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Morning Brief: Global trade relations deteriorate

Friday, March 23, 2018

What to watch today

As expected, the world is retaliating against President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies with more protectionist trade policy. On Thursday, the Trump administration announced that it would impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods imported from China. This was followed by a sharp sell-off in the financial markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) shedding 724 points, or 2.9%.

After the U.S. markets closed, China announced reciprocal tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. imports. Investors and traders will continue to monitor developments as global trade relations deteriorate.

Top news

Senate passes $1.3 trillion spending bill: The Senate narrowly averted a government shutdown by passing a $1.3 trillion spending bill early Friday that increases military and domestic spending and strengthens background checks for gun buyers. The 65-32 vote came after Republican conservatives objected to the higher spending and Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky held open the possibility that he’d delay the vote past a Friday midnight deadline that would have triggered a cloture. [Bloomberg]

Wynn sells stake in company he founded, Macau casino Galaxy buys in:  Steve Wynn, the former chief executive of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN), has disposed of his entire 11.8% stake in the firm for $2.1 billion in a dramatic exit of the casino and hotel enterprise he founded over 16 years ago. In an unexpected separate move, Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment said it has agreed to buy 5.3 million primary shares of Wynn Resorts at $175 per share, giving them around a 5% stake in the operator which has resorts in Las Vegas and Macau. [Reuters]

GSK pulls out of $20B race for Pfizer consumer assets: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has withdrawn from the race to buy Pfizer’s (PFE) consumer health care business, the British company said on Friday, endangering an auction the U.S. drugmaker hoped would bring in as much as $20 billion. It was not immediately clear whether there were other offers for the business, which includes Advil painkillers and Centrum vitamins, following this week’s deadline for binding bids. [Reuters]

Dropbox IPO priced higher than expected on strong demand: Dropbox Inc’s initial public offering, the largest tech stock debut in more than a year, was priced at $21 per share, the company announced on Thursday, higher than expected. At $21, the San Francisco-based company will have a market cap of about $9.18 billion on a fully diluted share count. The cloud-based file-storage firm on Wednesday raised the expected price range by $2 from $18 to $20 per share, on the back of strong demand. Dropbox shares are set to start trading on Friday at the Nasdaq under the symbol “DBX.” [Reuters]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. on Feb. 20, 2017, when he announced that McMaster will be the new national security adviser.  Trump announced on Twitter on March 22, 2018, that McMaster is being replaced by former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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