Mixed markets | Calamatta Cuschieri

US leads over Europe, Disney outbids Comcast, & OPEC hammer out upcoming policy

U.S. markets closed mostly higher Wednesday, with recent trade being driven by uncertainty surrounding trade policy, which has coloured investor sentiment since March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 42.41 points, or 0.2%, lower to 24,657.80, recording its seventh straight daily loss while the S&P 500 index added 4.73 points, or 0.2%, to 2,767.32, with seven of its 11 main sectors closing in positive territory. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at a record, rising 55.93 points, or 0.7%, to 7,781.51, fuelled by gains in the Biotech sector.

European markets closed lower, led by losses in the mining sector. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 closed up 0.31 percent, with tobacco companies among biggest gainers after a positive broker note, helping London’s blue-chip index bounce off a six-week low. Germany's DAX closed 0.14 percent higher with Europe's banking, media and health care stocks among those that posted solid gains, on the back of corporate news.

Disney ups its bid for Fox

Walt Disney Co raised its bid for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s coveted media assets to $71.3 billion on Wednesday, sweetening its deal with cash as it looks to upend Comcast Corp’s $65 billion offer. Disney and Comcast are looking to bulk up their content with Fox’s stable of well-known television shows and movie franchises, such as the “X-Men” superheroes and “The Simpsons,” to better compete with fast-growing digital rivals Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

The new cash-or-stock offer would be an incentive for Fox’s largest shareholder, Rupert Murdoch, who owns 17 percent voting shares along with his family. He would be hit with a large capital gains tax bill under Comcast’s all-cash offer. Disney’s previous offer was all stock. Fox shares jumped 7.1 percent to $47.88, while Comcast dipped 0.2 percent at $32.75. Disney slipped 0.1 percent to $106.01.

OPEC meeting in Vienna

With two days until ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries formally meet in Vienna to decide on policy, delegates attempted to find a plan to boost production and ease consumer anxiety about high oil prices that wouldn’t provoke a veto. The talks, held as the cartel hosted an international energy conference attended by hundreds of officials, executives and investors, will shape oil prices, energy stocks and currencies of petroleum-exporting countries for months to come.

After sitting down with counterparts from several countries, Iranian Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said he was optimistic about the outcome of the OPEC meeting, a marked contrast to comments the previous day when he said a deal was unlikely. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said every minister he’s spoken to agrees that it’s time for the group to change course.

Disclaimer: This article was issued by Peter Petrov, Junior Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

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