Bulls in the markets | Calamatta Cuschieri

Equity markets climb, Ford seeks higher operating profits & Samsung jumps on the environmental bandwagon

U.S. stocks closed higher Friday with investor confidence boosted by a strong earnings season so far. The Dow rose 183.96 points, or 0.8%, to end at 24,737.20 logging its fifth-straight weekly gain while the S&P 500 climbed 22.43 points, or 0.9%, to 2,664.76. The Nasdaq Composite gained 91.40 points, or 1.3%, to 7,164.86. In Washington, Trump and Democratic congressional leaders came to a surprise agreement to reopen the government until Feb. 15, for now ending a 35-day partial shutdown.

European markets also ended higher with the financial and automotive sectors posting the biggest gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 ended 2.17 points higher at 357.84, a gain of 0.6% - its fourth-straight weekly gain. Germany’s DAX 30 was the best gainer performer, adding 1.4% to finish at 11,281.79 whilst France’s CAC 40 rose 1.1% to 4,925.82. The UK’s FTSE 100 on the other hand slipped 0.1% lower to 6,809.22.

Maltese equities closed higher for a third session in a row, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index advancing 0.37% to end at 8,823.73 driven by strong gains in Malta International Airport, International Hotel Investments, GO and RS2 Software on the back of high volumes.

Ford aims for higher profits

CEO of Ford Motor Co, Jim Hackett, told employees the No. 2 U.S. automaker would not accept last year’s “mediocre” results and said the company was aiming to nearly double its annual operating profit. Ford announced its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday, reporting a 2018 operating profit of $7 billion with a profit margin of 4.4 percent, down from 6.1 percent in 2017. Ford said last week that its target for operating margin was more than 8 percent.

Ford is restructuring its global operations, including recent plans to make cuts in Europe. It also has announced an alliance in commercial vehicles with Germany’s Volkswagen, with plans to jointly develop electric and self-driving vehicles, in moves meant to save billions of dollars.

Samsung plans environmentally friendly packaging

Samsung Electronics Co. announced it would replace plastic packaging for its products in favor of more environmentally sustainable materials. The company will also make some product changes, such as eliminating the glossy exterior on phone chargers in exchange for matte finishes, thus reducing the use for plastic protective film in shipping.

The new materials, such as paper and recycled/bio-based plastics, will be phased in during the first half of this year, the South Korean tech giant said in a statement. “We are committed to recycling resources and minimizing pollution coming from our products,” Gyeong-bin Jeon, head of Samsung’s Global Customer Satisfaction Center, said in a statement. “We will adopt more environmentally sustainable materials even if it means an increase in cost.”

 

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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