Wednesday Morning Reads
- Down But Not Out
- Trade Jitters Return
- Bank Stocks Bruised
- China Swings Into Action
- The U.S. Yield Curve Inversion Is a Happy Sign for Some
- When Things Stop Working
- Tariffs, Death Cross, Inversion
- Beijing 'confident' of trade deal in 90 days
- Day of mourning - which markets are closed?
- Europe, Asia track Wall Street lower
- Mortgage applications continue to trend higher as interest rates fall
- Trade truce? China preparing to buy U.S. commodities
- Boeing venture to recycle aero composites
- Volkswagen says it will develop no more gas-powered cars after 2026
- Friendly deal between AT&T and Netflix
- EU ministers fail to agree on digital tax
- U.S. Silica to raise prices on industrial and specialty products
- Hulu heads for 23M subscribers, celebrates 'robust' live TV growth
- PepsiCo completes acquisition of SodaStream International Ltd.
Europe and Asia followed the U.S. into the red overnight as equities fell on the latest economic growth and yield curve concerns. Many attributed yesterday's rapid decline on Wall Street to the "algos," as the Dow slumped more than 800 points intraday and FAANGs shed more than $140B in market value. While U.S. markets will be closed today to honor the memory of George H.W. Bush, stock index futures pointed to some relief, rebounding stateside on Tuesday evening.
Which markets are closed for the national day of mourning? The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:ICE) and Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ), will grind to a halt, while SIFMA recommended that bond markets should close, meaning the 10-year Treasury note could see limited action. CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) will also shut down trading of futures and options products, though energy and metals futures will have a regular session.
China's commerce ministry expressed "confidence" overnight that a trade agreement with the U.S. could be reached "within 90 days," however, the comments did nothing to halt a selloff in Asia and Europe. "We are either going to have a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all," President Trump tweeted before the statement. "Ultimately, I believe, we will be making a deal - either now or into the future... China does not want Tariffs!"
Chinese officials are preparing to restart imports of U.S. soybeans and liquefied natural gas, Bloomberg reports, in the first sign confirming claims by President Trump that Beijing had agreed to start buying some American products "immediately." Chinese oil trader Unipec is also reportedly planning to resume U.S. crude shipments to China by March after the Trump-Xi deal reduced the risk of tariffs being imposed on oil imports.
Following a three-day meeting, the Reserve Bank of India has kept its repo rate unchanged at 6.5% on the back of a fall in crude oil prices and lower-than-expected inflation. The monetary policy committee also retained a GDP growth projection for 2018-19 at 7.4%, but slashed its inflation target for the second half of FY19 to 2.7%-3.2%, from a previous 3.9%-4.5%.
Ahead of a key vote on her Brexit deal next week, Theresa May is going to face parliament with even less power following a dramatic Tuesday in the House of Commons. She first lost votes forcing her to publish secret legal advice on her Brexit agreement after her government was found in contempt for issuing a summary. MPs also backed calls for the Commons to have a direct say in what happens if the prime minister's deal is rejected.
EU finance ministers failed to agree on a digital revenue tax on Tuesday, despite a last minute Franco-German plan to salvage the proposal by narrowing its focus to companies like Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The tax requires the support of all 28 EU states, including small, low-tax countries like Ireland which have benefited by allowing multinationals to book profits there on digital sales to customers elsewhere in the EU.
The U.S. Postal Service should have more flexibility to raise rates for packages, according to recommendations from a task force set up by President Trump. The news slammed Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) share price on Tuesday, as well as Stamps.com (NASDAQ:STMP), UPS (NYSE:UPS) and FedEx (NYSE:FDX). The task force was announced in April to find ways to stem financial losses by USPS, which reported a $4B shortfall in fiscal 2018.
Carbon free by 2050? More companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL), one of the largest U.S. utilities, said sharply lower costs for renewable energy and investments in new technologies will allow it to achieve that target. Maersk (OTCPK:AMKAF), the world's largest container shipping company, also pledged the same goal, challenging one of the biggest polluting industries to come up with radical energy solutions.
Shareholders of Takeda Pharmaceutical have given approval for the £46B buyout of Shire (NASDAQ:SHPG), setting the stage for Japan's biggest corporate takeover. The deal will create a global powerhouse with a stronger drugs pipeline, especially in rare diseases, but one that is saddled with massive debt. In addition to issuing new shares, Takeda (OTCPK:TKPYY) has secured $30.9B in bank loans.
Qualcomm has unveiled its Snapdragon 855 chip that will run many of the first 5G-capable phones that will be arriving next year. In addition to enabling mobile data speeds of up to 50 or 100 times faster than current networks, the 855's modem will enable "computer vision" to help phones recognize objects and faces, support a new Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) fingerprint sensor and "outperform" other chips in running AI software.
Eye in the sky... The NYPD has acquired a fleet of 14 drones from DJI Innovations (DJI), which will be operated by officers who are specially trained and licensed. The law enforcement agency plans to use the drones - which aren't equipped with any weapons - for documenting crime scenes, monitoring traffic and aiding hostage situations, but is restricted from using them to perform routine patrol and surveillance without a warrant.
Alphabet's Wing drone delivery business will launch in Finland next spring, marking its first European delivery service. Wing started as part of Alphabet's (GOOG, GOOGL) X research division but was spun out as its own company in July. It has spent 18 months testing drone delivery in Australia in partnership with local businesses, delivering goods like food, medicine, and household items.
Facing multiple sexual misconduct allegations, Leslie Moonves, the former chief executive of CBS, destroyed evidence and misled investigators in an attempt to preserve his reputation and save a lucrative severance deal, NYTreports. Lawyers hired by CBS to investigate the claims have now concluded the company has justification to deny paying Moonves' $120M exit package. The report will be presented ahead of an annual board meeting next week.
The pressure is building on Huawei Technologies after Britain's BT Group (NYSE:BT) said it would remove the Chinese firm's equipment from its core 4G network within two years and exclude Huawei from bidding on core 5G contracts, FT reports. World governments have started to become wary of Huawei, with the U.S., Australia and New Zealand blocking the use of the company's 5G equipment on "national security grounds."
In Asia, Japan -0.5%. Hong Kong -1.6%. China -0.6%. India -0.7%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.9%. Paris -0.8%. Frankfurt -1.2%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow closed. S&P closed. Nasdaq closed. Crude -0.1% to $53.19. Gold -0.4% to $1242.10. Bitcoin -2.5% to $3827.