The US in the spotlight | Calamatta Cuschieri

Market news, US airlines cut China routes and Tech giants dismantle Iranian propaganda

Two US airlines cut routes between China and the US, due to tough competition from state-backed Chinese rivals
Two US airlines cut routes between China and the US, due to tough competition from state-backed Chinese rivals

US stocks closed higher for the fourth session on Tuesday. The S&P 500 notched an intraday record in line with optimism over US-China trade talks, amid solid corporate earnings and a healthy economy. The gains come on the day stocks tie a record for the longest bull market in history. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent to 25,822.29; the S&P 500 advanced 0.2 percent after touching an intraday high of 2,873.23, leaving it 0.3 percent off the record close notched on January 26th. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.5 percent to 7,859.17.

European shares closed slightly higher; investors on both sides of the Atlantic have a cautious but optimistic view of trade talks set to be held this week. The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.3 percent higher, in line with Wall Street’s S&P 500 index. While investors hope trade talks will ease tension, they remain cautious as President Trump stated he did not expect much progress.

US airlines cut China routes

On Tuesday, two US airlines cut routes between China and the US, highlighting the increasingly tough competition from state-backed Chinese rivals as they expand fleets with cut-price tickets. American Airlines, the largest US carrier by passengers, said it will drop a route between Chicago and Shanghai, cancelling the second direct flight in four months. Hawaiian Airlines stated it would suspend its thrice-weekly nonstop service between Honolulu and Beijing, citing slower-than-expected growth in demand.

Competition from Chinese airlines is expected to growth the awaited easing of China’s one route one airline policy, which would allow more local airlines to fly long-haul international routes. US airlines are at a disadvantage, as the majority of China’s demand is generated locally.

Tech giants dismantle Iranian propaganda

Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., and Alphabet Inc. collectively removed hundreds of accounts tied to Iranian actors that a cybersecurity firm stated were promoting Iran’s geopolitical agenda globally, which pushed narratives in line with the country’s interests. The campaign was aimed at users in the US, Britain, Latin America, and the Middle East up through this month.

Russia has been linked to similar online influence campaigns, including efforts to sow political divisions among US voters.

Bad day for President Trump

In New York, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony counts of tax and bank fraud and campaign finance violations. In Virginia, a jury found Manafort guilty of eight separate felonies relating to felony tax fraud, failure to report a foreign bank account, and bank fraud.

Disclaimer: This article was issued by Lauriann Azzopardi, junior investment advisor 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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