Wall Street Breakfast: What Moved Markets This Week

by: Wall Street Breakfast

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all lost more than 5% for the week to mark their worst weekly performance since early 2016. After a volatile week in the bond market, the 10-year U.S. Treasury ended with a 2.83% yield and the two-year Treasury finished at 2.06%. The VIX fear gauge closed at 29.06 after trading as high as 50.30. Check out Seeking Alpha's latest Stocks to Watch article for a preview of next week's action.

Economy

Monday:

"Canada is willing to walk away from NAFTA if the U.S. proposes a bad deal. We will not be pushed around," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a town hall event in Nanaimo, British Columbia. "Canceling it would be extremely harmful and disruptive to people in the U.S.... We are going to keep negotiating in good faith, [but] we are not going to take any old deal."

Wednesday:

China is pushing back against mounting trade pressure from the Trump administration, filing challenges to new U.S. tariffs on solar panels and washing machines at the World Trade Organization. The petitions follow an announcement by the Chinese Commerce Ministry on Sunday that it was investigating American exporters of sorghum for allegedly "dumping" the grain below cost into the Chinese market.

Thursday:

California has rejected the Trump administration's massive offshore drilling proposal, vowing that "not a single drop" of new fuel will ever come ashore in the state. The threat to deny pipeline permits for transporting crude off the Pacific Coast is the latest step by states trying to halt the biggest proposed expansion in decades of federal oil and gas leasing.

Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly drawing up plans for an instant break from key EU regulations after Brexit, including some on financial services, in a drive to get Britain out of its defensive crouch. The blueprint will also involve quitting the EU's customs regime to allow the U.K. to strike new free-trade agreements and replacing the EU's Common Agricultural Policy.

Friday:

China plans to launch its long-awaited crude oil futures contract on March 26, potentially shaking up pricing of the world's largest commodity market. Implications for the petrodollar? The Shanghai International Energy Exchange will allow Chinese buyers to lock in oil prices and pay in local currency, while foreign traders will also be allowed to invest because the exchange is registered in Shanghai's free trade zone.

Stocks

Tuesday:

Disney is expanding its Star Wars universe, hiring the creators behind Game of Thrones to write another series of films set in the galaxy far, far away. More content? ESPN Plus, the company's first direct-to-consumer streaming service that will launch in spring 2018, will be priced at $4.99 per month. Shares in Disney (NYSE:DIS), which also reported a quarterly profit that topped forecasts, rose nearly 3% in AH trading following the results.

Wednesday:

Steve Wynn has resigned as CEO and Chairman of Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct that surfaced in recent weeks. "I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles," he declared. The company has named current President Matt Maddox as its new CEO and Boone Wayson as Non-Executive Chairman.

Elon Musk wants "a new space race" after a major Falcon Heavy launch success that will "encourage other companies and countries" to be ambitious in the same way as SpaceX (SPACE). At a fraction of the cost, Falcon Heavy is both more powerful and capable of lifting more weight than the biggest rockets offered by United Launch Alliance - a joint venture between Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT).

Thursday:

Despite posting its worst-ever quarterly loss, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is sticking with its revised output targets for the Model 3. The automaker has "made progress" in overcoming its early production troubles, telling shareholders it expects to generate its first sustained operating profit sometime this year. What about the the Model Y? Tesla will begin making capital investments for the crossover in the second half of 2018.

Qualcomm's board has unanimously rejected the revised $121B buyout offer from Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), but proposed meeting its peer to see whether they can address what it called the bid's "serious deficiencies in value and certainty." The response seems to strike a balance between continued resistance and heeding the calls of some Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) shareholders, who urged the company to engage with its rival.