Morning Brief: Massive chip security flaws put phones, computers at risk

Thursday, January 4, 2018

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The stock market continues its strong start to 2018. Markets rallied again on Wednesday with tech stocks leading the way as each of the major averages hit new record highs.

On Thursday, investors will get two pieces of labor market data to break down with the latest reading on private payroll growth from data-provider ADP and the weekly report on initial jobless claims both expected in the morning. These data come just a day before Friday’s big jobs report for December.

The earnings calendar will also be more busy on Thursday with Monsanto (MON) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) expected to report results.

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Top news

Security flaws put virtually all phones, computers at risk: Security researchers on Wednesday disclosed a set of security flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel Corp. (INTC), Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and ARM Holdings. One of the bugs is specific to Intel but another affects laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and internet servers alike. [Reuters]

Tesla breaks another production promise: Tesla Inc.(TSLA) pushed back a production target for its Model 3 again after shipping fewer of the sedans than expected, setting back Elon Musk’s goal to mass-manufacture electric cars. The company now expects to assemble 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of June, delaying plans to reach that milestone by another three months. [Bloomberg]

Merrill Lynch bars trading of bitcoin fund, futures: Merrill Lynch has blocked clients and financial advisers who trade on their behalf from buying bitcoin, citing concerns over the cryptocurrency’s investment suitability. The ban applies to all accounts and precludes the firm’s roughly 17,000 advisers not only from pitching bitcoin-related investments but also from executing client requests to trade the Grayscale Investment Trust bitcoin fund, according to a person familiar with the matter. [The Wall Street Journal]

AmEx to post 4Q loss on $2.4B hit from tax legislation:  American Express Co. (AXP)  said it expects to report a fourth-quarter loss due to a $2.4 billion hit from the tax legislation which makes it cheaper for U.S. companies to repatriate profits. The company also said it expects full-year 2017 earnings to be below its $5.80-$5.90 per share forecast. [Reuters]

What Fitbit’s 6 billion nights of sleep data reveals about us: Fitbit (FIT), which began tracking sleep stages in March 2017, has collected data from 6 billion nights of sleep creating the largest study on sleep in history. Here’s what Fitbit discovered about how Americans sleep.  Fitbit shared the results with Yahoo Finance first. [Yahoo Finance]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” President Donald Trump said in a statement released to the press on Wednesday. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” Trump renounced his former chief strategist after scathing remarks of Trump’s advisers and family members by Bannon surfaced in an upcoming book. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” President Donald Trump said in a statement released to the press on Wednesday. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” Trump renounced his former chief strategist after scathing remarks of Trump’s advisers and family members by Bannon surfaced in an upcoming book. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals. 

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