Wednesday Morning Reads
- Oil Prices Plummet 7%
- Fed Expected To Raise Rates
- The Year in Money
- Buy a Positive Trend
- Who Bought Back the Most Stock in Q3
- ‘It’s Been a Rout’
- An $8 Billion Credit Shop
- Expectation vs. Reality
- GE confidentially files for Health IPO
- Another personal data scandal for Facebook
- Futures rise ahead of Fed decision
- General Mills beats by $0.04, misses on revenue
- Glaxo, Pfizer to merge consumer health units
- 3M to buy M*Modal's tech business for $1.0B enterprise value
- Indian drug inspectors seize J&J baby powder
- Novartis acquires Tear Film Innovations
- Bausch Health to pay down $76M more debt this month
- Medtronic completes acquisition of Mazor Robotics
- Exxon Mobil opposes weakening methane rules
- Eli Lilly declares $0.645 dividend
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point today, but may cut the number of hikes it anticipates next year in the face of market volatility, a collapse in oil prices, and cooling trade activity. Complicating matters further, President Trump again warned the central bank that it must tread carefully in order not to "make yet another mistake." The rate hike would be the fourth this year and the ninth since the Fed began its current tightening cycle in December 2015.
Italy has reached a new budget deal with the European Commission, avoiding an EU disciplinary procedure and resolving a dispute that had vexed financial markets for months. If confirmed, the deal could help restore investors' confidence in Italian bonds, reducing Rome's borrowing costs and limiting the losses domestic banks have suffered since this summer.
It's Europe's first government collapse over the U.N. migration deal signed in Marrakesh last week. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has offered his resignation just days after losing the backing of the nationalist New Flemish Alliance, one of his main coalition partners. However, with only five months to go until planned legislative elections in May, it was not immediately clear whether King Philippe will accept Michel's departure.
As the battle continues over border wall funding and a government shutdown, the U.S. pledged $5.8B in aid and investment for strengthening economic development in Central America, and another $4.8B in development aid for southern Mexico. "I have a dream that I want to see become a reality... that nobody will want to go work in the United States anymore," newly inaugurated Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said before the announcement.
Japan's export growth slowed to a crawl in November as shipments to the U.S. and China weakened sharply. The value of exports rose 0.1% from a year earlier, as a Sino-U.S. trade war weighed on the world's third-largest economy. There's some good news, however, as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed plans to hold trade talks with Beijing in January.
As stocks move to new lows, it's an all-time record year for U.S. corporate stock buybacks. About $800B of stock has already been bought back amid total announcements of $1.1T. The trend is likely to continue into 2019, assuming that companies continue to generate significant free cash flow and that executives believe reducing share count and boosting EPS is more valuable than reinvesting profits