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Fed chair speaks; Comcast's Sky bid; Macy's earnings

1. Powell takes the stage: Jerome Powell, the new chairman of the Federal Reserve, makes his first a...

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 1:53 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 1:53 PM

1. Powell takes the stage: Jerome Powell, the new chairman of the Federal Reserve, makes his first appearance on Capitol Hill in his new role on Tuesday.

Every Fed chair goes before Congress twice a year to report on the state of the economy. Investors will be paying even closer attention this time for clues on how quickly the Fed might raise interest rates if inflation picks up.

Powell's prepared testimony is released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Powell is scheduled to answer questions from the House Financial Services Committee later Tuesday, then the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

Coincidentally, former Fed chairs Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke are scheduled for a public conversation on Tuesday at the Brookings Institution at 2 p.m. ET.

"What they say when unconstrained by politics will be market relevant," said Paul Donovan, global chief economist at UBS Wealth Management.

2. Takeover tussle: Comcast just crashed Rupert Murdoch's efforts to take control of European broadcaster Sky.

Comcast announced Tuesday a bid for Sky worth -12.50 per share, beating the -10.75 per share offered by Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. Sky's shares soared more than 20% on the news.

Murdoch has been trying for years to take full control of Sky, but its latest bid for the 61% of the company it doesn't already own has run into opposition from regulators.

"We expect this [Comcast] deal to go through as we do not think Fox ... will want to get into a bidding war, especially given the complications surrounding Sky News," said Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker.

Comcast's challenge could also complicate Disney's $52 billion bid for a huge chunk of Fox's assets, which includes Fox's stake in Sky.

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3. South Africa changes: Investors are watching South Africa after President Cyril Ramaphosa made major changes to his cabinet, bringing back two former respected finance ministers.

Nhlanhla Nene is back in his former job as finance minister. Pravin Gordhan is now minister of public enterprises.

South African shares moved higher Tuesday and the country's currency is trading around a three-year high.

4. Earnings: Discovery, Macy's, SeaWorld Entertainment and Vitamin Shoppe are set to release earnings before the open Tuesday.

Then after the close we'll get results from Etsy, Express Scripts, Hertz Global, IMAX, Live Nation, Papa John's, Booking Holdings (formerly Priceline) and Weight Watchers.

5. Global stock market overview: It looks like the recovery rally has run out of steam on Tuesday.

US stock futures are dipping down.

European markets are muddled in early trading and most Asian markets ended the day in the red.

This comes after the Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all surged by more than 1% on Monday.

Markets Now newsletter: Get a global markets snapshot in your inbox every afternoon. Sign up now!

6. Coming this week:

Tuesday - Earnings from Macy's, Booking Holdings (formerly Priceline), Express Scripts and Discovery Communications; Fed chair Jerome Powell testifies before the House Financial Services Committee
Wednesday -
Second estimate of US Q4 GDP; Earnings from Lowe's, TJX, Salesforce, L Brands, Monster Beverage and Mylan
Thursday -
Earnings from Best Buy, Kohl's, Nordstrom, Gap and Barnes & Noble; Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee
Friday - Foot Locker and JCPenney earnings

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1098527

Reported Deaths: 20645
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4436009227
DuPage707121168
Will59559887
Lake54489918
Kane47054705
Winnebago26700414
Madison25198475
St. Clair22904449
McHenry22153256
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Peoria15398252
Sangamon14842242
McLean13537170
Tazewell12248251
Rock Island12168307
Kankakee11692187
Kendall997081
LaSalle9757250
Macon8963182
Vermilion7758117
DeKalb764893
Adams7529127
Williamson6327119
Boone564079
Whiteside5422175
Clinton516286
Coles478385
Ogle469472
Knox4686146
Grundy451854
Effingham436671
Jackson429670
Henry409777
Marion4063113
Macoupin400296
Franklin391771
Randolph379873
Livingston377970
Monroe366771
Stephenson361877
Jefferson3545104
Woodford333270
Morgan330993
Logan316559
Montgomery315454
Lee313376
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Bureau304885
Fayette296153
Perry276462
Iroquois261958
Fulton261549
Jersey229461
Lawrence220830
McDonough219251
Saline208254
Douglas204434
Union203432
Shelby201735
Crawford182835
Cass179031
Bond177924
Warren160144
Pike159348
Richland156946
Hancock155035
Wayne154643
Clark152733
Jo Daviess151925
Edgar149153
Washington149026
Carroll145833
Moultrie141228
Ford140451
White138932
Clay133940
Greene127943
Johnson125315
Wabash121615
Piatt119318
Mason119041
De Witt118927
Mercer118230
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Massac106633
Jasper106015
Menard91210
Hamilton73017
Marshall70315
Schuyler64617
Pulaski6233
Brown62211
Stark49820
Edwards4779
Henderson46616
Calhoun4504
Scott4071
Alexander4047
Gallatin3944
Putnam3562
Hardin3118
Pope2563
Unassigned1290
Out of IL340

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
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Hendricks14401248
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Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
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Floyd6428110
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Jackson425047
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Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
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Miami321444
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Putnam296850
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Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
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LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
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Switzerland6615
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Unassigned0376