Monday Morning Reads

Monday Morning Reads




After briefly topping the 29,000 milestone on Friday, the Dow looks set to firmly regain the level today as futures start the week with a 125-point advance. The blue-chip market benchmark has now racked up 10,676 points since election day 2016 as the historic bull market tears higher in the new year. More movement will likely be seen during the week. Earnings season kicks off with major Wall Street banks, while investors will get details of the "Phase One" trade agreement with China.
Go deeper: U.S., China agree to semi-annual reform talks.

Iran admits to shooting down jetliner

For days, Iran's government had denied responsibility for the crash of a Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737-800 near Tehran, though it's now calling the incident that killed 176 people a "disastrous mistake." The country's air defenses were fired in error while on alert after Iranian missile strikes targeted U.S. bases in Iraq. Local officials had previously pointed to an engine failure as the cause of the crash. The plane's turbines were made by CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric (NYSE:GE) and France's Safran (OTCPK:SAFRY).
Go deeper: 'The fragility of Iran's regime' by David Goldman.

MAX crisis will weigh on U.S. growth

"There's no question that the Boeing (BA) situation is going to slow down the GDP numbers," according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "Boeing is one of the largest exporters, and with the 737 MAX, I think that could impact GDP as much as 50 basis points this year... For this year, we've been looking at 2.5 to 3%, as I said, it may be closer to 2.5 because of the adjustment of the Boeing numbers."
Go deeper: New estimate for 737 MAX compensation: $8B.

Biggest IPO ever gets bigger

Saudi Aramco (ARMCO) has exercised its "greenshoe option" to sell an additional 450M shares, raising the size of its initial public offering to a record $29.4B. "No additional shares are being offered into the market today and the stabilizing manager will not hold any shares in the company as a result of exercise of the over-allotment option," Aramco said on Sunday. The oil giant initially raised a then-record $25.6B in its IPO in December by selling 3B shares at 32 riyals ($8.53).

Shakeup at Walmart India

Facing challenges in expanding its wholesale business in India, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is restructuring in the country as it focuses more on retail and business e-commerce. Eight of the 56 executives fired were in "senior management" roles and the rest from middle or lower management. "We are also looking for ways to operate more efficiently, which requires us to review our corporate structure to ensure that we are organized in the right way," Walmart India CEO Krish Iyer said in a statement.
Go deeper: 'Walmart: Rich Valuation Limits Upside Potential' by Bernard Keightley.

Cue the Nextel flashbacks

Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are bringing back Push to Talk technology with the Galaxy XCover Pro. The smartphone features a button that initiates a chat using Microsoft's Teams app and is being marketed to firstline workers. "It reduces licensing and provisioning costs, and it's one less device for the employee to carry," said Emma Williams, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Office verticals.
Go deeper: MSFT is a 2-in-1 growth and value opportunity, writes James Charles Foord.

Pushing iPhone recycling

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to become a "closed-loop" manufacturer that does not rely on the mining industry and is going some of the way with its "Daisy" robot. The device breaks apart 200 old iPhones per hour so that 14 minerals, including lithium, can be extracted and recycled. With the rising popularity of electric vehicles, newly mined minerals will be needed on an even larger scale, and Apple still recognizes that reality. "We're not necessarily competing with the folks who mine," said Lisa Jackson, the company's head of environment, policy and social. "There's nothing for miners to fear in this development."

'1917' powers to No. 1

Scoring best dramatic picture win at the Golden Globes, 1917 dominated the box office during its opening weekend with a $36.5M haul in North America. That was strong enough to dethrone the latest Star Wars (NYSE:DIS) movie, which had ruled atop the box office for three consecutive weeks. Until this weekend, 1917 - distributed by Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal Pictures - had only been available in a select number of theaters nationwide.

Nissan accelerates potential split from Renault

Top brass at Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) are talking about a secret contingency plan to potentially split from Renault (OTCPK:RNLSY), which has been ramped up since Carlos Ghosn's dramatic escape from Japan last month, FT reports. Several sources said the plan includes a total divide between the companies in engineering and manufacturing, as well as changes to Nissan's board. A split would leave the companies smaller, likely prompting them to find new partners amid industry-wide consolidation.

Sterling falls below $1.30

Gertjan Vlieghe, an external monetary policy committee member, is the latest to signal he would vote for a BOE interest rate cut later this month if data doesn't show the U.K. economy is picking up. Another external MPC member, Silvana Tenreyro, signaled similar sentiment on Friday, while Bank of England Governor Mark Carney floated the idea of lower rates last week. Sterling fell 0.6% to $1.2975 on the news, leaving it nearly 2% lower since the start of the year.

What else is happening...

Europe stands by Iran nuclear deal.

Occidental's (NYSE:OXYnot-so-costless oil-price hedge.

Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD), Hexcel (NYSE:HXLcombine in $6.4B merger.

No severance, but ex-Boeing (BA) CEO walks away with $62M.

Israel grounds Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Autopilot - Calcalist.

Ford's (NYSE:F) China vehicle sales plunge 26% in 2019.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZNfires more employees for customer data leaks.

Today's Markets
In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong +0.8%. China +1.1%. India +0.6%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.6%. Paris +0.3%. Frankfurt +0.2%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.5%. Crude +0.3% to $59.20. Gold -0.7% to $1549.10. Bitcoin -0.4% to $8084.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +2 bps to 1.84%

Today's Economic Calendar
10:00 Fed's Rosengren Speech
12:40 PM Fed's Bostic: Monetary Policy and Economic Outlook
2:00 PM Treasury Budget

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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