Monday Morning Reads
- Grim stock signals piling up as Wall Street mulls recession odds.
- Not one of the major asset classes tracked by Morgan Stanley has beaten U.S. CPI in 2018.
- Goldman predicts commodities will soar in 2019.
- Boom or bust? Brexit makes London’s property outlook hard to read.
- A struggle to survive is about to get much harder.
- World’s first genetically edited babies claimed in China.
- Climate correction: when scientists get it wrong.
- General Motors (GM) plans to close Canada plant. WSJ Report
- Saudi Aramco plans to make $500 mln in energy investments (USO, XLE). Bloomberg Report
- Russia planning more fines for technology firms (RSX, XLK). Reuters Report
- China's auto market might contract for the first time in 30 years (GM, F, FCAU, TSLA, KNDI). Reuters Report
- Apple (AAPL) will face Supreme Court regarding App Store antitrust case. NY Post Report
- Elon Musk says that Tesla (TSLA) was weeks away from 'death'. Axios Report
- Congress will resume negotiations between two versions of farm bill this week (DBA, ADM, CAG). NY Times Report
- Peso on watch as Trump threatens to close border
- Stocks set for big open as globe rallies
- Bitcoin bounces 7% after falling below $3,500
- Major announcement on GM's global operations
- Elon Musk: How Tesla nearly died
- Apple in Supreme Court over App Store
- U.K. seizes Facebook internal papers
- AstraZeneca's Fasenra an Orphan Drug in U.S. for rare type of blood vessel inflammation
- CEOs fly to Saudi Arabia for supplier conference
- JinkoSolar Holding EPS of $0.76
- Report: GM set to close plant near Toronto, affecting 'thousands' of jobs
- Edge Therapeutics enters into merger agreement with PDS Biotechnology
From The Weekend:
- Positive views on BBY, WMT, TGT, XRT. Barron's Report
- Positive views on SSP, PZZA. Barron's Report
- Positive view on Materion (MTRN). Barron's Report
- Positive view on FB profiled while cautious on AAPL, NFLX, AMZN. Barron's Report
- Positive views on BAC, WFC, AXP, USB, PNC, BK, JPM, GS. Barron's Report
- NBC investigation found Integra LifeSciences (IART) medical devices sold oversees have issues. NBC News Report
- Key Senators will get briefing on Khashoggi murder as they consider sanctions (USO, XLE). The Hill Report
- Adobe data shows online spending grew 23.6% on Black Friday, a new record (XRT, EBAY, AMZN). CNBC Report
- Former Nissan (NSANY) exec Charles Ghosn has denied accusations against him. NHK Report
- Domino's Pizza (DPZ) shareholders want Board shakeup. Sunday Times UK Report
- Private equity interested in Nestle (NSRGY) skin care unit. Sunday Times UK Report
- Ohio will start accepting Bitcoin for tax bills (BTC, NVDA). WSJ Report
- Foxconn (FXCNY) Chairman sees strong business through January (AAPL). Bloomberg Report
- Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) advertising platforms had glitches on Black Friday weekend. WSJ Report
- Physical store retail traffic fell 5-9% YoY for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, according to data from RetailNet (XRT). WSJ Report
- Campbell Soup (CPB) and Third Point near agreement to settle ongoing proxy fight. WSJ Report
- UK could publish confidential Facebook (FB) related documents seized by the UK parliament this week. FT Report
- Goldman Sachs (GS) strengthened oversight of risk following 1MDB deal. FT Report
- Tencent Music (TCEHY) plans to conduct IPO in December. FT Report
- Venmo (PYPL) had issues with payment fraud earlier this year. WSJ Report
- President Trump wants Iraq to repay U.S. for wars with oil (USO, XLE, COMDX). Axios Report
Following the worst Thanksgiving week for U.S. indexes since 2011, traders are looking to bring home the (turkey) bacon. Stock index futures are pointing to major gains at the open, with the Dow up more than 300 points as crude prices rebound. Equities could get a further boost later this week if a trade breakthrough arises from the meeting between President Trump and Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina.
Continuing the trend of recent years, net sales at U.S. malls and brick-and-mortar stores fell 4%-7% Y/Y on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, while foot traffic fell 5%-9% over the two days. On the other hand, online sales skyrocketed more than 23%, crossing $6B on Black Friday, and grew an estimated 28% to $3.7B on Thanksgiving Day. Data was gathered from analytics firms RetailNext and Adobe Analytics.
The peso is on watch after President Trump threatened to "permanently close" the U.S. southern border. "Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries," he wrote on Twitter. "Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A....Congress, fund the WALL!"
EU leaders from 27 states on Sunday formally backed Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal agreement, which foresees London following many of the European bloc's rules to keep easy access to trade. The biggest question now is whether May’s divided minority government can steer the deal through fierce resistance in the U.K. parliament. The pound has strengthened since the pact came together over the past 10 days, but companies and investors remain nervous.
European stocks, Italian bonds and the euro rallied overnight on signs that Rome was preparing to tweak spending plans that set it on course for disciplinary action from the EU. Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini on Sunday hinted at the possibility of reworking the country's fiscal goals, saying "no one is stuck" to the draft budget target of 2.4% of GDP.
