Today's Market: Amazon & Visa Strike Deal, Google Updates Privacy Terms, Housing Cools

DoorDash Soars on Revenue Jump

Ukraine blamed a missile strike on Russian separatists, who in turn accused Ukraine of ceasefire violations as the Eastern Europe situation grew more uncertain. Stocks around the world fell while gold and other safe-haven investments rose.

The Dow Jones, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq all fell as the market opened. Gold jumped more than 1%, continuing its February climb.

Key Takeaways

  • Uncertainty ruled in Eastern Europe as Ukraine blamed a missile strike on Russian separatists, who in turn accused Ukraine of cease-fire violations.
  • Stocks around the world fell while gold rose.
  • DoorDash rose 16% after saying revenue soared even while restaurants reopened.

The Treasury yield curve steepened following a rally in the yield of the two-year note, after the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes from its January meeting, showing that while the central bank intends to begin raising interest rates in March, its decisions would be made on a meeting-by-meeting basis. The 10-year Treasury note yield is down from last week's highs, holding above 2%.

DoorDash Inc. (DASH) jumped 16% after the food delivery company said orders soared as restaurants transitioned to in-person dining. Shares of Walmart Inc. (WMT) rose after the retail giant's earnings beat analysts' estimates, and said it's on track to meet its long-term growth forecasts. Palantir Technologies Inc. (PLTR) fell after an earnings miss. Also reporting today are Roku Inc. (ROKU), AutoNation Inc. (AN), Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED) Sealed Air Corp. (SEE), and Southern Co. (SO).

The Labor Department reported initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 23,000 to 248,000 last week. Economists had been expecting a decline.  

Separately, the Census Bureau revealed housing starts fell more than anticipated last month, to 1.6 million units in January from 1.7 million in December. Building permits, an indicator of future homebuilding, fell slightly to just under 1.9 million units in January, from 1.9 million units the month before.  

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Quick Hits: Today's Headlines

Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services urged Apple Inc. (AAPL) investors to vote against CEO Tim Cook's $100 million pay package, citing concerns around the magnitude and structure of his stock options awards that ISS says do not include enough performance criteria. Apple will hold its annual shareholder meeting in the first week of March. 

NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) reported shares fell despite fourth-quarter earnings and sales that beat analyst expectations. The chipmaker said automotive revenue slumped.

Cisco Systems Inc.'s (CSCO) shares are rising after posting strong earnings and offering a positive outlook for the current quarter. Last week, reports suggested Cisco has been in talks to buy data analytics firm Splunk Inc (SPLK).

Amazon Inc. (AMZN) and Visa Inc. (V) resolved a dispute over credit card fees. Amazon has been pressuring Visa to lower its fees, and as part of the deal, Amazon will drop its surcharge in some countries and allow customers in the U.K. to continue to use Visa credit cards for Amazon purchases.

Hedge fund activist Alta Fox Capital Management has begun a proxy fight for Hasbro Inc. (HAS). Alta is seeking to add several directors to Hasbro’s board and is pushing the toymaker to spin off its fast growing games unit that includes Dungeons & Dragons.

The Big Story: Google's New Privacy Restrictions

Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOG) announced plans to adopt new privacy restrictions similar to Apple’s, that will cut tracking across apps on its Android devices.  

The good news for companies that depend on ad revenue, however, is that Google will continue to support its current tracking technology for at least two years. Google said it would give “substantial notice” before scrapping its current system.

Still, Google said it is developing new privacy-focused replacements for its advertising IDs. A similar move by Apple had disrupted the digital ad market and wiped billions of dollars off of the market capitalization of Meta Platforms Inc. (FB).

Meta said earlier this month that Apple’s privacy changes will decrease the social media company’s sales this year by about $10 billion. While Facebook has fought the privacy changes at Apple, it has voiced support for Google’s approach, calling it “long-term” and “collaborative.”

 For Google, focusing on privacy practices could also help the tech giant get ahead of regulatory issues as lawmakers grow concerned about the use of personal data.

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