Market news for Tuesday, May 14

(Illustration: Camille Charbonneau)


• Joe Biden sharply raises US tariffs on billions of Chinese chips and cars. US President Joe Biden has unveiled a series of sharp tariff increases on a range of Chinese imports, including electric vehicles, microchips and medical products, risking a confrontation with Beijing at the end of this year’s election, aiming to win over voters who do not appreciate his economic policies. .

• China’s Alibaba beats quarterly revenue estimates, but profits fall. China’s Alibaba Group beat analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter sales as a focus on lower-priced products in response to cautious consumer spending helped boost electronics sales in three months.

• Alphabet to highlight AI innovation at the developer conference. Alphabet is expected to announce how it is developing artificial intelligence across its business, a day after OpenAI demonstrated a new artificial intelligence model that can work with sounds and images in addition to text.

• Home Depot’s comparable sales fall more than expected due to lower demand. Home Depot reported a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly sales as prudent U.S. consumers spent less on big-ticket items and focused on minor home repairs.

• Alberta urges Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau to avoid port and rail strikes. The oil- and grain-producing province of Alberta on Monday called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do everything in his power to avoid potentially devastating strikes by rail and port workers.


Futures on Canada’s main stock index are muted, while Wall Street futures remain steady ahead of a U.S. producer prices report and remarks from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell that could provide clues on the outlook for Fed interest rate cuts. Equities in continental Europe remained muted as investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of US inflation data. In Asia, Chinese stocks fell on renewed concerns over US tariffs, while the Nikkei closed higher ahead of local results. Meanwhile, the US dollar remained virtually stable while gold prices rose. Elsewhere, oil prices were little changed after OPEC maintained its forecast for global oil demand.

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• Canadian National Rail: The company announced on Monday the suspension of rail service between Fort St. John and Fort Nelson in British Columbia and north of High Level in Alberta due to advancing wildfires. “We are working with affected consumers as our teams assess the damage and identify necessary repairs,” the company said. Fort Nelson, largely evacuated, is on the line of one of the season’s first major wildfires, which has spread to 10,000 hectares in western Canada and is sending plumes of smoke into five provinces and parts of the northern United States.

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