Monday's Market Prepper
- Looking Ahead
- The Top Is In!
- From The Weekend
- Bitcoin Surges Past $4,000
- U.S. Default?
- Walmart Beats Amazon
- Signs of Fading in July
- Future of TV
- The Incredible Shrinking Sears
- Catalyst for a Market Correction?
- Markets move on from North Korea
- Netflix poaches Shonda Rhimes
- GoDaddy cracks down after Charlottesville
- Hackers release more HBO episodes
- Fiat Chrysler soars on Chinese interest
- Uber weighs three investment offers
- Aldi, Instacart partner on groceries
- Japanese GDP smashes expectations
Fridays Unusual Option Volume:
Bitcoin vaulted to a new record high above $4000 over the weekend, mirroring gold's recent climb amid a global selloff last week in stocks and bonds. Rising worries about North Korea's nuclear threat have sent investors flocking to perceived safe-havens and alternative assets. The cryptocurrency has now quadrupled in 2017, and is up about 40% in August alone.
President Trump will call for his chief trade adviser today to investigate China's intellectual property practices and forced technology transfers, according to Politico. He had been expected to order a probe earlier this month, but the action had been postponed as the White House pressed for Chinese cooperation in reining in North Korea's nuclear program.
Market watchers are also keeping their eyes on the health of the the world's second-largest economy, as lending costs rise and the property market cools. Official gauges of retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment in China started Q3 on a downbeat note, with all three decelerating more than expected last month after outperforming in June.
Meanwhile, Japan's economy expanded by 4% in Q2, extending the longest streak of uninterrupted expansion - six quarters - in 11 years. Growth was driven by robust domestic demand, as consumer spending and capital expenditure both rose at their fastest rates since 2014. The benchmark Nikkei fell 1% following the news, as markets reopened after last week's public holiday.
President Xi moved to calm growing tensions about Pyongyang over the weekend, telling President Trump in a phone call that all sides should maintain restraint and avoid inflammatory comments. The conversation came shortly after Trump added to his recent tweets by saying that U.S. military options were "now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely."
Britain is ready to move to the next phase of Brexit talks and set out details of the future relationship it wants with the EU. It's preparing to publish several papers, including plans for a new customs arrangement and a proposal on how to resolve the difficulties of a land border in Ireland. "These papers show we are ready to broaden out the negotiations," a source told CNBC.
Saudi Arabia's state budget deficit shrank by a fifth from a year earlier in Q2. As part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030" plan for life after oil, which will overhaul the Saudi economy, the Kingdom is reporting quarterly budget figures for the first time this year in an effort to increase government transparency.
Four Arab countries that imposed sanctions on Qatar have told the U.S. that American companies doing business with them would not be punished for working with Doha, Reuters reports. The EU has been given similar "official... verbal assurances" by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, as the region gets rocked by its biggest diplomatic crisis in years.
A "peaceful solution" to the political unrest in Venezuela is possible, VP Mike Pence said during a trip to Latin America, announcing that the U.S. was "looking at a full range of additional economic sanctions." Different intervention? President Trump warned of a "military option" before the weekend, telling reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort that it was "certainly something we could pursue."
Netflix has poached Shonda Rhimes from ABC, stealing away one of Disney's (NYSE:DIS) biggest TV hitmakers for a multi-year deal. It's part of an effort to create and own more content and become less reliant on Hollywood and production companies to supply programming. Just last week, Disney cut ties with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), stating it was launching its own streaming service.
Hackers have released more unaired episodes of popular HBO shows, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, but the latest leak did not include anything on the hit series Game of Thrones. In an emailed statement, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) said that it was "not in communication with the hacker, and we're not going to comment every time a new piece of information is released."
GoDaddy has given The Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider after it posted an article denigrating the woman who was killed at Saturday's "Unite the Right" rally in Virginia. "They have violated our terms of service," GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) said on its Twitter page. The demonstration was believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade.
Looking to slice into the U.S. food market, Germany's Aldi is partnering with Instacart (Private:ICART), the Silicon Valley unicorn, to deliver groceries to American doorsteps. The move comes as grocers nationwide prepare for the looming threat of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which is set to gobble up Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) by the end of the year.
M&A in the energy sector: Looking to create greater growth opportunities, Andeavor Logistics (NYSE:ANDV) is acquiring Western Refining Logistics (NYSE:WNRL) in a unit-for-unit transaction, representing an enterprise value of $1.8B. Meanwhile, Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) has agreed to buy Tesco Corp. (NASDAQ:TESO) in an all-stock deal, creating a leading rig equipment, tubular services and drilling automation provider.
A well-known Chinese automaker made at least one offer this month to buy Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) at a small premium over its market value, but the offer was rejected for not being enough. According to Automotive News, other local carmakers are also conducting their own due diligence on a potential purchase of FCA. FCAU +4.4% premarket.
Uber's board has voted to move forward on proposals to buy shares in the ride-hailing service, with any final decision set to affect who gains the upper hand at the company. The offers - which are mostly focused on buying UBERstock from current shareholders - are preliminary, and include bids from SoftBank, a consortium led by investor Shervin Pishevar and the Dragoneer Investment Group.
SpaceX is poised to launch an unmanned cargo ship today toward the International Space Station. Aboard will be Hewlett Packard Enterprise's (NYSE:HPE) "Spaceborne Computer," which could direct astronauts on future deep-space missions. It's the 12th official trip for SpaceX (Private:SPACE), which has a $1.6B contract with NASA for over 20 such back-and-forth journeys.
The U.S. Marine Corps has ordered its aircraft squadrons to suspend flight operations for 24 hours sometime during the next two weeks to review procedures after two of its planes crashed, killing dozens. A Marine MV-22 Osprey (BA, TXT) went down off northeastern Australia last weekend, while a KC-130 Hercules (NYSE:LMT) transport plane crashed in Mississippi at the end of July.
Lockheed Martin has been awarded an $8B contract for global logistics support services for special operations forces including the U.S. Army's Green Berets and Rangers as well as the Navy SEALs. The 10-year award will extend Lockheed's (LMT) current support contract, which was set to expire in September 2018. Multiple companies had competed for the deal.
Iran is holding talks with Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) to buy 48 helicopters for civilian use, as the country continues its shopping spree of Western aircraft after the lifting of sanctions. Last Thursday, President Trump said he did not believe Tehran was living up to the spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal, but it wasn't immediately clear whether Washington would take measures that could affect plane purchases.
In Asia, Japan -1%. Hong Kong +1.4%. China +0.9%. India +0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.6%. Paris +1%. Frankfurt +1.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.6%. Nasdaq +0.6%. Crude -0.7% to $48.46. Gold -0.6% to $1286.70.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +3 bps to 2.22%