What's moving markets today: March 14, 2019

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9:02 a.m. ET, March 14, 2019

Snap shares surge over bullish analyst reports

The future looks bright for Snap (SNAP), according to two new analyst reports. That's sending the stock surging 7% in premarket trading.

  • BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield: He boosted the stock to a buy because the price could rise 50% to $15 per share. In his note, he said he's noticed a "less seedy" Discover section that could attract more advertisers. He's also previewed the long-awaited, revamped Android app and wrote he's had "positive" experiences with it.
  • Jeffries: The firm also commented about the positive buzz surrounding the upcoming Android app. It predicts that the redesign could add 7 million new users coming from areas "where users are on lower spec phones with less connectivity."

Did you know? Snap's stock is up 80% year to date:

8:55 a.m. ET, March 14, 2019

Esports ad sales soar. Amazon and Google cash in

A growing number of people are tuning in online to watch professional gamers play Overwatch, League of Legends and other video games. Research firm Activate estimates that 63 million Americans watched an esport event last year. ESPN even has rankings for esports teams.

And advertisers are taking notice. Research firm eMarketer said in a report Thursday that it expects digital ad sales for esports to rise 25% to $178 million this year and grow another 20% in 2020 to nearly $215 million.

Of course, that's small change compared to the billions of dollars pulled in for online search and mobile advertising, not to mention money spent on professional sports leagues like the NFL, NBA and MLB.

But the growth in esports will probably be just one more lucrative revenue stream for Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet/Google (GOOGL). Emarketer said that esports executives consistently cited Amazon-owned Twitch and Google's YouTube as the top platforms for esports viewing.

8:11 a.m. ET, March 14, 2019

Tesla to reveal Model Y

  • Tesla (TSLA) is about to reveal its Model Y design, a new SUV that will be priced similar to the Model 3.
  • The car could be even more instrumental than the Model 3 for Tesla's efforts to morph into a mass market car manufacturer. SUVs are more popular than sedans among American consumers.
  • The event comes after the company announced earlier this week that prices for most models worldwide would go up by about 3%, after it decided to keep more stores open than previously planned.
8:10 a.m. ET, March 14, 2019

Boeing bounces back

  • Boeing (BA) shares are flat in premarket trading following a turbulent few days.
  • The plane maker's stock staged a late recovery on Wednesday, ending the day 0.5% higher even after the US became the latest country to ground its 737 Max jets.
  • The stock fell as much as 3% in afternoon trading after President Trump announced the US ban on the 737 Max 8 and Max 9.
  • Despite Wednesday's recovery, Boeing's stock has fallen 10% since the crash, wiping more than $25 billion off the company's market value.
1:07 p.m. ET, March 14, 2019

Johnson & Johnson hit with $29 million fine

  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) shares are down 1% in Thursday trading.
  • A California jury ordered the company to pay $29 million to a woman who said that asbestos in its talcum-powder-based products gave her cancer.
  • The company has been grappling with lawsuits alleging some of its talcum powder products caused cancer
  • J&J has previously said its baby powder is "safe and asbestos-free."
12:51 p.m. ET, March 14, 2019

Facebook's stock flails after major 14-hour outage

  • Facebook's (FB) stock fell nearly 2% in trading following a massive outage.
  • New: The company apologized for the outage and blamed it on a "server configuration change." Read the full statement here.
  • Some users weren't able to access Facebook and other platforms owned by the company, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp for at least 14 hours.
  • It's believed to be the social network's biggest-ever interruption.
  • The disruption is likely to upset advertisers that spend large amounts of money to reach potential customers on Facebook platforms.
6:57 a.m. ET, March 14, 2019

China data disappoints

Chinese stocks fell today after more data suggested its economy got off to a rocky start this year:

  • The Shanghai Composite closed down 1.2% after official statistics showed that China's huge industrial sector had its weakest rate of growth in 17 years.