Stocks surge; Buffett moves markets; Samsung in spotlight

1. Recovery rally continues: Global markets are continuing to recover after a very rough start to th...

Posted: Feb. 26, 2018 2:02 AM
Updated: Feb. 26, 2018 10:54 AM

1. Recovery rally continues: Global markets are continuing to recover after a very rough start to the month.

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US stock futures were higher ahead of the open.

European markets were up in early trading. Asian markets ended in positive territory, with stocks in China turning in a particularly strong performance.

The rally follows a banner Friday in the US. The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all rose between 1.4% and 1.8%.

2. The Buffett effect: Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is moving markets again.

Shares in Kraft Heinz were under pressure premarket after the food giant announced Buffett would be retiring from its board of directors.

"Mr. Buffett decided to retire from the board as he decreases his travel commitments," Kraft Heinz said in a press release on Friday.

Shares in Buffett's investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, were rising after the company published his annual letter to investors on Saturday.

Buffett told investors that Berkshire Hathaway made a $65.3 billion net gain in 2017, but roughly $29 billion of that came from changes to the US tax code.

"A large portion of our gain did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire," he wrote.

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3. Wheels and deals: The chairman of a Chinese automaker has taken a 10% stake in Germany's Mercedes Benz-maker Daimler.

In a filing in Germany late Friday, it was disclosed that Li Shufu, the chairman of Chinese automaker Geely, had bought 103.6 million shares of Daimler stock, worth $9 billion.

The stake will not be owned by Geely directly. It will be held by an investment vehicle known as Tenaclou3 Prospect Investment Ltd., according to the filing.

Shares in Geely jumped by 6.5% in Hong Kong. Shares in Daimler slipped by about 1% in Germany.

4. Earnings: The dairy giant Dean Foods will report earnings before the open.

Fitbit and Nutrisystem plan to release earnings after the close.

GE said in a filing late Friday that it plans to restate the last two years of results.

The struggling conglomerate said the restated results will slash its 2016 profits by about 13 cents per share and last year's profits by approximately 16 cents per share.

The move comes as GE adopts a new accounting standard that changes the way companies are allowed to measure the timing and impact of long-term contracts with customers.

5. Major mobile conference: The annual Mobile World Congress is underway in Barcelona. The world's biggest smartphone makers - minus Apple - will be there.

Samsung unveiled new smartphones -- the Galaxy S9 and S9+.

While the phones are about the same size as the previous versions, the screens are brighter and slightly bigger. They have an advanced camera and stereo speakers, along with fun new tools, such as photo language translation and improved slow-motion video.

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6. Coming this week:

Monday - Mobile World Congress kicks off
Tuesday - Earnings from Macy's, Booking Holdings (formerly Priceline), Express Scripts and Discovery Communications; Fed chair Jerome Powell testifies before the House Financial Services Committee
Wednesday - Second estimate of US Q4 GDP; Earnings from Lowe's, TJX, Salesforce, L Brands, Monster Beverage and Mylan
Thursday - Earnings from Best Buy, Kohl's, Nordstrom, Gap and Barnes & Noble; Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee
Friday - Foot Locker and JCPenney earnings

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