Business News Weekly – February 17, 2020

FTC widens investigation of tech deals, asking Amazon, Apple, Facebook. Microsoft and Google owner Alphabet to turn over information for the last 10 years of deals.

Google argues case against $9 billion in antitrust finds – against the EU.

Warren Buffest sits down for delayed $4.6 million lunch – for charity.

Change in the top spot of the Trillion Dollar Club. Just in the last month, the club increase – Microsoft $1.44, Apple $1.41, Amazon $1.06 and Alphabet #1.04.

After 2 years a judge finally approved the T-Mobile and Sprint merger.

“Oil prices steady as coronavirus-related demand concerns weigh” – from an article in Reuters. Oil prices were little changed on Monday as concerns over the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak in China were offset by hopes that potential output cuts from major producers could tighten crude supply.

“Pier 1 files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy as talks with potential buyers continue” – from an article in CNBC. Pier 1 announced Monday that it began Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Virginia and that it is pursuing a sale of the company.

The company said it plans to use this process to complete the previously announced closure of up to 450 store locations, including all Canadian locations. “We are moving ahead in this process with the support of our lenders and are pleased with the initial interest as we engage in discussions with potential buyers,” said CEO Robert Riesbeck.

“Japanese Economy Sinks Amid Fears About Virus Impact” – from an article in U.S. News. The Japanese economy shrank at an annual pace of 6.3% last quarter as growth was battered by typhoons and crimped consumer spending.

The seasonally adjusted economic data released Monday by the Cabinet Office comes amid looming fears about the economic damage expected from the new viral illness COVID-19 that began in China late last year. Japan’s gross domestic product, or GDP, the sum of the value of a nation’s products and services, slipped 1.6% in the last three months of 2019 quarter-on-quarter.

“Coca-Cola Beat Earnings, but Shares Have Gone Parabolic” – from an article on Investopedia. he Coca-Cola Company reported better-then-expected earnings before the opening bell on Jan. 30. The stock has been trading higher on the news and set an all-time intraday high of $60.07 on Friday, Feb. 14. My call is to reduce holdings with the stock between its weekly and monthly risky levels at $60.07 and $60.43, respectively. The stock closed last week at $59.95, up 8.3% year to date and in bull market territory at 35% above its 52-week low of $44.42 set on Feb. 27, 2019.