Monday Morning Reads
- High U.S. Stock Valuations Hinge on Inflation, Interest Rates
- Looking at the Week Ahead
- Economics has not advanced in the right ways
- Policymakers did well
- The Next Crisis
- China’s Stocks Drop to Lowest Level in Nearly Four Years
- EU sets approval deadline for big tech deals
- Tesla roundup: 'Production hell,' in-house repairs, Gigafactory fire
- Amazon investigates employees bribes
- Shell targets lower methane emissions
- Trade war: Beijing not just playing defense
- U.S. LNG deliveries to Germany by 2022
- Boeing to reopen 787 plant in S.Carolina
- Cheniere and Vitol sign 15-year LNG sale and purchase agreement
- The Watchlist
- Week Ahead Webinar
- Today's Option Recap
- 2018 Top 5 For Back Half of 2018
- 2018 Top 5 Stocks
Open Interest Changes:
From the Weekend:
- Positive views on AIG, ALL, TRV profiled. Barron's Report
- Positive views on CX, EXP, MLM, SUM, USCR, VMC profiled. Barron's Report
- Cautious view on Apple (AAPL) profiled. Barron's Report
- Positive view on ObsEva (OBSV) profiled. Barron's Report
- Low valuation of Owens Illinois (OI) could turn company into takeover target. Barron's Report
- Positive view on 3M (MMM) profiled. Barron's Report
- Cautious view on Alibaba (BABA) profiled. Barron's Report
- Positive views on NVDA, T, HPQ. Barron's Report
- Fiat (FCAU) looking for other bidders for Magneti Marelli parts unit. Bloomberg Report
- Fire at Tesla (TSLA) Nevada factory has been contained. Reuters Report
- Tesla (TSLA) under investigation for factory accidents. Fortune Report
- eBay (EBAY) will no longer resell tickets for Anschutz Entertainment Group's venues. WSJ Report
- Several people are dead following Hurricane Florence (HD, LOW, ALL, TRV, GNRC). NY Times Report
- First supplies of new Apple (AAPL) iPhone models appear to be sold out, customers who make new orders will face 2 week delays . NY Post Report
- Credit Susie (CS) exec is targeting CHF 5-6 bln annual profit. NZZ Report
- BMW (BMWYY) plans to lower costs for electric vehicle battery materials. Reuters Report
- Tesco (TSCDY) plans to close 30 stores. Sunday Times UK Report
- Explosions in Massachusetts might also be related to similar incidents in West Virginia and Ohio (NI). CBS News Report
- Macau has suspended gambling amid Typhoon Mangkhut (MLCO, MGM, LVS, WYNN). Bloomberg Report
- The Canadian Government does not believe legal marijuana users will face issues at U.S. border (MJ, CRON, TLRY, CGC). Toronto Star Report
- Amazon (AMZN) is investigating internal leaks. WSJ Report
- Germany has indicated automakers must offer customers incentives to replace diesel models (VLKAY, BMWYY, FCAU). FAZ Report
- Deutsche Bank (DB) plans to move more assets from UK to Frankfort. Reuters Report
- UK takeover rules could require a blind auction to decide who gets to acquire Sky (SKYAY, FOXA, CMCSA). WSJ Report
- Coca Cola (KO) will use supply chain from Costa Coffee group acquisition. FT Report
- Tencent (TCEHY) will manage offshore money in China. Bloomberg Report.
The Trump administration is reportedly set to announce a new round of tariffs on as much as $200B in Chinese goods, while Beijing considers scrapping upcoming trade talks in response. The duties will be set at 10%, below the 25% level announced in early August, to diminish the impact on U.S. consumers ahead of the holiday shopping season and before midterm elections. Global shares are edging down on the news, while the Shanghai Composite closed at its lowest level since 2014.
China will not be content to only play defense in an escalating trade war with the U.S., according to the Global Times, which is published by the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily. Besides retaliating with tariffs, China could also restrict export of goods, raw materials and components core to U.S. manufacturing supply chains, former finance minister Lou Jiwei told a forum on Sunday. There are also worries Beijing may be plotting a currency devaluation.
Christine Blasey Ford, a California university professor, has gone public with her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who she claims sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s. A spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, said Kavanaugh's confirmation vote would still proceed this week as scheduled, but hours later, Sen. Jeff Flake, who sits on the committee, said he wouldn't vote until they had heard from Mrs. Ford.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for another referendum on Britain's EU membership, saying Theresa May's handling of Brexit negotiations had become "mired in confusion and deadlock." While MPs will get a vote on whether to accept any final deal, the prime minister is also feeling heat about her Chequers Plan from euroskeptic Tories. Rumors are swirling about a formal attempt to oust her if she doesn't back down.
Shares in Australia's largest listed aged-care operators plunged to record lows overnight after the government announced investigations into abuse and mistreatment of the elderly. The public inquiry is similar to one that hammered Australia's biggest financial firms late last year after examining wrongdoing in that sector.
Greece plans to further loosen capital controls "very soon" and is on track to lift all restrictions, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said in an interview with Naftemporiki. The measures were imposed in July 2015, when, at the height of its debt crisis, it faced bankruptcy and a euro exit, but last month it emerged from its final of three international bailouts and almost nine years of austerity.
Argentina's economy minister will present austerity-driven budget measures to congress today, including toughening fiscal targets and eliminating its primary deficit next year. Allies of President Mauricio Macri said they were confident the plans would be backed, including by some moderates in the opposition, as the country tries to shore up support from the IMF and calm investors after a plunge in the peso.
