Friday Morning Market Prepper
- Exchange Halt This Month
- Ban This Russian Software Company
- Not Worth What People Expected
- Anti-Prostitution Bill’s Fallout
- Who’s Warren Buffett’s Successor?
- The Future Is Calling
- Allocating With Purpose
- Do Your Trades Fit Your Style?
- Retail sales fall in August
- Futures flat after latest N.Korea launch
- Explosion reported on London tube train
- AWS gets big boost from the DoD
- Bitcoin tumbles again
- Messenger as popular as WhatsApp
- Trump: No decision yet on Yellen
- Robo-taxis from Renault-Nissan alliance
- Crudes surge from Canada, N.Dakota
Yesterdays Unusual Option Volume:
For the second time in less than a month, Pyongyang has fired a ballistic missile that flew over Japan, prompting the UN Security Council to call an emergency meeting for today. Arms race? South Korea responded by conducting live fire drills that mimicked attacking Pyongyang's launch site, and completed its own ballistic missile test into the sea. Investors initially fled to safe havens on the news, but the yen, Swiss franc and gold have since given back all of the gains.
More sanctions talk... Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is urging China to use its leverage as North Korea's principal supplier of oil to press the isolated nation into reconsidering its development of nuclear weapons. The Trump administration has meanwhile extended U.S. sanctions relief to Iran as part of its 2015 nuclear agreement, but levied new punitive measures over Tehran's ballistic missile program, cyberattacks and terrorism.
British police are investigating a "terrorist incident" at London's Parsons Green underground station following various reports of an explosion aboard a train. FTSE 100 -1.3% to 7,203, while the pound is trading higher, up 1.4% to $1.3588. It follows sterling's gains yesterday after the Bank of England said it was likely to raise interest rates in the coming months for the first time in a decade.
Venezuela will make all pending debt payments despite "a series of difficulties" that have arisen as a result of financial sanctions by the U.S., according to Economy Vice President Ramon Lobo. In August, the Trump administration prohibited dealings in new debt from Venezuela and state oil company PDVSA in response to the creation of its new legislative superbody.
Brazilian President Michel Temer has been charged with obstruction of justice and racketeering, related to the plea-bargain testimony by executives at JBS (OTCQX:JBSAY), the world's largest meatpacker. It will now be up to the lower house of Congress to vote on whether or not the president should stand trial before the Supreme Court.
It's been back and forth for months, with President Trump hinting at times that Fed Chair Janet Yellen would be reappointed and suggesting at other times that he was looking for her successor. Aboard Air Force One on Thursday, he said: "I like her and I respect her, but I haven't made that decision yet." Yellen's tenure expires in February, after four years at the helm of the central bank.
Light, sweet crude out of Canada and North Dakota have surged to their highest levels in over four years, as Midwest and East Coast refiners bid heavily for the grades following Hurricane Harvey. The shutdowns in the U.S. Gulf have had a twofold effect on Midwest refineries: It pushed WTI to its lowest point against Brent crude in two years, cheapening Bakken and Canadian grades, and has also boosted refining margins.
Shares of Oracle slumped 3.5% in after-hours trade after the company forecast slower growth for its cloud business. The business software maker said total cloud revenue would rise 39%-43% next quarter, down from 51% in the current period. On an adjusted basis, Oracle earned $0.62 per share in Q1, topping estimates.
Facebook's Messenger app now has 1.3B monthly users, up 30% in just over a year and rivaling the popularity of WhatsApp. The milestone comes two months after Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) other message service said it was serving 1.3B users a month. Both platforms are in focus after the tech giant warned that ad sales growth from its News Feed product will start to wane in the second half of this year.
Angry Birds developer Rovio has priced its IPO at €10.25-€11.25 per share. The game maker's market cap is seen in the range of €802M-€896M, aiming to raise €30M through the listing. Rovio will start on the Helsinki pre-list Nasdaq exchange on Sept. 29 before graduating to the official one on Oct. 3.
In a major step for the cloud computing giant, Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN) has a new market for its analytics and storage services. This week, the U.S. Defense Department granted the company a provisional authorization to host Impact Level 5 workloads, which are the military and Pentagon's most sensitive, unclassified information. Only two other companies, IBM and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), are able to store the material.
Lachlan Murdoch's private company has revised its takeover offer for Australia's struggling Ten Network, escalating the battle into a bidding war after CBS agreed to a buyout with the broadcaster. The new bid from Illyria raises the pool of cash payable to unsecured creditors to A$55M, higher than a pool of A$32M offered by CBS, according to documents released by Ten's administrator.
After cracking down on cryptocurrencies, China now wants a regulatory framework to support digital tokens. Li Lihui, a senior official at the National Internet Finance Association of China and former president of the PBOC, further said that global regulators should work together on digital currencies. Bitcoin plunged another 11% overnight as major Chinese exchange BTCChina announced it will stop all trading from Sept. 30.
Barclays' chief executive, under investigation for a 2016 incident, has done "a fantastic job" in restructuring the bank amid challenges like Brexit, according to the British bank's chairman. Jes Staley is being investigated by regulators regarding his individual conduct after he attempted to identify a whistle blower. He admitted to the mistake, but was still re-appointed to head Barclays (NYSE:BCS).
With instant coffee and espresso under its belt, Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY) has acquired a majority stake in premium cold brew company Blue Bottle Coffee for a reported $425M-$500M. The acquisition is one of several recent purchases marking Nestle's foray into specialty foods and drinks, as it seeks to appeal to consumers turning away from more mass market brands.
Hilton Worldwide is aiming to personalize its bedrooms for guests using digital technology, before they arrive for their stay, including temperature control and preferred TV channels. Digitization of rooms will be the "next big thing" for the hospitality chain, declared Chief Marketing Officer Geraldine Calpin. It follows Hilton's (NYSE:HLT) "digital key" launched in 2016, which gives other pre-check in features to HHonors loyalty members.
Sign of the times? Macy's (NYSE:M) is increasing by 20% the number of workers it hires during the holiday shopping season to staff distribution and warehouses that support its online business. However, total holiday hiring will fall to 80,000 from 83,000, with Macy's operating 70 fewer stores than it did last year. According to filings, the chain will shut another 100 stores by the end of 2017.
The Renault-Nissan alliance, as well as recently acquired Mitsubishi Motors (OTC:MMTOY), has again confirmed that the future of cars is electric and autonomous. Alliance 2022, as the group calls itself, said that it plans to roll out 12 electric and 40 self-driving vehicles in the next five years. Renault (OTCPK:RNLSY) and Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) also want to produce "robo-taxis," driverless public transport vehicles.
In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong +0.1%. China -0.5%. India +0.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London -1.3%. Paris -0.1%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow flat. S&P -0.1%. Nasdaq -0.1%. Crude -0.1% to $49.82. Gold -0.1% to $1327.70.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.2%