Home Business and Economics This Week in Business: Morgan Stanley, Netflix, and More

This Week in Business: Morgan Stanley, Netflix, and More

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France Fines Morgan Stanley $22M

France’s market watchdog AMF fined US bank Morgan Stanley $22M for bond manipulation on Tuesday. AMF says that Morgan Stanley manipulated the price of 14 French bonds and 8 Belgian bonds, totaling 20 million euros. In addition, they say that a large purchase of bonds disrupted the French MTS Global Market bond trading system. This caused suspended transactions for 4 minutes and liquidity levels to drop for around an hour.

Morgan Stanley said that it planned to lodge an appeal. “The activities in question were undertaken in accordance with market practice and as part of the firm’s role and obligations as a market maker,” the bank said in a statement. However, AMF claims that Morgan Stanley fixed the prices at an abnormal and artificial level.

Netflix Could Lose 4M US Subscribers

Brokerage Needham and Co was the fourth Wall Street brokerage to cut its rating for Netflix in two months. They say that increased competition from other streaming services could make Netflix lose 4 million US subscribers. In addition, one of Needham’s analysts says that in order to compete, Netflix needs to add a lower-priced service.

Surprisingly, this cut comes a day after Netflix dominated in Golden Globe nomination. The service landed 17 both TV and movie categories. And, Netflix has dominated domestically, with 60.62 million subscribers in the US, a third of its total userbase.

US Justice Department To Review Google-Fitbit Deal

The US Justice Department announced plans to investigated possible anti-trust issues with Google’s deal to buy Fitbit. The $2.1Bn deal will allow Google to compete with Samsung and Apple with new fitness trackers and smartwatches. The two companies announced the deal on November 1st.

Many antitrust watchdogs have urged enforcers to block the deal. They claim that it will give Google even more data about consumers. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission could review and block the merger. In the recent past, big companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple faced antitrust probes by the government.

Chevron Expects $10Bn Charge In 4th Quarter

Chevron announced that it expects to write down the value of its assets $10-$11Bn this quarter. It also says it might sell some of its natural gas projects to help prepare for long-term low prices. “With capital discipline and a conservative outlook comes the responsibility to make the tough choices necessary to deliver higher cash returns to our shareholders over the long term”, Chief Executive Michael Wirth said.

Global Stocks And Dollar Fall

Both global stocks and the US dollar fell on Tuesday as the looming deadline for the US-China trade deal approaches. Investors were hesitant after remarks that suggested a positive outcome but also indicated that the deal might not come until the US 2020 presidential election. “We seem to be on the cusp on a continued trade detente with China, which is quite a turnaround from a year ago,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance.