Monday Morning Reads

Monday Morning Reads




Morning Charts:


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.

Chinese influence

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).

China bounces back, U.S. slips

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.

No trust

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.

Last-minute negotiations

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.

'The Hunt' canceled

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.

BlackRock Illustrated

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.

India's largest FDI to date

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.

Major upset in Argentina

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.

No chance of Italexit

"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...

Russia warns Google (GOOGGOOGL) on advertising after election protests.

First woman to run British banking giant.

Tyson's (NYSE:TSN) Kansas plant closed indefinitely following fire.

Big splash? Natty Light hard seltzer from AB Inbev (NYSE:BUD).

Iraq, Exxon (NYSE:XOM) still in talks over mega oil infrastructure project.

Osram (OTC:OSAGY) shares surge 12% after AMS (OTCPK:AMSSY) triggers bidding war.

Safety claims in focus as Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) catches fire in Moscow.

Today's Markets 
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

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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