Fridays Morning Reads:
- Leave Turkey’s Central Bank Alone
- Guidance Is Vital in ‘Crucial’ Brexit Phase
- Sweeping Data Rules Take Effect
- Disney Wants to Kill Netflix
- Still Ugly
- What the Hell Happened at GE?
- Stock Prices Are a Proxy For Our Beliefs About the Future
- Trading Mistakes To Avoid
- Perpetrating a Fraud
Tweet of the morning:
US threat of tariffs on vehicle imports sent shares of foreign car manufacturers sharply lower & some US auto shares higher @ycharts @SoberLook pic.twitter.com/lyYGxh3vTC
— Liz Ann Sonders (@LizAnnSonders) May 25, 2018
Unusual Option Action:
Open Interest Changes:
A major reset of data privacy regulation will come into effect today as the EU begins enforcement of a fresh privacy law called GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation. The strict rules - which encompass any company doing business in the bloc - include new privacy rights and data collection responsibilities. It's all backed up with extreme fines, up to 4% of a firm's worldwide annual revenue or €20M, whichever is higher.
A U.S. delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will visit China from June 2-4 for another round of talks amid ongoing trade frictions between the world's two largest economies. The dispute took on added complexity this week when President Trump announced a national security investigation into imports of cars and trucks.
"Mexico is not going to negotiate [NAFTA] on the basis of pressure," said President Enrique Pena Nieto's spokesman, but sources said the country made a new offer after the U.S. launched a probe into auto tariffs. "If an agreement is reached, it will be one that truly benefits Mexico. If these conditions don't exist, Mexico will not move forward."
North Korea is still hopeful for a "Trump formula" to resolve the standoff over its nuclear weapons program, and remains open to an upcoming summit, as it blew up tunnels leading to its nuclear facilities in front of foreign journalists. President Trump canceled the June 12 meeting yesterday, calling the collapse "a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world."
"The downward trend [in German business morale] has stopped," according to Ifo institute economist Klaus Wohlrabe. "The global economic environment is difficult, but Germany is holding its ground." Ifo's business climate index held at 102.2 in May, halting a five-month slowdown in Europe's largest economy that started at the beginning of the year.
Greece's European creditors have agreed to kick talks finalizing the debt relief measures they are willing to grant Athens to June 21, just two months ahead of the country’s prospective bailout exit. The key moment will decide whether Greece can make a clean escape after eight years of financial rescues and raise money on financial markets following a lengthy sustainability analysis.
Irish voters will decide today whether to remove a ban on abortion from the country's constitution and government funding is on watch. The European Commission has expressed concerns about the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of the Irish health system, which could have negative impacts in the medium term on fiscal sustainability.
Crude has slipped back under $70/bbl amid talks last night between Russia and Saudi Arabia that discussed the easing of a global oil production cap by 1M barrels per day, sources told Reuters. A loosening of the 17-month-old deal between OPEC and other nations would come ahead of a June 22 meeting in Vienna where the agreement’s member countries would decide next steps.
A day after topping the market cap of Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has surpassed the $152B value of Disney (NYSE:DIS) for the first time. The streaming giant has been lifted by a blitz of original programming and 125M global subscribers, following a monumental shift by viewers away from cinemas and cable TV. Looking for growth, Comcast is preparing a rival bid for Twenty-First Century Fox's (NASDAQ:FOXA) media assets, setting up a bidding war with Disney.
Apple has won $538.6M from Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) in a retrial of the damages portion of a long-fought patent lawsuit. The new verdict comes almost six years after a jury awarded Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) more than $1B in the case, linked to infringement of iPhone intellectual property. Samsung didn't express whether it planned to appeal the verdict, but said it was retaining "all options."
Several U.S. websites are going dark in Europe as GDPR data rules kick in across the region. Tronc (NASDAQ:TRNC), publisher of the Los Angeles Timesand New York Daily News, was among those that blocked EU readers as they scrambled to comply with the sweeping regulation. Other U.S. regional newspapers owned by Lee Enterprises (NYSE:LEE), and bookmarking app Instapaper, owned by Pinterest, were barring access as well.
More privacy issues? Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has responded to a Seattle-area news report that an Echo mistakenly recorded a family's conversations, then sent the recording to someone in their contact list. "We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future."
Healthcare roundup: A California jury has ordered J&J (NYSE:JNJ) to pay $4M in punitive damages to a woman who said she developed cancer after being exposed to asbestos in the company's baby powder, pushing total damages awarded in the case to $25.7M. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has agreed to pay $24M to settle illegal Medicare kickbacks, while AstraZeneca's (NYSE:AZN) immunotherapy drug Imfinzi hit another key goal by improving overall survival in lung cancer patients.
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska is stepping down as a director of his aluminum firm Rusal (OTC:RUALF) to "protect the interests of the company and its shareholders." The departure follows those of the firm's CEO and seven other directors, in the hopes to persuade the U.S. government to remove his businesses from its sanctions blacklist. Rusal produces 7% of the world's aluminum.
The commercialization of outer space is starting to take off, with President Trump signing a memorandum that aims to streamline federal regulations governing activity in Earth's lower orbit. It includes the creation of a "one-stop-shopping" office for commercial space, "reforming the regulatory system" for launch and reentry, and reviewing radiofrequency and export control policy. Related: BA, LMT, OA, AJRD, SPACE, BORGN
Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) -6.7% after slumping online sales.
Gap (NYSE:GPS) -7.7% AH after a sales momentum disappointment.
Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) +2% beating expectations.
McKesson (NYSE:MCK) -1.9% with a Q4 earnings miss.
RBC (NYSE:RY) -2% on flat capital markets profit.
TD Bank (NYSE:TD) +0.4% on volume growth, lower taxes.
In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong -0.6%. China -0.4%. India +0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.2%. Paris +0.6%. Frankfurt +1.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.4%. Crude -1.8% to $69.45. Gold +0.1% to $1305.60. Bitcoin -1.9% to $7431.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 2.96%
Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Durable Goods
9:20 Fed's Powell: “Financial Stability and Central Bank Transparency”
10:00 Consumer Sentiment
11:45 Fed's Evans Speech
11:45 Fed's Bostic Speech
11:45 Fed's Kaplan Speech
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count
SIFMA close 2:00 PM