Friday Morning Reads

Friday Morning Reads





U.S. stock futures are marginally lower as investors await official domestic GDP data and another batch of corporate earnings to wrap up the week. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate GDP rose at a 2.5% annual rate for the quarter, which would mark the economy’s strongest January-March performance in four years. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 was 0.1% lower in morning trade, with most sectors and major bourses in the red. In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 1.2% and Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.2% lower.

Deutsche Bank profit surges but full-year revenue target cut

Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) reported stronger-than-expected Q1 net profit of €201M ($223M), up 67% from a year ago. But revenues fell 9% for the quarter to €6.35B, the ninth straight quarter of revenue contraction, and the bank says it expects full-year revenue to come in flat after previously targeting a slight increase. Income from buying and selling securities fell 19%, marking the investment banking division's weakest Q1 since the financial crisis. The results follow Deutsche Bank's failed merger talks with Commerzbank (OTCPK:CRZBFOTCPK:CRZBY), leaving Europe’s once-dominant financial institution to find other ways to boost profitability and revenue.

Japan eyes possible GDP contraction as Q1 factory output declines

Japan's industrial output fell in Q1 at the fastest pace in nearly five years, suggesting the economy may post a mild contraction in the quarter. Industrial output for January-March slipped 2.6%, the biggest decline since Q2 2014, according to data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The sharp decline shows the extent of the damage caused by the U.S.-China trade war, but economists are optimistic that Japan's economy can rebound quickly, since global growth remains on relatively firm footing.

Chip stocks on watch after Intel slashes full-year guidance

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) plunged after-hours after cutting its financial guidance for the full year and reporting its first decline in sales of data center chips in seven years. The company said it now expects 2019 earnings of $4.35 per share on revenues of $69B, below its previous forecast for $4.60 earnings per share on $71.5B in revenues. “We're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve,” CEO Bob Swan said, also taking note of the "challenging NAND pricing environment." On watch: Micron (NASDAQ:MU), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD).

Amazon profit doubles; core Prime getting one-day shipping

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported Q1 results that beat earnings per share estimates by a hefty $2.44 and met revenue estimates with 17% Y/Y growth. But sluggish retail sales overseas and a flat performance from Whole Foods weighed down revenue growth for a fourth straight quarter. Amazon’s operating margin climbed to 7.4% in the quarter as expenses rose 12.6%, the lowest percentage gain in at least a decade. Expenses likely will move higher, in part because Amazon said it will invest $800M to make one-day free shipping the new standard for core Prime members.

Musk, SEC again ask judge for more time to resolve contempt dispute

Elon Musk and the SEC are seeking more time to work out their dispute over whether the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO violated a court order restricting his Twitter use. In a filing late Thursday, Musk and an SEC counsel asked a U.S. District Judge to extend their deadline for presenting the court with an "agreement in principle" until April 30. The judge had already granted a one-week extension to continue negotiations after she ordered the two sides to resolve the SEC's request to have Musk held in contempt of court.

Facebook broke privacy laws by exposing user data, Canada says

Canada's privacy commissioner said he will take Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to court after finding the company’s lax practices allowed personal information to be used for political purposes. The report said it uncovered major shortcomings in Facebook’s procedures and that the company had rebuffed the commissioners' findings and recommendations. The Canadian probe comes as Ireland’s privacy regulator said it is investigating Facebook over a recent revelation that it had left hundreds of millions of user passwords exposed.

Uber plans $44-$50 per share for IPO; PayPal to invest $500M

Uber (UBER) reportedly is aiming for an IPO valuation of as much as $90B, seeking to price its shares in the $44-$50 per share range and hoping to raise $8B-$10B. Uber is expected to make the price range public in a filing Friday morning, which The Wall Street Journal reports will also include news of a roughly $500M investment in Uber by PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL). PayPal already partners with Uber on processing its fares.

Renault to propose merging with Nissan, reports say

Renault (OTCPK:RNLSY) reportedly will propose to automaking partner Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) that the companies merge under a new holding company where shareholders of each company would receive a roughly 50% stake. Renault is said to be moving quickly in proposing the holding company structure due to its concerns about Nissan's deteriorating business results. Renault's new Chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, reportedly believes the move would allow the companies to move past disputes over the shareholding imbalance - Nissan owns a 15% stake in Renault, but Renault holds 43.4% of Nissan - and allow them to focus on Nissan's business recovery.

Edison sued by Los Angeles County over wildfire damage

Los Angeles County is suing Southern California Edison and parent company Edison International (NYSE:EIX) to recover $100M in costs and damages from a wildfire that may have been sparked by one of the utility's wires. It's the latest lawsuit against SoCal Edison since a fire last November that burned more than 150 square miles, destroyed 1,643 buildings and killed three people. The official cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Edison has said an electrical outage before the fire may have been caused by a guy wire and a jumper wire making contact.

Goldman's 10 commodity trade ideas for the second half

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has introduced 10 commodity trades for a second half it thinks will be based on shorter-focus considerations. Among metals trades Goldman is pushing: Long gold and short silver, long copper and short zinc, long palladium and short platinum, long 62% vs. 58% iron ore premium. In agriculture, Goldman is urging to go long the S&P GSCI Agriculture and Livestock Index. And in energy, it recommends being long cal20 WTI-Dubai; shorting Q3 2019 TTF (European gas) spread to Nymex (U.S. gas) prices; and being long the Q2 2020/Q2 2021 heating oil crack box spread vs. Brent.

What else is happening...

3M (NYSE:MMM) knocks nearly 200 points off Dow following a dismal Q1.

Citron’s Andrew Left takes no position on Tesla (TSLA).

Berkshire’s (BRK.ABRK.B) best use of cash may be buybacks.

New York AG to probe Facebook’s (FB) contact collection.

Thursday's Key Earnings
Amazon (AMZN+1% as profit doubles.
Intel (INTC-7.9% AH on 2019 guidance cut.
Ford (NYSE:F+7.7% PM after North America results shine.
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX-0.5% PM on earnings beat.
National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV-1.7% AH on Q1 earnings miss.
Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN-4.4% AH despite Q1 beat, guidance raise.
T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:TMUS+1% AH on healthy Q1 subscriber additions, record financials.
Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY+1.9% AH on beats, in-line guide.
Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR+0.5% after Q1 beat where sales, profits decline.
Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT+6.1% PM on slimmer loss.
Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ:SGEN-4.4% AH despite Q1 beat.
GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB+13.2% PM on Q1, diner metric beats.
Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT-6.4% AH on downside FY profit outlook.

Today's Markets 
In Asia, Japan -0.22%. Hong Kong +0.19%. China -1.20%. India +0.97%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.26%. Paris flat. Frankfurt +0.09%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.13%. S&P -0.09%. Nasdaq +0.11%. Crude -1.86%to $64. Gold +0.25% to $1,282.90. Bitcoin -1.5% to $5380.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1.2bps to 2.522%.

Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 GDP Q1
10:00 Consumer Sentiment
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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