In a referendum held over the weekend, Swiss voters rejected a "self-determination" initiative, which would have asserted the supremacy of the Swiss constitution over international treaties. A question mark still hangs over the Swiss stock market - the fourth biggest in Europe - whose recognition under EU regulation expires at the end of this year. Failure by Bern to accept an "institutional framework" agreement could result in Brussels imposing penalties on Switzerland.
More than 100,000 people took part in about 1,600 protests across France on Saturday, marking the second weekend of "yellow vest" demonstrations that have caused disruptions across the country. Violence was seen in the capital of Paris, with protesters throwing stones and setting barricades alight. The campaign began as a movement against rising fuel prices, but it has morphed into a wider crusade against standards of living and Emmanuel Macron's policies.
Venezuela has settled a $1.2B arbitration claim with Crystallex International that will prevent the creditor from stripping away its crown jewel foreign asset, the U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum. The cash-strapped country has managed to protect the refining business even though it has been crippled by an economic crisis and U.S. sanctions. Caracas also made payments last month to investors who hold bonds secured by Citgo shares.
An antitrust lawsuit against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will reach the U.S. Supreme Court today, determining whether the tech giant created a monopoly by only allowing apps to be sold through its first-party App Store. The suit also claims the App Store charges excessive 30% commissions, generating an estimated $11B in revenue for the company in 2017. Apple will argue that it's only acting as an agent for developers who sell to consumers via the App Store, not a distributor.
Internal Facebook documents have been seized by the U.K. parliament via a rare parliamentary power that will likely set the tone for a high-stakes hearing due to take place this week. The files are reported to contain confidential emails about Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) decisions on data and privacy controls that led to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. They also likely include confidential emails between senior executives, and correspondence with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Following a rough weekend for cryptos, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) gained 7% and re-pierced the $4,000 level. Bitcoin, as well as Ripple (XRP-USD) and Ethereum (ETH-USD), tumbled around 10% over Thanksgiving weekend, as the SEC leveled penalties against two crypto firms that did not register their ICOs as securities. The DOJ is also probing whether last year's crypto rally was fueled in part by manipulation, while others fear the recent "hard fork" in Bitcoin Cash (BCH-USD) may have driven down demand.
That didn't last long. The chief executives of ABB (NYSE:ABB) and Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY) are traveling to Saudi Arabia to attend a supplier conference, just weeks after they pulled out of an investment event in the country over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Among other attendees at the IKTVA event are Paal Kibsgaard from Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) and Jeff Miller, CEO of oilfield services company Halliburton (NYSE:HAL).
China's state-owned CNPC has officially replaced France's Total (NYSE:TOT) in Iran's multibillion-dollar South Pars gas project after the latter failed to obtain a waiver from U.S. sanctions. Talks are now being held to determine when CNPC will start operations. South Pars, situated deep in the Persian Gulf, holds the world's largest natural gas reserves ever found in one location.
Campbell Soup is reportedly working towards a deal with Third Point that would add two of the activist fund's nominees to its board, former Blue Buffalo CEO Kurt Schmidt and Comscore President Sarah Hofstetter. The agreement, which would also give Third Point a say in selecting the food maker's next CEO, would end one of the most acrimonious U.S. proxy battles only days before investors were scheduled to meet at Campbell's (NYSE:CPB) annual meeting.
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has denied financial misconduct allegations, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK. Representative director Greg Kelly, who was arrested along with Ghosn, also defended his boss's compensation, saying it was discussed with officials and paid out appropriately. The two allegedly conspired to understate Ghosn’s remuneration by about half the ¥10B ($88M) he earned at Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) over five years from 2010.
Meanwhile, the board of Mitsubishi Motors (OTC:MMTOY) is next to remove Carlos Ghosn from his role as chairman. The alliance that Ghosn sealed between Renault (OTCPK:RNLSY) and Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) in 1999 was enlarged in 2016 to include Mitsubishi and enabled the members to jointly develop products and control costs. The partnership vies with Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) and Toyota (NYSE:TM) for the ranking of the world's largest automaker.
General Motors is set to make a big announcement today that will affect its global operations and threatens to shut down a major vehicle assembly plant in Ontario. Plagued by plunging car sales in North America and negative cash flow for the first nine months of the year, GM shares are down 12% YTD. The company has even been offering buyouts to North American salaried workers and said it could lay off white-collar staff if it does not hit a cost-cutting target.
Tesla almost died earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk told Axios on Sunday night, stating the company was "bleeding money like crazy" as it worked through a Model 3 (NASDAQ:TSLA) production ramp in the spring and summer. In fact, the EV automaker "came within single-digit" weeks of death before it was able to meet its output goals. Musk added that he sees a 70% chance that he'll eventually "move to Mars" and live to ride one of his SpaceX (SPACE) rockets to the Red Planet.
In Asia, Japan +0.7%. Hong Kong +1.7%. China -0.1%. India +1.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.9%. Paris +1.1%. Frankfurt +1.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +1.1%. S&P +1.2%. Nasdaq +1.7%. Crude +0.8% to $50.84. Gold +0.2% to $1225.80. Bitcoin +7% to $4022.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 3.06%