US Stocks sold off yesterday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged saying the economy has slowed since December. The Fed also mentioned that a second interest rate hike in March was unlikely. Large losses from corporate heavyweights Apple and Boeing accounted for much of the drop in the Dow Industrials. With Apples declining stock price and Googles stock trading higher Apple is close to surrendering the title of world’s largest company to Google.
The US Stock market hasn’t been confident in the economy this year, and now, no longer is the Fed. Yesterday the Fed essentially issued a mea culpa admitting they shouldn’t have raised interest rates in December and that they probably won’t raise rates 4 times in 2016 as they had previously stated.
Facebook reported earnings yesterday after the bell that smashed wall st estimates. Facebook’s earnings were up 39% over the same period last year. The company said that 1.59 billion people globally visited their site at least once a month with 90% of those people using a mobile device to access the site. Mark Zukerberg and team seem to be doing a great job quieting the skeptics (including me) regarding their ability to monetize the business.
Ecommerce giant EBay reported earnings that were in-line with wall streets expectations of 39 cents/share. Revenue for the company was flat year over year, but the company gave guidance for 2016 that was much lower than expected sending the stock 10% lower. It seems that everyone is having a hard time competing with Amazon.
The Chinese central bank is taking steps to try to stop the flood of money leaving the country. The People’s Bank of China is curbing the ability of foreign companies to repatriate their earnings back to their own currency. They are also making it harder to bet against the Yuan and transfer money out of the country. These moves are going to make it difficult for the IMF to designate the Yuan as one of the worlds reserve currencies.