Wednesday Morning Reads
- Market Crash
- Sell Now
- U.S. Moves to Block Sales
- Uber Déjà Vu
- Down $1 Trillion
- The Most Hated Tax Cut Ever?
- Stocks set for higher open
- Amazon and Best Buy partner
- Ford loses European market share
- Morgan Stanley results impress
- FB users must accept targeted ads in EU
- Probe begins for fatal Southwest engine
- Tesla seeks 6K/week Model 3 output
Open Interest Changes:
Unusual Option Action:
Tesla is now shooting to more than double Model 3 production to 6,000 units per week in order to achieve the 5,000 units per week milestone in June after accounting for a margin of error. Its Fremont facility will now move to 24/7 operations, while Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) adds about 400 employees a week. "A fair criticism leveled at Tesla by outside critics is that you’re not a real company unless you generate a profit," Elon Musk wrote in a memo. "It didn't make sense to do that until reaching economies of scale, but now we are there." TSLA +2% premarket.
Theresa May's Brexit strategy faces a renewed threat today as her flagship EU (Withdrawal) Bill returns to Parliament's upper chamber, where a proposal to keep the U.K. in the customs union may pass by more than 50 votes. If the lower house retains the decision - an arrangement that businesses are eager to keep - and May accepts it, she could risk a leadership challenge and crisis within her party.
Europe's top trade official, Cecilia Malmstrom, is cranking up the pressure on the Trump administration by calling for a permanent exemption from punitive steel and aluminum tariffs. While Brussels is "always" open to discussions on trade issues with other countries, "we are under no circumstances negotiating anything under pressure, under threat."
Recently considering the possibility of re-entering the TPP, President Trump said he now doesn't think it would be a good idea for the world's largest economy. "I don't like the deal for the United States. Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work," he wrote in a tweet. "Bilateral deals are far more efficient, profitable and better for OUR workers."
Awaiting confirmation as secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend to discuss a planned U.S. summit with Kim Jong-un, sources told the Washington Post. President Trump also confirmed that he had spoken directly with the North Korean leader in a surprise announcement at Mar-a-Lago, where he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
By the 2020 presidential election, 16 and 17 year olds may be able to vote in the nation's capital. Legislation has been introduced by Washington, D.C. council member Charles Allen, who said he was inspired by the high schoolers that came to the March for Our Lives demonstration. Majority support is seen from seven of the 13 D.C. council members.
San Diego County's Board of Supervisors has joined the U.S. Justice Department's legal challenge of California's so-called sanctuary policies aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants. The DOJ has previously tried a mix of political and financial pressure against sanctuary cities, threatening to cut off grants or remove ICE agents unless they agree to identify and hold suspected immigration offenders.
Facebook is requiring EU users to accept targeted ads as a condition for using its service, ahead of strict new privacy rules that take effect across the bloc next month. "Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is an advertising-supported service," Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Rob Sherman declared. "All ads on Facebook are targeted to some extent, and that’s true for offline advertising, as well."
Amazon has launched an international shopping feature that will allow customers across the world to shop more than 45M items that can be shipped to their country from the U.S. It will display pricing, shipping costs and import duty estimates, with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) managing courier service and customs clearance in case of potential surprises at the time of purchase or delivery.
All company-owned Starbucks stores nationwide, a total of 8,000 cafes, will be closed in the afternoon of May 29 for employee racial-bias training. The move follows protests and calls for boycotts after the arrest of two black men waiting in a Philadelphia store. "The company's founding values are based on humanity and inclusion," said Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) executive chairman Howard Schultz.
Marking its latest step in becoming a power player, Total (NYSE:TOT) is paying €1.4B for a majority stake in electricity provider Direct Energie (OTC:PWOPY). The move represents a strategic shift among oil majors, grappling with how to manage a long-term shift away from fossil fuels and the more immediate pressure of finding a market for renewable power.
Top shareholder duo Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason are at it again with Xerox (NYSE:XRX), suggesting the removal of current management and monetizing the company’s "untapped" intellectual property as opposed to a planned merger with Fujifilm (OTCPK:FUJIY). Xerox said the proposal was repeating "prior misleading statements" and "failed to provide a credible or actionable alternative to create value for shareholders."
Carl Icahn has also reportedly taken a "medium"-sized stake in VMware (NYSE:VMW), but it's below the 5% threshold that mandates public disclosure. That move could set up Icahn to face off with Michael Dell yet again. Dell is considering a reverse-merger with VMware, where the firm and its tracker stock, DVMT, would be rolled into one publicly-traded company.
Amid a growing shortage that has spared the U.S., Canada is working with the FDA to access supplies of Mylan's (NASDAQ:MYL) EpiPen. The allergy antidote is made at a single Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) unit near St. Louis, Missouri, but it has been recently hit by manufacturing problems. According to Health Canada, four companies have authorization to sell epinephrine auto-injectors, but none are currently marketing them in the country.
There's a new way to invest in electric and autonomous vehicles. The Global X Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF (NASDAQ:DRIV) is being introduced to track the Solactive Autonomous & Electric Vehicles Index. The list of companies includes those in the development of autonomous vehicle software and hardware, as well as companies that produce EVs.
Nearly 5,000 JetBlue flight attendants have voted to join the Transport Workers Union of America, an outcome the airline said was disappointing "because we believe the direct relationship is superior to third-party representation." Adding another collective bargaining unit raises the prospect of higher costs (pilots unionized in 2014) as Jetblue (NASDAQ:JBLU) negotiates pay rates and less flexible work rules.
European regulators this month began requiring an inspection by early 2019 of the type of engine that blew apart on a Southwest (NYSE:LUV) flight on Tuesday. The CFM56 is produced by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric (NYSE:GE) and France's Safran (OTCPK:SAFRY). Shrapnel from the explosion shattered a window on the Boeing 737, sucking out one passenger, who later died of her injuries.
Concerned by a rise in near collisions by unmanned aircraft and commercial jets, the world's airlines are backing the development of a UN-led global registry for drones. The International Air Transport Association will also consider collaborating on the initiative with the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is formulating common rules for flying and tracking unmanned aircraft. Related stocks: AMBA, AVAV, DJI, HON, INVN, IXYS, TRMB
CSX (NYSE:CSX) +5.1% with turnaround efforts on track.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) +1.6% likely pausing a buyback.
IBM (NYSE:IBM) -5.7% AH amid weak guidance.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) -0.9% despite an earnings beat.
UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) +3.6% upping full-year forecasts.
United Continental (NYSE:UAL) flat following higher fares.
In Asia, Japan +1.4%. Hong Kong +0.7%. China +0.8%. India -0.2%.
In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.4%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude +1.2% to $67.30. Gold flat at $1349.80. Bitcoin +2.7% to $8106.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +2 bps to 2.84%
Today's Economic Calendar
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
2:00 PM Fed's Beige Book
3:15 PM Fed's Dudley: Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy