S&P closes higher; Europe sees gains but Asia mostly lower
The S&P 500 index broke through the 2,000 mark yesterday before dipping below but still ended the day on a record high. Although data has been mixed recently the gains show the general level of optimism and these increases were across all the main sectors. In Europe, forthcoming talks over Ukraine and the likelihood of stimulus measures from the ECB saw markets rise yesterday but dip this morning and the UK’s FTSE100 was up after a public-holiday break from trading yesterday. In Asia, markets were largely down with Japan in particularly prompting caution with some weak output data. US futures are edging higher.
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index is due at 9am ET.
The Conference Board consumer confidence index data is out at 10am ET.
Best Buy report earnings before the bell this morning with Smith & Wesson’s results due after the close.
Amazon to buy Twitch
If you’re not a gamer, this may sound odd to you; even if you are a gamer you may not be a fan of watching other people play games. Many are though and that’s why Amazon wants a piece of the action. The company has announced that it is to acquire leading website Twitch for $1.1 billion. The deal will give Amazon access to Twitch’s massive audience; 55 million unique visitors a month from all over the world. Twitch allows gamers to ‘broadcast’ their gameplay to others and shares advertising revenue with those gamers; some are receiving six-figure sums. Amazon sees a huge potential to grow this new area of its business and fought off competition from the likes of Google who were also trying to get Twitch. Read the full story.
Warren Buffett to help fund BK deal
It’s reported that Warren Buffett is helping to finance the proposed takeover of Canada’s Tim Hortons coffee chain by Burger King. While details are sketchy, it’s suggested that Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. would provide around $2.5 billion for the deal, around 25 per cent of the total. Forecasters say that Buffett’s involvement could fuel interest by other investors. Read the full story.
US credit card users paying on time
The latest stats on credit card repayments show that credit card payments going more than 90 days overdue fell to the lowest level in seven years according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. The level of debt on credit cards increased slightly in the second quarter and the average is now $5,234 per borrower. Read the full story.