Wednesday Morning Reads

Wednesday Morning Reads








Crude fell into a bear market on Tuesday, sinking another 2.2% to settle at a nine-month low of $43.23/bbl. The big fear gripping the energy industry is that the world continues to have too much oil, despite a deal between OPEC and Russia to pump less. Game of chicken? The supply glut could be deepened by U.S. shale producers that have ramped up output in recent months.


In a major shakeup, Saudi Arabia's King Salman has relieved his nephew, Muhammad bin Nayef, as crown prince, replacing him with his son, Mohammed bin Salman. The 31-year-old prince has led a complete overhaul of the Saudi economy, diversifying the kingdom beyond oil under Vision 30 and a planned IPO for Saudi Aramco (Private:ARMCO). He has also frequently praised the country's relationship with the U.S.

A suspected suicide bomber who reportedly screamed "Allahu Akbar" before triggering an explosion at Brussels Central Station has been gunned down and killed by soldiers. No other casualties were reported. Belgium has been on terror alert Level 3 for months, one below the top level, following an attack in March 2016 at the national airport and the Maelbeek metro station that killed 32 people.

A host of proposed new laws designed to prepare the U.K. for a "smooth and orderly" departure from the EU have been announced today in the Queen's Speech. Of 24 bills, eight relate to Brexit and its implications for key industries. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to work with "humility and resolve" as she continues coalition negotiations with the DUP.

Reform timelines: Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, doesn't expect the White House to get a tax bill in front of Congress until September. At around the same time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a draft of the Senate's healthcare bill will be released Thursday. A vote would happen after the CBO releases its analysis, possibly before the July 4 recess.

Georgia Republican Karen Handel has won the most expensive congressional race in history. Spending on the race reached at least $57M, nearly twice the previous record, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Seen as an early proxy for whether Democrats can flip certain Republican-leaning districts in the Trump era, the election drew national attention from around the country.

"While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!" President Trump wrote in a tweet. It follows the death of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, whom Pyongyang held for more than a year. According to White House spokesman Sean Spicer, it's also getting less likely that Trump will meet with Kim Jong-un.

About $17B-$18B should initially flow into China's mainland stock market once some stocks are added to the key MSCI Emerging Markets Index EEM. The long-awaited A-shares decision was announced on Tuesday afternoon, in what was seen as a major milestone. "International investors have embraced the positive changes in accessibility... over the last few years," said Remy Briand, Chairman of the MSCI Index Policy Committee.

A bill that slaps new sanctions on Russia and Iran, and passed the Senate almost unanimously, has hit a stumbling block in the House. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said the legislation may violate the Origination Clause of the Constitution, referring to the constitutional requirement that revenue bills originate in the House.

Brazil's federal police say they have discovered solid evidence that President Temer received bribes to help businesses and deserves to be investigated for "passive corruption." Temer has denied any wrongdoing and insists he will not resign, but it raises a new threat that the embattled leader could be suspended from office.


One week after taking a leave of absence, UBER CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned from the $70B company he founded, NYT reports. "I have accepted the investors' request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight," he said in a letter. The ride-hailing firm has been plagued by allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, which saw the firing of more than 20 employees.

"Turns out that Tesla isn't a good fit for me after all," said autopilot software head Chris Lattner, who quit the company after just six months on the job. He worked at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for more than a decade before joining the automaker in January. Following the resignation, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) hired Andrej Karpathy, a researcher at OpenAI, as director of artificial intelligence and the Vision team.

Toshiba has selected a consortium consisting of the INCJ, Bain Capital and the Development Bank of Japan as a preferred bidder for its memory chip business, estimated to be worth around $20B. Western Digital (NYSE:WDC) responded to the news, saying Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSYY) continued to ignore both its subsidiary SanDisk's rights and the dual-track legal process currently underway.

Jack Ma is in Detroit making a high-profile pitch to small American businesses. He's hosting an event called Gateway '17, aimed at convincing smaller enterprises to work with Alibaba (NYSE:BABA). It expands on a meeting Ma had with President Trump in January, when they talked about how independent businesses could grow by selling to China's growing market and thereby creating a million U.S. jobs.

Forget about disrupting the grocery sector, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is heading into fashion. Amazon Prime Wardrobe will let users try before they buy, and only pay for what they keep (free shipping and discounts are also available). Market reaction? Retailer stocks were hit by the news on Tuesday, including Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), Ascena (NASDAQ:ASNA), Chico's (NYSE:CHS), TJX and Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST).

Sears Canada has "significant doubt" about its ability to continue as a going concern and is exploring a possible sale of the business. Sears Canada (NASDAQ:SRSC), whose Q1 net loss more than doubled from a year ago, also abruptly called off its annual meeting scheduled for today, postponing it to an undetermined future date.

The world's largest home appliance maker has lost its captain. Whirlpool's (NYSE:WHR) CEO Jeff Fettig will step down on Oct. 1 after thirteen years at the helm and will be replaced with current COO Marc Bitzer. Fettig steered the company through the recession and oversaw the acquisition of Italy's Indesit and China's Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric.

"If I had to pick one word that IBM's reinventing around, it's 'data,'" CEO Ginni Rometty told Mad Money host Jim Cramer. "The cloud is in its early stages and it's changing," she declared, emphasizing IBM's current focus on collecting data. "20% of the world's data is searchable... "But 80% of the world's data, which is where I think the real gold is - that is all with our clients.

Ericsson has signed an agreement with software firm Flex to sell its power modules business, the first exit of assets under a new strategy to focus on its core business. Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) announced the strategy in March, saying it would concentrate on its main product areas of networks, digital services and Internet of Things.

A Supreme Court ruling has led St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison to declare a mistrial in a case claiming J&J's (NYSE:JNJ) talcum powder caused ovarian cancer. It centers on whether state courts can hear claims against companies that are not based in the state, or if the injuries did not occur there. Juries in four St. Louis trials have already hit J&J and a talc supplier with $307M in verdicts.

Get ready for Cigna's investor day, its first since its deal with Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) officially broke off. The insurer is expected to unveil its post-Anthem plans for growth, addressing issues such as mergers and acquisitions, the Obamacare individual market and legislative reform. Cigna's (NYSE:CI) event starts at 8:30 a.m. ET and will end at 1:00 p.m.

Former Barclays CEO John Varley has resigned from BlackRock's (NYSE:BLK) board, where he served as an independent director since 2009. He was among those from Barclays (NYSE:BCS) charged yesterday with conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with an emergency fundraising in Qatar in 2008. "BlackRock and its management team have benefited greatly from his contributions," said CEO Larry Fink.

Tropical Storm Cindy has caused the suspension of service at a major Gulf of Mexico oil terminal and evacuations at rigs and platforms as it moves toward an expected landfall early Thursday. "While the storm may not be a whopper, it will influence shipping and may impact imports and exports of oil for next week," said a senior market analyst at Price Futures Group. Related tickers: LNG, ENB, APC, BHP, ETR, RDS.A, RDS.B

Tuesday's Key Earnings
Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) +4.3% AH accelerating its cloud push.
Fedex (NYSE:FDX) +1.9% AH following a profit smasher.

Today's Markets
In Asia, Japan -0.5%. Hong Kong -0.6%. China +0.5%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.4%. Paris -0.8%. Frankfurt -0.5%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow flat. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq -0.3%. Crude flat at $43.50. Gold +0.4% to $1248.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.15%

Today's Economic Calendar
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
10:00 Existing Home Sales
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories

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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