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Wall Street Articles

Author: skywalker   |   Latest post: Wed, 16 Aug 2017, 09:47 AM

 

Wall Street Breakfast: NAFTA Talks Set To Begin

Author: skywalker   |  Publish date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017, 09:47 AM


Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. kick off an ambitious first round of trade talks today as the countries try to fast-track a deal to modernize NAFTA. The timeline is for seven rounds of negotiations between now and the beginning of next year, as markets keep an eye out for fresh rumblings on trade protectionism. U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade has quadrupled since NAFTA took effect in 1994, surpassing $1.2T in 2016.

Economy

The Fed is set to release the minutes from its last gathering in July, when policymakers unanimously decided to keep interest rates unchanged and said they planned to reduce the central bank's massive holdings of bonds "relatively soon." Details of the discussion could further cement the expectation that the Fed will begin reducing its balance sheet at its next meeting in September.

The euro fell 0.3% to $1.1699 on a report that Mario Draghi won't rock the boat next week at Jackson Hole. Sources told Reuters the ECB president will not deliver a fresh policy message at the economic policy symposium, but rather wants to hold off from debate until the fall. His speech will instead focus on the conference theme of fostering a dynamic global economy.

Obamacare premiums would spike 20% next year, and by an extra 25% in 2020, if President Trump follows through on a threat to stop billions of dollars of federal health subsidies. The Congressional Budget Office also found that terminating the "cost-sharing reductions" would mean that 5% of Americans would live in areas that don't have an insurer in the individual market in 2018.

The Irish border should remain free of "physical border posts" after Brexit, the U.K. government said in an early attempt to resolve one of the most complex aspects of its divorce from the EU. Details of the plan are due out later today. Northern Ireland sold £2.7B of goods into Ireland in 2015 and some 30K people cross the 500 kilometer border every day without customs or immigration checks.

The eurozone economy expanded 0.6% in Q2, in line with expectations, while the annual figure was upgraded to 2.2% growth. "The market mindset is that Europe is recovering from a very deep, very long recession that hit at its financial core," said Christopher Peel, CIO at Tavistock Wealth. "The banking system is finally starting to show signs of having worked through the legacy of 2008-2009."

China is looking good enough that the IMF is raising its growth outlook, but the organization is doing so with a strong warning over growing debt in the world's second-largest economy. It forecasts non-financial debt in the country to hit around 300% of GDP in five years, but raised China's GDP forecast from 6.2% to 6.7% for 2017.

Meanwhile, China has reclaimed its position as the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, displacing Japan which had held the top spot since October. It's increased its holdings for the fifth straight month, buying $44.3B of Treasuries in June for a total of $1.147T. The two countries account for more than a third of the total foreign ownership of U.S. Treasuries.

Iran's nuclear program could be restarted in a matter of "hours," warned President Hassan Rouhani, if the American government continues its confrontational policies toward the Islamic Republic. His remarks were a direct response to the Trump administration's announcement of fresh sanctions on individuals and businesses connected to Tehran's missile program.

Brazil has abandoned its fiscal targets for this year and through 2020, after a bribery scandal crippled President Temer's ability to push economic reforms through Congress and left the public sector with a gaping budget hole. That means Brazil's government debt burden, already the heaviest of any major Latin American economy at 73.1% of GDP, is set to continue rising fast in the coming years.

Mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies in countries that are part of the Belt and Road initiative are soaring, even as Beijing cracks down on acquisitive conglomerates to restrict capital outflows. Chinese purchases in the 68 countries officially linked to the modern-day "Silk Road" have totaled $33B this year, surpassing the $31B tally for all of 2016.

President Trump has signed an executive order to speed approvals of permits for highways, bridges and other major building efforts as part of his proposal to spend $1T to fix aging U.S. infrastructure. The move revokes a previous order by President Obama that required strict building standards for government-funded projects to reduce exposure to consequences of climate change.

