Monday Morning Reads

Monday Morning Reads






Open Interest Changes:




Sweden’s ruling center-left Social Democrats and Greens and their Left Party ally held 40.6% of the vote early Monday. The opposition center-right Alliance held 40.3%. The far-right Sweden Democrats came third with 17.6%, up 5 percentage points from four years ago.


Russia’s ruble weakened to the lowest level since March 2016 on Monday. The ruble dropped to Rbs70.115 per dollar (-0.2% on the day) in a sell-off fueled by concerns over the central bank’s independence. Last week, prime minister Dmitry Medvedev called for rate cuts. The next interest rate decision is Friday. “This interference in monetary policy came at the worst possible time and has weighed heavily on the rouble,” wrote Commerzbank analyst Ulrich Leuchtmann.

China’s trade surplus with the U.S. in August reached a record $31.1B despite exports climbing at the slowest pace since March. Shipments were up 9.8% and imports up 20%. The U.S. has imposed $50B in duties against China, with another $200B in the works and an extra $267B in tariffs proposed.

Japan’s Q2 GDP growth was the fastest since early 2016, hitting an annualized rate of 3% compared to the initial reading of 1.9%. The rate was impacted by a tightening labor market fueling automation and amid the escalating US-China trade war. Capital expenditure was a driver, revised to a 3.1% growth on the quarter from 1.3%, the fastest growth in 11 years.


More trouble at CBS: CBS (NYSE:CBS) announced that CEO Les Moonves is departing as part of a settlement with National Amusements, members of the board and related parties. Moonves' exit follows six new allegations from women, as reported by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker. COO Joseph Ianniello will serve as President and acting CEO while the board searches for a permanent replacement. Five current independent directors and one NAI-affiliated director also resigned from the board.

Is the door open for the luxury car business of Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAYOTCPK:VLKAFOTCPK:VLKPY) to be spun out in an IPO? "It is a legitimate question, without a doubt," stated Volkswagen CFO Frank Witter on the potential for another public offering beyond the IPO already in the works for the heavy truck unit. In a consolidation move with luxury brands, VW plans to shift Lamborghini from the Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF) unit to Porsche (OTCPK:POAHY) to create a super-premium brand group that also includes Bentley and Bugatti.

Jack Ma confirmed he'd exit the chairman's post at Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) in a year, and current CEO Daniel Zhang would take over there. Ma had contemplated an exit for some time and made the announcement Monday on his 54th birthday, saying he'll focus on philanthropy and education work (he was a teacher prior to co-founding Alibaba). Zhang, meanwhile, is credited with the establishment of Singles' Day as a national shopping phenomenon.

The UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence won't recommend providing Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) ocrelizumab to adults with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, a form of the disease where symptoms get gradually worse. The treatment got an EU marketing approval in January, which left it to member states to decide whether or not to provide the treatment, which costs about $6,192 per 300 mg vial.

President Trump tweeted that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) should make more of its products in the U.S. if it wants to avoid tariffs on Chinese imports. In a filing Friday, Apple said the new proposed tariffs would affect prices for a “wide range” of products, including the Watch, AirPods headphones and Beats headphones. China-focused stocks slipped on Monday ahead of the tariffs, with the CSI 300 index of major Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks closing down 1.5% and tech stocks, led by Apple suppliers, dropping 3.6%. China has warned it will match any U.S. tariffs.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the temporary suspension of trading in Bitcoin Tracker One (OTCPK:CXBTF) and Ether Tracker One (OTCPK:CETHF) due to market participant confusion regarding the instruments. The halt was effective at 5:30 PM EDT Saturday and the securities will resume trading on September 21.

Executive departure: Imran Khan, Chief Strategy Officer of Snap (NYSE:SNAP), has resigned to pursue other opportunities. His last day has not been determined, and he will continue to serve in the interim period to assist with an effective transition. Snap says his departure is not related to any disagreement in accounting, strategy, management, operations, policies, or practices.

Chinese carmaker Geely (OTCPK:GELYY) delayed plans to list Volvo Cars due to escalating trade tensions and the need to boost its presence in China. Geely had planned a public float valuing Volvo at between $16B to $30B, but thought listing the unit so soon would make it harder to realize its full valuation. Volvo sales in China are roughly 100,000 units per year, compared to at least 500,00 individually for the likes of BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY), Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF) and Mercedes-Benz.

Aston Martin named a chairman, moving ahead with plans for a London IPO in October. The appointment of Vodafone veteran Penny Hughes broke the luxury automaker’s history of an all-male board. The IPO will include a free float of at least 25% of the issued share capital, with Daimler converting its roughly 4.9% holding to ordinary shares. Aston Martin is reportedly targeting a $6.5B valuation, which nears Ferrari NV (NYSE:RACE) multiples.

Today's Markets 
In Asia, Japan +0.31%. Hong Kong -1.33%. China -1.21%. India -1.30%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.27%. Paris +0.44%. Frankfurt +0.32%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.31%. S&P +0.35%. Nasdaq +0.52%. Crude +0.52% to $68.10. Gold -0.16% to $1,198.60. Bitcoin -1.80% to $6,262.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.941%.Today's Economic Calendar
11:30 Fed's Bostic: Economic Outlook
12:30 PM TD Ameritrade IMX
3:00 PM Consumer Credit

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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