Morning Brief: US, South Korea reach new trade pact

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What to watch today

After a huge rally to start the week on Monday, tech stocks led markets to the downside as the final two hours of the trading day on Tuesday saw a total washout on Wall Street. In the end, the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 2.9%, or 211 points, while the Dow lost 1.4%, or 344 points, and the S&P 500 fell 1.7%, or 46 points. Falling even more than the broad market were a number of companies that have been leaders during the post-election rally that crescendoed in early January.

On Wednesday, the economics calendar will bring investors the third estimate of third quarter GDP, which is expected to show the economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.7% in the final three months of 2017. Investors will also get pending home sales data for February. On the earnings side, highlights expected Wednesday include PVH (PVH), GameStop (GME), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), and Altaba (AABA).

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Top news

US, South Korea overhaul 6-year-old free trade agreement: The Trump administration said it has widened U.S. access to South Korea’s car market while providing American manufacturers protection from South Korean imports. The U.S. and South Korea have reached an agreement to overhaul the 6-year-old U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, senior administration officials said Tuesday, confirming an announcement earlier in Seoul. President Donald Trump had called the original Korea pact a job killer. [AP]

Playboy suspends activity on Facebook: Playboy has decided to suspend all activity on Facebook (FB) in response to the data sharing scandal engulfing the social media giant. The adult publication said Wednesday that it would be exiting the social network and deactivating each of its accounts.” The recent news about Facebook’s alleged mismanagement of users’ data has solidified our decision to suspend our activity on the platform at this time,” Playboy said in a statement on Wednesday. [CNBC]

Theranos investors turn scavengers on wounded unicorn’s remains: First investors lost billions on Theranos Inc. Now they may end up fighting over the scraps with, of all things, the SEC. With Silicon Valley still absorbing the dramatic near-collapse of the medical-testing startup once valued at $9 billion, investors are moving to recover what money they can. The targets: the company’s remaining assets, including dozens of potentially valuable patents, and perhaps the personal fortune of its former president, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. [Bloomberg]

Uber gives up autonomous vehicle testing rights in Calif.: Uber has decided to stop testing autonomous vehicles on California public roads by letting its state permit expire on Saturday without renewing it. If the ride-hailing service wants to return to the state, it will have to get a new permit and address any investigations into a crash involving one of its autonomous test SUVs in Arizona that killed a pedestrian, the California DMV said in a letter sent to the company on Tuesday. [AP]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

China’s President Xi Jinping (R) shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Beijing. Kim was treated to a lavish welcome by the Chinese president during a secretive trip to Beijing as both sides seek to repair frayed ties ahead of landmark summits with Seoul and Washington. (Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)
China’s President Xi Jinping (R) shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Beijing. Kim was treated to a lavish welcome by the Chinese president during a secretive trip to Beijing as both sides seek to repair frayed ties ahead of landmark summits with Seoul and Washington. (Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)

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