Friday Morning Reads
- So Easy
- Stimulus Roadblock
- Real Quick
- Unready U.S. Market
- ‘Staggeringly High’
- U.S. Bank Stocks Are Fine
- Panic In The Parking Lot For Cash
- IBM Offloads Legacy Business
- Rebounding After COVID Setback
- The 7 Things That Matter For Markets Going Forward
- Aren’t “Free” Markets
Investors are still largely focused on new twists and turns with stimulus efforts in the U.S. Last night, President Donald Trump said talks had resumed on an aid package for the struggling U.S. economy, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to talk once again. Global stock markets have started the day off with a dose of optimism. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.7% following a strong read on services activity in China and the SZSE Component Index was up 3.0%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell back 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.1%. European stocks are largely higher despite sluggish PMI data, with the Stoxx 600 Index gaining 0.2%. France's CAC 40 and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 are both in positive territory in mid-day action. Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures are setting up for a positive open, with S&P 500 futures up 0.4% and Dow Jones futures 0.3% higher.
Oil (CL1:COM) is poised for its biggest weekly gain since May, even though prices have tracked back just a bit. Operators in the Gulf of Mexico have closed off about 92% of production ahead of Hurricane Delta as the storm barrels toward Louisiana. Yesterday, OPEC forecast global oil demand will keep rising until around 2040, when it will plateau at about 109.3M bbl/day, or about 10% above the level of production in 2019. Later today, traders will get their hand on the latest Baker Hughes U.S. oil rig count report. In early action, WTI crude oil futures -0.8% to $40.86/bbl and Brent crude -0.3% to $43.20/bbl.
Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) is in advanced talks to buy rival chip maker Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) in a deal that could be valued at more than $30B, WSJ reports. Earlier talks are said to have stalled before recently restarting, and the latest deal under discussion could come together as soon as next week, according to the report. A deal for Xilinx would raise AMD to a more even competitive footing with Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and give it a bigger position in the growing telecom and defense markets.
Traffic in Macau fell 85.7% during Golden Week to come in well short of most expectations within the industry. Of the 139,280 visitors to enter during the holiday week, 97,126 came via the Gongbei Border Gate, 4,190 by ferry and 7,149 by plane. JPMorgan reset expectations on a Macau recovery after the Golden Week disappointment. "Choppy demand and dwindling hope of 'return to normalcy in 2021' make us acknowledge the sector's risk-reward isn't as attractive as we had envisioned, despite seemingly undemanding valuation (on 2022, not 2021)," updated the firm. Earlier this week, the Macau sector received some good news when Bernstein Research predicted that all six casino operators will retain their licenses, although the government is likely to impose additional economic conditions. The firm doesn't think the current tensions between Washington and Beijing will prevent U.S. operators from staying in Macau.
Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) showed off its prototypes to the hydrogen industry yesterday at an event that also covered the company's patents and strategy to be a technology integrator. The presentation coincided with National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day 2020. Nikola noted it has developed core IP related to, among other things, vehicle integration and hydrogen storage and fueling, and continues to work with its world-class partners to develop next-generation standard fueling hardware and advance hydrogen fuel cell-based transportation. "Nikola is creating an ecosystem that integrates next-generation truck technology, hydrogen fueling infrastructure and maintenance. By removing commercial trucks from the carbon equation, Nikola is fulfilling our mission of leaving the world a better place," said CEO Mark Russell.
Shares of Nikola are up 2% premarket
Japan's Takeda (NYSE:TAK) is part of a group of companies testing an experimental COVID-19 convalescent plasma treatment, derived from those having recovered from the disease. The "hyperimmune" drug combines antibodies from multiple recovered patients, vs. typical convalescent treatments derived from single patients. Takeda, Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS), CSL Behring (OTCPK:CSLLY) and Grifols (NASDAQ:GRFS) are gathering antibodies in the government trial, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; it could be completed by year-end.
The Department of Justice said in a new report that law enforcement is hampered by the global nature of digital coins and the lack of consistent regulation across regions. Cryptocurrencies in general are called detrimental to the safety and stability of the international financial system due to the opportunities for rogue nations, criminals and terrorists to skirt reporting requirements. "Current terrorist use of cryptocurrency may represent the first raindrops of an oncoming storm of expanded use,” stated Attorney General William Barr's Cyber-Digital Task Force. The task force warned that cryptocurrencies provide bad actors with the means to earn illegal profits and become a threat to national security. The DOJ's larger goal with the report is to lay out a framework for cryptocurrency enforcement.
China September Caixin Services PMI came in at 54.8 to top both the consensus mark of 54.3 and the 54.0 reading for August. Services PMI has now increased for five straight months, and the latest rate of expansion was among the highest recorded over the past decade. Growth was supported by a marked rise in total new business, though new export work continued to decline. A sustained rise in overall client demand led firms to expand their payrolls for the second month in a row amid increased capacity pressures. Companies also retained a positive outlook regarding activity over the year ahead, with business confidence improving since August.
Five Chinese funds targeting the upcoming mega-IPO of Ant Group (NYSE:BABA) sold out in days, having cumulatively raised about 60B yuan - or about $8.93B - from more than 10M retail investors. The funds launched Sept. 25 to raise 12B yuan each and invest up to 10% of assets to buy shares in the Ant IPO, aiming to raise about $35B in a Hong Kong/Shanghai dual listing and value the company at more than $250B. Two of the funds hit their target even before a week-long holiday that started Oct. 1; Ant's Alipay says today the other three sold out as well.
What else is happening...
LSE (OTCPK:LDNXF, OTCPK:LNSTY) to sell Borsa Italiana to Euronext (OTCPK:EUXTF) for €4.3B.NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) shoots to 52-week high after strong preliminary Q3 numbers.GameStop (NYSE:GME) soars after Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) development.Disney (NYSE:DIS) moves 'Soul' to streaming, in theaters' latest loss.
In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong -0.3%. China +1.7%. India +0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.7%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt -0.05%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.3%. Crude -0.8% to $40.86. Gold +1.2% to $1918.70. Bitcoin +2.9% to $10890.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 0.765%
Today's Economic Calendar