Friday Morning Reads
- Executive exodus continues at Tesla
- New iPhones, Apple Watch go on sale
- Futures up with bull market in sync
- JD.com CEO rape allegation reviewed by prosecutors
- Micron drops after Q4 beats, NAND ASPs down, downside Q1 guidance
- Exelixis’ partner Ipsen announces positive CHMP opinion for CABOMETYX tablets
- Internet to split in two by 2028?
- Sarepta receives negative CHMP re-examination opinion for Eteplirsen
- Comcast (CMCSA) and Fox (FOXA) will particulate in weekend auction for Sky (SKYAY) M&A deal. WSJ Report
- Position Updates
- Georgia is receiving opposition for nuclear plant (NLR). WSJ Report
- Tesla (TSLA) Vice President of global supply plans to leave the company. Bloomberg Report
- Twitch (AMZN) has been blocked in China. Abacusnews Report
- China is considering issuing fuel export quotas to refiners (XLE, USO. CVRR, VLO, MPC, HFC). Reuters Report
- Foreign hackers have attacked G-Mail accounts of some Senators (HACK). CNN Report
Chart of the day:
$NBEV this week:
- The Watchlist
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- Today's Option Recap
- 2018 Top 5 For Back Half of 2018
- 2018 Top 5 Stocks
Another day of gains looks in store for U.S. equities as stocks advance across the globe, with China's Shanghai Composite Index even closing up 2.5%. The DJIA and S&P 500 set new highs Thursday as the economic outlook got rosier: Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., fell to the lowest level since 1969. A recent spike in government bond yields is further signaling that investors are viewing next week's expected interest rate hike from the Fed as a testament to the strength of the economy.
Another missed deadline? The U.S. and Canada showed scant sign on Thursday of closing a deal to revamp NAFTA. U.S. negotiators reportedly wanted Ottawa to agree to capping its American auto exports at 1.7M vehicles a year, something that Canadian industry sources dismissed as unacceptable. Pressure on Canada is growing, however, partly to push it through the U.S. Congress before Mexico's new government takes office on Dec. 1.
World leaders are gathering at the United Nations for the 73rd annual U.N. General Assembly in New York City. President Trump is scheduled to speak at the event on Tuesday, but reports already suggest a number of hot topics will be discussed from the podium. Those include the Iran deal, foreign aid, the Skripal poisoning case in England, chemical weapons and North Korea.
Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang has died at age 61 after suffering from a "kind of highly virulent virus." Though he held one of the country’s top four positions and was officially the head of state, his role as president was seen as largely ceremonial. Rumors of his illness had circulated on social media for months, but there was no significant reaction in Vietnam's benchmark index.
The crowds might have been smaller than at last year's iPhone X launch, but people are lining up at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stores around the globe this morning to snap up the new iPhone XS, XS Max and Apple Watch Series 4. Customers wanting the devices may have decided to skip the early morning queues given that this year is an "S" upgrade for iPhones. The iPhone XR - the cheaper iPhone - also won't be on sale until October.
"Alexa, please defrost my chicken" may be one of the new commands consumers can tell Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) intelligent assistant after the retail giant unveiled a whole host of products to control the smarthome of the future. Among them: New Echo devices including Echo Auto, an Amazon Basics Microwave, Smart Plug, Wall Clock, Alexa Guard, Ring security cameras, Fire TV Recast and audio equipment.
With rules of engagement set on the Sky (OTCQX:SKYAY) auction, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is expecting Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) - and its de facto backer Disney (NYSE:DIS) - to force a raised bid by some billions of dollars this weekend, CNBC reports. Comcast has the high bid at £26B, but neither Comcast nor Fox has presented their best and final offer, and the matter goes to a rare one-day auction on Saturday.
Adobe is scooping up Marketo, a privately held cloud-based marketing software company, for about $4.75B. The move, which accelerates the Photoshop maker's move into the cloud and bolsters its digital marketing business, could have implications for other competitors like HubSpot (NYSE:HUBS), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), SAP and Salesforce (NYSE:CRM). Adobe's (NASDAQ:ADBE) stock is up 78% in the past year.
Days after the Trump administration instituted a travel ban in January 2017, Google (GOOG, GOOGL) staff discussed ways to tweak search-related functions to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations and contact lawmakers, WSJ reports. "These emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement. "Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology."
The Minneapolis Police Department has completed its investigation into a rape allegation against JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) CEO Richard Liu. Prosecutors are now expected to decide whether to bring charges, but there is no deadline for that decision. While Liu's attorneys maintain he didn't commit any wrongdoing, they declined to comment further.
In a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative days before the announcement of new duties on $200B worth of Chinese imports, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) said it may have to hike prices of products if the Trump administration goes through with the tariffs. "Either consumers will pay more, suppliers will receive less, retail margins will be lower, or consumers will buy fewer products or forego purchases altogether."
U.S. airlines are fighting to keep control of the nearly $3B that passengers pay annually to change their flights. In response, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) just raised its domestic U.S. baggage fees by $5 to $30 and the second bag to $40. It joins Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL), which made a similar on Wednesday, as well as United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) and JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU), which already had hiked their fees.
Tesla is losing another VP - head of global supply management Liam O'Connor, Bloomberg reports. He's at least the fifth senior executive to be parting ways with the automaker within the span of a few weeks following the departure of the chief accounting officer, heads of human resources and communications, and the vice president of worldwide finance. The flight of top managers has rattled Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) investors because it's coincided with a series of concerns and missteps by CEO Elon Musk.
As part of a turnaround plan, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) is reducing its headcount by about 5%-10% within the next three years. The bank continues to strengthen risk management, simplify operations and divest non-core businesses as it works to become a more efficient company, CEO Tim Sloan said at a bi-monthly town hall meeting. Part of the plan also includes accelerating adoption of digital self-service capabilities.
The wait continues for Bitcoin (BTC-USD) exchange-traded funds... Despite receiving more than 1,400 comment letters on a proposal to list an ETF from Van Eck Securities and SolidX Management, the SEC is still inviting more feedback. Those who wish to comment have 21 days after the SEC’s order is published in the Federal Register, while rebuttals have 35 days from that date.
Within the next decade, there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China, according to Eric Schmidt. "Look at the way their Belt and Road Initiative works, which involves 60-ish countries - it's perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom." Recent reports suggest Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is developing "Project Dragonfly," a censored version of its search engine that could appease authorities in China.
California has become the first state in the nation to restrict the use of plastic straws in full-service dining establishments. The measure, Assembly Bill 1884, limits restaurants to giving out single-use straws only upon request of customers. Businesses violating the new law could be subject to a fine of $25 per day and as much as $300 annually. Related tickers: DRI, NDLS, BJRI, DIN, WING, GTIM, EAT, CBRL, TXRH, CAKE, QSR
In Asia, Japan +0.9%. Hong Kong +1.7%. China +2.5%. India -0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London +1%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.7%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.3%. Crude +0.6% to $70.74. Gold -0.1% to $1209.60. Bitcoin +3.1% to $6693.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.08%