Wall Street closes lower on stronger dollar, mixed data
Mixed data and gains for the dollar saw triple-digit losses for the Dow Tuesday. Many experts believe that the data including house prices could show enough strength in the economy for the Fed to begin its interest rate hikes. Asian markets have closed mixed for Wednesday’s session with Wall Street’s weak lead hitting sentiment although Tokyo and Shanghai have again managed to outperform the region and have closed higher. Greek debt remains a big concern in Europe with the country still in talks to avoid a default on its next loan repayment. However the markets remain positive overall.
US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending higher (Brent $64.20, WTI $58.54 at 6.10am) Gold is trending lower.
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Costco Wholesale, Palo Alto Networks and Toll Brothers are among the companies reporting results today.
Snapchat plans IPO
Snapchat, the social media network that’s a favorite of teens but is also gaining ground with businesses, has announced that it will launch an IPO rather than consider selling to a larger firm. Snapchat’s 24 year old CEO Evan Spiegel turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook two years ago but the firm could be valued as high as $19 billion according to analysts. Speaking Tuesday Spiegel did not give any more details about the timing of an IPO.
US set to push G7 towards Greek settlement
The G7 leaders meet from late Wednesday through to the end of the week and it’s expected that the US will be pushing for a deal for Greece to end the country’s debt woes. Other items on the agenda include keeping the global economy on track and the growing importance of the Chinese Yuan.
IRS targeted by cyber criminals
The IRS has confirmed that its website had been used by a “sophisticated” gang of criminals to steal data on 104,000 American taxpayers. The breach used a feature of the site called “Get Transcript” which allows users to download multiple tax forms which can be required when applying for a mortgage for example. CNN reports that the thieves attempted to download 200,000 forms and succeeded with around half; 15,000 were then used to apply for tax refunds. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen believes that the main purpose of the attack was to gain financial information that could be used to open lines of credit and bank accounts.