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Big stock swings; Cinemark earnings; Beijing grabs Waldorf Astoria

1. Market movers -- Tech, banks, airlines: There have been few dull moments in the markets this mont...

Posted: Feb. 23, 2018 4:21 AM
Updated: Feb. 23, 2018 12:17 PM

1. Market movers -- Tech, banks, airlines: There have been few dull moments in the markets this month, and Friday's no exception.

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Shares in Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP, which were once one company, were shooting higher in premarket trading after reporting better-than-expected earnings on Thursday.

Royal Bank of Scotland stock is down by 4.5% in London, making it one of the worst performers on the FTSE 100 index after the bank released its latest annual results. The bank turned a profit of -752 million ($1.1 billion) last year, its first annual profit in a decade, but that was less than expected.

Shares in British Airways owner International Airlines Group are also down by about 5% in London after the airline released annual results that disappointed investors.

"While CEO [Willie] Walsh praised the results as 'very good' in the face of a transformational period, the results don't necessarily leave investors any clearer as to how current restructuring will benefit the group in the long-term," said Henry Croft, research analyst at Accendo Markets.

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2. Earnings: Other stocks that could be on the move Friday include Cinemark, Potbelly and US Cellular, which are all releasing earnings before the bell.

3. Anbang in trouble: The Chinese government has seized control of Anbang Insurance, which owns major assets in the U.S., including the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission said in a series of statements that Anbang Chairman Wu Xiaohui has been removed from his post and is being prosecuted for "economic crimes."

The Chinese firm is best known for its ambitious deal-making overseas, but it has also had some high-profile failures, including an abortive bid for the Starwood hotel chain, and unsuccessful talks with the Kushner family business over a Manhattan office tower.

4. Global market overview: Stock markets are muddled right now.

U.S. stock futures are pointing up while European markets are mostly declining in early trading.

Asian markets ended the day with decent gains.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.7%, while the S&P 500 inched up 0.1% and the Nasdaq dipped 0.1%.

Investors will be monitoring the Federal Reserve's twice-a-year monetary policy report to Congress, which comes out at 11 a.m. ET.

5. BlackRock and guns: Investment firm BlackRock has plans for serious talks with gun companies.

It "will be engaging with weapons manufacturers and distributors to understand their response to recent events," spokesperson Ed Sweeney said in a statement this week.

BlackRock is the largest shareholder in gunmakers Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands. It is the second largest shareholder in Vista Outdoor.

Sweeney said BlackRock is working with customers who want to keep gun companies and "other companies that don't align with their values" out of their portfolios.

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6. Coming this week:

Friday - Cinemark and Potbelly earnings

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