul and infrastructure spending.
US FINANCIAL MARKET
Now Negotiable: Credit-Card Annual Fees
- More than 80% of people who ask for relief from their annual fees receive it, according to a new survey.
- Most get the fee waived entirely, while a smaller portion receive a fee reduction.
- And nearly 70% who asked for a lower interest rate got it.
Amazon Delays Convenience Store Opening to Work Out Kinks
- Amazon Go was due to launch to the public by the end of the month, after launching in beta mode to employees in December.
- It is unclear when it will now open, as it works out kinks in the technology to automatically charge customers when they leave, instead of needing to have cash registers, checkouts and lines.
From Multiplex to Living Room, in 45 Days or Less
- Hollywood studios are preparing to upend decades of tradition by releasing movies at home less than 45 days after they debut on the big screen.
- The studios and theater owners have long been at loggerheads over the issue, which Hollywood executives consider vital to their long-term survival and cinemas consider a threat to theirs.
- But now, faced with changing consumer habits fueled by proliferating on-demand entertainment options, the two sides are finally discussing a compromise, people with knowledge of the talks said.
- Movie companies are eager for new revenue streams. The home-entertainment business declined 7% in 2016 to $12 billion, following a 6% drop in 2015. Global box-office growth has been slowing, rising just 1% last year to $38.6 billion.
Honeywell Leads $243 Million Infrastructure Modernization Project at Tinker Air Force Base
- The modernization project is expected to reduce energy consumption by 23% and save the base $20.5 million in energy and operational costs each year.
- It is the largest energy savings performance contract (ESPC) ever awarded by the Air Force.
- The project is a joint effort among Tinker, Honeywell, the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.
Lockheed’s $29 Billion Copter Poised to Win Pentagon’s Approval
- The Defense Acquisition Board has scheduled a March 30 meeting to review whether to approve low-rate production for the first 24 of a planned 200 King Stallion helicopters.
- Approval to proceed would be the first major acquisition decision under Defense Secretary James Mattis.
- The latest budget plan increases spending to $1.9 billion in fiscal 2020 from $892 million this year, including development.
Viacom’s shares could jump 40 percent: Barron’s
- There is a lot of upside potential for Viacom, financial weekly Barron’s reported on Sunday. The stock is trading around $43 per share, down 39 percent over the past two years.
Judge finds UPS liable to New York over cigarette shipments
- A federal judge on Friday held UPS liable for having illegally shipped hundreds of thousands of cartons of untaxed cigarettes in New York.
- “UPS largely relied on its size and weak internal procedures to excuse blatantly culpable conduct,” U.S. District Judge wrote. “But there were many, many people within UPS who consciously avoided the truth, for years.”
- The state and city had sought more than $872 million, and the Judge could determine the award as soon as next month.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
Republicans’ Tax Overhaul Likely to Face Its Own Slings and Arrows
- Bruised and beaten by an intraparty fight over health care, Republicans are heading for what they see as safer political ground: A major tax bill. But they might be heading right into another minefield.
EUROPE & WORLD
EU Clears Dow-DuPont Deal With Conditions
- The European Commission on Monday gave Dow and DuPont a green light for their deal on condition they sell parts of DuPont’s global pesticides business and associated research and development, as well as Dow’s acid copolymers and ionomers business.
OPEC Warns Members to Comply With Oil-Production Cuts
- Kuwaiti oil minister says ‘more has to be done’ to comply with last year’s agreements.
- Overall, OPEC has cut 94% of its target of 1.2 million barrels a day, but individual countries have fallen short of their pledges. The United Arab Emirates, for instance, has pledged to cut 139,000 barrels a day but in February had only reached 87,000 barrels a day of cuts.
More Chinese Consumers Say No to Fake Goods
- The world’s workshop for counterfeit goods is getting a taste for the real thing.
- Fueled by their rising spending power and familiarity with Western film and TV characters, Chinese shoppers are stocking up on licensed entertainment merchandise such as “Minions” school bags, Mickey Mouse sweatshirts and Bart Simpson baseball caps.
- The fakes haven’t gone away by any means. But there’s a growing number of Chinese consumers who are willing to pay more for authentic goods.
Saudi Arabia Drops Tax Rates for Oil Firms Ahead of Aramco IPO
- Under changes announced by a royal decree, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, said its tax rate would fall to 50% from 85%, bringing the company “in line with international benchmarks.” The decree didn’t address the 20% royalty Aramco pays the kingdom.
TODAY in HISTORY
- President Andrew Johnson vetoed a civil rights bill which later became the 14th amendment (1866)
- The first long-distance telephone call was made, between Boston and New York (1884)
- Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier and first secretary of the Communist Party (1958)
- Pan American and KLM Boeing 747s collided on a runway in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands. The 542 people killed is the highest ever for an aviation disaster (1977)
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