France and the United States have a long history that goes back centuries. From the American revolutionary war to the Statue of Liberty - the two countries have had strong cultural and political ties. French President Emmanuel Macron is hoping to build on that special bond during his three-day state visit to Washington, DC. And US President Donald Trump has rolled out the red-carpet. But beyond the handshakes, smiles and lavish ceremonies, there are serious policy disagreements, including the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which could threaten to put a strain on the special relationship.
Oil prices and energy companies plunged Thursday, but other stocks didn't move much as investors waited for more signs about the state of the economy. Household goods makers and healthcare companies rose after some solid company earnings reports. Most other parts of the market made little gains, but energy companies took sharp losses as the price of crude oil fell almost 5% -- its biggest one-day loss in about two months. "We may be seeing signs that global production is strong, and whenever markets see a decline in oil prices they worry it's actually an indication of weak demand," said Kate Warne, an investment strategist for Edward Jones. Warne said oil prices have slipped recently because of an accumulation of concerns about rising energy production in the U.S. and slower economic growth in both the U.S. and China.
The bombshell Paradise Papers are reportedly implicating key members of the Trump administration. On Nov. 5, one of the largest data leaks in history revealed the offshore endeavors of some of the world's most influential people. The Paradise Papers refers to a trove of 13.4 million documents that expose the offshore assets of some of the world's biggest companies such as Nike, Apple, and Uber. The leak, which is one of the biggest in history and comes about 18 months after the Panama Papers leak, exposes how these companies and individuals "avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers," according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a global network of more than 200 investigative journalists in 70 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories, according to its website, which has access to the documents. Most of the leaked files come from an offshore legal firm called Appleby, which was founded in Bermuda but has offices in Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, Shanghai, and other locations.
Oil prices are up on a rumor that an OPEC-led production cut could be extended beyond June, although the move would require non-OPEC members like Russia to increase their efforts. So far the supply cap agreed to last November has done little to prop up prices, as other producers, including the United States, have stepped up to fill the gap. Citing Wells Fargo's accounts scandal, New York Fed President William Dudley is calling for better incentives to drive performance on Wall Street, while stating banks have "a long way to go" in reforming internal culture. More Fedspeak today: Eric Rosengren will speak in Indonesia, Esther George will discuss the economy at noon and Loretta Mester speaks at 6 p.m. ET on the outlook and communications. British inflation last month shot past the Bank of England's 2% target for the first time since the end of 2013, leaping by 2.3% in annual terms, and looks set to climb further due to the Brexit hit to the pound and rising oil prices.