Friday Morning Reads

Friday Morning Reads





 Open Interest Changes:


Unusual Option Action from Yesterday:



China has vowed to "quickly react and take necessary steps" if the U.S. "harms its interests," hours before President Trump is likely due to unveil revisions to a tariff list targeting $50B worth of Chinese goods. Several rounds of negotiations failed to resolve U.S. complaints over China's industrial policy, market access and a $375B trade gap. Washington has also planned a second list of tariffs on $100B in Chinese goods, in expectation that Beijing will retaliate against its initial round.


NAFTA discussions will continue into the summer, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland declared, following a meeting in Washington with U.S. chief trade envoy Robert Lighthizer. It follows frayed relationships between President Trump and Justin Trudeau after last week's G7 meeting and as Mexico studies tariffs on billions of dollars of U.S. corn and soy.

Greece's parliament has approved the last big austerity package of its eight-year bailout program required for the country to receive about €11B of financing from the eurozone. Despite disagreements between Germany and the IMF, Greece hopes Eurogroup finance ministers will approve the disbursement at their meeting on June 21.

Sign of the times? Prompted by Brexit, French President Emmanuel Macron wants to make French again the default language in EU institutions, the way it was before Britain joined the bloc in 1973. English is currently the official language for 12.8% of the EU's 511M people, but once the UK leaves, it will only represent 1.2% of the bloc's population.

The BOJ is sticking to its ultra-easy monetary policy, keeping its short-term interest rate target at minus 0.1% because inflation isn’t getting close to the central bank's 2% target. The move contrasts with the ECB's decision to end its asset-purchase program this year and the U.S. Fed's steady rate increases, which signaled a break from policies deployed in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Argentina's central bank is getting a new chief after failing to stop the peso's plunge despite obtaining the biggest loan in the history of the IMF. Taking over the post is Luis Caputo, previously finance minister, who will need to lay out a strategy to curb volatility in the currency, which has lost more than a quarter of its value since the end of April.

Colombia is headed for its most divisive presidential race in decades that could upset a historic peace deal with FARC or see a reversal of business-friendly policies. Polls predict a decisive runoff victory for establishment candidate Ivan Duque, but leftist contender Gustavo Petro has still unnerved some investors in Latin America's fourth largest economy.

G20 energy ministers are gathering in southern Argentina to form a communique on energy and climate-related goals, which will be submitted to G20 heads of state before their next meeting in November. Policymakers and energy investors will once again be looking at whether the statement lays bare differences between the U.S. and the other 19 countries on the Paris climate accord.


China is yet to approve Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) proposed $44B acquisition of NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI), according to Reuters, dismissing an earlier report from the South China Morning Post that said Beijing had already greenlit the deal. The transaction has already got a nod from eight of the nine required global regulators, but the last approval could become entangled in broader trade tensions.

Six former and current employees of Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) have been charged in a federal indictment for possessing trade secrets stolen from rival Jawbone, according to a statement from the DOJ. While the individuals had all worked for the now-defunct company, the judge found that no Jawbone trade secrets were misappropriated or used in any Fitbit product, feature or technology.

Facebook VP Elliot Schrage, who as head of communications and public policy led the social network's response to scandals about privacy and election meddling, is stepping down from the company after a decade. He'll stay on as an adviser to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) while his successor is chosen, but he has no other immediate plans.

AT&T is wasting no time after its legal victory, closing its blockbuster $85B buyout of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX). AT&T (NYSE:T) expects accretion to year-one adjusted EPS and free cash flow, along with stronger dividend coverage. It also increased synergies to $2.5B ($1.5B in annualized cost and $1B in annualized revenue by the end of year three).

Expected to come through its Vision Fund, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) has decided to invest $60B-$100B in a solar power project in India, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK. India has set a target to achieve an operational solar power capacity of 100 GW by 2022, five times current levels, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's renewable energy strategy.

"Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws," McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) told the BBC. The fast-food chain will start testing alternatives to plastic straws at select locations in the U.S. later this year and adopt more eco-friendly paper straws across all its 1,361 restaurants in the U.K. and Ireland.

Latest Salmonella case... Kellogg (NYSE:K) is recalling an estimated 1.3M cases of its Honey Smacks cereal from more than 30 U.S. states after preliminary evidence linked the product to more than 60 illnesses. The FDA said it worked with Kellogg to issue the recall and is inspecting the facility that manufactures Honey Smacks.

Rebounding from a recent slump, bitcoin and ether jumped late Thursday after an SEC official made it clear that in the eyes of the agency, the two are not securities. Reasons cited: A decentralized and public network, and lack of a third party. While SEC leaders have publicly labeled bitcoin as a commodity, it was the first clear statement by the financial watchdog on how they plan to regulate ether.

World Cup fever may spell a dull streak for the markets. An analysis of 15 global stock exchanges by the ECB and Dutch central bank found that trading volumes drop by roughly 33% from normal levels during the games. The research also found median trading volume was 55% lower than normal when the national team from an individual exchange's country was playing.

Thursday's Key Earnings
Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE-2.9% AH despite a record quarter.
Today's Markets 
In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong -0.4%. China -0.7%. India +0.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.8%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt -0.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.6%. S&P -0.5%. Nasdaq -0.3%. Crude -0.3% to $66.66. Gold -0.5% to $1302.10. Bitcoin -0.7% to $6591.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 2.92%Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Empire State Mfg Survey
9:15 Industrial Production
10:00 Consumer Sentiment
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count
4:00 PM Treasury International Capital

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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