Boeing Crash Causes Dow Decline: The tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people has also caused the Dow to take a downward stumble, according to CNBC. Boeing, the plane’s manufacturer, is responsible for the Dow’s 350-plus-point plunge as it is weighted heavier than other companies listed on the Dow. Last Friday, Boeing closed at $422.54 per share but traded at just $370 on Monday.
From CNBC: “We anticipate heightened volatility in Boeing shares,” Morgan Stanley analyst Rajeev Lalwani wrote in a note to clients. “Though it is early to draw conclusions, there may be concerns of disruption around safety, production, groundings, and/or costs, all of which should be manageable longer-term.”
China’s Tech Sector Cools Off: Formerly the hub of booming tech start-ups, China has seen slashed budgets and lay-offs in the industry over the last six to eight months. According to The Economist, stock sell-offs among some of the country’s biggest stars like Alibaba and Tencent are causing fear about revenue growth and privately funded companies’ ability to become profitable.
So, just how long will the “capital winter” last? Investors say a thaw could be near, but will largely depend on the success of a new innovation board in Shanghai, modeled on Nasdaq. The board is expected to encourage tech offerings in the area and to energize start-ups that are currently losing funding to still go public in an effort to raise capital.
U.S Retail Sales Stabilize: Retail sales are slowly bouncing back after an abysmal December 2018, writes Bloomberg News. After dropping by 1.6 percent in December–the steepest since 2009–overall sales rose 0.2 percent in January, signaling that consumers are still able to support economic growth.
Americans (Weirdly) Don’t Cheat on Their Taxes: Adhering to a high moral standard in America isn’t something we always achieve but the effort is there. However, there’s one area of ethics where an overwhelming majority of Americans surprisingly refuse to cut corners: taxes. According to The Atlantic, 88 percent of Americans find it “not at all acceptable to cheat on taxes” where places like Germany and Italy report only 68 and 62 percent of their populations, respectively, adhere to the voluntary compliance rate (VCR).
Japanese Banks Finally Ditch Hankos: Despite being one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, Japanese banks have been long hanging onto a piece of 1800s technology: the hanko. The personal stamp has been required for the most basic bank transactions in Japan, writes Bloomberg. Retiring the piece of history has now made way for lenders to allow money transferring or digital payments through smartphones, a change that is long overdue for many Millennials in the country.