The Smart Trader
Read the latest news, information and analysis about the business world, what´s going on in the markets, and how it is likely to affect the company and affect you and your trades.
Google Inc. has revealed that it is designing and developing self-drive vehicle technology. Co-founder Sergey Brin’s vision for the future of motor transport encompasses safer, more efficient transport. In an official statement made to Bloomberg today Brin remarked “Within a couple of years I hope we will surpass the safety metrics we've put in place... and we will start testing them without drivers and hopefully you'll be able to utilize them at some limited cities".
AT&T has agreed to acquire DirecTV in a deal worth approximately $48.5 billion. Both firms’ boards met on Sunday to approve the merger, although it is still subject to regulatory approval. Set to gain 38 million video subscribers in the US and Latin America, the deal means AT&T will assume control of America’s biggest satellite television provider. It serves as the latest indication that the US television market and wireless industry are converging. AT&T-DirecTV now looks set to become the second largest provider of television subscribers behind Comcast-Time Warner Cable.
T&T and DirecTV are expected to announce a merger worth close to $50 billion in cash and stock, according to sources familiar with the matter. The sources, both of whom have maintained anonymity, forecast that DirecTV shares will be valued in the low $90s, markedly improved on Tuesday’s closing $86.08. A report in the Wall Street Journal suggests the deal may be finalised within a fortnight. It is not yet understood what role DirecTV’s Chief Executive Officer Mike White will play in the merged firm; Bloomberg suggest DirecTV may continue to operate in its current capacity, as a unit of AT&T. Speculation surrounding potential movement in the telecommunications industry has been rife over the past number of weeks. In fact, spreadbetting.com cited the prospects of this very merger just 12 days ago (AT&T and DirecTV..).
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has issued the clearest indication yet that the central bank may continue to stimulate the US economy. Speaking before the Senate Budget Committee on Thursday morning, Yellen’s prepared remarks reiterated comments she made a day previous to the congressional Joint Economic Committee. Yellen’s Fed is adopting a wait-and-see approach to reducing its economic stimulus, having previously reassessed Ben Bernanke’s milestone of a 6.5% unemployment rate (Fed policy..). Yellen noted that the Fed will continue to ease its stimulants "As long as we continue to see improvement in the labour market”. Yellen also pointed to the improving state of the US economy in her address, claiming it’s “on track for solid growth this quarter”.
Tuesday saw Twitter Inc. sink to its lowest share price on the New York Stock Exchange since its November 6th 2013 initial public offering. The tech giant lost almost 15% in early morning trading as more than 480 million insider shares became eligible for sale. Shares issued mainly to non-executive employees exited a 6 month ‘lockup period’, culminating in the flurry of morning transactions. The $26 per share initial listing means that insiders capped a sizeable gain on sale; however, the stock’s aggressive growth in late 2013 will no doubt have left those shareholders wondering what might have been.