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Morning Brief: US weighs new tariffs on imported cars

Thursday, May 24, 2018

What to watch today

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

On Thursday, politics should once again be top-of-mind for investors after The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday evening reported that President Donald Trump is weighing new tariffs on imported cars, citing national security concerns. Early on Wednesday Trump had tweeted that “big news” would be forthcoming for U.S. automakers.

Now turning to the calendar for Thursday, on the economic data side, investors will get the weekly report on initial jobless claims, home prices for March, existing home sales in April, and the Kansas City Fed’s latest manufacturing activity reading.

And on the earnings front, Best Buy (BBY), Ross Stores (ROST), and The Gap (GPS) will be the notable reporters from the retail sector, while Hormel (HRL), AutoDesk (ADSK), and McKesson (MCK) will also report results on Thursday.

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Top news

China plans tariff cut on wide range of consumer goods: China is planning to reduce import duties on consumer goods ranging from food to cosmetics, people familiar with the matter said. The tariff cuts, which would be effective as early as July 1, would apply to significantly more product lines than a similar reduction on around 200 items announced last year, said the people. [Bloomberg]

US launches criminal probe into bitcoin price manipulationThe Justice Department has opened a criminal probe into whether traders are manipulating the price of bitcoin and other digital currencies, dramatically ratcheting up U.S. scrutiny of red-hot markets that critics say are rife with misconduct, according to four people familiar with the matter. [Bloomberg]

Netflix is now worth more than Comcast: Netflix Inc. (NFLX) overtook cable giant Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) in market value on Wednesday, highlighting the dramatic rise of video streaming at the expense of traditional television. Netflix, the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 Index this year, set a fresh record with a gain of 3.4% on Wednesday, while Comcast fell 1.8%. [Bloomberg]

The NFL just handed Donald Trump a huge win: In a move sure to fuel further controversy, NFL team owners on Wednesday agreed to a new policy regarding players who kneel in protest during the national anthem: The league will now fine teams whose players do not stand for the anthem. It is an outcome sure to please President Donald Trump, who has vocally demanded for the past nine months, in tweets and at rallies, that there be some kind of punishment for players who kneel. [Yahoo Finance]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

The Norfolk-based USS Arlington joins the Parade of Ships as it makes its way past the Statue of Liberty on the opening day of Fleet Week on May 23, 2018 in New York City. Now in its 30th year, Fleet Week brings more than 3,700 U.S. and Canadian service members to Manhattan through Memorial Day. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Editor’s Note: The Morning Brief newsletter is taking a temporary break. While you won’t be receiving the newsletter in your inbox every morning you can go to Yahoo Finance at 6:30 a.m. ET to get the morning’s top news stories, a synopsis of what to watch in markets and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals. We’ll be back very soon!