More business leaders are quitting President Trump's Manufacturing Council following the firestorm over his response to the clashes in Charlottesville. "For every CEO that drops out, I have many to take their place," he wrote on Twitter. Latest to step down: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, his deputy chief of staff Thea Lee and Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Stocks

Getting serious about Hollywood... Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has set a budget of roughly $1B to procure and produce original content over the next year, WSJ reports, and could acquire and produce as many as 10 television shows. The budget will be in the hands of Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, poached in June from Sony (NYSE:SNE) to oversee content acquisition and video strategy.

Fiat Chrysler is joining a self-driving car consortium led by BMW (OTCPK:BAMXF), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and its Mobileye (NYSE:MBLY) subsidiary that aims to develop fully driverless vehicles by 2021. CEO Sergio Marchionne has long said that automakers need to work together to develop the future technology because of the vast development costs. Last year, FCA (NYSE:FCAU) became the first carmaker to partner with Waymo, the driverless car unit owned by Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL).

The exodus at Uber continues with the resignation of Chris Saad, the head of the developer platform. He worked at the ride-hailing company for close to two years. It comes as investor Benchmark Capital coordinates with another UBER shareholder, venture firm Lowercase Capital, to force former CEO Travis Kalanick and media magnate Arianna Huffington off the board.

Crocs may soon lose rights to its claim to fame: the iconic clog that put the company on the map. The classic design cannot be protected against copycats, the U.S. Patent and Trade Office ruled last week. Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX) is appealing the decision, stating it "has been greatly exaggerated in certain news reports" and "anticipates no meaningful impact on its business."

"I don't think I'm going to jail," convicted fraudster Martin Shkreli told Fox News, suggesting that "just being a flamboyant and personable figure" landed him in prosecutors' gun sights. He was found guilty on Aug. 4 of three of eight federal criminal charges he faced, including one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud related to Retrophin (NASDAQ:RTRX).

A lot of activity from Elliott Advisors... The activist investor has increased its stake in BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) to 5%, boosting shares 1.4% premarket. It has also reached a deal with AkzoNobel (OTCQX:AKZOY) that will suspend litigation for three months, fully separate its specialty chemicals division and support management and board members.

The nation's largest movie theater chain isn't ready to embrace a plan to bring Netflix-style (NASDAQ:NFLX) subscription pricing to multiplexes. AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC) is seeking to block customers of MoviePass from seeing films in its more than 600 theaters after the third-party service dropped the cost of its unlimited movie pass to $9.95/month.

The fourth largest high grade debt sale of 2017! Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has sealed a $16B corporate bond offering, a move designed to fund its acquisition of Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM). It comes after Amazon added "Instant Pickup" to its brick-and-mortar push, allowing shoppers to retrieve items immediately after ordering them. The program will first roll out at five U.S. college campuses.

Tuesday's Key Earnings

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) -2.7% with fears about online retail.
TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) +0.8% lifting its profit guidance.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong +0.9%. China -0.1%. India +1%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.6%. Paris +1.1%. Frankfurt +0.8%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.3%. Crude +0.3% to $47.69. Gold -0.3% to $1275.80.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 2.28%

Today's Economic Calendar

7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 Housing Starts
10:00 Atlanta Fed's Business Inflation Expectations
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
2:00 PM FOMC minutes

 

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Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) FY1Q18 Preview: Expect Solid Result Driven By Commerce

Author: skywalker   |  Publish date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017, 12:17 AM


