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Inside Finance (Apr 3rd, 2019)

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Thanks for reading, your support means a lot to me. Now, let's check in on the businesses, people and policies moving markets today.

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1. Major market indexes held onto solid gains for most of the day. Gains in materials and tech stocks helped the S&P 500 pull ahead early in the day. The Dow and S&P 500 both ended up about 0.2 percent, while the Nasdaq pulled further ahead to end up 0.6 percent. That makes five straight days of gains for the S&P 500. Among the major market movers, construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is down more than half a percent. A Deutsche Bank analyst downgraded Caterpillar's stock, citing growth concerns. The market could see more major movement on Friday when a jobs report could extend the winning streak – or stop it in its tracks. – CNBC

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2. A top U.S. commerce official told the Financial Times that "90 percent of the [China trade] deal is done." Some analysts say the report, which was published late Tuesday, sent stocks soaring this morning. While traders may be celebrating a sign of peaceful trading waters ahead, it's far from a done deal. Myron Brilliant, executive vice president of international affairs at the Chamber of Commerce, said that the remaining 10 percent of negotiations "will be the hardest part." Negotiators reportedly still have to figure out how to implement and enforce the deal. China also wants existing tariffs lifted, which President Trump has previously opposed. – FINANCIAL TIMES

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3. #JargonWatch

Whether you know what it means or not, you're probably already keeping tabs on FAANG stocks, using their products and signing into their services.

FAANG has become a convenient shorthand for investors who want to follow the five most popular – and arguably most consequential – tech stocks of our time. Broken down, FAANG stands for Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (APPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google's parent company Alphabet (GOOG).

Not only are these companies popular with the broader public, but they're also incredibly valuable. Closely watched funds have been pouring money into these stocks in recent years, and last month the combined market capitalization of these companies hit $3.1 trillion. Volatility in 2018 raised some concerns about a FAANG bubble, though plenty of analysts remain bullish.

Whichever way the stocks move, you can expect the broader market to follow. As of the start of the year, FAANG stocks hold many of the top spots in the S&P 500 in order of market cap, including the second, third and fifth positions.

Every first Wednesday of each month we’re going to dig deeper into the vocabulary of finance, unpacking some of the jargon and buzzwords that you may see analysts throw around, but may not grasp entirely. As with any of Inside Finance's features, suggestions and feedback are welcome and encouraged, just hit reply to this email!

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4. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump told Fed Chair Jay Powell, "I guess I'm stuck with you." The comments were reportedly made during a phone call on March 8. While blunt, the comments aren't out of the blue. The president has repeatedly blamed lackluster economic data on the Federal Reserve and rate hikes. He even went so far as to tweet his assertion that, "The only problem our economy has is the Fed." Republican leaders have confirmed that they've heard similar comments from the president, but they don't believe Powell can be fired. – WSJ

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5. Verizon shares enjoyed a boost this morning after the company deployed 5G networks for the first time. Minneapolis and Chicago now have a 5G network, but Verizon hopes to expand to 28 more cities this year. However, not all Verizon customers will get to participate. To take advantage of the 5G network, you've got to be a Verizon customer with an unlimited plan and a modified Motorola Z3. For an extra $10 per month, those customers can now enjoy speeds of up to one gigabit per second – that's about 10 times faster than the average LTE connection. – THE VERGE

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6. Apple may miss out on the first wave of 5G. Unless Apple quickly resolves a legal dispute with chipmaker Qualcomm, analysts say it's increasingly unlikely that a 5G-compatible iPhone will hit shelves before 2021. – BUSINESS INSIDER

7. Zillow has unveiled a "home loan" division that will offer mortgages directly to homebuyers. Elsewhere in the housing industry, Facebook plans to add a feature that allows users to explore listings around the U.S. – CNBC

8. Amazon has removed promotional search result spots that were previously reserved for its own products. The quiet change came after Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren called for breaking up companies like Amazon and Google, arguing that marketplace operators shouldn't also sell their own products in that marketplace. – YAHOO! FINANCE

9. From market pop to flop: Lyft is now the most expensive bearish bet in U.S. equities. Lyft shares enjoyed a 9 percent gain in their first day of trading last week. Since then they've slumped, the demand for short positions has spiked and the Wall Street Journal reported that billionaire Carl Icahn sold his stake before the IPO. – BLOOMBERG

10. Avocado prices spiked 34 percent yesterday after President Trump threatened to close down the southern border. That's the largest single-day price jump since 2009. A Rabobank analyst expects prices to double or triple if the border is actually closed. – FORTUNE

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Schuyler Durham writes Inside Portland and Inside Finance. He’s a lifelong Portlander who got his start covering the local music scene, but later became enamored with the complexities of financial and political reporting. After three years in broadcast news, he's now diving back into the digital realm. You can keep up with his writing on Twitter at @SchuylerWriter or watch him goof around on Instagram at @bitterbuddha.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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