Monday Morning Reads
- Dawning Ahead of Schedule
- 22-Year Lows On Reports Of Illicit Money Flows
- What the TikTok Deal Achieved
- That Show May Be Ending.
- Monopoly Concerns Have Now Reached India
- The 2020 Housing Boom
- Socially-Distant Black Friday Rush
- Create Their Own ‘Bubbles’ to Get Partiers Back Out
- Negativity Is Not an Investment Strategy
- Ideas For Retirement
- Accurate Evidence!
Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) shares tumbled 30% in premarket trade after founder Trevor Milton stepped down as executive chairman and member of the company's board, adding that he would defend himself against "false allegations leveled by outside detractors." The resignation comes in the wake of claims made by short-seller Hindenburg Research, who described Nikola as a "an intricate fraud built on dozens of lies," as well as reported SEC and DOJ investigations into the company. The news could also spell trouble for General Motors (NYSE:GM), which recently took an 11% stake in Nikola and said it would produce its marquee hydrogen fuel cell electric pickup truck called the Badger.
Things aren't looking brighter for U.S. equities following Wall Street's third straight weekly decline, with Dow futures down 2.1% and contracts tied to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq off 1.9%. Little progress has been made on a new coronavirus stimulus package as Republicans and Democrats remain at an impasse, while the negotiations could become even more complicated following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Investors also appear worried that a global recovery could be hampered by a rise in coronavirus infections, especially with no vaccine breakthrough yet.
Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) has reached a deal with China's ByteDance (BDNCE) to host video-sharing app TikTok and take a minority stake in the company along with Walmart (NYSE:WMT). "I have given the deal my blessing,” President Trump declared, adding that new unit TikTok Global would create more than 25,000 new jobs in the U.S. and pay more than $5B in new tax dollars to the Treasury. Meanwhile, Tencent's (OTCPK:TCEHY) WeChat is set to remain operating in the U.S. after a federal judge issued an injunction against Trump's executive order that would have banned the Chinese social media app.
"We have a shot at a record quarter for vehicle deliveries, but will have to rally hard to achieve it," said Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Elon Musk in an internal email entitled 'All hands on deck!' Tesla hopes to deliver half a million vehicles in 2020, and has delivered roughly 179,000 through the first half. The letter also comes ahead of the company's annual shareholder meeting tomorrow and its first-ever highly anticipated "Battery Day" for investors.
Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is jumping on the bandwagon of its European rivals BP (NYSE:BP) and Eni (NYSE:E), which have both announced plans to reduce their focus on oil and gas in the coming decade. Sources tell Reuters that the oil major is looking to slash up to 40% off the cost of producing oil and gas so it can overhaul its business and focus more on renewable energy and power markets. Shell's new cost-cutting review, known internally as Project Reshape and expected to be completed this year, will affect its three main divisions and any savings will come on top of a $4B target set in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
HBO (NYSE:T) once again held off Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) in this year's Emmy race, taking home 30 trophies including 11 for dystopian drama Watchmen, which was the night's biggest winner. HBO's media family saga Succession also had a strong showing, as well as the final season of Schitt's Creek and Disney's (NYSE:DIS) The Mandalorian. The dogfight between HBO and Netflix, which scored 21 wins, is part of a much larger trend in the TV awards circuit: subscription-based platforms are creating more Emmy Award winning content.
Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) appears to have facilitated more than half of the leaked $2T of suspicious transactions that were flagged to the U.S. government over nearly two decades, according to Deutsche Welle, though the lender said the incidents "have already been investigated and led to regulatory resolutions." Shares of HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) and Standard Chartered (OTCPK:SCBFF) fell on the suspicious fund movement, as well as JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK) and Barclays (NYSE:BCS), which were also named in the report. Financial firms are required by law to alert FinCEN (the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) when they detect activities like money laundering and sanctions violations, though such filings are not necessarily evidence of criminal misconduct. DB -8% premarket.
What else is happening...
Movies still face Catch-22, needing both viewers and blockbusters to return.
In Asia, Japan +0.2%. Hong Kong -2.1%. China -0.6%. India -2.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London -3.4%. Paris -3.2%. Frankfurt -3.2%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -2.1%. S&P -1.9%. Nasdaq -1.9%. Crude -2.3% to $40.37. Gold -1.3% to $1937.60. Bitcoin -2.1% to $10734.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 0.66%
Today's Economic Calendar