  • Maintain Buy and TP of US$183 – Alibaba will report 1Q18 results before the US market opens on Aug 17. We expect BABA to deliver another quarter of robust revs growth. While expectation is high going into the print, due to relatively easier yoy comp for 1H18E and more spending will be more back-half loaded, we believe 1Q18E likely will turn out to be a comfortable beat quarter. Our thesis on BABA remain unchanged: we are positive on its growth trajectory leveraging its “DataTechnology-driven” ecosystem that we believe will lead to further synergies and improving monetization capability within its platform. Longer term, we agree with its vision of leading the “new retail” strategy and acknowledge the success of its globalization effort. Maintain Buy and TP at US$183.
  • FY1Q18E preview — We model total revs to grow 50% yoy and 25% qoq to Rmb48.3bn (US$7.0bn), vs. consensus of Rmb47.8bn (+48.6% yoy). We model China retail revs to grow 48% yoy to Rmb34.7bn driven by reacceleration in both online marketing services revs growth to 50% and commission revs growth to 41%. We estimate adjusted EBITDA to grow 41% yoy to RMB21.1bn (in-line with consensus), with EBITDA margin declining 2.9ppts yoy to 44%, reflecting higher video content spend from the digital entertainment unit as well as consolidation of the lower-margin Intime business. Our core commerce adj EBITA margin is 57.9%, down from 58.9% last quarter and 61.6% in FY2017. We model non-GAAP net income of Rmb15.6bn (32.3% margin) or Rmb6.03 (US$0.88) per ADS, vs consensus Rmb6.29 (US$0.94). We expect Ali to report upbeat results, meeting or exceeding expectations on revs and margin, especially for its China commerce segment.
  • Setup and call focus — We believe expectation is high heading into the print; main focus will be on the China retail revs line and overall commerce EBITA margin. Other focus areas are: 1) Online marketing revs and commission revs growth (as indicative of Tmall GMV growth); 2) cloud customer add and revs growth; 3) active buyers growth and implied ARPU spend; as well as 4) digital entertainment margin.

Source: Citi Research - 16 Aug 2017

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Wall Street Breakfast: More CEOs Resign From Trump Council

Author: skywalker   |  Publish date: Tue, 15 Aug 2017, 10:07 PM


The chief executives of Merck (NYSE:MRK), Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) have all resigned from President Trump's American Manufacturing Council in reaction to his initial response following the violent incidents in Charlottesville. They're the latest to break with the administration. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SpaceX (Private:SPACE) CEO Elon Musk and Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Bob Iger stepped down from their advisory roles after the decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, while former UBER CEO Travis Kalanick resigned following Trump's travel ban.

Economy

Beijing will take action to defend its interests if Washington damages trade ties, the Ministry of Commerce declared, after President Trump authorized an inquiry into China's alleged theft of intellectual property. "This is just the beginning," he said, while signing the memorandum. Trump administration officials have estimated that theft of intellectual property by China could be worth as much as $600B.

Kim Jong-un has decided not to launch a threatened missile attack on Guam, but warned that he could change his mind "if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions." Signs of easing in tension on the Korean peninsula are helping stock markets rally for another day following an exchange of threats between Pyongyang and Washington.

Brexit Secretary David Davis is calling for a temporary customs union with the EU after Brexit, but also wants the country to negotiate other trade deals, which could be a sticking point in the divorce talks. The Brexit transition will most likely be two years, he added, while insisting there was no chance of the U.K. agreeing on a Brexit bill "number" by this fall.

Germany's economic growth lost a little pace in Q2, but accelerated its best year on year rate since 2014 on strong household spending, rising state expenditure and higher company investments. A first estimate of GDP rose by 0.6% quarterly pace in the three months to June, meaning the performance of the eurozone’s largest economy grew in line with bloc's average during the quarter.

Venezuela's armed forces are starting preparations for military exercises later this month after President Trump warned of possible military action. "Venezuela will not be threatened," President Maduro declared, adding that Trump "should know that threatening Venezuela is like threatening Latin America." The warning was rebuffed by the whole region, even countries opposed to Caracas.

A bigger thorn in OPEC's side? U.S. shale drillers will keep posting strong gains in August and September, with production from shale regions topping 6M barrels a day, according to the Department of Energy. The total forecast figure has expanded to include the Anadarko region, a growing and prolific shale play that has the second-most operating rigs, at 129, after the Permian's 373.

Stocks

Teva Pharmaceutical has lost its position atop Israel's corporate hierarchy for the first time in 15 years - as its market cap fell to $17.6B. Tel Aviv-based Check Point Software (NASDAQ:CHKP) has taken first place. Teva's (NYSE:TEVA) tumble was precipitated by botched acquisitions that left the company mired in debt and the drugmaker has still failed to identify a new CEO since Erez Vigodman's ouster more than six months ago.

Responding to questions from the SEC, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has disclosed further details about the impact of an ongoing dispute with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). CDMA technology revenues from modem sales for iPhones "may continue to decline, in part depending on the extent of Apple's utilization of rivals' modems and the mix of the various versions that are sold... Apple's dual sourcing does not impact the licensing revenue."

