Tuesday Morning Reads
- Futures look to extend record highs
- Microsoft eyeing SuperAwesome stake
- Calhoun right choice to lead Boeing - Bernstein
- Super Saturday sales top Black Friday by 10%
- Peter Lynch picks energy
- Medical Properties Trust announces £1.5B U.K. purchase
- Miners shine as gold, silver futures hit six-week highs
- Gilead and Eisai ink deal for filgotinib in Japan
- Does Amazon prioritize deliveries over public safety?
- Musk trolls the bears
- Buffett protege Todd Combs to head Geico
- Cel-Sci prices stock offering at $9.07
Markets are looking to celebrate a different Christmas Eve than the one last year, which saw the S&P 500 dip into bear market territory after President Trump teased about firing Fed Chair Jerome Powell amid rising interest rates. Easing trade tensions, as well as rate cuts in recent months, saw the S&P 500 hit another record on Monday, up nearly 29% YTD, and Wall Street is looking to build on those gains during today's holiday-shortened trading session. Futures are slightly in the green to commence the Santa Claus rally, which is the tendency for stocks to rise over the last five trading sessions of December and the first two trading sessions of January.
Go deeper: 'Tech Is Just Getting Started Going Into 2020' by SA Marketplace.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares, which have slipped more than 20% over the past nine months, rose nearly 3% to lead all 30 Dow stocks on Monday after the company canned CEO Dennis Muilenburg in the wake of the 737 MAX crisis. "The board decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders," according to a press release. Muilenburg will be replaced by Boeing Chairman David Calhoun, effective January 13, 2020 (CFO Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during the brief transition period).
Go deeper: Boeing will get the Max behind it now, according to David Lerner.
U.S. consumers are setting more holiday shopping records, as job growth and fatter wallets, along with stronger household finances, have put many in a buying mood this season. Marking the biggest single day in U.S. retail history, Super Saturday (12/21) sales reached $34.4B, topping Black Friday's $31.2B by 10%, according to Customer Growth Partners. Figures were paced by the 'Big Four' mega retailers - Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Target (NYSE:TGT) - while online spending this season has so far accounted for 58% of sales growth from a year earlier.
Go deeper: ALT Perspective reviews catalysts that could propel rivals Alibaba and Tencent.
Investigations by ProPublica and BuzzFeed News reveal that drivers delivering Amazon (AMZN) packages were involved in more than 60 crashes that led to serious injuries since 2015, including 13 deaths. The publications say the company repeatedly quashed or delayed safety initiatives - to prioritize faster deliveries and increased revenue - though Amazon maintains its rate of fatal crashes is better than the most recent federal rate. "Statistically at this scale, traffic incidents have occurred and will occur again, but these are exceptions, and we will not be satisfied until we achieve zero incidents across our delivery operations."
Go deeper: Mott Capital says AMZN valuation is more favorable today than at prior points in 2019.
Calling it "arbitrary and capricious," Judge Lyle Frank of the Supreme Court of the State of New York has struck down a new rule limiting how much time ride-hail drivers can spend driving busy streets in Manhattan without passengers. It's a win for Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), though the city's mayor's office is reviewing its legal options, including an appeal. NYC passed the rule in August with the aim of reducing traffic congestion in Manhattan, where ride-share vehicles make up close to a third of peak traffic.
Go deeper: NYC is Lyft's largest market and one of Uber's Top 5 markets, writes Hudson Far West.
"Whoa... the stock is so high lol," Elon Musk tweeted yesterday as Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares topped the symbolic threshold of $420 - the price at which he wanted to take the EV maker private in 2018. Musk is also spending some time fact-checking his own Wikipedia page. He requested edits including the fact he does "zero investing," adding that all his wealth was tied up in SpaceX (SPACE) and Tesla, and if both companies went bankrupt so would he.
Six months after Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shareholders decided against a lucrative executive compensation plan in a non-binding vote, the streaming giant has established a plan similar to the one nixed in June. It gives CEO Reed Hastings a $650K salary next year and $34M in stock options (a 10% increase from 2019), and awards Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos exactly the same amount as Hastings, but via a different split. Shares of Netflix have climbed 24% this year, trailing the 29% rise in the S&P 500. The stock rose 39% in 2018.
DraftKings (DRAFT) is becoming a listed company via an acquisition by Diamond Eagle Acquisition (NASDAQ:DEAC), which will change its name to DraftKings Inc. and reincorporate in Nevada. The new entity will be the only publicly traded pure-play sports betting and online gaming company in the U.S., with the deal expected to close in the first half of 2020. About a third of Americans now live in a state where sports betting is legal following a Supreme Court ruling in 2018.
In Asia, Japan flat. Hong Kong closed. China +0.7%. India -0.4%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt closed.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude +0.1% to $60.60. Gold +0.4% to $1495.20. Bitcoin -1.7% to $7254.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 1.92%