The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday narrowly advanced a sixth and final piece of legislation as part of its Big Tech antitrust package. The "Ending Platform Monopolies Act" would eliminate the ability of dominant platforms like Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. to "leverage their control across multiple business lines to self-preference and disadvantage competitors in ways that undermine free and fair competition." It also could pose a problem for Google parent Alphabet Inc. , which ranks videos on its search engine, and also operates YouTube. Since Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee passed five other bills, including one that severely limits acquisitions of competitors, and another that could force Facebook Inc. to cleave Instagram and WhatsApp from its holdings.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
U.S. stock-market indexes closed solidly higher Thursday, helping the Nasdaq Composite notch its 17th record close of 2021, and the S&P 500 mark its first all-time high since June 14. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 1% at around 34,196, the S&P 500 ended 0.6% higher at 4,266, while the Nasdaq finished up 0.7% at 14,369. The equity rally came as President Biden agreed to a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan Thursday, securing a long-sought bipartisan deal that lawmakers. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Digital-advertising stocks are rallying Thursday after Alphabet Inc.'s Google said it would delay its plans to phase out third-party cookies that track users across the web. U.S.-listed shares of Criteo SA [s; CRTO] are up more than 12% in Thursday's session, while shares of The Trade Desk Inc. are up more than 17% and shares of PubMatic Inc. are up more than 13%. Google now plans to phase out cookies on its Chrome browser in a third-month period that will end in late 2023, whereas the company initially was targeting early 2022. The new schedule will give the company more time to work with industry players on devising new privacy "standards" and "is important to avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers which support freely available content," Google said in a blog post. Stifel analyst Scott Devitt wrote in a note to clients that "this morning's announcements have significant ramifications for digital advertising industry participants, as the extended timeline allows companies more time to prepare for the eventual deprecation of third-party cookies, develop more robust alternative solutions for user identification/targeting/campaign measurement, and potentially garner additional support for non-Google alternatives like the Unified ID 2.0 initiative." Alphabet shares are up 0.3% in Thursday morning trading and they've gained 71% over the past 12 months as the S&P 500 has increased 40%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Oil futures settled with a modest gain on Thursday, with traders weighing the outlook for energy demand as well as a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies on production levels next week. West Texas Intermediate oil for August delivery edged up by 22 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $73.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Gold futures declined on Thursday, with prices easing back from their highest levels in a week, as strength in the U.S. stock market dulled some investor interest in the precious metal. "Anyone focused on the inflation outlook as a reason to buy or sell gold right now is missing the stock market's big warning signs," said Adrian Ash, director of research at BullionVault. "Valuations are as stretched as any time since the tech stock bubble," and while gold is "far from guaranteed to jump when equities dive," gold prices on a longer-term horizon have shown strong gains when the S&P 500 has fallen. August gold fell $6.70, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,776.70 an ounce. Prices settled at a one-week high on Wednesday. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.