Big hedge funds are pouring money into Alibaba (NYSE:BABA). According to the latest 13F filings, David Tepper, Dan Loeb and Stanley Druckenmiller built new stakes in the Chinese e-commerce giant, snapping up millions of shares in the second quarter. The stock is so far up over 70% in 2017, while the company will report earnings on Thursday.

Pandora is under new leadership after its founder stepped aside for the second time. Roger Lynch, who has held leadership roles at companies like Sling TV and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), will be CEO of the music streaming company. Pandora (NYSE:P) has faced significant pressure over the past year due to its ongoing battle against the likes of Spotify (Private:MUSIC) and Apple Music (AAPL).

Target is hiring former executives from General Mills (NYSE:GIS) and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) to help bolster its food and beverage business. "Across all categories of our business, we are investing to build an even better Target (NYSE:TGT) for our guests," said Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. "We have been making positive progress with our assortment, presentation and operations."

With news that Chinese officials plan to "crack down" on multilevel marketing organizations, shares of Herbalife (NYSE:HLF), USANA Health Sciences (NYSE:USNA) and Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE:NUS) took a hit Monday, tumbling between 5% to 7%. Four government departments in China will start to "carry out special rectification activities" to "resolutely eradicate all kinds of MLM organizations."

Sources told CNBC that Apple (AAPL) and Aetna (NYSE:AET) held secret talks last week to discuss bringing the Apple Watch to the health insurer's 23M members. Aetna already offers the wearable technology to its 50K employees, but wants to extend a free or discounted wearable device as a membership perk. Apple Watch recently overtook Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) as the top selling wearable tracker.

The global push among automakers to make ever lighter vehicles, which is critical to bring electric cars into the mainstream, is leading some Japanese suppliers to turn to an unlikely substitute for steel: wood. Denso (OTCPK:DNZOY), Toyota's (NYSE:TM) component maker, and DaikyoNishikawa (OTC:DKYOF) say cellulose nanofibers made from wood pulp weigh just one fifth of steel and can be five times stronger.

The 10-week acceptance period for German industrial gases group Linde's (OTCPK:LNEGY) proposed $74B merger with U.S. peer Praxair (NYSE:PX) has officially started, and will run through Oct. 24. Linde will need 75% of its shareholders to tender their stock to the new company, while Praxair needs a simple majority vote at a shareholder meeting slated for the end of September.

Transocean -1% premarket after announcing a deal to buy competitor Songa Offshore (OTC:SGAZF) for 9.1B Norwegian crowns. The transaction, which would be mostly paid for in shares and convertible bonds, will strengthen its position in offshore drilling and increase Transocean's (NYSE:RIG) order book by $4.1B to a total of $14.3B.

Berkshire Hathaway sold its stake in General Electric (NYSE:GE) as of the end of June, but will still keep its hand in a legacy part of the conglomerate. Berkshire (BRK.A, BRK.B) reported a 17.5M share stake in Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF), the financing arm of GE that was spun out in a 2014. It also boosted stakes in Store Capital (NYSE:STOR), Bank of New York (NYSE:BK), General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Apple (AAPL).

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan +1.1%. Hong Kong -0.3%. China +0.4%. India +0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.5%. Frankfurt +0.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude -0.3% to $47.44. Gold -0.8% to $1279.60.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +3 bps to 2.25%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 Retail Sales
8:30 Empire State Mfg Survey
8:30 Import/Export Prices
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
10:00 Business Inventories
10:00 NAHB Housing Market Index
4:00 PM Treasury International Capital

 

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Wall Street Breakfast: Bitcoin Boom As Prices Top $4,000

Author: skywalker   |  Publish date: Mon, 14 Aug 2017, 08:41 AM


Bitcoin vaulted to a new record high above $4000 over the weekend, mirroring gold's recent climb amid a global selloff last week in stocks and bonds. Rising worries about North Korea's nuclear threat have sent investors flocking to perceived safe-havens and alternative assets. The cryptocurrency has now quadrupled in 2017, and is up about 40% in August alone.

