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4:11 p.m. ET: Buffett’s Berkshire added Occidental, reduces Wells Fargo stake: Filing
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway added Occidental to its holdings, purchasing 7.47 million shares during the third quarter valued at $332 million according to Bloomberg. Also during the quarter, Berkshire also cut its stake in Wells Fargo by 31.4 million shares to 8.6% of shares outstanding.
4:01 p.m. ET: Markets close largely unchanged
The S&P 500 closed at a record high Thursday, at 2.69 points higher, at the end of a choppy day. The Dow and Nasdaq closed slightly lower.
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.08%, or 2.59 points
Dow (^DJI): -0.01%, or 1.63 points
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -0.04%, or 3.08 points
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): -4.7 bps to 1.822%
Gold (GC=F): +0.53% to $1,471.00 per ounce
3:39 p.m. ET: Google antitrust probe to expand to search and Android
The ongoing antitrust probe into Google by 50 attorneys general will expand to include the company’s search and Android businesses, CNBC reports.
2:24 p.m. ET: Apple News+ struggles to add subscribers
Apple News+ has struggled to add subscribers since initial sign-ons when the paid service launched in March, according to sources interviewed by CNBC.
2:15 p.m. ET: McClatchy, Tribune revive merger talks
McClatchy and Tribune Publishing have revived talks of a merger that executives of both companies say would involve large cost cuts, Bloomberg reports.
12:01 p.m. ET: And then there were...21?
With former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick’s entrance into the already jam-packed field of 2020 contenders, there are now 19 Democrats and 2 Republicans vying to take down President Donald Trump next November.
11:53 a.m. ET: Powell says chances of US economic bust are remote
In his testimony, Powell said the risk of the U.S. economy crashing are slim, given that there aren’t signs of overheating, according to a Reuters dispatch from the hearing.
"The U.S. economy is the star economy these days," Powell told the House Budget Committee. "We're growing at 2%, right in that range, more than any of the other advanced economies are growing. There's no reason that can't continue."
11:00 a.m. ET: Powell’s appearance before Congress continues
The Fed chair began his 2nd appearance in front of the House Financial Services Committee at 10am, and so far there haven’t been any fireworks. Markets have turned slightly lower in listless trading, but remain a hair under record highs.
10:29 a.m. ET: Santa’s in a shopping mood
According to a newly-released Morning Consult poll, Americans are poised to spend with abandon this Christmas season, despite economic uncertainty. “Consumers are fundamentally stronger than they were in September of this year, and those fundamental improvements have translated into increased consumer confidence,” the organization said.
10:15 a.m. ET: More on Walmart’s Q3
Walmart bounces off a new intraday record after its earnings beat expectations, with Q3 results bolstered by surging online traffic and strong U.S. sales.
In a new report, analytics firm Placer.ai dug into retailer foot traffic, which showed that Walmart saw a traffic bump of over 5% in the quarter ended September. Placer.ai also found that visitors spend more time in Walmart’s Supercenters than most other competitors, including Target (TGT), Kroger (KG) or Costco (COST).
10:07 a.m. ET: Fed speakers out in force
With everything else happening, there’s lots of central bank fodder to chew on. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell is on Capitol Hill for the 2nd day, while his colleagues are around the country giving speeches. Thursday’s prepared remarks, however, are identical to those given yesterday.
9:32 a.m. ET: Trump promotes Walmart’s big quarter, dismisses trade impact
Just after the open, the president bragged about Walmart’s big quarterly earnings beat, which sent its stock to a new high.
Walmart announces great numbers. No impact from Tariffs (which are contributing $Billions to our Treasury). Inflation low (do you hear that Powell?)!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2019
Yet back in the spring, Walmart warned it would pass along tariff costs to consumers in the form of higher prices. Management has warned that it’s monitoring the trade war in an effort to mitigate its effects, while the National Retail Federation has steadily hammered home the drag on the sector. And in recent weeks, retailers have front-loaded their purchases, in part to get ahead of the next round of surcharges.
9:30 a.m. ET: Wall Street flat to weaker at the open
Markets opened a touch weaker, trying to hang on to record levels set on Wednesday. Investors have a lot to digest on Thursday, including the latest snag in U.S.-China trade negotiations, a parade of Fed policymakers giving speeches, ongoing Congressional impeachment hearings, and Walmart’s (WMT) quarterly earnings beat that drove its stock to a new record in pre-market action.
Here’s where the major benchmarks opened the session:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): -3.5 points, or 0.11%
Dow (^DJI): -3.5 points, or flat
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -24.77 points, or -0.28%
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): -3.1 bps to 1.838%
WTI crude oil prices: (CL=F): +0.58% to $57.45 per barrel
Gold (GC=F): +0.42% to $1,469.50 per ounce