Facebook Under Fire For Allowing Fake News To Spread On Its Platform

“Will it put the economy in a higher-growth orbit, or will it knock us down into the atmosphere and a fiery re-entry?” — Sean Snaith, director of the Institute of Economic Competitiveness. Will Trump make America great again and ignite economic growth, or will trade wars bring about a lose-lose? Stay tuned, folks.

Market Snapshot

  • The election-induced rally finally died down on Friday, but the Dow still posted its best week since 2011 and the S&P had its best week since 2014 as many investors expect an era of decreasing regulation and increased domestic spending
  • Shares of GrubHub fell 5.8% after the CEO sent an awkward email to staff denouncing Trump’s “hateful politics” and asking for the resignation of anyone that fostered “hateful attitudes”—inspiring adulation, backlash and protests alike

JC Penney Dropped Earnings

…And it was a rollercoaster. The department store (+3.97%) missed sales estimates and was just plain weaker than recovering peers like Kohl’s and Macy’s. Not a great start. It’s no surprise then that shares dropped 9% in pre-market activity. But then—a ray of light—investors took the time to read the fine print, and saw upside in guidance that promised improvement in same store sales in the near future—sending shares back to safety by the end of the day. What a day—we’re exhausted just writing about it.

No Days Off In Auto This Weekend

…Where to begin? Let’s start with Toyota (+1.03%): the Japanese automaker just agreed to a massive $3.4 billion settlement with truck owners due to car frames that could potentially rust, leaving some vehicles at risk for corroding. Next, it ain’t over for Volkswagen (+2.40%): it hit yet another bump in the road when it came to light that its luxury Audi vehicles might have been wrapped up in the company’s colossal emissions cheating scandal. Yes, the same one that’s already put the company in a $16.5 billion hole. Finally, BMW (+4.34%) served as the silver lining for the auto industry when it announced plans to ramp up electric car sales next year by offering more battery-powered vehicles and extending battery lives. Way to set the example, BMW.

Too Influential?

…That’s this week’s Facebook (-1.45%) theme, and it ain’t a good one. The social media giant has come under fire for allegedly being too lax in allowing fake news to spread on its platform, spurring partisanship and perhaps affecting the election. Ol’ Mark Zuckerberg responded by stating that over 99% of the news on Facebook is authentic, denying that such a small amount of fake news could have affected the election. With that said, Zuck also admitted that more could be done to improve the quality of information on the news feed…probably an important goal for a company that provides news to an estimated 44% of Americans.

Speaking of news, Facebook also announced that it would prevent advertisers from targeting specific ethnic groups. U.S. lawmakers had raised concerns that this form of targeting has the potential to be discriminatory—and for a company as central to life as Facebook, potential problems are real problems.

Other Stories

Economic Calendar

  • Monday: Mitsubishi Earnings
  • Tuesday: Home Depot, Vodafone, TJX, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Dick’s Sporting Goods Earnings; Retail Sales
  • Wednesday: Cisco, Lowe’s, Target, L Brands Earnings; Producer Price Index; Industrial Production
  • Thursday: Walmart, Best Buy, Gap, Salesforce, Ross Stores, J.M Smucker, Staples Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims; Housing Starts, Consumer Price Index
  • Friday: Foot Locker, Abercrombie & Fitch Earnings

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  • On average, employees receive a 2% pay premium for speaking more than one language.
  • World trade grew 2.7% in 2015, and 2016 GDP is projected at $119.1 trillion—the top five contributors are the U.S., China, Japan, Germany and the UK.

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Interview Question of the Day

How do fiscal and monetary policies affect aggregate demand? (Answer)

Business Term of the Day

It’s a known phenomenon—markets tend to freak out a bit after elections. The Presidential Election Cycle (Theory) is a theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states how U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a new U.S. president, improving until the next presidential election. However, data from the past few election cycles has disproven this theory.

Food for Thought

If Warren Buffett had a dollar for every dollar that the world’s 500 richest people lost this past week, he would be $6 billion richer. Instead, the Oracle of Omaha outdid that by growing his net worth by $6.2 billion, making him the second-richest person on the planet. How? Buffett, ironically a Clinton supporter, profited on his Wells Fargo investment that jumped 13% after the results of the election.

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