Monday Morning Reads
- Bulls Charge On as Share Markets Falter
- Fed Remains a Target
- A Giant Factory Rises
- Scrutiny of Its Power
- Even Sweat Can Be Political
- ‘Invincible Iron Army’
- $4 Million Richer Every Hour
- Looking Ahead
- China bounces back, U.S. futures slip
- Barrick Gold EPS in-line, misses on revenue
- New CEO at Rite Aid
- Tesla catches fire after hitting tow truck
- Barrick Gold declares CAD 0.04 dividend
- Nio -2% after July deliveries underwhelm
- Tyson Kansas plant closed indefinitely following fire
- Mid-stage study underway for Mallinckrodt's MNK-6106 in liver disease
- Hong Kong airport shutdown, Cathay Pacific sacks staff
- Major upset in Argentina primary
- Tullow Oil makes large oil discovery off Guyana
- Last-minute negotiations for CBS, Viacom merger
Open Interest Changes
Hong Kong is entering "a very difficult economic environment" as trade declines and growth slows, according to the city's financial secretary. "Industries like retail, catering and transportation have taken a hit because of the recent violent unrest, with significant revenue drops," Paul Chan wrote on his official blog. Following violent weekend demonstrations, flights were canceled at the Hong Kong International Airport for the remainder of Monday as thousands of protesters disrupted operations, triggering a 0.4% slide in the Hang Seng index.
Meanwhile, shares of Cathay Pacific (OTCPK:CPCAY) shares tumbled nearly 5%in Hong Kong after the carrier sacked staff who joined anti-government protests in the Asian financial hub. Two airport employees were fired and a pilot was suspended as Beijing stepped up its efforts to pull local business into line over the escalating demonstrations. The rallies, which were started to protest a bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to mainland China, have snowballed into a democracy movement, with some even demanding full autonomy from Beijing.
Go deeper: Holdings of iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF (NYSEARCA:EWH).
The Shanghai Composite climbed 1.5% overnight, advancing by the most in over a month, following a wild trading week in which U.S.-China trade tensions shook asset prices across the board. The PBOC today set the yuan at a stronger rate than expected - 7.0211 to the dollar - easing concerns of a quick devaluation after the U.S. last week dubbed China a currency manipulator. The positive turn didn't extend to Europe or American markets, where stock index futures fell 0.5% after President Trump suggested that trade negotiations could break off.
South Korea has moved to downgrade Japan from its list of most trusted trading partners while also seeking talks to end a months-long spat that has hurt economic ties between the two countries. It plans to split its fast-track category into two and initially put Japan as the only country in the second one, a move that comes less than two weeks after Tokyo removed South Korea from its list of "white nations" considered safe enough to export strategic materials. The dispute has undermined the economic outlook of Seoul, which is already struggling to cope with the U.S.-China trade war.
Go deeper: South Korea investing analysis at the Global Investing Center.
The boards of CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA) were negotiating late into Sunday night, trying to hash out a price for their long-awaited all-stock merger, Bloomberg reports. The companies aim to announce a merger by today, although the timing could slip into Tuesday, capping years of failed merger attempts and board infighting. Shari Redstone, whose family investment vehicle National Amusements controls both companies, would become chairman of the combined entity, while Viacom CEO Bob Bakish would lead the firm as CEO.
Go deeper: The Possible CBS-Viacom Merger by Allen Cooke.
Universal Pictures (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has canceled the release of The Huntafter the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas last weekend that killed 31 people and wounded dozens of others. The film, which was due to hit theaters on Sept. 27, is about a group of globalist elites who pay large amounts of money to hunt people for sport. The move follows a decision by Walmart (NYSE:WMT) on Friday to remove video game signage and displays from its stores that depict violent gaming.
Trying to diversify away from ETFs and index funds, BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) has scooped up a 30% stake in Authentic Brands Group, parent company of Sports Illustrated, for $875M. Created in 2010, Authentic Brands Group also owns Aeropostale, Juicy Couture, Herve Leger, Nine West, Spyder and Frye. The deal values Authentic at more than $4B including debt and will see BlackRock supplant private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners as its largest shareholder.
Go deeper: BlackRock: An Industry Leader Trading At A Discount by Kody's Dividends.
Saudi Aramco (ARMCO) is buying a 20% stake - worth approximately $15B including debt - in India's Reliance Industries' oil and chemicals business. The move could help it diversify outside Saudi Arabia as it gears up for its first earnings call today ahead of a planned initial public offering. Blaming lower oil prices, Saudi Aramco meanwhile said net earnings for the first half of 2019 were $46.9B, down just over 11% from $53B in the year-earlier period.
Investors in Argentina are bracing for a market and peso selloff after Sunday's primary, which saw voters soundly reject President Mauricio Macri's austere economic policies. A coalition backing opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez - whose running mate is former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner - led by a wider-than-expected 15 percentage points with 47.3% of votes, with 88% of ballots counted. A candidate needs at least 45% of the vote or 40% and a difference of 10 percentage points over the second-place runner in order to win the presidency outright. Voters will return for a run-off on Nov. 24 if there is no clear winner.
"The idea of leaving Europe, leaving the euro has never been in the pipeline," the leader of Italy's League, Matteo Salvini, told reporters at a rally near Matera. On Friday, his party filed a no-confidence motion to bring down the government it forms with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, a move that he hopes will lead to a snap election and install him as the nation's new leader. The shock decision threw the eurozone's third-largest economy into deeper uncertainty just as it was due to start 2020 budget preparations, causing a selloff in Italian bonds and shares.
Go deeper: Breakdown on the euro vs. its peers.
What else is happening...
First woman to run British banking giant.
In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong -0.4%. China +1.5%. India closed.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.5%. S&P -0.5%. Nasdaq -0.5%. Crude -1.4% to $53.76. Gold +0.3% to $1513.70. Bitcoin +1.2% to $11371.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -4 bps to 1.69%
Today's Economic Calendar
2:00 PM Treasury Budget