Economy

President Trump will call for his chief trade adviser today to investigate China's intellectual property practices and forced technology transfers, according to Politico. He had been expected to order a probe earlier this month, but the action had been postponed as the White House pressed for Chinese cooperation in reining in North Korea's nuclear program.

Market watchers are also keeping their eyes on the health of the the world's second-largest economy, as lending costs rise and the property market cools. Official gauges of retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment in China started Q3 on a downbeat note, with all three decelerating more than expected last month after outperforming in June.

Meanwhile, Japan's economy expanded by 4% in Q2, extending the longest streak of uninterrupted expansion - six quarters - in 11 years. Growth was driven by robust domestic demand, as consumer spending and capital expenditure both rose at their fastest rates since 2014. The benchmark Nikkei fell 1% following the news, as markets reopened after last week's public holiday.

President Xi moved to calm growing tensions about Pyongyang over the weekend, telling President Trump in a phone call that all sides should maintain restraint and avoid inflammatory comments. The conversation came shortly after Trump added to his recent tweets by saying that U.S. military options were "now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely."

Britain is ready to move to the next phase of Brexit talks and set out details of the future relationship it wants with the EU. It's preparing to publish several papers, including plans for a new customs arrangement and a proposal on how to resolve the difficulties of a land border in Ireland. "These papers show we are ready to broaden out the negotiations," a source told CNBC.

Saudi Arabia's state budget deficit shrank by a fifth from a year earlier in Q2. As part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030" plan for life after oil, which will overhaul the Saudi economy, the Kingdom is reporting quarterly budget figures for the first time this year in an effort to increase government transparency.

Four Arab countries that imposed sanctions on Qatar have told the U.S. that American companies doing business with them would not be punished for working with Doha, Reuters reports. The EU has been given similar "official... verbal assurances" by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, as the region gets rocked by its biggest diplomatic crisis in years.

A "peaceful solution" to the political unrest in Venezuela is possible, VP Mike Pence said during a trip to Latin America, announcing that the U.S. was "looking at a full range of additional economic sanctions." Different intervention? President Trump warned of a "military option" before the weekend, telling reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort that it was "certainly something we could pursue."

Stocks

Netflix has poached Shonda Rhimes from ABC, stealing away one of Disney's (NYSE:DIS) biggest TV hitmakers for a multi-year deal. It's part of an effort to create and own more content and become less reliant on Hollywood and production companies to supply programming. Just last week, Disney cut ties with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), stating it was launching its own streaming service.

Hackers have released more unaired episodes of popular HBO shows, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, but the latest leak did not include anything on the hit series Game of Thrones. In an emailed statement, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) said that it was "not in communication with the hacker, and we're not going to comment every time a new piece of information is released."

GoDaddy has given The Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider after it posted an article denigrating the woman who was killed at Saturday's "Unite the Right" rally in Virginia. "They have violated our terms of service," GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) said on its Twitter page. The demonstration was believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade.

Looking to slice into the U.S. food market, Germany's Aldi is partnering with Instacart (Private:ICART), the Silicon Valley unicorn, to deliver groceries to American doorsteps. The move comes as grocers nationwide prepare for the looming threat of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which is set to gobble up Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) by the end of the year.

M&A in the energy sector: Looking to create greater growth opportunities, Andeavor Logistics (NYSE:ANDV) is acquiring Western Refining Logistics (NYSE:WNRL) in a unit-for-unit transaction, representing an enterprise value of $1.8B. Meanwhile, Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) has agreed to buy Tesco Corp. (NASDAQ:TESO) in an all-stock deal, creating a leading rig equipment, tubular services and drilling automation provider.

A well-known Chinese automaker made at least one offer this month to buy Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) at a small premium over its market value, but the offer was rejected for not being enough. According to Automotive News, other local carmakers are also conducting their own due diligence on a potential purchase of FCA. FCAU +4.4% premarket.

Uber's board has voted to move forward on proposals to buy shares in the ride-hailing service, with any final decision set to affect who gains the upper hand at the company. The offers - which are mostly focused on buying UBER stock from current shareholders - are preliminary, and include bids from SoftBank, a consortium led by investor Shervin Pishevar and the Dragoneer Investment Group.

