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Stock market today, August 4, 2014: U.S. stock markets slumped again Friday despite positive news on the employment front. The U.S. economy added another 209,000 jobs in July, a sixth-consecutive monthly gain. However, the estimate fell short of economists' expectations, and the unemployment rate increased to 6.2% as more Americans search for work. The S&P 500 posted its largest weekly loss since April.
Here's the news that will be moving the U.S. stock markets today:
- Bailout World: Portugal announced the government will provide roughly $6.6 billion (4.9 billion euros) in emergency lending to stave off the collapse of its largest financial institution, Banco Espirito Santo. The deal comes just days after the bank's stock fell by more than 75% and trading was halted while central planners attempt to restructure the bank.
- A Major Accusation: Botox maker Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN) has accused its rival Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (NYSE: VRX) and billionaire activist investor Bill Ackman of insider trading. The pharmaceutical giant says that Ackman accessed private knowledge Allergan shares on word of Valeant's intentions to bid $51 billion for the company, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.
- Back to Business: Fast-food giant McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) said it has restored its full menu at its more than 2,000 restaurants in China, two weeks after the company and several rivals were embroiled in a massive food safety scandal. One of the firm's suppliers had sold McDonald's and others spoiled meat, which drastically affected the sales and brand reputation of Western fast food companies in the region.
- Welcome to the Party: Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) announced plans to expand its online sales portals to customize its sales offerings to individual users. The website will market more products to users based on their sales history. In addition, the site plans to create a homepage that incorporates additional information for each user based on their location, including local weather and events.
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.