Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, March 26:
1. -- Stocks Rise as Investors Look Past Recession Worries
U.S. stock futures rose on Tuesday and global stocks edged cautiously higher as investors took their cues from fixed income markets while concerns over the pace of growth in the U.S., as well as political and trade uncertainty in Europe and Asia, continued to dampen sentiment.
The U.S. Treasury yield curve remained inverted for a third consecutive session overnight. Federal Reserve studies have shown that each U.S. recession over the past 60 years has followed an inversion, in which short-term yields are higher than longer-dated paper, but the studies also noted that not all inversions have led to recession.
With debate surrounding the nature of the current move, which has taken benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yields down about 17.5 basis points to a December 2017 low of 2.393%, following the Fed's dovish press statement last week, equity investors have trimmed risk positions in order to gauge the impact of slowing manufacturing data around the world, the complexity of Britain's extended Brexit drama and the potential outcome of U.S.-China trade talks.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 112 points, S&P 500 futures gained 10.75 points, and Nasdaq futures were up 26.50 points.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Tuesday includes Housing Starts for February at 8:30 a.m. ET, the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index for January at 9 a.m., the FHFA House Price Index for January at 9 a.m. and Consumer Confidence for March at 10 a.m.
2. -- Apple Makes Dramatic Push Into Services
Apple aims to leverage its installed base of 1.4 billion devices, which includes 900 million iPhones, to dramatically expand its slate of paid services, and thus its potential revenue streams.
The new services from Apple span news, games, payments and TV.
Apple News+ is a $9.99 per month news subscription that bundles together more than 300 magazine titles, the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, and a handful of premium news sites. Apple Card, the result of a collaboration between Apple, Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) and Mastercard (MA - Get Report) , is a physical credit card that will offer daily cash back and no fees, among other features integrated with Apple Pay intended to help customers manage their money. Apple Arcade is a games subscription offering access to new and premium games playable on any Apple device.
But at Apple's event Monday in Cupertino, Calif., the company's TV services were the main attraction.
Apple's revamped TV services have two parts: One, called Apple TV Channels, is an aggregate of third-party programming from networks like HBO, Starz, Showtime, Hulu, CBS All Access and many others. The other, called Apple TV+, is Apple's long-rumored original content offering, and includes a slate of original programming either created or backed by Apple.
Pricing for Apple TV Channels and Apple TV+ wasn't announced, but Wedbush's Dan Ives forecast that Apple will undercut Netflix's pricing by $1 to $2. It makes sense Apple is keeping the playbook close to the vest, he added.
"Apple realizes they have to tiptoe into this; they can't have any strategic missteps like they've had with other products," Ives said.
3. -- Samsung Issues a First-Quarter Profit Warning
Samsung Electronics (SSNLF warned that its first-quarter profit, already hit by slowing semiconductor sales and limp smartphone demand, likely would miss estimates as the world's biggest chipmaker issued a rare pre-earnings update.
Samsung cited weaker-than-expected business conditions in two of its key markets - memory chips and panel displays - for the miss. Analysts had been expecting operating profit of 7.2 trillion Korean won ($6.4 billion) on sales of 53.7 trillion Korean won for quarter, an 11.4% decline from the same period in 2018 and the steepest slide in four years.
Samsung, which makes OLED display screens for Apple's iPhones, referenced "a decline in demand from large customers," along with intense price competition, for the business decline. Apple slashed its iPhone revenue forecasts in January, citing broad-based weakness in China, and reported reported a 15% decline in first-quarter handset sales of $51.98 billion.
The chipmaker also said inventory overhangs for memory, including DRAM chips, "are likely to exceed previous expectations amid overall weak demand under seasonality," but would pick up over the second half of the year.
"To overcome difficult business conditions, the company will strengthen product differentiation based on its technological leadership while also enhancing cost competitiveness via efficient resource management," Samsung said Tuesday. "In the mid- to long-term, we will continue efforts to strengthen key capabilities by boosting competitiveness of our major businesses while securing sustained growth via strategic investments in R&D, new businesses, etc."
4. -- McDonald's Personalizes the Drive-Thru With Biggest Acquisition in Years
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said McDonald's will pay more than $300 million for closely held Dynamic Yield. The deal is the fast-food giant's first acquisition in years and its biggest in two decades, according to the Journal.
McDonald's explained that Dynamic Yield's decision technology will "provide an even more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items. The decision technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer's order based on their current selections."
"Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms," said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's president and CEO. "With this acquisition, we're expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we'll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customers."
McDonald's has been on a technology push and has said it plans to spend nearly $1 billion in 2019 to upgrade about 2,000 of its U.S. locations.
5. -- Uber Buys Middle East Rival Careem for $3.1 Billion
Uber Technologies announced Tuesday the acquisition of Dubai-based rival Careem Networks for $3.1 billion.
The ride-hailing company said it was buying Careem for $1.4 billion cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes.
The deal marks the largest technology transaction in the Middle East, outside of Israel, according to the Associated Press.
The acquisition comes as Uber is expected to publicly file for its initial public offering in April, which could value the company at as much as $120 billion, likely the biggest IPO of the year.
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