Dollar dissonance; U.S. GDP; Walmart’s Kindle rival
1. Dollar dissonance: The U.S. dollar fell against other major currencies early Friday before recovering slightly. It erased most of a 1% jump notched up after President Trump told CNBC on Thursday that the dollar would get “stronger and stronger.”
Trump was speaking in the Swiss town of Davos, where he is attending the World Economic Forum’s annual summit. His remarks came just a day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker dollar is “good for trade,” sending the currency to its lowest level since 2014.
Mnuchin tried to clarify his stance on Thursday, saying the U.S. wasn’t concerned with where the dollar was in the short term. “In the long term, the dollar’s strength reflects the U.S. economy,” he added.
Trump will address the annual gathering of the global elite on Friday at 8:00 a.m. ET, when he is expected to tout the benefits of his “America First” agenda.
2. U.S. GDP: Trump will be hoping for some good economic news from back home, when the U.S. reveals its first estimates of gross domestic product growth for the fourth quarter. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of about 3% in the previous two quarters, and a third consecutive quarter at that pace would be a big boost for Trump as he begins his second year in office.
U.S. stock futures were all slightly up on Friday.
European markets also edged upwards in early trading, while Asian markets ended the week mixed.
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3. Walmart’s e-book push: The retailer has been locked in an intense battle with Amazon (AMZN), and is now taking on its popular e-book business.
Walmart(WMT) said late Thursday that it will start selling e-books and audiobooks online later this year. The company is partnering up with Amazon’s Japanese competitor, Rakuten. The two firms also plan to set up an online grocery platform in Japan, an industry where Amazon is expanding.
Walmart will sell Rakuten’s Kobo e-book readers — devices similar to Amazon’s hugely popular Kindle — to customers in the United States.
4. Earnings: Colgate-Palmolive (CL) and Honeywell (HON) plan to release earning before the open Friday.
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5. Coming this week:
Friday — Honeywell earnings, Q4 GDP.
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