SpaceX is poised to launch an unmanned cargo ship today toward the International Space Station. Aboard will be Hewlett Packard Enterprise's (NYSE:HPE) "Spaceborne Computer," which could direct astronauts on future deep-space missions. It's the 12th official trip for SpaceX (Private:SPACE), which has a $1.6B contract with NASA for over 20 such back-and-forth journeys.

The U.S. Marine Corps has ordered its aircraft squadrons to suspend flight operations for 24 hours sometime during the next two weeks to review procedures after two of its planes crashed, killing dozens. A Marine MV-22 Osprey (BA, TXT) went down off northeastern Australia last weekend, while a KC-130 Hercules (NYSE:LMT) transport plane crashed in Mississippi at the end of July.

Lockheed Martin has been awarded an $8B contract for global logistics support services for special operations forces including the U.S. Army's Green Berets and Rangers as well as the Navy SEALs. The 10-year award will extend Lockheed's (LMT) current support contract, which was set to expire in September 2018. Multiple companies had competed for the deal.

Iran is holding talks with Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) to buy 48 helicopters for civilian use, as the country continues its shopping spree of Western aircraft after the lifting of sanctions. Last Thursday, President Trump said he did not believe Tehran was living up to the spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal, but it wasn't immediately clear whether Washington would take measures that could affect plane purchases.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -1%. Hong Kong +1.4%. China +0.9%. India +0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.6%. Paris +1%. Frankfurt +1.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.6%. Nasdaq +0.6%. Crude -0.7% to $48.46. Gold -0.6% to $1286.70.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +3 bps to 2.22%

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Wall Street Breakfast: Equities Face Worst Week Of 2017

Author: skywalker   |  Publish date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017, 07:50 AM


World stocks are falling for a fourth day after President Trump doubled down on his North Korean rhetoric, stating his "fire and fury" statement "wasn't tough enough." He also warned that if Kim Jong-un's regime "does anything" to the U.S. or an ally, "things will happen to them like they never thought possible." Another threat to Pyongyang? China state media said the country should remain neutral if North Korea fires first on U.S. territory.

Economy

"We're going to be increasing our budget by many billions of dollars because of North Korea and other reasons having to do with the anti-missile," President Trump said at his New Jersey golf club. Current components of the U.S. National Missile Defense program are made by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC), Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA), Engility (NYSE:EGL), Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Honeywell (NYSE:HON).

A final reading of Singapore's economy showed a faster pace than expected in Q2 due to a manufacturing boost, as gross domestic product rose 2.9% on-year. "Barring unexpected outcomes in the global economy and key sectors in the domestic economy, GDP growth for the full year is likely to come in at around 2.5%," said Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro has called on President Trump to engage in a "personal conversation" just days after being hit with new U.S. sanctions for his creation of an all-powerful legislative assembly. "If he [Trump] is so interested in Venezuela, here I am," he said during a lengthy address. "Mr. Donald Trump, here is my hand."

The oil market is re-balancing but output from non-OPEC producers will continue to expand over the coming years, according to the latest report from the International Energy Agency. It comes as OPEC announced a continued rise in its collective output, which jumped by 173K bpd to almost 32.9M barrels in July, undermining its efforts to reduce production and boost prices. Crude futures -1% to $48.11/bbl.

Stocks

Snap tumbled over 14% in after-hours trading, with the firm reporting a decrease in its daily active users. Its quarterly loss nearly quadrupled amid slowing revenue, adding to fears the social media company could be succumbing to competition from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). SNAP is "still in the very early stages" of monetizing, CEO Evan Spiegel said on an earnings call.

The exodus at Uber continues... Ryan Graves, who serves as senior vice president of operations and is on the executive leadership team, will relinquish those positions in mid-September. Meanwhile, one of UBER's largest shareholders, Benchmark Capital, has sued co-founder and ousted CEO Travis Kalanick, claiming he has not honored the terms of his resignation to force him off the board.

A consortium has been formed by Toyota (NYSE:TM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and other technology and auto companies to create an ecosystem for big data used in connected cars. "It's estimated that the data volume between vehicles and the cloud will reach 10 exabytes per month around 2025, approximately 10,000 times larger than the present volume," the group said in a statement.

