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Author: skywalker   |   Latest post: Fri, 17 Nov 2017, 06:53 AM

 

Wall Street Breakfast: Toshiba Closer To Selling Chip Unit

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A group including Bain Capital and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), as well as Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) and Dell, has signed a letter of intent to buy Toshiba's (OTCPK:TOSYY) chip business for more than $18B, WSJ reports. It's the latest twist in a contentious sale process. While Toshiba aims to sign a contract by late September, it's also continuing talks with Western Digital (NYSE:WDC), which is leading a bid by a rival consortium. WDC -1% premarket.

Economy

"Call it whatever you want, but from the election the $SPX is up 16.29% (18.33% TR) or $2.04T, with income tax reform coming to bat," tweeted Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. One of the biggest beneficiaries from tax reform would be the tech sector - the stalwart of the U.S. stock market since Nov. 8 (up nearly 30%) - as it would let companies bring back overseas profits.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is confident about expanding Europe's global economic footprint, striking a bullish tone in his state of the union address. He's pushing to start EU free-trade talks with Australia and New Zealand, and wants to make the euro compulsory throughout the EU, including in poorer eastern countries.

Crude futures are trading up 0.9% to $48.68/bbl as the IEA forecast its strongest oil demand growth in two years and as OPEC discussed prolonging output cuts further into 2018. The Paris-based agency raised its 2017 estimate to 1.6M barrels per day from 1.5M on stronger-than-expected European and U.S. demand growth, as well as production declines in OPEC and non-OPEC countries.

North Korea has vowed to "redouble efforts" for nuclear weapons that can strike the U.S. mainland "to preserve peace and security of the region by establishing the practical equilibrium with the U.S." It also pledged that America would face the "greatest pain it ever experienced" after the UN imposed its toughest sanctions against the rogue nation.

Operation Car Wash is getting a wax and polish. A Brazilian Supreme Court judge authorized a probe of President Temer on Tuesday for suspected corruption involving a decree regulating ports, adding to graft allegations he has so far avoided with backing from Congress. The real posted its biggest daily drop in nearly a month on the news, slipping 0.8% against the dollar.

South Africa's rand is also weakening, falling more than 1% against the dollar on profit taking. Moody's has warned that the gradual erosion of South Africa's institutional framework and recent pressure on the central bank to change its price and inflation targeting mandate were key risks to the country's credit rating.

Stocks

A chip on its shoulder! Shares in Apple's (AAPL) suppliers slumped overnight after the new iPhone X disappointed with a later than expected shipping date, on Nov. 3. The $999 price tag could also dent demand for the device in some markets. Across Asia: Zhejiang Crystal-Optech -6.7%, Shenzhen Desay Battery Tech -4.4%, AMS -4.1%, Catcher -5%, Largan -3.8%, Goertek -3.6%, Wistron -3.4%, Shenzhen O-film Tech -3.4%, Pegatron -3.1%, LG Innotek -1.8%, Hon Hai -1.3%, Zhejiang Tony Electronic -1.1%, Han's Laser -1.1%, TSMC -0.5%.

More details about the iPhone X? It features a new 5.8-inch OLED display that's more colorful than the LCD screens Apple (AAPL) used in earlier iPhones. There's no longer a home button, the phone can be unlocked via facial recognition and it supports wireless charging and is water-resistant. Other products unveiled include the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the Apple TV 4K and new Apple Watch.

Hurricane Irma is taking a toll on U.S. airlines. American (NASDAQ:AAL) now expects unit revenue to expand up to 1% in the coming quarter compared with earlier expectations for as much as a 2.5% rise year-over-year. The storm slammed into Florida on Sunday, forcing airports to close, including Miami International Airport, the state's largest and an American Airlines hub.

The U.S. Transportation Department has decided to use voluntary guidelines instead of enforceable rules to regulate self-driving cars, saying a flexible approach was best for the emerging technology. The Trump administration will also give preference in its forthcoming infrastructure plan to projects that could improve safety or advance the deployment of autonomous vehicles.

"Our top priority is doing everything we can to support affected consumers," Equifax (NYSE:EFX) CEO Richard Smith wrote in USA Today, following a security breach that may have exposed the data of up to 143M people. "We are devoting extraordinary resources to make sure this kind of incident doesn’t happen again. We will make changes and continue to strengthen our defenses against cyber crimes."

Bitcoin fell below $4,000 overnight, continuing its tumble from the all-time high of $5,013.91 set on Sept. 2. Traders have been jittery in the past few days mainly due to media reports suggesting that Chinese authorities are looking to shut down some bitcoin exchanges. Negative comments from major business leaders, like Jamie Dimon, who called the cryptocurrency a "fraud," are also unnerving investors.

One of the co-founders of WhatsApp, the messaging app bought by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) for $22B three years ago, is stepping down to start a foundation. Brian Acton's departure comes as he laid the groundwork for WhatsApp to make money. According to a recent WSJ report, the company is testing tools for businesses and plans to introduce additional features for a fee.

Senior Amazon executives are weighing Boston as the location of its "HQ2" second headquarters, Bloomberg reports, though Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) denies Beantown has any lead on anywhere else. Boston is getting some serious consideration due to its proximity to Harvard and MIT, an airport with good connections to Seattle and Washington, D.C., and a low cost of living.

Nordstrom shares soared nearly 9% in extended trading after CNBC reported the Nordstrom family is close to choosing private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to help fund a buyout of the store. Besides Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), other retail stocks, like Macy's (NYSE:M), Kohl's (NYSE:KSS), Buckle's (NYSE:BKE), Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) and Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) rose on the news.

It's official... Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the Southern District Texas court as part of a plan to restructure roughly $10B in debt. The company is controlled by Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen and operates a fleet of 68 rigs and drillships for customers including Total (NYSE:TOT), Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM).

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong -0.3%. China +0.2%. India +0.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris flat. Frankfurt flat.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq -0.2%. Crude +0.9% to $48.67. Gold +0.4% to $1338.20.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.16%

Today's Economic Calendar

7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 Producer Price Index
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
1:00 PM Results of $12B, 30-Year Note Auction
2:00 PM Treasury Budget

 

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