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Antitrust Laws may Put US Tech Giants in the Law’s Crosshairs

Yesterday, the US markets closed the trading session with little changes. The S&P 500 closed down 0.1% while the Nasdaq reached another record high thanks to Tesla’s rally. The Nasdaq could be affected if a series of U.S. antitrust measures that would allow other technology companies to gain market share are approved.

Crude oil continues to trade around $73 a barrel, and gold is trading around $1775.3 an ounce. Bitcoin remains at $32,700, recovering losses from earlier in the week.

The US manufacturing activity data was released yesterday. The figures showed that manufacturing expanded at a strong pace in June, going back to 2007 records. At the same time, manufacturing companies are working with high input growth, hiring problems, and delays with suppliers.

Tech Antitrust

Yesterday, draft legislation that could ‘clip the wings’ of tech giants such as Amazon and Google was debated in the US. The bills, in question, seek to reduce the monopoly of the big tech companies and leave little more room for other companies in the market. The anti-trust package is made up of 6 bills and one of the bills that were approved yesterday proposes that internet platforms share browsing data with other platforms.

The bills being debated by the House of Representatives are getting a lot of pushbacks from both sides of the aisle and from the companies affected. Google is trying to put pressure on congressmen to delay the passage of the bills. In the meantime, Apple released a report yesterday, stating that consumer safety could be compromised if other platforms (other than the App Store) are used to download apps.

Some data releases and economic events scheduled for today could generate volatility in the markets:

·        United States Core Durable Goods Orders m/m

·        United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP) q/q

·        US Unemployment Claims

·        BoC (Bank of England) Interest Rate Decision

The Bank of England’s interest rate decision comes at a time when Britain does not appear to be in good economic health. Yesterday, a report by The Crown Estate, a property leasing company, highlighted that some shops on the wealthiest streets of London’s West End are empty.

London’s Empty Retail Properties

The company that manages the British monarchy’s property portfolio, as well as a large proportion of the UK’s shopping and leisure centers, noted that “things are about to get worse”. The value of its assets in the island’s capital has fallen by nearly 700 million pounds ($978 million).

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