All good things come to an end and Patrick Pichette, Chief Financial Officer of Google Inc. (GOOG, -0.36%) will tell you the same. In a report on Tuesday, the company announced Pichetteâ€™s retirement but no specific date has been provided yet. Pichette will stay on for at least 6 months to assist Google in finding a new CFO and in ensuring â€˜an orderly transitionâ€™. As a result of this latest announcement, the shares of Google dropped 0.9 percent in after-hours trading after dropping 2.4% in the regular trading session. The shares of Google Class C (GOOG, -0.36%) traded at $554.37, down 0.1% and Class A (GOOGL, -0.16%) shares declined to $557.47 a share, down 0.4 percent. Pichette, aged 52, has served Google for seven years as the companyâ€™s CFO and will be stepping away in order to spend more time with his family. According to Pichette, a recent hike on Mt. Kilimanjaro with his wife prompted his decision to retire and to take more time for himself and his family as well as to travel. Pichetteâ€™s retirement letter was posted on his Google+ page by Larry Page, the co-founder and chief executive of Google.
In U.S. trading on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) had its worst one day decline in the last 5 months. This came in response to investor concerns that the Federal Reserve is likely to hike interest rates by June this year while other central banks are engaging in quantitative easing. The European Central Bank (ECB) is currently purchasing bonds and as a result, European government bond yields declined while the euro also traded at an all-time low against the U.S. dollar (USD). As a result, volatility was created in the commodity and foreign exchange markets while the DJIA and the S&P 500 index were both pushed into the red for the year. As the surging greenback negatively impacted commodities, investors turned to Treasurys causing yields on the 10-year note to decline to 2.12%, down seven basis points. The DJIA dropped 1.9 percent, or 332.8 points, to 17,662.9. This marked the blue-chip indexâ€™s worst point drop since the 9th of October last year. Also on the downside was the S&P 500 index (SPX) which declined 1.7%, or 35.26 points, at 2,044.2. This marked the SPXâ€™s biggest one-day percentage decline in the last 9 weeks with all main sectors finishing in the red. Following the downward trend was the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) which also declined 1.7%, or 82.6 points, at 4,859.8.
With expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to increase interest rates soon, the U.S. dollar (USD) traded broadly higher. Adding to the strength of the greenback was the release of better than expected data on the jobs report last week which boosted expectations for rate hikes. While the Fed is expected to raise interest rates by June this year, next weekâ€™s Fed meeting will hopefully provide more indication regarding the timeline. Meanwhile, the euro declined to fresh 12-year lows with EUR/USD trading at 1.0758, down 0.89%. This came after the Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, said in a meeting on Monday that eurozone representatives should return to Greece to inspect government books in order to obtain more financial aid. Greece has agreed to the inspection and so the ECB, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission will start to work in Athens from Wednesday. Meanwhile, the greenback traded higher against the British pound and the yen with GBP/USD down 0.32% at 1.5078 and with USD/JPY up 0.41 percent and trading at 121.65.
On Wednesday, in Asian trading, crude oil prices continued to advance. This increase came in response to positive U.S. inventory data released yesterday as well as to key data expected out of China today on retails sales, investment as well as industrial output for January and February. In their weekly report, the American Petroleum Institute stated that stocks of crude oil last week in the U.S. declined by 404,000 barrels. As a result, WTI crude oil for delivery in April traded at $48.64 a barrel, up 0.72%, on the NYMEX. Meanwhile, Brent oil for April delivery traded at $57.12 a barrel on Tuesday on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), down 1.96 or 3.32%.