Fear on Wall Street; Chaos in Washington; Carlos Ghosn rearrested

1. Fear on Wall Street: US stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Friday, sugge...

Posted: Dec 21, 2018 3:11 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2018 3:11 PM

1. Fear on Wall Street: US stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Friday, suggesting the dramatic sell-off sparked by economic and political worries may be over -- for now.

Investors remain concerned about weaker global economic growth, and the pace of future interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve. The Dow has lost 1,240 points this week.

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Events in Washington have added new fuel to those worries.

The United States appears to be headed for a government shutdown because of a political fight over money for a border wall.

Funding will expire for several key US government agencies at midnight on Friday. If the deadline is not extended, those agencies will shutter just days before Christmas.

The resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis on Thursday has thrown the capital into further disarray.

2. How markets are reacting: The Dow dropped 464 points, or 2%, on Thursday. The index closed below 23,000 for the first time since October 2017.

The Nasdaq lost 1.6% and only narrowly avoided closing in its first bear market since the Great Recession. The S&P 500 declined 1.6%.

The VIX volatility index jumped to the highest level since February. The CNN Business Fear & Greed Index of market sentiment dipped deeper into "extreme fear" territory.

On Friday, the pain extended to select global markets. European markets opened lower, while stocks in Asia were mixed.

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3. Carlos Ghosn may spend Christmas in jail: Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn was rearrested Friday by Japanese authorities over additional allegations of breach of trust.

Ghosn, who has been jailed for more than a month, scored a small legal victory on Thursday when a Tokyo court rejected a request to extend his detention on allegations of under-reporting his income. That raised the possibility that the auto industry legend could be released on bail before Christmas.

The new arrest means he can be held for at least another two days. With court approval, they can extend the detention by a further 10 to 20 days.

Ghosn's arrest in Tokyo last month on allegations of financial misconduct has shaken the international auto industry and strained the alliance he built between Nissan (NSANY), Renault (RNSDF) and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF).

4. Companies and economics: CarMax (KMX) will release earnings before the open.

Shares in Nike (NKE) rallied 7% in extended trading after the company said that sales surged 10% in the three months ended November 30 compared to last year.

That included a 26% increase in China, thanks to sales from Singles Day and demand for sneakers like Air Jordan.

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis will release two key pieces of data at 8:30 a.m. ET: a report on personal income in November, and a third estimate of third-quarter GDP.

Investors will be watching for any signs of weakness in the US economy. The second GDP estimate, released at the end of November, was a rate of 3.5% annualized growth. That was slower than the 4.2% rate in the second quarter, because of a deceleration in business investment.

Canada's latest GDP figures will also be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

5. Coming this week:
Friday — Carmax (KMX) earnings; GDP third estimate

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
Hendricks25845379
Porter25014381
Madison20656444
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Vigo18764308
LaPorte16857260
Delaware16425291
Howard16408311
Monroe16379217
Kosciusko13936163
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Bartholomew12686188
Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
Huntington7448108
Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
Knox6827113
Steuben654186
Miami6477107
Whitley642260
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Washington384154
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Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
Lake31445493
Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
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The warming trend is expected to continue through Thursday before cooler air returns to the Midwest.
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