News Stocks 

Trump ethics official: Wilbur Ross violated conflict of interest agreement

“On Feb. 15 the Office of Government Ethics refused to certify that Ross is in compliance with his ethics agreement with the Trump administration” reports washingtonexaminer.com. The federal government’s official ethics watchdog says that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has violated an ethics agreement with the Trump administration and potentially a law put in place to ensure government officials cannot use their power to enrich themselves.Ross, a corporate financial lawyer turned multimillionaire private equity investor prior to joining President Trump’s Cabinet, blamed the ethics violation on his stock broker.Ross acknowledged he…

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Nobody wants to be defense secretary, and Trump may be the one keeping them away

“But they also appear to be tied to the personality of the person the defense secretary currently serves” writes Foreign Policy for businessinsider.com. An Office of the Director of National Intelligence spokesperson pushed back strongly on the notion that Coats had been offered the defense secretary job.Privately, Coats disagrees with the president’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, the former senior administration official said.”Heather Wilson would bring extraordinary qualifications to the job of defense secretary,” said Thompson, of the Lexington Institute. Source: businessinsider.com

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News Oil Stocks 

Buffett’s Suncor bet to revive investor interest in Canadian energy

“Some investors are betting that a change in government in Alberta after a spring election could benefit the oil industry” reports businessinsider.com. FILE PHOTO: A Suncor refinery is seen in Sherwood Park Thomson Reuters By John Tilak and Fergal Smith TORONTO (Reuters) – Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s re-investment in Suncor Energy Inc highlights the benefits of being an integrated oil company and could revive investor interest in the languishing Canadian energy sector, fund managers said.While a bet on Suncor is not seen as a play on the entire industry, major Berkshire…

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NY Court reschedules oral argument in “mega lawsuit” against FXCM Inc

“The lawsuit, which consolidates several actions brought on behalf of FXCM investors, represents a federal securities class action” reports financefeeds.com. There has been a slight change in the timing of the proceedings in the lawsuit launched by investors in FXCM Inc, now known as Global Brokerage Inc (OTCMKTS:GLBR).The plaintiffs seek to recover compensable damages caused by alleged violations of federal securities laws by FXCM and its top executives. Source: financefeeds.com

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Asia has ‘mitigating factors’ to counter a global growth slowdown, says bank CEO

“Global growth is expected to slow in the coming months, but Asian economies could hold up reasonably well, thanks to several “mitigating factors,” according to the chief executive of Southeast Asia’s largest bank” writes Yen Nee Lee for cnbc.com. Gupta noted that Asia is still projected to grow at 5.5 percent to 6 percent this year despite the overall softer global environment.In addition, the U.S. Federal Reserve holding back from raising interest rates further is good news for Asia, said Steve Cochrane, chief Asia Pacific economist at Moody’s Analytics.Several central…

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Facebook reportedly demonstrated ‘informal interest’ in buying the company that made HQ Trivia but backed off after reports of ‘creepy’ behavior from its late co-founder

“Facebook at one point demonstrated “informal interest” in buying Intermedia Labs, the company responsible for the game-show app HQ Trivia, The Wall Street Journal reports” writes Mark Matousek for businessinsider.com. But Facebook’s interest reportedly waned after Recode published an article describing allegations of inappropriate behavior by Intermedia Labs co-founder Colin Kroll during his time working for Twitter. Source: businessinsider.com

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Chicago police questioning 2 ‘persons of interest’ in reported attack against actor Jussie Smollett

“Chicago police are questioning two people of interest who were seen on surveillance cameras in the area where “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett says he was attacked in Streeterville more than two weeks ago” writes Tribune Staff for sun-sentinel.com. “Detectives have identified the persons of interest in the area of the alleged attack of the Empire cast member,” Guglielmi said in a tweet. Source: sun-sentinel.com

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Futures Markets News 

Wall Street bear warns the earnings slowdown will crush rally

“Wall Street bear Peter Boockvar warns that 2019’s market rally is flawed, and a major setback will slam stocks” writes unknown author for cnbc.com. According to Boockvar, it’s not unreasonable to worry about the earnings slowdown developing into a full-blown earnings recession.His chief reasons include sluggish global growth, the earnings slowdown and a fuzzy economics picture.”The higher the market goes [and] the lower earnings estimates go, the more expensive the market is getting.”. “With respect to corporate earnings, we’re seeing a decline in earnings expectations for this year.”.  Source: cnbc.com

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