Monday Morning Market Prepper
- Tech leads early selling
- Immelt out at GE
- Bitcoin crosses $3,000 milestone
- Puerto Rico votes for statehood
- New plan to cut U.S. factory rules
- Companies step up Brexit demands
- 'Wonder Woman' buries 'The Mummy'
- E3: Microsoft unveils latest Xbox
— Bloomberg Markets (@markets) June 12, 2017
— FactSet (@FactSet) June 12, 2017
Sterling has fallen back below $1.27 on uncertainty over the nation's exit from the EU. Theresa May said the government is focused on "delivering a successful Brexit" as she reshuffled her cabinet, but kept the top five posts unchanged. Moody's has meanwhile suggested the U.K. election result is a credit negative for the country, saying it will "complicate and probably delay" Brexit negotiations.
Emmanuel Macron's centrist party won the first round of parliamentary elections on Sunday, positioning the new French president to wield an overwhelming majority at home and on the European stage. Such a landslide would give Macron a strong mandate to implement policies he says are needed to stir the sluggish national economy and overhaul the European Union.
Macedonia will consider changing its name in an effort to unlock Greek opposition to its NATO and EU membership. Athens believes the title implies a territorial claim to the northern Greek province with the same name and even vetoed a previous application in 2008. What's the process? Macedonia will need support from two-thirds of the country's MPs, consultations with the Constitutional Court and probably a nationwide referendum.
Qatar is ready to listen to the concerns of Gulf Arab states that have cut diplomatic and economic relations, according to Kuwait, as it tries to mediate a solution to the worst regional crisis in years. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE severed ties with Qatar last Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and Iran. Qatar's benchmark stock index ended the week down 7.1%, becoming the worst performer globally this year.
G7 countries vowed on Sunday to press ahead with climate change efforts despite a rift caused by the American withdrawal from the Paris accord. "Italy and the overwhelming majority of countries regard Paris as irreversible and non-negotiable," Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti declared. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt attended the first few hours of the two-day summit before returning to Washington for a cabinet meeting.
The Trump administration intends to unveil a plan this week to trim regulations it believes constrain U.S. manufacturing growth, potentially affecting environmental permits, worker safety and labor rules. It follows the opening of the first new coal mine of the Trump era. Corsa Coal (OTC:CRSXF) launched the facility in Pennsylvania on Thursday, marking the first new coal mine in the U.S. in at least 10 years.
"The USA will have to obey the will of our people!" Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello declared, after the island voted to become the 51st U.S. state in a non-binding referendum. While 97% chose statehood, political foes may say the vote isn't credible as turnout was only about 23%. It's also highly unlikely the Republican-controlled Congress will acknowledge the results, because Puerto Rico tends to favor Democrats.
It looks like the tech selloff from Friday is spilling into the Monday morning trading session after months of sharp gains. Goldman Sachs turned cautious on the sector, warning investors that they should not consider tech as a safe haven, and some fear it has become a massive market bubble. On the move premarket: AMD -2.6%; AAPL -2.2%; NFLX -2.1%; NVDA -1.7%; AMZN -1.2%; INTC -1.2%; FB -1.1%; TXN -1.1%; GOOG, GOOGL -1%; MSFT -1%.
For the first time in history, bitcoin has crossed the $3,000 threshold, continuing this year's massive surge on increased demand from Asia-based investors. According to CoinDesk, prices reached an all-time high of $3,012.05. The cryptocurrency has now more than tripled in value since trading at $968 on Dec. 31, and has gained nearly 30% in June alone.
A sale on the horizon? Western Digital (NYSE:WDC) plans to raise its bid for Toshiba's (OTCPK:TOSYY) prized semiconductor unit to 2T¥ ($18B) or more, marking a last-ditch effort to clinch a deal that both companies consider vital. According to Reuters, Toshiba has also agreed to pay Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) $3.68B to help cover the costs of completing a half-constructed nuclear plant in Georgia.
Sony has scotched speculation that it could follow Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) into the hybrid games console market despite the runaway success of its rival's Switch. "We've always made it possible for PlayStation to be played both inside the home and outside through the PlayStation network. Is there a new market? We don't think that's the case," said Sony's (NYSE:SNE) Atsushi Morita.
Microsoft's next videogame console will go on sale Nov. 7 for $499, about $100 more than Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 4 Pro. The Xbox One X will be the company's smallest gaming machine yet in size, though it packs in more power, speed and graphical fidelity than its predecessors. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony both introduced their previous generation consoles in late 2013.
The Mummy is no match for Wonder Woman. During its first weekend in theaters, Universal's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) monster movie debuted at No. 2, earning a tepid $32M in North American grosses, while Warner Bros.' (NYSE:TWX) film retained the top spot, collecting an impressive $57.2M. Woman has now accrued about $205M domestically and another $230.2M from foreign markets.
Sidney Crosby is bringing the Stanley Cup back home to Pittsburgh for a second consecutive year, along with another MVP trophy. The Penguins topped the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Game 6 after a scoreless event with just 1:35 left in the third period. The series, which was broadcast over NBC and NBCSN (CMCSA), averaged 4.2M viewers a game (excluding last night's matchup).
AstraZeneca will face a "substantial setback" if its most ambitious foray into cutting edge immunotherapy falls flat, CEO Pascal Soriot has acknowledged. Results from the eagerly awaited Mystic immunotherapy trial is expected within weeks. Soriot also admitted that AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), which saw off a bid by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) three years ago, was still "exposed" to a takeover.
Competition in the U.S. grocery sector is starting to sizzle. Discount chain Aldi is expected to unveil plans to invest $5B toward opening 900 stores over the next five years, while remodeling hundreds more. The expansion puts the German grocer on track to becoming the third-largest American food retailer by store count, behind Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Kroger (NYSE:KR).
Iran's Aseman Airlines has finalized an agreement to purchase 60 Boeing (NYSE:BA) planes, although any such deal with the Islamic Republic will need approval from the U.S. Treasury. It's the second transaction between Boeing and an Iranian airliner since a landmark nuclear pact between Tehran and world powers went into practice in 2016.
Airbus could move production of new aircraft models out of the U.K. if the planemaker's "non-negotiable" demands over the free movement of people and trade tariffs aren't met, the Sunday Times reports. Brexit negotiations are set to begin on June 19 despite Theresa May losing her parliamentary majority last week. Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) employs over 10K people across two plants in Britain.
Embattled airbag maker Takata has recommended reappointing its current board, underscoring slow progress in its efforts to clinch a financial backer to overhaul the business. U.S. auto components maker Key Safety Systems and partner Bain Capital are the frontrunners among potential suitors, but talks have dragged on since February 2016 as bidders try to identify and ring fence Takata's (OTCPK:TKTDY) liabilities.
Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann is planning to resign as General Motors (NYSE:GM) offloads the European business to PSA Group (OTCPK:PEUGF), Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reports. Without citing sources, the newspaper said that while Neumann sees the sale to PSA as the right strategic step, he is concerned that the new owner is underestimating the growing importance of electric cars.
Uber's board has adopted a series of recommendations from former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder following a multi-month investigation into the company's cultures and practices. The recommendations will be released to UBER employees tomorrow. Board members were also expected to discuss CEO Travis Kalanick temporarily stepping away from the firm and other changes to executive leadership.
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In Asia, Japan -0.5%. Hong Kong -1.2%. China -0.6%. India -0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris -1%. Frankfurt -0.9%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq -0.7%. Crude +1.3% to $.46.44 Gold -0.1% to $1270.40.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 2.21%
Today's Economic Calendar
1:00 PM Results of $20B, 10-Year Note Auction
2:00 PM Treasury Budget