Markets Unsettled on Hopes of Ukraine Ceasefire; Putin Hints at Progress in Talks
Financial markets rose Friday morning to hints from Russian President Vladimir Putin that progress had been made in talks between Russia and Ukraine, only to sink later in the day.
“The Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded on Friday – but is heading for its fifth straight week of losses —as investors hope ceasefire talks could be gaining traction between Russia and Ukraine,” write Maggie Fitzgerald and Samantha Subin of CNBC. “The Dow rose 260 points, helped by gains in Boeing and Goldman Sachs. The S&P 500 rose 0.7%. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.7%.
The CNBC report notes “The moves came despite another day of higher energy prices. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, rose 1.4% to $107.46 while international standard Brent crude moved 1.6% higher to $111.04.”
According to a Bloomberg News report, “Putin cited unspecified ‘positive movement’ in talks with Ukraine, hours after saying he’d bring in fighters from the Middle East to supplement Russian forces.”
Google Will Buy Mandiant
Google is strengthening its hand with the acquisition of a major player in cybersecurity
“Google on Tuesday announced it has agreed to buy cybersecurity firm Mandiant for around $5.4 billion, one of the largest acquisitions in the tech giant’s history and a big bet that helping companies better address cyber threats can bolster its cloud computing business,” writes Jennifer Korn of CNN Business. “Google Cloud is central to the company’s broader efforts to diversity its revenue beyond its core search advertising business. Although Google Cloud sales have grown at a fast clip, it has struggled to compete with similar services from Microsoft and Amazon.”
SpaceX Launches More Starlink Satellites
This week’s launch of 48 more Starlink satellites was accompanied by a sideways reference to the tension between the U.S. and Russia.
“A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral in Florida, adding 48 new satellites to SpaceX’s 2,000-strong constellation of internet-providing devices orbiting the Earth,” writes Stefanie Waldek of TechCrunch. “While this flight was nothing new for SpaceX — the company has launched seven Starlink missions this year, plus three other missions — there was a particularly interesting quip tossed into the launch sequence.”
SpaceX’s launch director said it was “Time to let the American broomstick fly and hear the sounds of freedom,” an apparent reference to a comment made earlier by a Russian space official after banning the sale of rockets to the U.S. and suggesting that Americans “fly on something else, their broomsticks.”
Peloton Boosts Level of Apple Integration
If you’ve got a Peloton and an Apple Watch, you’ll be happy to know that your devices will be more closely integrated.
“Peloton’s making it easier for Apple Watch users to close their rings … the company announced a new Apple Watch integration for the original Bike, Bike Plus, and Tread,” writes Victoria Song of The Verge. “According to a Peloton blog, the Peloton watch app will notify users any time they start a class on the Bike, Bike Plus, or Tread. It’ll also work for classes started on the app. Users can also choose to proactively start recording workouts. If enabled, the Apple Watch can also double as a heart rate monitor so you can view Peloton’s Strive Score feature. The Strive Score is a metric that tells users how much time they spend in a specific heart rate zone. It’ll also make it easier to log Peloton workouts in Apple’s Activity app.”