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LIVE STOCK MARKET UPDATES: SpaceX launch, Blackstone earnings, mortgage rates

Initial jobless claims and earnings from Alaska Air Group are also on the docket. American Express will also report earnings. FOX Business is providing real-time updates on the markets, commodities and all the most active stocks on the move.


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SpaceX successfully launches giant Starship rocket, explodes minutes later

SpaceX's Starship – the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built – blasted off from the southern tip of Texas on Thursday morning.

However, just minutes later and awaiting stage separation, it experienced a failure – what SpaceX livestream hosts described as a "rapid unscheduled disassembly." 

The rocket began to tumble and then exploded four minutes into the flight, tumbling down into the Gulf of Mexico.

The cause of the failure was not immediately clear.

Posted by FOX Business

Wall St slides after gloomy earnings led by Tesla


Major U.S. stock indexes ended lower on Thursday after disappointing quarterly reports from companies including Tesla and AT&T, while investors sought clarity on the path of interest rates.

Tesla shares tumbled after the electric vehicle maker posted its lowest quarterly gross margin in two years and signaled it would continue to slash prices. AT&T shares dropped after the wireless carrier missed market estimates for first-quarter revenue and free cash flow.

The S&P 500's rally to start the year is set to be tested by a first-quarter earnings season that investors expect to show tepid results. In the early stages of earnings season, analysts have largely retained last week's expectations of a near-5% year-on-year fall in quarterly profits at S&P 500 companies, according to Refinitiv data.

Posted by Reuters

Snap expands AI chatbot with ability to create images

Snap Inc.


Snap Inc on Wednesday said its artificial intelligence chatbot will now be able to respond to users' messages with a fully AI-generated image, as the owner of photo messaging app Snapchat deepens its work in AI technology.

My AI is now available free to all Snapchat users and can be invoked to respond to questions in conversations between friends on Snapchat, Snap said on Wednesday. The chatbot was first rolled out to users who pay $3.99 a month for the company's premium subscription Snapchat+.

My AI could help users explore more parts of the Snapchat app by recommending lenses, which can add effects to photos and videos, or use the app's map feature to recommend real-world places to visit, said Evan Spiegel, chief executive of Snap, in an interview.

Posted by Reuters

Crypto criminals beware: AI is after you

Cryptocurrency crimes hit an all-time high last year as digital tokens' popularity with criminals soared to a record, but the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence means there's a new sheriff in town, and its reach is global.

Blockchain security firm AnChain.AI uses AI and machine learning to analyze blockchain transactions and identify suspicious behavior, including money laundering, insider trading and hacking. Its technology identifies security risks and vulnerabilities, assists in forensic investigations and helps companies stay compliant with industry standards.

AnChain.AI launched in 2018, focusing specifically on blockchain, Web3 and smart contract security, assisting both companies and the government in busting malicious online actors.

The tech company has been involved in several high-profile investigations, including the $100 million heist of U.S. crypto firm Harmony's Horizon bridge last year and the $2 million "rug pull" that led to the first-ever indictment of NFT scammers. It has also contracted with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to assist in monitoring the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry.

Posted by FOX Business

Chevron, Exxon developing cleaner gas as alternative to EVs


Chevron and ExxonMobil are road testing renewable gasoline blends that they say could bring down emissions from conventional autos to levels competitive with EVs.

If the fuels are made commercially available, they could extend the life of the gasoline market as part of the world's transition to cleaner fuels and electric vehicles.

"We really believe there has to be alternatives for the light duty vehicle," Chevron President of Americas Products Andy Walz said at an event on Wednesday. "Electrification is not the only answer."

Posted by FOX Business

Fed warns of mild recession

Minutes from the Fed's March meeting released last week indicate that its forecasters believe a minor downturn is imminent after recent turmoil within the banking system – even as the central bank's top policymakers deny such an outcome. 

"Given their assessment of the potential economic effects of the recent banking-sector developments, the staff’s projection at the time of the March meeting included a mild recession starting later this year, with a recovery over the subsequent two years," the minutes said. 

However, even a "mild" recession could have severe implications for the economy and the stock market. 

Posted by FOX Business

Blackstone's first-quarter earnings plunge on real estate slowdown


Blackstone Inc, the biggest manager of assets such as private equity and real estate, said on Thursday its first-quarter distributable earnings fell 36% year-on-year, as a weak property market stopped it from cashing out on some holdings.

Distributable earnings, which represent the cash used for shareholder dividends, fell to $1.25 billion in the first quarter from $1.94 billion a year earlier, Blackstone said. That translated to distributable earnings per share of 97 cents, slightly over the average analyst estimate of 96 cents, according to financial data provider Refinitiv.

Blackstone's fee-related earnings fell 9% to $1.04 billion, as fewer asset sales led to lower performance fees.

Under generally accepted accounting principles, Blackstone reported net income of just $211 million, down from $2.5 billion in the prior year, owing to the drop in asset sales as well as a decline in the value of its assets.

Posted by Reuters

Jobless claims rise higher than expected as layoffs continue to mount

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, evidence the labor market is continuing to soften in the face of higher borrowing costs.

Figures released Thursday by the Labor Department show initial claims for the week ended April 15 rose by 5,000 to 245,000. That is above the 2019 pre-pandemic average of 218,000 claims.

Continuing claims, filed by Americans who are consecutively receiving unemployment benefits, also rose to 1.85 million for the week ended April 8, an increase of 61,000 from the previous week.

Posted by FOX Business

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