It would represent Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) latest attempt to use its massive customer base, tech savvy and bargaining power to shake up a big market. The world's largest online retailer is seeking to partner with U.S. venue owners to sell event tickets, sources told Reuters, a move that could loosen Ticketmaster's (NYSE:LYV) powerful grip on the lucrative business.

The hacker who stole TV show scripts from HBO (NYSE:TWX) has leaked an email, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, showing a company executive offering a "bounty payment" to the cyber-thief. "As a show of good faith on our side, we are willing to commit to making a bug bounty payment of $250,000 to you as soon as we can establish the necessary account and acquire bitcoin."

Investigators have uncovered a global financial network run by a senior Islamic State official that funneled money to an alleged ISIS operative in the U.S. Mohamed Elshinawy had pretended to sell computer printers on eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) as a cover to receive payments through PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), according to a recently unsealed FBI affidavit.

On watch... Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) is banning its traders from dealing with certain Venezuelan bonds, fearing any potential reputational fallout from supporting the government of Nicolas Maduro. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) came under political pressure for buying a reported $2.8B in Venezuelan bonds at a significant discount.

China's cyber regulator is investigating the country's top social media sites over content banned by the Communist Party. The Cyberspace Administration said WeChat (OTCPK:TCEHY), Tieba (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) have users spreading "violence and terror, false rumors, obscene pornography and other hazards to national security, public safety and social order."

Citing concerns about online harassment, Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has canceled a company-wide meeting scheduled to discuss the controversy over a recent employee memo opposing diversity policies. "Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and worried they may be 'outed' publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall," declared CEO Sundar Pichai, saying the company was exploring other forums for the discussion.

President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, a designation that would offer states and federal agencies more resources and power to combat the epidemic. "We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis. It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had." Related tickers: JNJ, ENDP, TEVA, ABC, MCK, INSY, DEPO, AGN, ALKS, MNK, AMPH, PFE, BDSI, DRRX, CARA, COLL, EGLT, PTIE, ACUR, PTX, ACRX, IPCI, KMPH, TRVN

Thursday's Key Earnings

Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) -5.8% on its latest revenue drop.
Macy's (NYSE:M) -10.3% with falling comparable sales.
Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) +2.8% AH boosting same-store sales.
Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) -4.3% AH as server growth slowed down.
Snap (NYSE:SNAP) -14.4% AH amid slowing user growth.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong -2%. China -1.6%. India -1%.
In Europe, at midday, London -1.2%. Paris -1.1%. Frankfurt -0.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.1%. Nasdaq -0.2%. Crude -1% to $48.11. Gold +0.3% to $1293.60.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 2.19%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 Consumer Price Index
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count

 

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Wall Street Breakfast: Retail Earnings On The Radar

Author: skywalker   |  Publish date: Thu, 10 Aug 2017, 10:04 AM


Earnings from department stores are in focus, with Macy's (NYSE:M), Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) set to report today, and J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) tomorrow. "I'm paying more attention to what they say about the general health of spending rather than the online [shopping] impact on bricks and mortars," said Peter Boockvar, market strategist at Lindsey Group. Last week's jobs report showed that employment growth in the U.S. retail industry dipped into negative territory for the first time since 2010.

Economy

Pyongyang has hit back at threats from President Trump, branding his warnings "a load of nonsense" and stating only "absolute force can work on him." It also announced plans to launch four rockets near Guam, saying preparations should be ready in a matter of days. In response, the Pentagon has prepared a detailed plan for a pre-emptive strike on North Korea's missile sites, should Trump order such an attack.

With the crisis taking place in its backyard, China's foreign ministry has issued a statement calling on all relevant parties to avoid any words or action that could "intensify problems or escalate the situation." Chinese state press is saying that this is a game of chicken between the U.S. and North Korea and that the two parties should get back to dialog.

The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on eight more Venezuelan officials to punish them for their roles in President Maduro's creation of a new legislative superbody. But even as the list of targeted individuals grows longer, promised economic sanctions have yet to materialize on the nation's oil industry. Venezuela is the third-largest supplier to the U.S.

