Monday , 18 December 2017
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US telecoms rise after 'net neutrality' reversal – BBC News – BBC.com – BBC News

US telecoms rise after 'net neutrality' reversal – BBC News – BBC.com – BBC News

Telecommunications shares gained on Wednesday, after regulators released a plan to reverse Obama-era rules that treated internet providers like utilities.

The rise came as US stocks retreated from the highs scored on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64.65 points or 0.27% to 23,526, while the S&P 500 dipped 1.95 points or 0.08% to 2,597.

The Nasdaq index rose 4.8 points or 0.07% to 6,867.36.

Market gains have been more tepid in recent weeks, after a rapid surge this year that prompted some to fear a bubble.

Those concerns surfaced at the most recent Federal Reserve board meeting, according to minutes published on Wednesday.

While some board members “worried that a sharp reversal in asset prices could have damaging effects on the economy,” others countered that regulatory changes have strengthened the financial system making it more robust.

However US President Donald Trump has pledged to roll back regulations.

In part of that push, the FCC on Wednesday published a plan to rescind the so-called “net neutrality” rules endorsed by the Obama administration.

The prior rules treated internet providers like tightly-regulated public utilities. They also barred firms from providing some content at higher speeds than others.

Analysts say the proposed reversal opens the way for firms to charge more for some content, among other changes.

Analysts at MoffettNathanson described the plan as “nothing but good news for cable and telecom carriers” in theory.

But they also warned that if it were to pass, it may prove so unpopular that it prompts a legislative change.

“The bottom line is that this is almost certainly not the end of the story,” they wrote.

Despite the risks, telecoms giant Verizon was the biggest riser on the Dow, climbing 2%. AT&T closed up more than 1.5%.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise was among the firms to weigh on the indexes.

Shares fell more than 7% after Meg Whitman said she would step down as chief executive, a role she held since 2011.

Ms Whitman will be replaced by Antonio Neri, currently the firm’s president.

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