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RIP to the "Soulman" Rocky Johnson, a wrestling legend first and foremost, and father to the greatest wrestling superstar of all time, the People's Champ, The Rock. Check out father and son in an episode of "That '70s Show."
🎙 “The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.”- See who said it and why it matters at the bottom.
Vice Premier Liu He and President Trump after signing phase one Wednesday. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
There was limited fanfare from the stock market after President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the phase one trade deal yesterday.
What happened: The 94-page document will roll back some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and see China increase purchases of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over two years, but it leaves more questions than answers, experts say.
Between the lines: The agreement does not spell out what goods China will buy or how it will reach the targets of $200 billion of increased spending on agriculture, energy, manufacturing and services from 2017's spending levels.
The intrigue: The agreement does not touch on China's industrial subsidies, changes to its economic structure, or its tariffs on U.S. imports, leaving those in place along with about $360 billion of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
That's a major issue for Montana wheat farmer Michelle Erickson-Jones.
Yes, but: It was enough for Wall Street, which largely saw the signing as a relief. The Dow closed above 29,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 edged higher on the day.
What's next: There's already talk of a "phase two" deal that could address some of the larger issues. However, the deal is likely to happen only after the 2020 presidential election.
The big picture: "This is an interim step to a very uncertain relationship between the U.S. and China," Brown told Axios during a call with reporters.
Profit surged 46% to $2.24 billion at Morgan Stanley, which beat Wall Street estimates for earnings and revenue. (CNBC)
JD.com, Yum China, Baidu and other Chinese companies are considering secondary listings in Hong Kong that could collectively raise as much as $15 billion. (Nikkei)
Goldman Sachs, one of the company's early investors, sold its entire stake in Uber in Q4, likely resulting in a large gain and helping Goldman beat analysts’ expectations for revenue in the period. (CNBC)
TikTok surpassed Facebook to become world’s second most downloaded app. (SCMP)
The bond-buying program the Fed began in September that has added more than $400 billion to its balance sheet may not be that different from its previous quantitative easing program, Dallas Fed president Robert Kaplan said Wednesday.
What he said: “My own view is it’s having some effect on risk assets,” Kaplan said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Why it matters: Fed chair Jerome Powell and other members of the U.S. central bank have insisted that the bond buying is merely an effort to stabilize the repo market and keep its target rate in line.
The intrigue: It's not just the bond buying, Kaplan said.
More money flowed into bond funds last week than at any time in at least seven years, data from the Investment Company Institute released Wednesday showed.
Why it matters: The S&P 500 gained 30% last year and the stock market has delivered strong returns so far in 2020, but investors continue to buy safe-haven bonds and sell stocks.
What's happening: ICI representatives say the move likely represents a rebalancing effort by investors after a strong year in equities, but it follows a year in which data showed investors did exactly the same thing.
What it means: Many have worried the market may be getting overconfident and complacent in the face of good news like the signing of the U.S.-China phase one trade deal and an expected resolution for Brexit.
Venture capital funding fell significantly in the U.S. and China last year, but boomed in the U.K., rising to a record high $13.2 billion, according to a report prepared for the British government by industry group Tech Nation and research firm Dealroom.
Details: U.S. investors including Benchmark, Sequoia and Insight Partners have all invested in U.K. companies in 2019, the report said.
But, but, but: While the U.K. saw a significant increase in VC activity and leads European countries in funding, it still badly trails both the U.S. and China in terms of number of deals and total invested.
The Fed released its latest beige book on Wednesday and the biggest takeaway was that despite the excitement for the phase one trade deal, "tariffs and trade uncertainty continued to weigh on some businesses."
What it means: The beige book gathers anecdotal responses from businesses around the country to get an idea of how the economy is doing.
What they're saying: “Several [businesses] increased prices of final goods but struggled with low profit margins due to tariffs on raw materials,” the report said.
Yes, but: The expectation of the trade deal did spur some hope. The Chicago Fed district said it had “boosted farmers’ outlooks” while the Dallas Fed said “outlooks generally improved, with reduced trade uncertainty boosting optimism.”
A new survey from Bankrate.com finds that white banking customers are paying significantly less in fees than people of color and that older customers pay much less than their younger counterparts.
What's happening: The average person in the U.S. with a checking account pays about $8 per month on fees like routine service charges, ATM fees and overdrafts, but black and Hispanic customers reported spending twice that much.
By the numbers: White checking account holders said they paid an average of $5 per month in fees, while Hispanic account holders paid an average of $16 a month, and black account holders paid $12.
The first edition of "El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha," or book one of Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes was published on Jan. 16, 1605, in Madrid.