Weekly Financial Recap February 25th

Some highlights of this past week’s news in finance

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Markets

The FTSE Global Equity Index Series (GEIS), which covers equities and sectors relevant to international investors, hit a record intraday high on Thursday of 295.96. The global equity benchmark has risen roughly 8% since the November election of U.S. President Donald Trump. This growth can be attributed to President Trump’s promise of tax cuts and deregulation, financial stimulus, and infrastructure spending.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday evening with a 1.3% gain for the week. Intel, Wal-Mart Stores, and Johnson & Johnson rallied gains this week with each earning gains of approximately 1%.

Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin announced that he and his staff began looking into the possibility of issuing debt with maturities up to 50-100 years. Currently, maturities are only issued for up to 30 years. While this move would not be unique to the United States, as Canada and France have issued debt with equally long maturities, its implications to the value of the U.S. dollar and its potential liquidity are uncertain.

Oil

Crude oil prices fell on Wednesday to $53.59 and closed out at the end of the week at $54.02. Some analysts suspect that crude oil’s recent dip comes from concerns over rising U.S. shale oil production which may undermine efforts by OPEC to curb global oil production. U.S. crude oil production averaged about 9 million b/d which matched its highest level since April of 2016 according to EIA data.

Retail: Food and Beverage

Restaurant Brands International confirmed on Tuesday that it will pay $1.8 Billion for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Popeyes has boasted 8 straight years of stock growth along with more than 2,600 independently managed franchises. The addition of the Louisiana food-chain will diversify RBI’s current portfolio of restaurants which include Burger King and Tim Hortons. RBI will pay $79 a share to acquire Popeyes. This price marks a 27% premium based on Popeye’s 30-day volume weighted average price as of February 10th.

Ali Punjani
Independent Finance & Economics Blogger

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