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International Market Update
- European stocks closed higher Thursday as traders reacted to new fiscal stimulus measures in the United Kingdom. The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed 0.9% higher, with retail stocks leading the gains with a 4.8% rise. The sector was boosted by news of the U.K.’s plans to boost economic activity. U.K. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday announced a series of measures to combat the country’s cost-of-living crisis, including a so-called windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas giants and cost-of-living payments to low-income households and pensioners.
- U.S. stocks rose Thursday, setting Wall Street on track to break a long string of weekly declines. The Dow has fallen for the past eight weeks, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are coming off a seven-week losing streak. However, the market appears to have regained some footing this week as investors hope for inflation to peak and look for value at those levels.
- Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region rose today, with investors keeping an eye on shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong after the Chinese
Hong Kong watched after the Chinese tech giant reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit Thursday. Shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong rose 12.7% after the company on Thursday reported fourth-quarter profit of 7.95 yuan ($1.18) per share (excluding items) on revenue of 204.05 billion yuan ($30.28 billion). This was above analysts’ expectations, who had expected earnings of 7.31 yuan per share on CNY199.25 billion in revenue, according to StreetAccount.
In International News
Twitter shareholders sue Elon Musk and Twitter over messy deal
Twitter shareholders are suing Elon Musk and Twitter itself over the messy acquisition process that is still underway and that has caused Twitter’s stock price to fluctuate wildly. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX disclosed a significant stake in Twitter on April 4 and 10 days later proposed a takeover for $44 billion, or $54.20 per share. In a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday, Twitter shareholders accuse Musk of violating California corporate law in several ways and manipulating the market in the process. One possible violation is that Musk benefited financially by delaying required disclosures about his stake in Twitter and temporarily hiding his plan to join the social network’s board in early April.
Second U.K. antitrust investigation into Google for online ad dominance
The U.K. Competition Commission has launched a new investigation into Google, taking aim at the company’s role in the advertising technology market. It is the second major antitrust investigation targeting Google’s advertising practices in the UK. Earlier this year, the Competition and Markets Authority joined the European Union in launching a separate investigation into Google and Facebook parent Meta over concerns that a 2018 pact between the two companies – known as “Jedi Blue” – restricted competition in digital advertising. The CMA said Thursday it was looking into whether Google’s role in the ad tech industry could distort competition. The Internet giant is a dominant player in the online advertising market.