Chinese Regulations Begin to Hit Internet Stocks. Why This Could Be Just the Start.

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Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images

China fined

Alibaba Group Holding

and two

Tencent Holdings

-backed companies on Monday, the latest indication that Chinese internet companies may face heightened regulatory scrutiny that could loom over their stocks in the near-term.

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation levied fines of 500,000 yuan (about $76,500)—small, but the maximum allowed under antimonopoly laws—against Alibaba (ticker: BABA) and China Literature and Shenzhen Hive Box Technology, both backed by Tencent (700.Hong Kong). Regulators said the companies didn’t submit the proper disclosures for past acquisitions. The regulators also said that they would investigate other deals.

The fines come weeks after Chinese regulators unveiled draft antitrust guidelines that analysts said were aimed at the country’s large internet behemoths. Analysts expect more regulatory moves ahead.

“The [Communist] Party has realized that fintech has prospered in the regulatory gray area between finance and technology,” says Rory Green, an

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CEE MARKETS-Currencies higher, stocks mixed as investors eye central bank meetings

By Anita Komuves

BUDAPEST, Dec 14 (Reuters)Central European currencies gained on Monday as the dollar eased and markets were eyeing meetings of the National Bank of Hungary, the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve later this week.

The forint EURHUF= rose 0.23% to 353.60 per euro, adding to its gains after strengthening past its 200-day moving average last week as a deal struck by European Union leaders lifted Hungary and Poland’s veto of the EU budget and virus rescue package.

“The exchange rate shows that the mood is calm after the EU budget deal, and emerging currencies are firming as the dollar weakens,” a Budapest-based FX trader said.

The National Bank of Hungary holds its rate-setting meeting on Tuesday. According to a Reuters poll of analysts, the bank is likely to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.6%. The bank will also publish its latest inflation

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European stocks and U.S. equity futures climb on COVID-19 vaccine optimism and stimulus-deal hopes

a group of people standing in front of a building

© stringer/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images



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European stocks traded higher on Monday, alongside U.S. equity futures, with investors encouraged by COVID-19 vaccine progress and hopes for a stimulus deal out of Washington. No collapse in Brexit talks also lifted sentiment.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.9%, after the index logged a 1% loss last week, snapping a five-week winning streak. The German DAX and the French CAC 40 were up over 1% each.

Gains were less pronounced for the FTSE 100 index which rose 0.5% as the pound surged against the dollar, last up 1.5% to $1.3431. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, agreed on Sunday to go “the extra mile” to reach a post-Brexit trade deal.

The two said that discussions would continue as the legal deadline of Dec. 31 looms. And while Johnson pointed out that both sides

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Revived Brexit hopes lift stocks and sterling

By Marc Jones

LONDON/SYDNEY, Dec 14 (Reuters)Stocks began the week with robust gains as investors gauged the chance of added U.S. fiscal and monetary stimulus, while the British pound rose as a last-gasp extension to Brexit talks dodged a difficult divorce.

Europe opened with stocks .STOXX up 0.75% and the euro up on the dollar .EU after London and Brussels agreed on Sunday to “go the extra mile” to try to reach a trade agreement.

“We are going to give every chance to this agreement … which is still possible,” the European Union’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told journalists before updating envoys from the 27 EU countries on Monday.

“Two conditions aren’t met yet. Free and fair competition … and an agreement which guarantees reciprocal access to markets and waters. And it’s on these points that we haven’t found the right balance with the British. So we

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Are These The Best Green Hydrogen Stocks To Buy This Week? 3 Names To Watch

Do You Have These 3 Top Green Hydrogen Stocks On Your Watchlist This Week?

Green hydrogen stocks have been a buzz word trending in the stock market in recent months. Investors have started to shift their attention to renewable energy. Though most of the attention in the stock market this year has been on electric vehicles (EV) stocks and solar energy stocks, green hydrogen stocks have also started to gain more attention among investors. Top hydrogen stocks like Plug Power (PLUG Stock Report) and Cummins (CMI Stock Report) have delivered big gains to investors this year.

A report from AleaSoft reported  that the “Hydrogen will be the fuel of the future and step by step it will replace all current fossil fuels” may have a substantial basis. According to a report published by the International Energy Agency, the demand for hydrogen has tripled since 1975.

