The Week's Top Stories: Tariff Tensions and Lyft IPO

February 22, 2019

From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, these are the top stories that moved markets and had investors, business leaders, and entrepreneurs talking this week on Cheddar.

  • Tariff Tensions: With the March 1 deadline now less than a week away, U.S. and Chinese regulators remain mired in negotiations over tariffs and trade policy. Cabinet-level officials joined the talks late in the week, but a breakthrough has not yet been reported. If a deal isn't reached during this coming week, the 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would escalate to 25 percent unless President Trump extends the deadline. He suggested doing as much on Tuesday when he said March 1 was "not a magical date." Meanwhile, officials on both sides of the conflict are considering a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which would essentially become the new deadline for a deal. See more.

  • Foldable Phone: Samsung pulled out all the stops for its latest product release, which included the first mass-market foldable smartphone. The Galaxy Fold goes from phone to tablet, giving users the ability to run as many as three apps simultaneously. It is scheduled for release in April ー with a price tag of $1,980, hundreds more than the top of the line iPhone. Smartphone makers are hoping that innovative new designs can act as a shot in the arm to slowing phone sales, as fewer people feel the need to keep up with the never-ending upgrade cycle. At its product unveiling, Samsung also showed off new earbuds, a smartwatch, and several new Galaxy S10 models, including one built for 5G networks. See more.

  • Lyft IPO: Lyft is inching closer to its initial public offering with a plan to list shares on the Nasdaq in late March. Lyft and Uber had been in a race to see which company would get to market first, and it now appears clear Lyft will become the first measure of how investors and the public take to the ride-hailing business model. Lyft is expected to make its filing public as early as next week, which will unofficially kick off what is likely to be a red-hot year for IPOs. In addition to Uber, tech firms Slack, PostMates, Pinterest, and WeWork are all said to be preparing their public debuts. See more.

  • YouTube Ads Pulled: Hasbro ($HAS), AT&T($T) and Disney ($DIS) have all pulled their ads on YouTube after reports that a network of pedophiles has been lurking in the comments of videos of children. Nestle and Epic Games have also reportedly yanked ads. Google ($GOOGL) called the report "abhorrent" and said it had deleted over 400 channels and tens of millions of comments from the platform. For AT&T, it's the second time in two years the company decided to remove ads on the site. In 2017, AT&T yanked ads that had appeared alongside terrorist videos.

  • Apple & Goldman: Apple ($AAPL) and Goldman Sachs ($GS) are teaming up on a joint credit card that will work with Apple's Wallet app and give iPhone users access to budgeting and reward point features. The card had long been rumored, and marks a first for both companies, as well as a way to diversify their revenue streams as their core products ー iPhones for Apple, securities for Goldman ー slow. Goldman joined the retail banking fray three years ago with Marcus, its online consumer bank, and Apple Pay has been around since 2014, though it has been slow to catch on. The card is being tested among employees now and will launch this year.

ー Carlo Versano