Media Navel Gaze: April 18, 2016
Big banks were on top last week, with JP Morgan posting better-than-expected quarterly numbers, clearly good for the bank but also viewed as good for the outlook on the US economy, with Jamie Dimon, chief of the largest bank by assets, saying the “consumer is strong” and companies still long on plenty of cash (read: Main Street not Wall Street will help us here). The news caused a pretty big rally last week (to new Dow highs for the year) and put a shot of optimism into both the markets, the analysts and the coverage.
- Even so, stocks ended the week a tad lower but it didn’t feel that way since the recent runups and the bank news. The Dow closed Friday at 17,897 and is now up 2.7 percent since the start of the year, a much different but certainly unfinished story since early weaknesses;
- The New York Post and The Observer both endorsed Donald Trump (no surprise with Observer owned by Donald’s son in law); The Post called the Republican candidate a “rookie candidate…making rookie mistakes” but “full of promise,” just as the rookie himself published an op-ed in the WSJ;
- In other Post news, its editor in chief, Col Allan announced plans to retire, replaced by Sunday editor, Stephen Lynch;
- Instagram to add video through “Explore”; a kinda long-play selfie;
- Al Jazeera America closed Tuesday night, a long time in coming;
- Uncle Sam rejected living wills by the big banks, saying they don’t cotton to Dodd-Frank; and
- Mamba happened (and three-point Curry).
- Latin American currencies weakened on Friday with the potential agreement to freeze oil output weighed on commodity prices, while Brazilian stocks rose ahead of President Dilma Rousseff vote for impeachment. Oil prices fell, which dragged down currencies from Mexico and Colombia. The Chilean peso also fell, resulting in a weakness in copper, the country’s main export.
- Brazil is gearing up for a critical vote on whether to impeach Dilma Rousseff today. The balloting comes after 18 months of political turmoil following her re-election in 2014. Since then, her approval ratings have fallen 9% amidst a corruption probe, and the country’s economy fell into its worst recession in years. If two-thirds of federal deputies recommend her impeachment, she will likely step down to be tried by the Senate in the next few weeks. YIKES!