Financial and Economic Brief - March 20, 2018

by © Liberty Publishing, Inc.

Rate Hike Strategy

Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, heads toward his first interest rate increase this week. He may make some changes to reflect the shifting economic conditions, but is as committed to “gradual, moderate rate increases” as his predecessor Janet Yellen sources say. Powell’s focus will be to maintain one of the longest U.S. recoveries for as long as possible. This might mean a policy-tightening cycle that lasts longer, with rates going higher than earlier thought. But a stronger economy does not necessarily mean the Fed is abandoning its “balanced assessment of risks”. Rather, it can give Powell some “wiggle room”.
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Retail Companies against Tariffs

The Trump administration is preparing tariffs against Chinese information technology, telecommunications and consumer products to force changes in Beijing’s intellectual property and investment practices. It is estimated that more than $60 billion in tariffs could be imposed on goods ranging from electronics to apparel, footwear and toys. Several large U.S. retail companies sent President Donald Trump a letter urging him not to impose the tariffs. Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, argued that tariffs would eliminate any benefit the recent tax overhaul provided the economy.
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L’Oreal Purchases ModiFace

L'Oreal has purchased ModiFace, a Canadian firm that specializes in artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology. L’Oreal is hoping ModiFace will bolster its previous work on virtual beauty products. ModiFace's engineers, researchers and scientists are expected to help L’Oreal develop apps and in-store services. The two companies are working on technology that can scan a human face and provide suggestions for skin-care products based on facial wrinkles, pores, hydration levels, and pigmentation. “We really want to invent the future of the beauty experience to help our consumers discover, try and buy... the best products and brands for them,” the chief digital officer at L’Oreal said.
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Latest News

Financial and Economic Brief - April 10, 2018

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• Gradual Rate Hikes, Appropriate - Federal Reserve President Charles Evans, said that he is “optimistic” inflation will reach the Fed’s 2% goal and that slow, gradual rate increases will be appropriate.

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Financial and Economic Brief - March 27, 2018

• Economic Crisis on Horizon over Trade? - A strengthening in U.S.-China trade tensions, which many are expecting from a new round of tariff threats from both sides, would result in an economic crisis.

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Financial and Economic Brief - March 20, 2018

• Rate Hike Strategy - Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, heads toward his first interest rate increase this week.

• Retail Companies against Tariffs - The Trump administration is preparing tariffs against Chinese information technology, telecommunications & consumer products to force changes in Beijing’s intellectual property & investment practices.

• L’Oreal Purchases ModiFace - L'Oreal has purchased ModiFace, a Canadian firm that specializes in artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology.

Financial and Economic Brief - March 13, 2018

• Jobs Grow in February - According to ADP and Moody’s Analytics, companies added 235,000 jobs in the month of February.”

• Change to China’s Constitution - On Sunday China's parliament amended the constitution to remove the limit on the number of terms the president can serve.

• Dropbox Inc. IPO - Dropbox Inc. filed for an initial public offering of 36 million shares, giving the company a value of more than $7 billion at the high end of the pricing range.

Financial and Economic Brief - March 6, 2018

• Trump’s Tariffs - According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, President Donald Trump's tariffs are “no big deal.”

• Stocks Continue to Drop - The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for the fifth straight day as concerns about a global trade war following the President’s threat to impose tariffs kept investors concerned.

• AXA to Acquire XL Group - French insurance company AXA has reached a deal to acquire XL Group for approximately $15.3 billion.