Monday Morning Reads
- End is Closer than You Think
- Buying It Up
- Regulators will look into how Boeing (BA) heeded warnings about flight-control-sensor failures related to Lion Air crash. WSJ Report
- China has accused various chipmakers of antitrust violations (MU, SSNLF). FT Report
- Florida has filed a lawsuit against Walgreens (WBA) and CVS (CVS) over sales of opioids. NBC News Report
- Kimberly Clark (KMB) has ended plans to sell European tissue business. FT Report
- Sinclair (SBGI) still having issues with sale. NY Post Report
- Financial Shakeup
- The Week Ahead
- WSJ: Apple cut production orders on new iPhone models
- Nissan seeks to dismiss Ghosn over 'serious misconduct'
- No confidence vote against Theresa May?
- China alleges 'massive' evidence against chipmakers
- JD.com beats by $0.02, misses on revenue
- 'Fantastic Beasts' gives Warner Bros. another win
- Gilead’s Vemlidy for chronic hepatitis B virus approved in China
- Waymo has big headstart in autonomous cars
- Florida sues Walgreens, CVS over opioid sales
- Link tax may shutter Google News in EU
- Sea and Tencent enter into long-term publishing partnership
- Ship Finance International to sell 2002-built VLCC Front Falcon
- Cautious view on PG&E (PCG) profiled. Barron's Report
- Cautious view on Goldman Sachs (GS). Barron's Report
- Cautious view on China's yuan profiled (FXI). Barron's Report
- Positive view on Amgen (AMGN) profiled. Barron's Report
- Cautious views on RBS, LYG profiled. Barron's Report
- Positive view on Cabot (COG) profiled. Barron's Report
- Positive views on EQT, HAL, SLB, OXY, EOG, RDS.A, CVX, XOM, APC. Barron's Report
- Cautious view on Apple (AAPL) profiled. Barron's Report
- Positive views on KSS, TGT, HD, SO, TIF, WMT, BBY, TJX profiled. Barron's Report
- Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook believes that new regulations in the technology industry are inevitable. Axios Interview
- Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a new style that is creating tensions with other execs. WSJ Report
- TreeHouse Foods (THS) plans to auction off trail mix unit. NY Post Report
- Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), and American Express (AXP) will face competition investigation in Brazil. Bloomberg Report
- Amazon (AMZN) has started hiring talent for secret new device. Telegraph UK Report
- Sir Jim Ratcliffe is in discussions to purchase $2.3 bln in Conoco (COP) North Sea oil fields. Sunday Times UK Report
- AstraZeneca (AZN) planning succession plan for CEO. Sunday Times UK Report
- Top energy cos have pledged $100 mln in aid to Texas and New Mexico to assist with healthcare and education (XOM, CVX, RDS.A, EOG). Reuters Report
- Several Democrats concerned about disinformation on social media (FB, TWTR, SNAP). NY Times Report
- Volkswagen (VLKAY) exec believes that Waymo has a 1-2 head start on self driving cars. Reuters Report
- General Electric (GE) considering Iraq power sales. WSJ Report
- Spotify (SPOT) and Pandora (P) considering expanding into podcasts. WSJ Report
- CBS (CBS) and Viacom (VIAB) merger could happen within a few months. NY Post Report
- PG&E (PCG) had another outage on the date that California wildfire started. Reuters Report
- Incoming House Financial Services Committee Chair Rep Maxine Waters wants more rules for international financial companies (XLF, BAC, C, JPM, DB, BCS, CS). Axios Report.
Carlos Ghosn, who heads the global alliance of Renault (OTC:RNSDF), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANF) and Mitsubishi (OTCPK:MMTOF), has been arrested in Tokyo over a suspected breach of Japanese financial trading law, Yomiuri reports. Nissan alleges Ghosn under-reported his income for years and said he will be dismissed for "serious misconduct." Shares of Renault, where Ghosn is CEO, plunged as much as 13% in Paris, while Nissan global depositary receipts sank more than 11%.
Brexiteers had warned of "Judgement Day," but opponents of British Prime Minister Theresa May are reportedly six letters short of the 48 threshold needed to trigger a no confidence vote on her leadership. May said on Sunday that toppling her would risk delaying Brexit and she would not let talk of the challenge distract her from getting the support of the U.K. business community ahead of a critical week of Brexit negotiations.
Echoing the showdown at the last G7 summit, Asia-Pacific leaders failed to agree on a communique at the APEC conference in Papua New Guinea for the first time since the gathering began in 1993. Deep divisions between the U.S. and China over trade and investment stymied cooperation, as well as tariffs and the Belt and Road initiative. Another sticking point was whether to mention the World Trade Organization and its possible reform in the Leaders' Declaration.
"We put tariffs on $250B in Chinese goods, and we could more than double that number," Vice President Mike Pence told the APEC summit, stating the "U.S. will not change course until China changes its ways." The warning follows remarks made by President Trump that helped the Dow close higher on Friday. The U.S. "may not" need to impose more tariffs after China sent over measures it was willing to take to resolve trade tensions, he said, adding that "we'll probably get to the four or five big things that were left off" the list.