Under a Biden / Harris

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Nike, FedEx, Lennar, Eli Lilly, and Other Stocks for Investors to Watch This Week

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Notable companies reporting earnings this week include


on Wednesday, 



General Mills

on Thursday, and



Darden Restaurants

on Friday. Health care investors will also be tuning in to several investor days this week:


on Monday,

Eli Lilly

on Tuesday, and


on Friday.

The economic highlight of the week will be Wednesday’s decision from the Federal Open Market Committee, after the Fed’s interest rate-setting panel concludes its last two-day meeting of 2020. Officials aren’t likely to budge rates from near zero, but could tweak the central bank’s bond-buying program. Remarks from chair Jerome Powell after the meeting will be closely parsed by Fed watchers, as usual. The

Bank of Japan

also announces a monetary policy decision on Friday.

Economic data out this week includes the Census Bureau’s retail sales data for November on Wednesday, along with 

IHS Markit’s

Manufacturing and Services Purchasing

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5 NYSE Stocks In December Downtrends: No Rally, Big Names

With all of the talk in the business and financial media about new all time highs for the big market indexes, you might think all stocks are joining the fun. You would be wrong. These 5 well-known New York Stock Exchange equities this month are in clearly identifiable downtrends.

Maybe they’ll stop heading back down and regain former momentum at some point but right now they’re showing more selling than buying. Analysts could spend a lot of time explaining the fundamental reasons for such weak performance. Price chart action like this suggests a second look.

Here’s what the all time high last week for the S&P 500 looked like:

Ups and downs but a steady upward slant from summer into fall and then

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A Proposal to Delist Chinese Stocks Could Mean Big Headaches. What to Know.

Individual investors who own Chinese stocks listed in the U.S. could see the most disruption from recent legislation that paves the way for delisting Chinese companies within three years—a potential unintended consequence of a push aimed at protecting investors.

A lot is still unclear on how the Securities and Exchange Commission may implement the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which passed with bipartisan support and is expected to be signed by President Donald Trump. If U.S. and Chinese regulators don’t come to a compromise around longstanding audit and disclosure issues, U.S.-listed Chinese companies may need to find a new home—and investors will have to decide if they should follow.

Most larger investors, including fund managers that own U.S.-listed Chinese stocks, should be able to maneuver through the various ways delisting could play out. But smaller retail investors who own individual shares could have a harder time.

The SEC requires all

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Mercury General Stock’s Hefty 5.4% Yield Is Just One of the Auto Insurer’s Many Charms

At 90,

Berkshire Hathaway

CEO Warren Buffett isn’t the oldest major corporate chieftain in the country. That title probably belongs to the 99-year-old George Joseph, chairman and controlling shareholder of

Mercury General

(ticker: MCY).

Joseph remains active at the California auto insurer, sharing the leadership reins with the CEO, Gabriel Tirador. Joseph might also be the world’s oldest billionaire, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $1.6 billion. He founded Mercury in 1961—four years before Buffett took control at Berkshire—and the company is very much his baby, as it is with Buffett and Berkshire.

Mercury’s shares, now around $46, look appealing. Most notable is the company’s lofty dividend of $2.53 a share, which results in a 5.4% yield. The stock trades for 1.3 times book value and about 13 times projected 2021 earnings of $3.43 a share.

This year’s estimated profits of $4.68 a share are inflated by the

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America’s Small Stocks Are Leading the Market’s Charge

Shares of small U.S. companies have surged past their larger peers for 2020 after last month’s furious rally carried into December.

Fueled by improving expectations for the economy, thanks to promising Covid-19 vaccine trials, the Russell 2000 small-cap index notched its best-ever month in November. Then it kept rising. So far in December it has advanced 5%, well ahead of the 1.2% rise in the S&P 500 large-cap benchmark. Many investors expect small-cap stocks to continue leading the way.

Among the stocks lifting the small-cap index:
Macy’s Inc.,
up 8.5% in December;
Spirit Airlines Inc.,
up 16%;
Denny’s Corp.
, up 20%; and, U.S. Steel Corp., up 29%.

The Russell 2000’s gain for the year surpassed that of the S&P 500 on Tuesday for the first time in 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The small-cap gauge is now up 15% this year, compared with a 13% gain for

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