U.S. companies expect to begin delivering LNG to Germany in four years at the latest, according to deputy U.S. energy secretary Dan Brouillette, and will challenge Russia which now accounts for 60% of German gas imports. In July, President Trump accused Germany of being a "captive" of Russia due to its energy reliance and urged it to halt work on the $11B, Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has shared parts of a reform package - already adopted by the cabinet - that will “secure confidence in sectors affected by regulatory uncertainty” and cover mining, telecommunications, tourism and transport. The nation's economy has shrunk for two straight quarters and business confidence has slipped to levels last seen when Jacob Zuma was president.
Florence was downgraded to a Tropical Depression as it trudged inland early Sunday, knocking out power to almost 1M Carolina residents and causing seventeen deaths. Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) said the heavy rains caused the collapse of a slope at a coal ash landfill, while early estimates suggest that as much as 20% of tobacco plants were damaged by the high winds. Altria (NYSE:MO) hasn't updated yet on any loss to its crops.
Boeing's South Carolina plant, where it assembles 787 widebody jetliners, was set to reopen Sunday night following a lifting of evacuation orders for coastal areas threatened by Florence. Boeing (NYSE:BA) had suspended the operations on Tuesday and flown several Dreamliners from the factory across the country to an airport near its widebody plant in Everett, Washington.
Meanwhile, Super Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in China's Guangdong on Sunday, the country's most populous province with over 100M residents, after barreling past Hong Kong and killing at least 64 people in the Philippines. Gambling was halted in Macau late Saturday, but casinos are now open. It appears that the region fared better than it did last year during Typhoon Hato. Related: OTCPK:WYNMY, OTCPK:SCHYY, OTCPK:MCHVY, OTCPK:GXYEF, OTCPK:SJMHY, MLCO
BMW is open to forming alliances to share the costs of developing self-driving systems and plans more deals with mining companies to secure EV battery materials. It comes as BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY) showed off its "Vision iNext" SUV in Beijing that has gas and brake pedals which sink into the floor during autonomous driving. On Friday, Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) said it was also interested in an industry alliance to standardize self-driving vehicle systems.
Tesla roundup: "Sorry, we've gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell, but we're making rapid progress," CEO Elon Musk tweeted in response to a customer complaint. He also said that "Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is bringing most collision repairs in-house, as outside firms take weeks to months for repairs, driving Tesla owners (and us) crazy." Meanwhile, a fire broke out at the Gigafactory in Nevada over the weekend, but Model 3 production has since resumed.
Joining a handful of major oil companies that have made similar pledges, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) plans to limit emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, across its oil and gas operations. Methane is released into the atmosphere mostly through leaks in gas infrastructure. It has a bigger impact than carbon dioxide, but has a shorter lifetime.
Following its $2.8B purchase of Time Inc. in January, Meredith Corp (NYSE:MDP) is selling its Time media brand to Marc and Lynne Benioff for $190M in cash. The sale is unrelated to Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), where Marc is founder and co-CEO. He also won't be involved in day-to-day operations and will leave those and editorial decisions to Time's current leadership team.
EU antitrust regulators have set an Oct. 19 deadline for their ruling on Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) $71.3B bid for Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) entertainment assets, according to the European Commission. The competition enforcer will also decide whether to clear Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) $7.5B acquisition of privately held coding website GitHub by that date.
Rooting out fake reviews and other seller scams, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is investigating suspected data leaks and bribes of its employees, which are particularly pronounced in China, WSJ reports. In exchange for payments ranging from about $80 to more than $2,000, brokers for Amazon employees in Shenzhen are offering internal sales metrics and reviewers’ email addresses, as well as a service to delete negative reviews and restore banned Amazon accounts.
A year after announcing AirPower - Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) wireless charging pad that can charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously - the company has fallen silent on the technology. A spokesperson further told CNBC that if a product wasn't announced on stage last week at Apple's fall event, the company has nothing else to add. All mentions of AirPower have been additionally scrubbed from Apple.com despite a promised 2018 deadline.
What if Netflix added ads? Almost one-quarter (23%) of consumers said they would drop their subscription, while less than half (41%) said they would definitely or probably keep the service, according to a study by Hub Entertainment Research. A Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) experiment with ads captured headlines in August after a trial in the U.K., but the company said it conducts "hundreds of tests" every year to make browsing more efficient.
The asset management arm of insurer Aviva (OTCPK:AVVIY), the ninth-largest holder of Unilever (NYSE:UL), is warning of plans to vote against the company's proposal to move its headquarters to the Netherlands in a sign of growing unrest among British investors. In separate votes next month, Unilever must convince 75% of U.K. shareholders for the proposal to pass, as well as 50% of Dutch investors.
Looking to meet demands from European regulators, Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) has scaled up plans to move about three-quarters of its estimated €600B in capital from London to its Frankfurt headquarters following Britain's planned exit from the EU in 2019. Deutsche will also transform its U.K. arm into a ringfenced subsidiary post-Brexit and reduce the size and complexity of its British operations.
In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong -1.3%. China -1.1%. India -1.3%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -0.5%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.2% (+0.9% W/W). S&P -0.2% (+1.2% W/W). Nasdaq -0.2% (+1.4% W/W). Crude +0.8% to $69.54. Gold +0.1% to $1202.30. Bitcoin -0.2% to $6482.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 3%