Weekly Financial Recap March 11th

Some highlights of this past week’s news in business

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Entertainment

Netflix announced that three selections from Dave Chappelle’s “personal comedy vault” of previous shows in the past year will be available on their site this year. The first special is set to air on March 21st on the streaming platform. The addition of Chappelle is expected to boost viewership and further challenge HBO and Showtime who have previous had a duopoly over comedy broadcasting. Netflix has also announced that specials from Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock will be released this year as well.

Oil & Gas

Exxon Mobil Corporation recently announced plans to invest $20 Billion dollars through 2022 in expanding its chemical and oil refining plants on the U.S. Gulf Coast, specifically, in Texas and Louisiana. These investments will include chemical, refining, lubricant, and liquefied natural gas projects at 11 proposed and existing sites. These investments are expected to create 35,000 temporary construction jobs and 12,000 permanent jobs over the course of the next 10 years. This move will further advance U.S. shale oil production and increase global oil supply.

U.S. Economy and Trade 

All major U.S. indexes rose this past week despite the initial jobless claims rising more than expected this week by 20,000 to 243,000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 2.46 points or 0.01%  to 20,858.19, the S&P 500 gained 1.89 points, or 0.08%, to 2,364.87, and the NASDAQ composite added 1.26 points, or 0.02%, to 5,838.81.

The United States posted their largest goods and trade deficit in five years in January. The deficit rose to 48.5 Billion, up $4.2 Billion from $44.3 Billion, approximately 9.4%, in December of 2016.

Technology 

Airbnb raised $1 Billion dollars in funding at an evaluation of $31 Billion. The short-term lodging company is currently valued as the second most valuable startup in Silicon Valley, just behind the ride-sharing app Uber. The company reported profitability during 2H16 and expects to continue profitability throughout 2017 on an EBITDA basis. Contrary to many reports, the company does not expect to launch an IPO this year, given that it has just finished its most recent source of funding which started last summer.

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The company has also launched a new product line of “experiences” where customers can engage in different excursions in various tourist destinations. Airbnb continues to expand its platform to become a full-service end-to-end hospitality company.

Ali Punjani
Independent Business Blogger

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