Markets Today

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Here's what you need to know in markets on Friday.

1. Bank of America Merrill Lynch's commodity strategists see a risk that Brent crude oil returns to $100 per barrel by next year.Brent last touched that level in September 2014, as oil prices descended into their worst crash in a generation.

2. Cisco's CMO wrote a blog post declaring that the company wants to avoid a "brand-tarnishing experience" and that it was pulling all of its ads from YouTube. The post was quietly deleted about 24 hours after it was published, following Business Insider's inquiries to YouTube about the matter.

3. US stocks rose Thursday, with all three major US indices closing higher on lukewarm inflation data. Oil soared after Israel and Iran engaged in the most direct military confrontation yet between the two countries. The dollar and Treasury yields fell.

4. Asian markets started on a firm footing and the dollar eased on Friday as softer-than-forecast US inflation data tempered expectations for faster Federal Reserve interest rate rises this year. Japan's Nikkei closed up 1.2%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 1.2% at the time of writing (7.20 a.m. BST/2.20 a.m. ET), and China's Shanghai Composite is down 0.07%.

5. The world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal reported higher-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Friday, helped by a sharp pick-up in metal prices. The company’s first-quarter core profit (EBITDA) rose 13% year-on-year to $2.51 billion, Reuters reports, which was above the average $2.33 billion expected in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.

6. Daniel Loeb's activist hedge fund Third Point is in talks with investment banks about launching a "blank check" company that would raise money in an initial public offering to pursue an acquisition, according to people familiar with the matter. The new investment vehicle, which is referred to on Wall Street as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), would be the first of its kind to be raised by an activist hedge fund such as Third Point, which acquires stakes in public companies to pressure them to pursue changes or seek board representation.

7. Hedge funds and other large speculators are currently holding their largest-ever short position on one of the market's most closely watched assets, US Treasurys. History suggests that positioning to this degree will be detrimental to their long-term prospects since it's acted like a contrarian indicator in the past.

8. Facebook has erased all of its losses that occurred in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Shares hit an intraday high of $185.99 on Thursday, just above their closing price of $185.09 on the last trading day before news of the scandal broke.

9. Graphics chipmaker Nvidia pulled the curtain back on its bitcoin mining-related business for the first time on Thursday.But the real game-changing opportunity for Nvidia is not inside the crowded cryptocurrency mines — it's in the wide-open field of artificial intelligence.

10. Dropbox beat Wall Street's Q1 targets and gave a better-than-expected business forecast on Thursday in its first quarterly report card as a public company. But investors had already bid up the stock sharply in the first few weeks since its IPO and shares of Dropbox slipped slightly after the "beat-and-raise" report.