Amazon wants something from Donald Trump that Congress could not get — the president on the witness stand — plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money and Markets.
The Top Story
It’s no secret that Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) wasn’t happy about losing a $10 billion defense contract to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).
The drama surrounding the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract took a turn Monday when lawyers for Amazon asked a judge to allow the company to depose Trump.
Amazon has asserted the Trump administration — and specifically Trump himself — exercised “unmistakable bias” in awarding the massive contract to cloud computing rival Microsoft.
Amazon filed a lawsuit in December challenging the award in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., citing Trump exerted “improper pressure” on the Pentagon to keep the deal from going to Amazon — which is run by CEO Jeff Bezos, a common target of Trump on social media over how he’s covered in the Washington Post, which Bezos owns.
In a redacted document made public in December, Amazon said Trump used “his personal dislike” of Bezos and his office to steer the Pentagon away from Amazon in the bid process.
Amazon said it also wants to depose current Defense Secretary Mark Esper and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis about the decision.
The Pentagon denies any outside influences in its decision to award Microsoft the cloud-computing contract.
Amazon and Microsoft both closed up 2.6% Monday.
Money and Markets: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 3,352 (+24 points, +0.7%)
DOW: 29,276 (+174 points, +0.6%)
NASDAQ: 9,628 (+107 points, +1.1%)
GOLD: $1,573 (+$3, +0.2%)
BITCOIN: $9,845.34 (-$235.46, -2.3%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 1.56%
*- as of 4:20 p.m.
A Big Win
In this morning’s Wall Street Wake-Up, we told you about Taubman Centers Inc. (NYSE: TCO) being acquired by rival Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG). It was a big day for Taubman as shares rose 53.2% Monday.
You also read about L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LBXRX) increasing its bid to buy HP Inc. (NYSE: HP). Xerox’s initial bid of $22 per share was rebuffed by HP. Their new bid is $24 per share.
Global payments company Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) is acquiring Toronto-based Dessa. Dessa specializes in building machine learning applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Silver futures also jumped 0.4% Monday as the metal inched closer to the $18 mark.
Platinum did fall 0.5% to $961 an ounce while palladium moved up to $2,260 an ounce.
Nevada-based cannabis cultivator Flower One Holdings Inc. (Over-the-Counter: FLOOF) has partnered with Arizona’s Huxton to expand the latter into the Nevada market.
Huxton will now be available in some retailers throughout Nevada. Flower One shares fell 0.1%.
Other cannabis stocks were lower Monday.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) moved down 8.2% after tumbling last week on news its CEO was leaving the company. Shares of Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) dropped 2.9%.
Stock Market Update
A survey of 11 analysts suggests the gross domestic product for the first quarter may average around 1.2% — down nearly a full point from Q4 2019.
The slowdown is mainly due to ongoing fears surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.
The survey found that Q1 forecasts range from 0.4% to 2%.
Despite the possibility of a GDP growth halt, the S&P 500 remains 100 points up for the year while the 10-year Treasury yield is down 37 basis points.
“Rate markets are sending warning signs, creating renewed disconnect between rate and equity markets,” JP Morgan said in a report. “What we find complacent is the idea among some market participants that Chinese economic weakness will have limited repercussions for the rest of the world.”
On Monday, markets rebounded from a sluggish start.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% after starting the day down 0.2%. The S&P 500 moved up 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.1%, a new record.
Slack Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WORK) shares jumped 15.6% Monday after the company announced IBM Inc. (NYSE: IBM) would start using the messaging tool among all its employees.
Today’s Big Winners:
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: AMD) +5.1%
Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) +4.5%
Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) +3.1%
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) +2.3%
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) +2.6%
Today’s Big Losers:
Abiomed Inc. (Nasdaq: ABMD) -6.8%
Trip.com Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: TCOM) -3.5%
National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) -5.4%
Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC) -5.2%
Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) -3.3%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money and Markets.
Don’t forget about “Marijuana Markets: a POTcast,” featuring the biggest cannabis news and investment notes from Banyan Hill’s Anthony Planas, here on Money and Markets each Saturday morning.