Mobile World Congress show canceled because of coronavirus fears
Mobile World Congress, one of the largest and best-known smartphone conferences, has been canceled out of fears over the coronavirus. John Hoffman, chief executive of show organizer GSMA, said in an email that the outbreak has made it "impossible" to hold the event. Show organizers had begged the host city of Barcelona to pull the plug on the show later this month after at least a dozen tech companies dropped out of the show. AT&T Inc. T, +0.17%, Intel Corp. INTC, +0.15%, Nvidia Corp. NVDA, +1.21%, Facebook Inc. FB, +1.79%, Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, +1.39%, Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson ERIC, +2.34%, LG Electronics Inc. [s:KR: 066570], Sony Corp. SNE, +0.48%, and Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +0.70% were among those who bowed out. "Due to the outbreak and continued concerns about novel coronavirus, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Mobile World Congress 2020," an Amazon spokesperson told MarketWatch on Monday.
Gold Futures Settle Marginally Higher
Gold futures settled slightly higher on Wednesday, riding on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee that the central bank would purchase government bonds to support the economy in the event of a downturn.
A fairly strong dollar limited the yellow metal’s uptick.
The dollar index rose to 98.95, gaining nearly 0.25%, after staying a bit sluggish slightly above the flat line earlier in the day.
Gold futures for April ended up $1.50, or about 0.1%, at $1,571.60 an ounce.
On Tuesday, gold futures for April ended down $9.40, or about 0.6%, at $1,570.10 an ounce.
Silver futures for March ended down $0.100 at $17.497 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.6000 per pound, gaining $0.0170 for the session.
Gold prices edged lower earlier in the session on Wednesday amid slightly easing worries about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
According to reports, the growth rate of new coronavirus cases in mainland China has slowed to the lowest since January 30.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping told him the deadly virus will be gone by April as temperatures begin rising.
Also, expectations of additional stimulus announcements from China prompted investors to seek riskier assets.
Home Prices Surge in U.S. as Low Mortgage Rates Attract Buyers
Buyers are rushing into the U.S. housing market to take advantage of falling borrowing costs. Now, they’re facing rising prices.
- The median price of an existing single-family home gained 6.6% in the fourth quarter, hitting $274,900, according to the National Association of Realtors. That was the biggest year-over-year gain in nearly three years. By comparison, the annual gain in the third quarter was 5.1%.
- Buyers are jumping into the housing market to take advantage of low rates after a spike in borrowing costs in late 2018 caused a slow down.
- Prices are jumping in high-profile markets as well as cities that have been considered more affordable. Trenton, New Jersey, values increased 18.2%, while they climbed 14% in Boise, Idaho, and 11% in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- While most expensive cities had increases, prices in San Jose, California, which faces an affordability crisis, fell 0.3% to $1.25 million. Elsewhere in California, prices climbed 3.9% in San Francisco, 4.6% in San Diego and 7.2% in Los Angeles. On Long Island, Nassau County saw prices rise 3.7%.
Ten-Year Note Auction Attracts Strong Demand
Following yesterday’s release of the results of its auction of three-year notes, the Treasury Department revealed on Wednesday that its auction of $27 billion worth of ten-year notes attracted well above average demand.
The ten-year note auction drew a high yield of 1.622 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.58.
Last month, the Treasury sold $24 billion worth of ten-year notes, drawing a high yield of 1.869 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.45.
The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.
The ten previous ten-year note auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.41.
On Tuesday, the Treasury revealed that this month’s auction of $38 billion worth of three-year notes attracted above average demand.
The Treasury is scheduled to announce the results of its auction of $19 billion worth of thirty-year bonds on Thursday.
Trump says he does not mind if Philippines cuts military pact with US
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (Feb 12) he would not mind if the Philippines ends a military agreement with the United States.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday announced the termination of a two-decade-old Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, a move US Defence Secretary Mark Esper has called “unfortunate.”
The decision will take effect in 180 days.
Trump added that he has a good relationship with Duterte.
Cisco earnings: Stock dips 1% after results slightly exceed estimates
Cisco Systems Inc.’s stock dipped 1% in extended trading Wednesday after the company reported second-quarter profits and revenue that slightly edged Wall Street’s estimates.
The computer-networking giant said it racked up net income of $2.9 billion, or 68 cents per share, compared with expectations of $3.2 billion, or 66 cents per share, based on analysts polled by FactSet.
Cisco CSCO, +1.63% said revenue declined 4% year-over-year to $12.01 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected $11.97 billion.
Cisco also declared a quarterly dividend of 36 cents per common share, up 3% over the previous quarter.
“We executed well this quarter by delivering strong margins and EPS growth while driving more software and subscriptions,” Cisco Chief Financial Officer Kelly Kramer said in a statement. As they had in the previous quarter, company executives referred to longer decision-buying cycles amid a general slowdown in tech spending.
See also: Cisco confirms fears of a ‘broad-based’ slowdown in tech spending
Cisco shares are up 5.1% over the past 12 months. The broader S&P 500 index SPX, +0.65% is up 22.8% over the past year.