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Google founders step down, put Pichai in charge of Alphabet
Topic of the day
Larry Page and Sergey Brin guided Google from a search startup to a massive conglomerate, will remain board members and controlling shareholders Alphabet Inc. will enter the 2020s without two leaders who have been a constant presence since Google was launched out of a Silicon Valley garage more than 20 years ago. Alphabet (GOOGL) Chief Executive Larry Page and President Sergey Brin are exiting active management of the company immediately, the Google parent company announced Tuesday afternoon. Sundar Pichai, who has been chief executive of Google since the company transformed into the conglomerate known as Alphabet, will now function as chief executive of Alphabet as well as Google. "With Alphabet now well-established, and Google and the Other Bets operating effectively as independent companies, it's the natural time to simplify our management structure," Page and Brin wrote in a letter posted Tuesday afternoon (https://blog.google/inside-google/alphabet/letter-from-larry-and-sergey/). "We've never been ones to hold on to management roles when we think there's a better way to run the company. And Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a President."
The SMI slumped 1.1 percent to 10,233 points Tuesday as worries of escalation in the international trade dispute grew. After announcing new punitive tariffs against Argentina and Brazil Monday, US President Donald Trump sent markets south by stating it would likely be better to wait until after next year’s elections for a US-China trade deal. The punitive tariffs of up to USD 2.4 billion he threatened against France would likely hit luxury goods makers, sending French luxury stocks Kering and LVMH down sharply, with Richemont down 1.9 percent and Swatch 1.5 percent in their wake. UBS slid 2.7 percent and Credit Suisse 2.9 percent. Cyclical stock ABB fell 1.0 percent. Defensive heavyweights Novartis, Roche and Nestle fell by between 0.9 percent and 1.1 percent. Outside the SMI, SIG Combibloc rose 0.3 percent on the news of its admission to the Stoxx Europe 600 on 23 December, while Bucher Industries fell 1.5 percent and BB Biotech 0.2 percent on the news they are set to leave the index.
European stocks were mostly lower as concerns about global trade tensions weigh on investor sentiment. Speaking at the NATO summit in London, President Donald Trump said "in some ways it's better to wait" until after the November 2020 presidential election before signing a deal with China. Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire threatened "strong European riposte" if the U.S. follows through on plans to place tariffs on a number of French goods. "Global risk assets have taken a hit today, with trade-war developments hitting a triple whammy of bad news," Joshua Mahony at IG Group said. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.6%, the FTSE 100 dropped 1.7% and the CAC-40 shed 1.0% while the DAX rose 0.2%. Italy's largest bank, UniCredit SpA (-0,5%), ruled out targeting big acquisitions as it pledged share buybacks and dividend increases, part of a four-year plan that also includes cuts in jobs and costs. The bank said it would focus on growing organically amid a challenging economic environment, after struggling to increase its share price in comparison to peers in recent years, despite progress under Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 350 points intraday after President Trump suggested a trade war with China could continue well into next year while also threatening new tariffs on several more countries. Twenty-nine of the 30 stocks in the blue-chip index fell, from tech giant Apple to drugstore owner Walgreens Boots Alliance. The index's 1.3% decline would be its first drop of more than 1% since early October, if the losses hold through the closing bell. The Dow and other major indexes pulled back after Mr. Trump said he had "no deadline" for reaching a trade accord with China during a meeting with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary-general. He added that he liked "the idea of waiting until after the election" to reach a deal.The Dow industrials fell 364 points to 27417 in recent trading, on pace for its biggest single-day decline since Oct. 2. The S&P 500 declined 1%, while the Nasdaq Composite also slipped 1%. Including Tuesday's losses, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are each down more than 2% from their Nov. 27 all-time highs, a mark Mr. Trump had touted on Twitter just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Trade-sensitive stocks led the Dow industrials lower. Shares of Caterpillar fell 2.1% along with other industrial stalwarts, including 3M and Boeing . Apple also fell, shedding 2.3%. Merck was the only blue-chip stock in the green, rising less than 0.1%. Banks stumbled alongside the pullback in bond yields, which tends to hurt lenders' profitability. Shares of Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase fell 2.8% and 1.8%, respectively.
Most Asian markets were sharply lower, mirroring Tuesday's global losses, and trade tensions could escalate further after Congress late Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill condemning China's mass detention of ethnic Muslims, and called for sanctions against some officials responsible.
U.S. Treasury prices rose intraday, pulling down yields, as investors steered away from stocks and other risky assets after President Donald Trump said it might be better to hold off on a U.S.-China trade deal until after the 2020 presidential election. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 4.9 basis points to 1.786%, while the 2-year Treasury yield declined 4 basis points to 1.572%.
IR lowers the Repsol target to 14,80 (15,80) EUR – Hold
HSBC lowers Michelin to Hold – Target 125 (130) EUR
UBS lowers the Erste Group target to 43 (44) EUR – Buy
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