Thursday Morning Reads
- Talking GamesStop and TherapeuticsMD
- CBS (CBS) and National Amusements are in litigation settlement talks, and would back away from pushing for merger between CBS and Viacom (VIAB). WSJ Report
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plans to eliminate 650 jobs. Reuters Report
- Facebook (FB) to invest $1 bln in Singapore data center. Reuters Report
- Delta (DAL) is considering Monroe Energy refining stake sale. Reuters Report
- Apple (AAPL) might label its new 6.5 smartphone the iPhone X Max. 9to5Mac Report
- Samsung (SSNLF) and SK Hynix plan to defer expansion plans. Digitimes Report
- TSMC (TSM) is considering acquisition of unnamed memory chip company (MU). NAR Report
- Gilead and Galapagos' TORTUGA Phase 2 study of filgotinib in AS achieves primary endpoint
- Cryptos continue plunge after Goldman report
- Futures rebound after tough sessions
- Facebook to build first Asian data center
- China warns of retaliation over new U.S. tariffs
- Novartis offloads parts of Sandoz U.S.
- Italian Starbucks 'roastery' to debut
- Navistar EPS of $1.71
- The Watchlist
- Week Ahead Webinar
- Today's Option Recap
- 2018 Top 5 For Back Half of 2018
- 2018 Top 5 Stocks
U.S. stock index futures are inching up ahead of the open, recovering from two rough trading sessions that were dented by worries over trade and the emerging markets. The tech sector also felt pressure after Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) defended themselves before a skeptical U.S. Congress and the DOJ opened a probe into whether social media is "stifling" speech. September is historically a rocky month for equities, and worse in midterm election years.
"If the U.S., regardless of opposition, adopts any new tariff measures, China will be forced to roll out necessary retaliatory measures," according to the country's commerce ministry. Due to China's massive trade surplus over the U.S., many expect the nation could further devalue its currency or crack down on U.S. firms inside the country. The Trump administration is reportedly ready to move ahead with a next round of tariffs after a public comment period ends at midnight.
American and Canadian negotiators are engaged in "intense" NAFTA discussions, according to President Trump. "If it doesn't work out, it'll be fine for our country but it won't be OK for Canada," he added. Talks broke down last Friday after the two sides failed to reach a deal that would bring Canada into a new trilateral trade pact with the U.S. and Mexico.
Not much has worked to stabilize the Argentine peso, but the country's economy minister sees with "enormous confidence the advance we have made" with top IMF officials over changes to its $50B aid package. Progress on improving the country’s economy is still "likely to be slow," Nicolas Dujovn declared, shooting down reports that he had discussed a possible loan from the U.S.
Another blow to the nation's booming tourism industry... A strong earthquake hit northern Japan early Thursday, forcing the closure of a second major airport after a typhoon shut down another one in the west of the country earlier this week. At least two people were killed and 38 were missing, while virtually all of Hokkaido, or 2.95M homes, was without power.
Crypto prices continue to tumble following a Business Insider report that stated Goldman Sachs was dropping plans to open a trading desk for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is down about 12% over the last 24 hours to a low of $6,279. The alts posted far worse during that time, with the price of Ethereum (ETH-USD) tumbling by 20%, Ripple (XRP-USD) dropping by 14%and Bitcoin Cash (BCH-USD) falling 19%.
The FBI is investigating American Express's (NYSE:AXP) pricing practices at its foreign-exchange unit, sources told the WSJ, focusing on whether costs were misrepresented in order to attract clients. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is also looking at how the company disclosed pricing to customers, including what they were told regarding potential rate increases.
Facebook is building its first Asian data center in Singapore, investing more than $1B in the facility. It will be powered completely from renewable energy sources and will be the first location to implement StatePoint Liquid Cooling technology, which can reduce typical peak water usage in humid climates by as much as 20%. Facebook (FB) runs 15 other data centers worldwide, mostly in the U.S. and European markets.
Just weeks before the fall TV season, the bitter disputes between CBS and National Amusements over corporate control and a possible merger with Viacom (VIA, VIAB) may be coming to an end, Deadline Hollywood reports. The fate of CBS chief Les Moonves also isn't clear. He's been accused of sexual misconduct and assault, but his outcome is being treated separately from the ongoing talks.
A public spat between Amazon and Bernie Sanders over workers' wages has escalated after the Vermont senator introduced legislation, called the BEZOS bill (Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies), aimed at taxing big companies whose employees rely on federal benefits to make ends meet. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) responded with a lengthy blog post claiming $15/hour pay for its full-time workers, as well as a slew of other benefits.
After amassing more than 25,000 coffee shops in 78 countries, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is turning to Italy. Its third "reserve roastery" after Seattle and Shanghai will open tomorrow in Milan, where it will forgo Frappuccinos and focus on espresso, pizza and made-to-order ice cream. Besides the premium offering, Starbucks plans to open its first normal coffee shops in the city by the end of year.
In a bid to improve its socially responsible credentials, Burberry (OTCPK:BURBY) is no longer burning millions of pounds worth of unsold goods or using real fur in its collections. The British luxury brand came under fire earlier this year after it admitted to destroying unsold clothes and accessories to protect the brand and prevent items from being sold cheaply.
Looking to focus on higher growth areas, Novartis (NYSE:NVS) is selling parts of its Sandoz generic-drugs business in the U.S. to India's Aurobindo Pharma (OTC:ARBQY) for $900M. Overall it plans to sell around 300 products from its dermatology business and generic oral solids portfolio, as well as additional development projects. The deal also includes an additional $100M in performance-based payments.
The stick shift is stalling. Fewer Americans are learning how to drive them and the arguments - that they make cars more fuel efficient and cheaper to buy - aren't always true anymore because automatic transmissions have greatly improved. The latest... Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF) has confirmed that it will no longer offer any manual-transmission vehicles in the U.S. beginning with the 2019 model year.
Uber is on track to go public next year and has no plans to sell its self-driving car research arm. "Ultimately, it is a big asset that we are building and we can monetize that in whatever way we want to," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told Reuters. UBER is also "quite optimistic" it can resume testing of autonomous vehicles later this year after a fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona.
In Asia, Japan -0.5%. Hong Kong -1%. China -0.5%. India +0.6%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt +0.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude +0.2% to $68.86. Gold +0.6% to $1208.70. Bitcoin -4.6% to $6380.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.9%
Today's Economic Calendar
7:30 Challenger Job-Cut Report
8:15 ADP Jobs Report
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 Productivity and Costs
9:45 PMI Services Index
10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing Index
10:00 Factory Orders
10:00 Fed's Williams Speech
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
11:00 EIA Petroleum Inventories
4:30 PM Money Supply
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet