What Is the Twitter Hoax All About?
It seems that someone is playing tricks on Wall Street. On Tuesday, a story appeared which stated that Twitter Inc. (TWTR, +2.71%) had received a takeover bid valued at $31 billion. As a result, the shares of Twitter surged only for it to later be revealed that the takeover story was false. Playing tricks on Wall Street is not uncommon and in fact last month, the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) filed a charge against a national from Bulgaria, Nedko Nedev, who used the SEC’s Edgar system in order to also lodge a fake claim regarding a takeover bid for Avon Products (AVP, -1.25%). According to the SEC, Nedev has been behind 2 other takeover bid releases which were false. Interestingly, the story that appeared regarding Twitter’s takeover was presented in the same style and background as the Bloomberg News site. A different URL was used and Bloomberg quickly verified that the story was untrue. Added to this, the domain registration of the website that published the fake story is linked to Panama. As a result of the hoax, the shares of Twitter surged 8% to trade at $38.33 but then soon dropped to close 3 percent higher than its closing price on Monday. While it is not clear how or why the Twitter hoax started, it was definitely enough to spark interest among investors especially since the company has been in the news recently regarding a possible purchase deal. Twitter shares are currently trading at $36.72 a share.
Tuesday saw the 4th day of gains for U.S. stocks. This came as investors noted the poor retail sales numbers for June while speculation regarding how the Federal Reserve will respond in terms of an interest rate hike, took center stage. According to data released by the Commerce Department, in June, retail sales declined by 0.3%. This missed expectations for an increase of 0.2%. As a result, this could cause the Fed to delay rate hikes as the central bank tries to find a balance between an uneven economic recovery and normalizing rates. At the close of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) increased 0.4%, or 65 points, to 18,042 while the S&P 500 index (SPX) rose 0.4%, or 8.2 points, to 2,108. Also on the upside was the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) which advanced 0.7%, or 36 points, to 5,107. Before the trading bell, the reporting season for U.S. banks kicked off with Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC, -0.02%) and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM, -0.03%) both releasing earnings. In Tuesday trading, both banks traded higher.
On Tuesday, the U.S. dollar (USD) traded higher. This came after the greenback declined to session lows after data was released which showed that retail sales in the U.S. in June, had declined. Investors have now shifted their attention to Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to testify to Congress. Sentiments are that she might push back expectations on the timing of an initial rate hike. The EUR/USD traded at 1.1003 after reaching an intraday high of 1.1082 earlier, while the USD/JPY traded up 122.99, down 0.34%. Against the currencies in Switzerland, Canada and the United Kingdom, the USD traded mixed with the USD/CHF trading down 0.94% at 0.9413, the USD/CAD trading steady at 1.2727 while the GBP/USD traded at 1.5610, up 0.83%. Also, the U.S. dollar index traded at 96.43, down 0.52 percent.
On Wednesday, crude oil prices rose in Asian trading. This came in response to industry data out of the U.S. which showed a draw of crude stocks last week. Investors have now shifted their attention to the GDP data expected out of China today as well as the stockpile data from the U.S. Department of Energy. According to the API (American Petroleum Institute), last week, crude oil stocks fell by 7.3 million barrels. WTI crude oil for delivery in August traded at $53.30 a barrel, up 0.48%, on the NYMEX. Also, on Tuesday, Brent crude oil for delivery in August traded at $58.63 a barrel, up 0.84 percent on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London.