"Both folks in the House and the Senate, on both sides of the aisle frankly, have said that Obamacare doesn't work, and it needs to be either repealed or fixed," Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said on Fox & Friends. Talk of fixing the law is new for most Republicans. Price and President Trump have long focused only on repealing or replacing it.

Stocks

Is it going to have to admit it's a media company? Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has just launched a rival video platform to YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL) called "Watch", which will feature original content from its partners. It will allow users to discover clips outside of their own feed more easily, while giving them a way to create Watchlists.

Toshiba's auditor gave an "adverse opinion" on the company's internal controls in an annual report filed today, showing the conglomerate has a way to go before regaining market trust following its 2015 accounting scandal. However, PwC gave a "qualified opinion" on Toshiba's (OTCPK:TOSYY) financial results, effectively signing off on its books and likely helping the company avoid an immediate delisting.

Pedal to the metal! Glencore (OTCPK:GLNCY) has raised its earnings guidance, as first half earnings soared, saying it expected the increased take-up of EVs and demand for storage to boost demand for its products. The miner is also continuing to cut debt as it prepares to ramp up acquisitions, with a strong balance sheet providing "headroom for highly selective growth opportunities."

Goldman Sachs plans to begin using "personality tests" as part of the hiring process at the bank. Answers will be compared with those of current Goldman (NYSE:GS) employees. It comes as Wall Street struggles to compete for the best employees vs. Silicon Valley, private equity and hedge funds, which often have better hours and workplace perks.

It's the latest foreign takeover to go sour. The SEC has delayed approval of a Chinese-led purchase of the Chicago Stock Exchange, the latest setback for an acquisition that attracted a lot of pushbacks from American lawmakers. Founded in 1882, the CSE is the smallest of designated U.S. exchanges with about 1% of U.S. equity trading.

Lego is jettisoning its chief executive after only eight months in the job, bringing in a younger person to steer the world's most profitable toymaker. Niels Christiansen, former head of Danfoss, will replace Bali Padda, the company's first foreign CEO. Lego said the move wasn't due to performance, but rather due to Padda's age.

Toyota is pushing back the start of operations at its proposed Mexican plant by a year to the first half of 2020. The delay is necessary to adjust Toyota's (NYSE:TM) local supply chain: the automaker initially intended to build the Corolla at the $1B Guanajuato facility, but instead switched production to the Tacoma. The factory could also manufacture sport utility vehicles.

According to documents leaked to Reuters, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is moving forward with plans to develop a long-haul electric semi-truck, which is said to drive itself and move in "platoons" that automatically follow a lead vehicle. Technology companies see some long-term potential for autonomous trucks to lower costs on certain cross-country routes, but battery ranges will need to be improved.

Intel has officially joined the self-driving car race. The chipmaker is building a fleet of 100 cars to test self-driving technology, as it tries to leapfrog rivals like Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). The project will combine Mobileye's (NYSE:MBLY) offerings with Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) open compute and communication platform. Testing will take place in the U.S., Europe and Israel.

Pilotless planes could not only be a future method of transport, but an economically-beneficial one too. According to new research by UBS, there may be a material profit opportunity of more than $35B per year for the aerospace and aviation industry. Commercial aircraft already use computers and technology on-board to assist in a number of functions, including the autopilot system. Related tickers: BA, DAL, AAL, UAL

Cost cutting by new CEO John Flannery... General Electric (NYSE:GE) has delayed the completion of its new Boston location in an effort to spread out the expenses of the $200M project. GE will get an incentive package from the city and Massachusetts valued at as much as $145M for moving 200 jobs and ultimately having about 800 at the headquarters.

Wednesday's Key Earnings

Chicago Bridge (NYSE:CBI) -17.6% AH after a big Q2 loss.
Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) +1.4% AH on strong cable results.
Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) +0.9% deferring product launches.
Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) -0.5% with revenue down on year.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong -1.1%. China -0.4%. India -0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London -1.3%. Paris -0.4%. Frankfurt -0.8%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.5%. Crude +0.7% to $49.88. Gold +0.5% to $1285.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.23%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 Producer Price Index
9:45 Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
1:00 PM Results of $12B, 30-Year Note Auction
2:00 PM Treasury Budget
4:30 PM Money Supply
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet

 

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