Investors got a brief reprieve from talking data breaches to talk interest rates. Stocks finished lower on Wednesday, March 21, after the Federal Reserve and newly minted Chairman Jerome Powell announced they would be raising interest rates on a day once again dominated by Facebook's (FB) recent data breach. The Fed increased borrowing costs for the sixth time since late 2015 in a bid to keep inflation from rising too fast as the economy accelerates. Our top columnists were live to discuss the rate hike and its impact on financials, consumer spending and the general health of the economy and to discuss their top stock picks. Stocks traded down across the board however, to end the day as investors sensesd a hawkish tone from Powell and the Fed.
And then, Mark Zuckerberg broke his silence and the crowds went wild. No, not really, but the stock did tick up almost a percentage point after the Harvard dropout released a statement on the recent data issues with UK research firm Cambridge Analytica. Whether this recent sell-off is a buying opportunity or not, I'll let the experts decide, but as I said Monday (and The Deal's Ron Orol points out today) there's not much shareholders can do to enact change at the social media company given Zuckerberg's controlling interest.
Tech stocks were strong despite Facebook's recent woes with the semis leading the way. Elsewhere in tech, Snap (SNAP) and Twitter (TWTR) were on TheStreet's radar as Real Money technical analyst Bruce Kamich weighed in on the two social media companies looking to take market share from Facebook. Kamich warns that both companies could be in for downside in the coming months, at least if the chart predictions come to fruition. Snap is up 13% year-to-date after actually showing signs of revenue in the fourth quarter while Twitter has run up as well on the back of strong earnings. Facebook's recent struggles haven't hurt matters, but can that continue?
TheStreet's sister publication The Deal, had the inside track on the latest machinations of Time Inc., or what's left of it now that the company has been acquired by midwest magazine company Meredith (MDP) . Our own Cathaleen Chen reports that "fewer than 10" domestic entities and investors have reached out to Meredith about possibly acquiring Time magazine, CEO Tom Harty told employees Wednesday, March 21. The media conglomerate hopes to finalize a sale within the next 60 to 120 days, he added, according to a source familiar with the discussion Wednesday. Meredith confirmed much of the the report and talked about staffing changes later in the day, though the company made no mention of the number of interested parties nor timing that The Deal highlighted.
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Photo of the day: New pay incentives for Elon Musk
I don't know either Elon....Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk (pictured above) has $2.6 billion new reasons to make sure the electric car and solar panel maker reaches its full potential after shareholders voted to approve his incentive-laden pay package on Wednesday. The incentives start once Tesla hits a market cap of $100 billion and increase incrementally for every $50 billion in value the company adds over the next 10 years. Tesla currently has a market cap just north of $50 billion. Shares were up 3.5% to $321.17 on Wednesday but they've still got a while to go before Musk becomes one of the top five or 10 richest business leaders in the world. Read More
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