Weekly News: April 3

SpaceX rocket launch history, BlackRock robots and Amazon takeovers.

Weekly Recap:

An exciting week for the robotic world with an historical launch for SpaceX led by billionaire Elon Musk, and also a big move from BlackRock as it turns many of its actively managed funds into passive ones. Amazon hasn’t been sitting quietly either, as it makes a move to acquire the Middle Eastern based online retailer Souq.com as it seeks to grow business across the globe.


Top 5 Stories From Last Week:

SpaceX Launch: It’s hard to imagine making history with something that’s already been used but that’s exactly what Elon Musk has done. SpaceX, run by the entrepreneurial Tesla CEO, has successfully made recycling history by launching a rocket booster for the second time, and landing it on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the first time that a pre-flown booster has been re-used and marks a huge milestone in spaceflight history, and for SpaceX’s plans to travel to Mars. FYI: the booster is normally discarded on any kind of space mission after a rocket is launched. Separate to the booster, the main part of the rocket continues into space. In this case, the rocket will continue into space and will provide communication services to Latin America while orbiting the Earth.

Amazon Buys Souq: Retail giant Amazon has agreed to buy Dubai-based Souq.com, an online retailer who calls itself the “Amazon of the Middle East”. Details of the deal are not yet fully announced but reports say that Amazon bid $800M for Souq.

Rise of the Machines at BlackRock: In the much-debated active vs. passive investing divide, BlackRock has outlined ambitious plans in favor of robots. BlackRock announced on Tuesday that around 11% of their active equity funds (a whopping $30B in assets) has been targeted to be switched to a more rules based approach when it comes to stock picking. $6B of BlackRock funds are to be re-branded as BlackRock Advantage Funds.

Affording your Home Sweet Home: The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index figures came out on Tuesday and the news is bad is you’re looking to buy a home. Home prices hit a 31-month high in January 2017, with the index rising 5.7% in the 3-month period ending in Jan. The largest price increases were seen in the western USA metro areas.

Your Web Browsing May Not be as Secret as You Would Like: Congress has made moves to allow huge telecom companies to track and sell its customers web browsing history in a controversial vote. This could mean more targeted ads and puts a dark cloud over online privacy rights.


The Week’s Market Trends:

Index Close Week YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average 20,663 0.3% 4.6%
S&P 500 2,363 0.8% 5.5%
NASDAQ 5,912 1.4% 9.8%
10-yr Treasury Yield 2.39% -0.02% -0.06%
Oil ($/bbl) $50.74 5.8% -5.5%
Biggest S&P 500 Winner
Vertex Pharma (VRTX) 109.35 21.24% 49.44%
Biggest S&P 500 Loser
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) 23.69 -21.70% -23.12%


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