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Global Markets Drama & News Moving GS, FB, GE, & Bitcoin

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On today’s episode of Free Lunch, Associate Stock Strategist Ryan McQueeney recaps Goldman’s new retail product, Facebook’s new hardware device, and recent investor sentiment for General Electric and Bitcoin. He also discusses news out of Italy and China affecting global markets on Monday.

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Free Lunch is presented by Zacks Investment Research. It is streamed live, four times per week, and features breaking news and analysis from Zacks strategists. Free Lunch is available on YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, Ustream, and more.

U.S. stocks were down in morning trading Monday, extending losses from the previous two trading sessions and echoing concerns felt earlier in the day throughout global markets. On today’s show, Ryan takes a look at a pair of these of global markets headwinds, including the continued budget uncertainty in Italy and another economic stimulus by China’s central bank.

But first, Ryan highlights a few trending tickers from morning trading. For instance, investors were eager to talk about Goldman Sachs (GS) thanks to reports suggesting that its growing retail unit, Marcus, is lowering its loan originations target for next year.

Marcus is a major pillar of Goldman’s plan to grow revenue in the near future, as it represents a new consumer opportunity for the investment banking behemoth—a company known for its offerings tailored to corporations and large investors. Cutting the loan originations for Marcus is an interesting commentary on the state of the current credit cycle, and Wall Street might be taking notes.

Elsewhere, Facebook (FB - Free Report) unveiled Portal, a new line of camera-focused smart speakers designed for its Messenger app. Clocking in at $199 and $349, the two Portal devices are more expensive than other popular speakers from Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) and Google (GOOGL - Free Report) , but they build on those competitors’ ideas by adding video chat and touchscreen functionality.

Ryan also discusses a positive analyst note which helped General Electric (GE - Free Report) shares surge in morning trading and record-low bitcoin volatility that has cryptocurrency bulls coming back out in full force. All of this news is featured on the first half of today’s show! Later, the hosts digs into the aforementioned stories from Italy and China.

In Italy, hopes that the new populist government could settle its deficit dispute with EU regulators took a turn for the worse Monday after Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini described European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici as the “real enemies of Europe.”

Meanwhile, investors in China returned from the Golden Week holidays to one of the country’s worst trading days in months today, with the blue-chip CSI300 index tumbling 4.3% and the Shanghai Composite Index dropping 3.7%.

The volatility comes on the same day that China’s central bank once again eased its cash reserve requirements for banks. Chinese policymakers are trying to stimulate continued economic growth amid trade war uncertainty, but so far, investors are not buying it.

Make sure to check out the show for more of Ryan’s commentary on these stories!

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