Friday, August 24, 2018
What to watch today
At 10:00 a.m. ET, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will speak at the annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium with a speech set to take on the topic of monetary policy in a changing economy. In a note ahead of the report, Brett Ryan at Deutsche Bank said, “At Jackson Hole, we do not expect Fed Chair Powell’s speech to move market expectations in either a more hawkish or dovish direction. In our view, Powell’s discussion will likely focus on longer-term issues for monetary policy, much as Wednesday’s FOMC minutes did.”
Microsoft hit with U.S. bribery probe: Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is being investigated by U.S. authorities over potential bribery and corruption related to software sales in Hungary, according to people familiar with the matter. The investigation follows a series of similar probes into Microsoft business partners that surfaced in 2013 in five other countries. [The Wall Street Journal]
China to keep hitting back at U.S. over trade: China will keep hitting back at Washington as more U.S. trade tariffs are imposed, but its counter-strikes will remain as targeted as possible to avoid harming businesses in China — whether Chinese or foreign, Finance Minister Liu Kun said. He said that the Chinese government will increase its spending to support workers and the unemployed who are hurt by the trade conflict. [Reuters]
Gov’t acts to stop high-tax states from skirting $10K cap: The Trump administration has laid down rules aimed at preventing residents in high-tax states from avoiding a new cap on widely popular state and local tax deductions. The action under the new Republican tax law pits the government against high-tax, heavily Democratic states in an election-year showdown. [AP]
Alibaba says it’s well-positioned in a US-China trade war: The U.S.-China trade war doesn’t seem to be hurting Alibaba’s bottom line for now. On Thursday, the e-commerce giant reported a strong quarter with revenue growth of 61%, sending the stock (BABA) up by as much as 4% in early Thursday morning trading. [Yahoo Finance]
Google removes YouTube channels and web accounts tied to Iran: Google has deleted 39 YouTube channels and 19 other web pages connected to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, a state-run media outlet, citing “attempted state-sponsored hacking and influence campaigns.” The move comes after Facebook and Twitter pulled hundreds of social accounts tied to Iran for similar reasons. [Bloomberg]
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