Tuesday Morning Reads

Tuesday Morning Reads




Morning Charts:

Open Interest Changes



Jerome Powell has stepped up to the starting line, with a marathon of speeches over the next three days ranging from comments at the Boston Fed to his semiannual monetary policy testimony to Congress. Today, he's scheduled to give opening remarks at a conference discussing the effectiveness of bank stress tests as the Fed considers changes to its critical post-financial crisis tool. Also on watch are addresses by central bank policymakers Raphael Bostic, James Bullard and Randal Quarles. While traders have priced in a 100% probability of a Fed rate cut in July, expectations for a more aggressive cut have been tempered by the strong jobs report released Friday.

Stocks cautious

The Euro Stoxx 50 (NYSEARCA:FEZslipped 0.5% overnight amid a heavy profit-warning from BASF (OTCQX:BASFY), while Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) shares slid again on skepticism about its turnaround. The downward movement is weighing on U.S. equity index futures, with the DJIA falling 117 points, the S&P 500 0.4% lower and the Nasdaq off by 0.6%. There's also a hangover from Monday as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPLdropped more than 2%following a downgrade at Rosenblatt, as well as scaled-down expectations of Fed easing later this month.

Effects of $15 minimum wage

Raising the pay floor to $15 per hour by 2025 would boost wages for 17M American workers, but 1.3M people would lose jobs, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. House Democrats led by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., have already introduced a bill to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, called the Raise the Wage Act, and could vote on the legislation later this month. It's expected to pass, though the GOP-held Senate won't likely take it up and President Trump could also oppose it.

Drug prices

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta has blocked a Trump administration rule requiring drugmakers to put prices in TV ads, a central part of the president's push to lower the cost of prescription medications. The rule of the Health and Human Services Department would violate free speech and exceeded the agency’s statutory authority, Mehta wrote, adding that "the responsibility rests with Congress to act in the first instance." The lawsuit was brought by Merck (NYSE:MRK), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), which have long argued that list prices do not reflect the actual cost of drugs as they do not take into account discounts and rebates negotiated with health insurers and PBMs.

Switching production out of China

Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) has confirmed plans to shift a part of the manufacturing of its Switch to Vietnam from China, where it currently outsources almost all of the gaming console's production. Apparently there are other risks... A spokeswoman said the move was intended to diversify its supply lines and not to escape potential tariff hikes by the U.S. on products imported from China. The Trump administration recently held off from launching a fourth tranche of levies on $300B worth of goods that would cover nearly everything imported from China.

Extradition bill 'dead'

Addressing the weeks-long mass protests, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said Tuesday that the controversial extradition bill was "dead" though she didn't say whether she would withdraw the legislation. The demonstrations have sent financial institutions scrambling for liquid assets, triggering interbank interest rates in the city to shoot up across the curve. Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when it became a special administrative region of China under a "one country, two systems" framework, but many citizens have expressed concern that their civil rights are slowly being eroded under Beijing.

Stoking new China tensions?

The U.S. has put its plans for higher Chinese tariffs on hold, but raised the political pressure in other ways overnight with the approval of a major arms sale to Taiwan. It includes 108 General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) M1A2T Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value of $2.2B. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the deal was a serious violation of international law and a "crude interference in China’s internal affairs, harming China’s sovereignty and security interests."

Important numbers from Boeing

Boeing's (NYSE:BA) 737 Max crisis cost it a $5.9B order from Flyadeal on Monday, but just how far has the grounding of its best-selling jet eaten into the U.S. plane manufacturer? Investors will get some more details today as Boeing reports deliveries for Q2, as well as the number of MAXs ordered during the quarter. Most are expecting weak figures, but any surprises might be a sign of confidence in the jet following two deadly crashes. BA -0.5%premarket.

Galactic IPO

Richard Branson's space-tourism venture, Virgin Galactic, is preparing for liftoff as a publicly traded company, as it remains locked in a space race with privately held Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin (BORGN) and Elon Musk's SpaceX (SPACE). Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, is planning to invest roughly $800M in Virgin Galactic for a 49% stake, WSJ reports. The company expects that the deal will give it enough capital until its spaceships can commercially operate and turn a profit.

What else is happening...

Contributor Dividend Sensei lists the 'best dividend stocks to buy during the rate cut rally.'

SEC defends pace of Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) investigation after Dieselgate.

Canada fighter race may see another win for Lockheed Martin's (NYSE:LMT) F-35.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) asks appeals court to pause antitrust ruling's impact.

Clean energy boost as E.on (OTCPK:EONGY) offers only renewable power to U.K. customers.

ABB (NYSE:ABB) pays up to $470M to ditch solar converter business.

Today's Markets 
In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong -0.8%. China -0.2%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -1.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.4%. Nasdaq -0.6%. Crude +0.7% to $58.07. Gold -0.7% to $1390.60. Bitcoin +3.2% to $12356.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +3 bps to 2.06%

Today's Economic Calendar
6:00 NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
8:45 Jerome Powell: “Stress Testing: A Discussion and Review”
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
10:00 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
10:00 Fed's Bullard Speech
1:00 PM Results of $38B, 3-Year Note Auction
1:00 PM Fed's Bostic: Monetary Policy
2:00 PM Fed's Quarles: "Stress Testing: A Discussion and Review"

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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