Friday Morning Reads

Friday Morning Reads





A rise of 180,000 jobs is anticipated for January, per a Thomson Reuters survey of economists, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the numbers at 8:30 a.m. EST Friday. The figure would represent a jump from last month's 148,000 nonfarm payrolls growth, which widely missed expectations. Economists also expect average hourly wages to lift 0.3% for January, partially reflecting minimum wage increases across 18 states. If wage growth is higher than anticipated, the number could heighten inflation worries and, with it, expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more than surmised this year, reports CNBC.


Marathon Petroleum expects U.S. lawmakers to propose changes this spring to the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, executives said Thursday during the company's earnings call. Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) President Don Templin is "fairly optimistic" and predicts a resolution with "some short-term relief, but more importantly, has a long-term solution to the RFS, eliminating the mandate and allowing our transportation fuels and other transportation fuels to be able to participate in a free market."

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a five-year $236M project aimed at cleaning up radioactive waste at a suburban St. Louis landfill by removing thousands of tons of radioactive material illegally dumped more than 40 years ago. Under the plan, ~70% of the worst contamination will be removed, with the rest contained within a permanent cap. The cleanup cost is expected to be split between the U.S. Department of Energy, Exelon (NYSE:EXC) and two entities of Republic Services (NYSE:RSG).


Deutsche Bank says that it has lost €2.2 billion ($2.7 billion) in the fourth quarter and some €500 million for the full year, with all three of its business units taking punishing revenue declines in the quarter. Deutsche (NYSE:DB) ate a €1.4 billion charge related to the new U.S. tax law last quarter, and expenses were also higher than anticipated. This marks the bank's third consecutive year in the red.

Dell and VMware are set to explore options that include a merger of the companies, according to three people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported overnight. The sources say Dell, which owns 80% of VMware (NYSE:VMW), will announce Friday that several possibilities are on the table, among them a potential reverse merger with VMware (i.e., VMware would buy out Dell), an initial public offering or asset divestitures.

Sony says Kazuo Hirai will step down from his CEO role in April after six years on the job, and that he will assume a chairman position at the company. Taking the reins as chief executive will be current Sony (NYSE:SNE) CFO Kenichiro Yoshida. Separately on Friday, Sony also announced a big year-over-year earnings climb and higher revenue for the fiscal third quarter, as well as a guidance raise for the full year.

Alphabet is sinking in the premarket after missing the analyst consensus on income, even as the company (GOOGGOOGL) surpassed top line expectations. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is higher, reversing an after-hours slip Thursday, after the company beat on both top and bottom lines. Weyerhaeuser (NYSE:WY) is ticking higher after a year-over-year rise in both its profit and revenue.

Tesla on Thursday sold $546M of bonds backed by lease payments on Model X and Model S vehicles, and was able to cut interest rates on the multi-part deal from levels initially floated to investors, WSJ reports. Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) largest tranche here, a $422M slice of debt assigned the highest possible credit rating by Moody’s, came with a 0.3 percentage point yield premium above the benchmark swap rate. The lowest-rated slice sold at a 2.65 percentage points yield premium.

AT&T is reviving a dormant sales process to look at unloading its data-center business and has engaged Bank of America to help, the Wall Street Journal reports. That should bring AT&T (NYSE:T) an EBITDA multiple of high single digits, $1B or more depending on quality, according to the report. And that would provide extra cash to close on Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) if that deal moves forward.

OSI Systems disclosed Thursday that the SEC has launched an investigation into the company's compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. OSI (NASDAQ:OSIS) says the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California also has said it would request information regarding FCPA compliance. OSI says the probes are in response to a short seller; Muddy Waters has accused the company of bribing its way to win a major contract in Albania. The SEC and DOJ also are investigating trading in the company’s securities.

The board at CBS is expected to discuss a potential merger with Viacom (VIAVIAB) Friday, Reuters reports. Shari Redstone, whose family's National Amusements controls both companies, has pushed for the two to reunite after a split more than a decade ago. But CBS (NYSE:CBS) chief Les Moonves has been reticent in the past about recombining the two. The board meeting is a regularly scheduled one and no merger news may come of it. But Moonves and Viacom chief Bob Bakish discussed a potential deal earlier this month.

Thursday's Key Earnings
Apple (AAPL+2% AH on Q1 earnings beat and plans to reduce net debt.
Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG-3% AH on Q4 earnings miss, higher TAC.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN+5% PM on Q4 earnings beat, AWS lift.
Visa (NYSE:V-1% AH on Q1 earnings beat, lower operating margin.
Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN-1.7% AH on Q4 earnings miss.
GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO-6.7% AH on Q4 earnings miss, declining gross margins.
Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY+1.7% AH on Q4 earnings beat, in-line guidance.
Tableau Software (NYSE:DATA+18% AH on Q4 earnings, robust guidance.
Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT-6.4% AH on Q4 earnings and revenue miss.
Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW+2.4% AH on Q4 revenue growth.

Today's Markets 
In Asia, Japan -0.90%. Hong Kong -0.12%. China +0.44%. India -2.33%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.26%. Paris -1.12%. Frankfurt -0.94%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.98%. S&P -0.67%. Nasdaq -0.37%. Crude +0.08%to $65.85. Gold -0.02% to $1,347.60.
Ten-year Treasury Yield+2 bps to 2.79%

Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Non-farm payrolls
10:00 Consumer Sentiment
10:00 Factory Orders
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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