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Tough talks on issues of free trade, climate change and international security await the world's leaders as the G-20 summit kicks off in Hamburg, Germany. Tens of thousands of people have already taken to the streets of the port city to display their frustrations about inequality in what they dubbed a "Welcome to Hell" rally. A spotlight is also shining on President Trump and Vladimir Putin as they hold their first face-to-face meeting on the sidelines of the summit.


U.S. employers likely stepped up hiring in June and boosted wages for workers, signs of labor market strength that could keep the Fed on course for a third interest rate increase this year. The Labor Department's closely watched employment report today will probably show that nonfarm payrolls increased by 179,000 jobs last month, after gaining 138,000 in May. The unemployment rate is forecast steady at a 16-year low of 4.3%.

Ahead of Janet Yellen's appearance in Congress next week, the Federal Reserve will issue its semi-annual report outlining recent policy decisions and describing its plans for reducing its asset holdings. Usually it's issued simultaneously with the Fed Chair's testimony, which happens twice a year, but this time around the report will be issued a few days ahead of time.

The Bank of Japan stepped up plans for its bond-buying overnight as JGB yields crept higher, causing the yen and oil to drop. That came amid a selloff in global bond markets amid expectations that some major central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the ECB, were turning more hawkish and were likely to begin removing some accommodative measures.

The four Arab countries leading the boycott against Qatar have vowed to enact fresh sanctions after the state refused to comply with their initial demands. Any measures taken by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain would be aimed at the Qatari government but not its people, they said, without elaborating on when the new steps would be announced or what they would entail.

More than one-third of U.S. states have sued the U.S. Education Department and Secretary Betsy DeVos over the recent suspension of rules that would have swiftly canceled the student loan debt of people defrauded by Corinthian Colleges (OTCPK:COCOQ) and other for-profit schools. Last month DeVos pressed pause on the rules, due to take effect on July 1, saying they needed to be reset.


Electricity is now one of its largest businesses. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.ABRK.B) has struck a deal to buy bankrupt Energy Future for $9B in cash, giving it Texas-based Oncor (including debt, the deal has an enterprise value of about $18B). The move is a bold bet by Warren Buffett, as Texas regulators blocked two earlier attempts to sell Oncor, one of the largest U.S. power transmission networks.

Tesla has agreed to build the world's largest lithium-ion battery storage project in South Australia as the state battles outages that have driven up energy prices. The company outbid 91 other firms for the contract to install a 100 megawatt facility, while Elon Musk said that if the project is not completed in 100 days, it will be free. TSLA +2.5% premarket.

As part of a set of ambitious new environmental goals, France expects to do away with the sale of diesel and gas vehicles by 2040. The target is less ambitious than ones set by countries like Norway and India, but the declaration is coming from a major car-producing country. It also comes days after Volvo (OTCPK:GELYY) pledged to have all its new car models at least partly electric from 2019.

Siemens has set up a task force to investigate reports that its turbines had been delivered to Crimea. "If there were any re-routings of recently purchased turbines, it would constitute a clear violation of contractual agreements," Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY) said in a statement. "We will continue to fully cooperate with all stakeholders."

Is the fight still going on? Elliott Advisers is seeking to remove the chairman of Akzo Nobel (OTCQX:AKZOY) again over his handling of a €26.3B takeover proposal from PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG). The investor, which holds a 9.5% stake in the paint giant, is seeking an extraordinary general meeting through an interim relief court lawsuit. PPG dropped its attempt to buy Akzo on June 1.

Riding hot demand for its components, Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) is forecasting Q2 operating profit that will easily be the company's highest ever. Semiconductors and memory pushed earnings to about 14T won ($12.1B), a 72% increase from the same period a year ago. Earlier this week, Samsung said it planned to invest $18B in its chip business to extend its lead in the smartphone market.

The legal battles between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) rage on as the latter filed patent infringement complaints with the International Trade Commission and Federal Court. Qualcomm wants to bar iPhones and iPads sales in the United States that use chips made by rival Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) on the grounds that the devices infringe on six of its patents.

As some franchise films have struggled to match opening expectations this summer, Sony (NYSE:SNE) will attempt to bring Spider-Man to the big screen this weekend with Homecoming. One major difference this time is the involvement of Marvel Studios (NYSE:DIS). Superheroes like Iron Man in the film should provide a much-needed hit for Sony, which has struggled at the box office in recent years.

People injured by Takata's defective air bags have been given an official role in the bankruptcy of its U.S. unit, allowing them to challenge Takata's (OTCPK:TKTDY) restructuring plans that plaintiffs' lawyers have criticized as protective of automakers. A seven-member official committee will represent economic loss and personal injury or tort claimants, said David Buchbinder, a lawyer with the DOJ's bankruptcy watchdog.

A former engine development manager at Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF) was charged in the U.S. for his role in a wide-ranging emissions scandal at Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) that has already led to the indictment of seven others and a $2.8B criminal fine for the German automaker. Giovanni Pamio has been accused with conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud and violation of the Clean Air Act.

What went sour? Shares of Blue Apron (NYSE:APRN) began trading at $10 a share on June 29, but since then, the stock has cratered nearly 20%. "As long as its costs keep rising faster than its sales, it's hard to see how Blue Apron can become profitable, but if they cut back on their spending? Jeez, then the competition might steamroll them," said Jim Cramer. Options contracts on Blue Apron will debut on CBOE Holdings' exchanges on Monday.

Issuing an update on the "Petya" ransomware attack that hit it last week, Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ) said the company is "making good progress" in restoring systems but the incident will trim three percentage points from its Q2 revenue growth. The attack disrupted shipments and its ability to invoice sales during the last four days of the quarter. MDLZ shares fell 2% AH on the news.

Jamie Dimon met Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Thursday to discuss expansion plans, two months after JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) bought an office building in the city with room for 1,000 staff. Reports have previously suggested that the U.S. investment bank plans to move hundreds of back- and middle-office roles to the Irish capital as the financial sector deals with Brexit.

Robots are moving on to the trading floors of investment banks, and they're not just doing back-office tasks. "We decided to start a conversation with the front-office guys on whether there were processes we could use a robot to do and we found a number of them," said UBS's Beatriz Martin Jimenez. The AI systems will automate post-trade allocation requests, as well as develop new strategies for trading volatility.

MetLife is asking for another delay in the long-running case over whether the U.S. government should have labeled it as "too big to fail," warning that the Trump administration may want to withdraw the government's appeal. A U.S. Appeals court in May granted Metlife (NYSE:MET) a 60-day abeyance in the appeal filed under President Obama, but the pause ends next week.

Today's Markets 
In Asia, Japan -0.3%. Hong Kong -0.5%. China +0.2%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -0.2%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow flat. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude -3.1% to $44.10. Gold -0.2% to $1220.80.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.37%

Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Non-farm payrolls
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Known to most as Uranium Pinto Beans, Jason has more than 15 years under his belt of trading stocks, options and currencies. His expertise primarily lies in chart analysis, and he has a strong eye for undervalued stock. Because he’s got the ability to identify great risk/reward trades he usually enjoys taking the path less traveled and reaping the benefits from the adventure.

He is a co-founder of Option Millionaires, and he is best known for his weekly webinars with Scott, as well as his high level training webinars and charts found in the forums.

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