Friday Morning Reads
- Carl Icahn is still against Dell (DVMT) plan to go public. Bloomberg Report
- Twitter (TWTR) will permanently suspend Alex Jones. NY Times Report
- Government agencies kept info away from Congress regarding Equifax (EFX) investigation. NY Post Report
- Senate has reached agreement to address opioid academic (IBB). Washington Post Report
- Fiat (FCAU) CEO plans to announce reorganization plans by end of September. Reuters Report
- Several companies have reached out to The Trump Administration to convince them to hold off on China tariffs; also there is no sign of agreement between U.S. and China over trade dispute (FXI). Bloomberg Report
- Mexico wants steel and aluminum tariffs resolved before agreeing to NAFTA deal (EWW, EWC). Reuters Report
- Musk on Rogan: It's all about sustainability
- Jack Ma preps for life after Alibaba
- Ebola outbreak spreading in Congo
- Robinhood on path to IPO
- Thermo Fisher to acquire advanced bioprocessing business from BD
- New rules on sulfur could make 20% of oil sands output uneconomical
- More on Facebook's blockchain team
- Tezepelumab granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for the treatment of patients with severe asthma without an eosinophilic phenotype
- The Watchlist
- Week Ahead Webinar
- Today's Option Recap
- 2018 Top 5 For Back Half of 2018
- 2018 Top 5 Stocks
Today's jobs data will be the last employment report before the Fed's next meeting on Sept. 26, at which the central bank is slated to raise interest rates for the third time this year. The snapshot is expected to show 191K jobs created in August, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.8% from 3.9% a month earlier. Average hourly earnings likely increased 0.2%, down from 0.3% in July, putting the gain at 2.7% Y/Y.
President Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut down the federal government on Sept. 30 - if Congress doesn't include enough money for a border wall - but that is now likely to be postponed. "We are going to do it immediately after the (midterm) election," he told Fox News, saying he had been persuaded that closing the government this month would hurt his fellow Republican candidates.
The second stage of tax reform from House Republicans will aim to make individual cuts passed last year permanent and ease rules around retirement savings, according to newly released details. House Speaker Paul Ryan hopes to hold a floor vote on the plan later this month, arguing the new proposals will help boost economic growth and aid small businesses.
The 15-month embargo of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations has been a "blessing" for the gas-rich nation's economy. "If we lost around a 110M market, we opened a 400M market in countries including Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Pakistan, Iran and central Asia," the country's economy minister told Bloomberg. Since the boycott began, Qatari exports have risen 19%, while its global trade climbed 16%.
After Italy's election of a populist government in March, the performance of Sweden's Democrats will be closely monitored all over Europe. The far-right anti-EU party is poised to make big gains in the country's general election on Sunday, capitalizing on voter discontent over issues such as immigration, crime and healthcare. If surveys are correct, the Democrats have a shot at becoming the second-largest party in the country and could even soar to the top.
A leading candidate for Brazil's presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro, was stabbed during a campaign event on Thursday, just a month before the country goes to the polls. According to his son and doctors, he's in serious but stable condition. Bolsonaro's far-right platform includes cracking down on crime in Latin America's largest nation and he is seen as a deeply polarizing figure.
Jack Ma is laying the groundwork for a future away from Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), dedicating more of his time and fortune to philanthropy. "There's a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates. I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier," he told Bloomberg. "I think some day, and soon, I'll go back to teaching." When asked if that could happen this year, Ma shrugged and smiled.
Facebook is looking for a "head of business development & partnerships" for blockchain at its Silicon Valley headquarters, unveiling its sixth - and most revealing - job post for its new blockchain group. Speculation has been swirling since January, but based on the postings, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) seems to be building an AI platform for the project and considering new financial services and "ways to share information."
Popular stock-trading platform Robinhood is preparing to go public. "Not in the immediate term, but it's something we're thinking about very much in the future," CEO Baiju Bhatt told the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. The zero-fee trading app, which rolled out about three years ago, surpassed rival E-Trade Financial (NASDAQ:ETFC) in May and has a total of 5M brokerage accounts. Other competitors: AMTD, SCHW, JPM
Amid reported negotiations for Les Moonves' exit from CBS, and for a settlement of disputes between the network and parent National Amusements, the two sides would agree to a two-year standstill on any talk of a CBS re-merger with Viacom (VIA, VIAB), sources told Reuters. The board has reportedly offered a roughly $100M exit package to Moonves amid allegations of sexual harassment.
The suspended accounts of right-wing conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones and InfoWars have been permanently banned on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). "We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts' past violations," the company declared. "We wanted to be open about this action given the broad interest in this case."
Latest attempt to crack into Hollywood... Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) is launching a film division to develop movies based on Barbie, Hot Wheels and its other popular brands. Academy Award-nominated producer Robbie Brenner has been appointed to lead the business. Mattel has lagged behind toy rivals Lego and Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), which have developed blockbuster branded films, including The Lego Movie and the Transformers franchise.
Johnson & Johnson is working with the Indian government to compensate patients who suffered from artificial hip implants the healthcare company recalled eight years ago. Last month, a government panel recommended that J&J (NYSE:JNJ) pay compensation of at least 2M rupees ($27,812) to each patient who received an ASR hip implant in India, an estimated 4,700 people.
Congo has confirmed its first Ebola death in the eastern city of Butembo, the first urban outbreak of the virus. The current wave has already killed 89 people and it's close to becoming the eighth largest Ebola outbreak in history. A vaccination campaign has already been underway for weeks, with experimental treatments from companies like Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD).
All 250 people on separate American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) flights from Munich and Paris were "held for a medical review" on Thursday after arriving in Philadelphia from Europe. No one on either plane was quarantined, American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott said, but 12 people aboard became ill with flu-like symptoms. The health scare comes a day after a similar outbreak aboard an Emirates flight from Dubai to New York.
Financial data has been stolen from 380,000 British Airways (OTCPK:ICAGY) customers who made online bookings in recent weeks. "The moment we found out... that's when we began an all-out immediate communication to our customers," CEO Alex Cruz told BBC Radio. Any customers who lose out financially from the breach will be compensated by the airline.
New Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley will announce his organizational plans for the carmaker by the end of September, according to Chairman John Elkann. The decision came at a Fiat (NYSE:FCAU) shareholder meeting called to vote on the appointment of Manley following CEO Sergio Marchionne's sudden death in July. He "was the only candidate... based on the board's succession plans."
Elon Musk went on the Joe Rogan Experience overnight, highlighting themes in sustainable energy. "People ask, why should EVs have a subsidy? What they don't realize is that all carbon-burning vehicles are subsidized by the cost to Earth... in the future we will pay for it." Commenting on his companies, including Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Musk outlined that "electric energy, electric cars and energy storage is important... but the transition momentum is too slow."
In Asia, Japan -0.8%. Hong Kong flat. China +0.4%. India +0.4%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.7%. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt -0.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.1%. Nasdaq -0.1%. Crude flat at $67.74. Gold +0.2% to $1206.50. Bitcoin -1.9% to $63.75.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.89%
Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Non-farm payrolls
8:30 Fed's Rosengren: "What Are the Consequences of Long Spells of Low Interest Rates?"
9:00 Fed's Mester: "What Are the Consequences of Long Spells of Low Interest Rates?"
10:00 Quarterly Services Report
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count
10:45 Fed's Rosengren Speech on Saturday