The current wildfires in California could pressure insurers operating in the state given underwriting losses have the potential to approach around $6.8B. "They are not permitted to take all the given year's losses and cram them into next year's rates," California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told CNBC. A state ordinance instead spreads repayment of property and casualty insurance payouts over the next twenty years. Related: ALL, CB, AIG
President Trump has called the CIA assessment blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi "very premature" and said he will receive a complete report of the case on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia plays an important role in the oil markets, counters Iran's influence in the region, and President Trump has repeatedly said he doesn't want to harm U.S. defense contractors by blocking U.S. arms sales to the kingdom.
PG&E may face further volatility today after disclosing a second power-line failure on the morning that California's deadliest wildfire began. "The information provided in the report is preliminary," according to a spokesman, who said the utility was cooperating with investigations. PG&E (NYSE:PCG) has said it could face liability that exceeds its insurance coverage if its equipment were found to have caused the Camp Fire.
Florida is suing the nation's two largest drugstore chains, Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) and CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), alleging they added to the state and national opioid crisis. The two failed to stop "suspicious orders of opioids" and "dispensed unreasonable quantities of opioids from their pharmacies," Attorney General Pam Bondi declared, adding the companies to a lawsuit filed last spring against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and several opioid distributors.
Switzerland's main stock exchange has given a green light to the world's first exchange-traded product tracking multiple cryptocurrencies, as the price of Bitcoin fell to a new 13-month low of $5173.23. The Amun Crypto ETP, which will begin trading next week, will be invested in Bitcoin with the remainder divided between Ripple (XRP-USD), Ether (ETH-USD), Bitcoin Cash (BCH-USD) and Litecoin (LTC-USD).
Apple -1% premarket on the latest reports of an iPhone production slowdown. Lower-than-expected demand and the company's decision to offer more models have created turmoil along its supply chain and made it harder to predict the number of components and handsets it needs, sources told the WSJ, stating that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has slashed supplier orders and cut production further for the iPhone XR.
YouTube last month quietly added a "Free to watch" category in its movie section, giving users 100 films (expected to expand) to stream on an ad-support basis. Eventually, there could be a way for advertisers to pay to sponsor individual movies, said Rohit Dhawan, director of product management at YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL). However, that pretty much depends on how studios evolve their businesses to account for new digital streaming revenues.
While the company is still awaiting the final legislation, Google News (GOOG, GOOGL) said it might shut down in the EU if a proposed "link tax" for using news stories comes into force in member countries. Google already closed operations in Spain in 2014 over a "link tax." Difficult relationship? On the one hand news publishers blame the tech giant for sucking up too much ad revenue, but they are also heavily dependent on the service to send readers to their websites.
Officials in Beijing have vowed to deepen their probe into Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF), SK Hynix (OTC:HXSCL) and Micron (NASDAQ:MU), which account for more than 95% of the world's supply of DRAM chips. "The anti-monopoly investigation into these three companies has made important progress... [It] has yielded massive evidence," said Wu Zhenguo, head of China’s anti-monopoly bureau. The spat also threatens to upset global trade relations.
The Crimes of Grindelwald, a sequel from the world of Harry Potter, topped the box office this weekend, extending a strong year for Warner Bros (NYSE:T). The film took in $62.2M in North America and led the foreign box office with a massive $191M, demonstrating the staying power of the Harry Potter universe. Grindelwald is expected to be the second of five movies from the Fantastic Beasts series.
Google could pay upwards of $110M, without subsidies, to buy large swaths of land in San Jose, according to a new city document detailing its negotiations with the company on its plan to build a mega campus 15 miles south of its headquarters. The mixed-use facility will accommodate 15K-20K employees and include offices, retail space and thousands of residential units. The San Jose City Council will vote on whether to green light the sale to Google (GOOG, GOOGL) on Dec. 4.
M&A in the North Sea... ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) is in exclusive talks to sell its North Sea oil and gas fields to privately-owned U.K. petrochemicals company Ineos Group for approximately $3B, according to the Sunday Times. HSBC and Citigroup are lined up to provide financing for the deal, and Ineos has put down a deposit in return for three months’ exclusivity in negotiations.
After approving plans to spend $50B on electric and autonomous vehicles by 2023, Volkwagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) admitted it was up to two years of development work behind Waymo (GOOG, GOOGL) in the area of self-driving cars. "We are determined to catch up. The game is not yet lost. A lot depends also on regulation," CEO Herbert Diess told Welt am Sonntag. Waymo has previously announced that its autonomous ride-hailing business will be available for public use by the end of 2018.
In Asia, Japan +0.7%. Hong Kong +0.7%. China +0.9%. India +0.9%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris flat. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq -0.2%. Crude +0.3% to $56.82. Gold -0.1% to $1222.20. Bitcoin -5% to $5258.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 3.08%