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U.S. stocks stand pat as Facebook leads earnings slate

July 28, 2021, 11:16 PM UTC

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Good evening, Bull Sheeters. This is Fortune finance reporter Rey Mashayekhi, filling in with a special PM edition of the newsletter while Bernhard’s on break.

Wednesday brought more earnings from some of America’s most influential corporations, as well as the Fed’s latest economic outlook and progress on infrastructure talks in D.C. Elsewhere, the Great Chinese Tech Rout of 2021 finally abated.

Markets update

U.S.

  • Markets in New York were mostly flat, with the S&P down fractionally, the Dow slipping -0.4%, and the Nasdaq gaining 0.7%.
  • Facebook was the big name on Wednesday’s earnings slate, reporting a strong quarter spurred by a jump in ad prices — though near-term growth concerns saw its stock sink more than 3% in after-hours trading. Other notable earnings reports included PayPal, Ford, and Qualcomm.
  • The Federal Reserve indicated that an improving U.S. economy could see the central bank dial back its aggressive bond-buying program later this year.
  • The U.S. Senate voted to begin debate on an infrastructure package on Wednesday night after a bipartisan group of senators and the White House struck a deal.
  • The U.S. trade deficit widened further in June.
  • Citizens Financial is acquiring New Jersey-based regional bank Investors Bank in a $3.5 billion deal.
  • Donald Trump’s son-in-law and former White House adviser Jared Kushner is planning a new investment firm.

Europe

  • The European bourses had a bumper day across the board. London’s FTSE and Frankfurt’s DAX picked up 0.3%, the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 1.2%, and the pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.7%.
  • After years of cost cuts, major European banks like Barclays and Deutsche Bank are looking to grow their investment banking businesses again.
  • The Bank of England looks set to maintain its aggressive stimulus measures.
  • The UK’s financial regulator is pushing for more diversity in corporate boardrooms and calling for 40% of board members to be women.

Asia

  • Asian markets were mixed, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rebounding 1.5% — snapping a slide that had seen the benchmark index lose more than 8% over two days amid Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on China’s private sector. Tokyo’s Nikkei shed -1.4%, while on mainland China, Shanghai’s SSE Composite fell -0.6% and Shenzhen’s SZSE Component slipped less than -0.1%.
  • China’s securities regulators convened a meeting of major investment banks to ease concerns about the government’s crackdown on the private sector. Meanwhile, bankers believe the crackdown will hinder Hong Kong’s IPO pipeline in the second half of the year.
  • The Biden administration has nominated one of the prosecutors leading the U.S. government’s case against Huawei to a Commerce Department post overseeing exports to China.
  • India’s economy continues to struggle as the country recovers from its deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Elsewhere

  • Gold notched up to over $1,800/ounce.
  • The dollar dipped again.
  • Crude oil ticked up again, with Brent moving ever closer to $75/barrel.
  • Bitcoin broke the $40,000 barrier once more.

***

That’s all for now; you’ll find today’s reads below. Have a wonderful evening and see you tomorrow.

Rey Mashayekhi
@reym12
rey.mashayekhi@fortune.com

As always, you can write to bullsheet@fortune.com or reply to this email with suggestions and feedback.

Today's reads

As Robinhood prepares to IPO, regulators investigate employee meme stock trading by Jessica Mathews

Evaluating the true value of Amazon’s stock by Geoff Colvin

Walmart to sell e-commerce tech to smaller rivals in latest challenge to Amazon by Phil Wahba

The IMF warns cryptocurrency is not suitable as legal tender by Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez

Crypto traders anonymous: A new addiction takes hold for many as cryptocurrency goes mainstream by Zara Stone

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