Thursdays Market Prepper
- Pull Trillions From the Markets?
- Buying Spree Ends Badly
- Price War Rages On
- Cloud Over Ackman’s Head
- Fight With Apple Drags On
- Winning the Battle, Losing the War?
- Tough Lessons
- Brokers Go Bye Bye
500Y of inflation data reveals persistent inflation is a new phenomenon.
Deflation was once a common occurrence pic.twitter.com/JUP7NGPq8X
— The Long View (@HayekAndKeynes) July 19, 2017
Investors are turning their attention to today's ECB policy meeting, which will be the first since Mario Draghi's hawkish comments in Sintra, Portugal. Financial markets have been hypersensitive in recent weeks to anything that he has said about winding down central bank stimulus. Any statements that change expectations about the ECB's plans could have a violent effect on bond prices and currency rates.
The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady overnight, but pushed back the timing for achieving its 2% inflation target to 2020. "Risks to the economy and price outlook are skewed to the downside," the BOJ said in a statement. Inflation targets have been back pushed back six times since the central bank launched its massive stimulus program in 2013.
As the second round of talks wraps up in Brussels, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire insisted the U.K. pay a Brexit bill of as much as €100B, which has been on the high end of the amounts touted. "We can always debate the amount, but the fact that the U.K. must pay what it owes to the EU budget is a non-negotiable prerequisite at the start of the talks."
Meanwhile, Britain wants a new round of global trade liberalization at the WTO, Trade Minister Liam Fox will say in a speech later today in Geneva. That's according to an advance draft text seen by Reuters. Fox will also say that the U.K. sees the agenda of global trade being shaped by the digital economy, trade promotion as the main tool of development, and services.
Yields on Greek government bonds are on the rise following reports that six banks had been hired to arrange the country's first bond sale in over three years. A source told IFR that Athens has mandated Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), BNP Paribas (OTCQX:BNPQF), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and HSBC for a five-year issue.
Germany and Turkey have traded barbs and threatened economic retaliation after the detention of a German human-rights activist sent already stormy relations into a downward spiral. "NATO and the economy, these are the two levers with which Erdogan can possibly be influenced," said Juergen Hardt, the parliamentary foreign-affairs spokesman for the Christian Democratic-led bloc.
Iran will not fall into the snare that the Trump administration is attempting to set in order to force the collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal, according to President Hassan Rouhani. The U.S. "ploy today is to behave in such a way as to have Iran say 'I am walking away'" from the agreement, he told his cabinet. Tehran "needs to be aware not to fall into their trap."
Uruguay has embarked on an ambitious social experiment by becoming the first country to control the production, distribution and commercialization of recreational marijuana. The move has also encouraged businesses like Vancouver-based International Cannabis Corp., which has a license to harvest and export the marijuana it's producing in the country.
Republicans struggling to agree on healthcare legislation to overhaul Obamacare obeyed President Trump's orders to try to swiftly reach a deal but were unable to resolve their differences in a long, late-night meeting. Adding to the uncertainty, Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. The timing of his return to the Senate depends on consultations with his medical team.
It took 17 years, but the S&P 500 information technology sector has finally recovered from the implosion of the dotcom bubble. The index closed at 992.29 on Wednesday, smashing through the 988.49 high set on March 27, 2000. The gradual recovery spanned the rise of social media, the revolution of cloud computing and the invention of smartphones.
Steel stocks rose across the board yesterday as U.S. and Chinese officials concluded contentious economic talks. The Chinese delegation's leader left following the meeting in Washington without speaking to reporters, and the two sides did not issue a joint statement or action plan following the meeting. Investors interpreted the signals as more likely the U.S. will impose broad steel tariffs or quotas in the future.
European earnings roundup: Cloud costs weighed on SAP earnings in Q2, as profit fell shy of expectations, but the firm raised its full-year outlook and announced a share buyback. Despite strong performance at its robotics arm and a rise in orders, ABB posted weaker-than-expected second quarter profits. After meeting estimates, Unilever (UN, UL) said its full year sales forecast is on track as it raised its margin expectations.
Intel has axed the division that worked on health wearables, including fitness trackers, sources told CNBC. The company has been slowly de-emphasizing its own line of wearables for the past several years, and has not mentioned wearables on its earnings calls since 2014. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) let go about 80% of the Basis group in November, and eliminated the entire division about two weeks ago.
A subscription-based news service? Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) will start testing the product in October, head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, told the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit. Facebook plans to build a paywall that will require readers to become subscribers to the service after accessing 10 free articles. It will also direct readers to news publishers' home pages.
Twenty First Century Fox has written to the U.K. government over its plans to buy Sky (OTCQX:SKYAY), promising to work with regulatory bodies if the deal is referred on plurality concerns. The letter, signed by Lachlan and James Murdoch, said the U.K.'s creative industry will be strengthened by the deal. The British government will update parliament on the next steps in Fox's (FOX, FOXA) bid today.
Cardinal Health has put its China business up for sale, drawing keen interest from state-backed Chinese pharmaceutical firms in a deal that may be worth up to $1.5B, Reuters reports. Cardinal (NYSE:CAH) wants to exit over worries China's upcoming drug distribution reform could slow its growth. The first round of bidding is due tomorrow.
Traces of fecal matter have been found in drinks at three of the world's biggest fast food chains in the U.K. Investigators from the BBC consumer show, Watchdog, discovered the bacteria in ice served in drinks at McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Burger King (NYSE:QSR) and KFC (NYSE:YUM). Many of the samples were described as having "significant" levels.
British Columbia's government has taken the unprecedented step of extending a state of emergency by two weeks as it battled 140 wildfires that have forced about 45,000 people from their homes. The fires have shut mines and timber operations, including those of Norbord (NYSE:OSB), Taseko Mines (NYSEMKT:TGB), Teck Resources (NYSE:TECK), West Fraser Timber (OTCPK:WFTBF), EnGold Mines (OTC:GWRRF) and Imperial Metals (OTCPK:IPMLF).
A U.S. House panel has approved a sweeping proposal by voice vote to allow automakers to deploy up to 100K self-driving vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards and bar states from imposing driverless car rules. States could still set rules on registration, licensing, liability, insurance and safety inspections, but could not set self-driving car performance standards, under the proposal.
A federal judge in California has allowed some claims to proceed by bondholders who sued VW (OTCPK:VLKAY) over its diesel emissions scandal, but agreed to the automaker's request to dismiss parts of the lawsuit. The ruling is similar to a decision in June allowing a suit to proceed from plaintiffs who invested in Volkswagen through ADRS.
Wednesday's Key Earnings
American Express (NYSE:AXP) -1.7% AH despite beating estimates.
Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) +4.2% AH with plans to hike dividend.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) +3.3% on big trading revenues.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) -2.6% AH without Apple royalties.
T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) +3.7% AH growing its subscriber base.
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) +0.9% topping expectations.
In Asia, Japan +0.6%. Hong Kong +0.3%. China +0.4%. India -0.2%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.7%. Paris +0.3%. Frankfurt +0.4%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq flat. Crude flat at $47.34. Gold -0.5% to $1236.40.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.27%
Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 Philly Fed Business Outlook
9:45 Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
10:00 Leading Indicators
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
4:30 PM Money Supply
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet