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Author: skywalker   |   Latest post: Mon, 23 Apr 2018, 09:22 AM

 

Wall Street Breakfast: China Hits Back

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In response to the Trump administration's recently implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum, China has retaliated with tariffs on imports of 128 American-made products. The tariffs, which are hitting such products as wine and frozen pork, are as high as 25% and go into effect Monday. "We hope that the United States will rescind its measures that violate World Trade Organization rules as quickly as possible" said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in an online statement. “Even though China and the U.S. have not publicly said they are in a trade war, the sparks of such a war have already started to fly,” said an editorial in the Chinese tabloid Global Times, per Reuters.

Economy

Only 14% of jobs in OECD countries are "highly automatable," the think tank says in a new paper. This is far fewer than an earlier report by Oxford academics Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, which suggested 47% of U.S. jobs are at high risk of being automated. Instead of “massive technological unemployment,” key risks are of “further polarisation of the labour market” between highly paid workers and other jobs that may be “relatively low paid" and uninteresting.

Over a series of tweets on Easter Sunday, President Trump suggested that there will be no deal to legalize the status of 800,000 so-called Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. as children by their undocumented parents. “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous," he wrote. The tweets continued, “'Caravans’ coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

Stocks

New York Stock Exchange parent ICE (NYSE:ICE) is in advanced talks to buy the Chicago Stock Exchange, sources say. A deal valuing the Chicago Stock Exchange at $50-$100M could be announced as soon as next week. CSE handles less than 1% of U.S. equity trading. It tried to sell itself to a China-based investment consortium, but the SEC killed the proposed takeover by Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group in February.

Over the weekend, Hudson's Bay (OTCPK:HBAYF) confirmed a security breach of customer card data at its Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th and Lord & Taylor high-end retail chains. Cybersecurity firm Gemini Advisory puts the number of exposed accounts at over five million and says that some 125,000 of these have been released for sale on the "dark web" thus far, with the entire haul expected to be released over the coming months.

Alibaba, the China-based e-commerce giant, says it is snapping up all of the shares of China food delivery platform Ele.me (Private:ELEME) that it does not already own. The pact, which is all-cash according to a source cited by Bloomberg, implies a $9.5 billion valuation for the online delivery platform. Talk has been circulating about an impending deal for several months, with Bloomberg reporting in February that Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) has been eyeing Ele.me's last-mile delivery network.

Reuters reported over the weekend that India's Central Bureau of Investigation began a probe of ICICI Bank's (NYSE:IBN) lending practices two months ago, according to two people familiar with the matter. The inquiry is focused on Videocon Group (NASDAQ:VDTH) CEO Deepak Kochhar, husband of ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar - as well as Videocon itself - as to whether recent transactions involving both firms entailed "nepotism" or "criminality," according to the Reuters sources.

Facebook will launch a certification tool that demands that marketers guarantee email addresses used for ad targeting were rightfully attained, TechCrunch says. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) confirms that the tool will require advertisers and the agencies representing them to pledge that, “I certify that I have permission to use this data.” Facebook is scrambling to add safeguards against abuse of user data as it reels from backlash over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Tesla said Autopilot was engaged in the moments ahead of the collision on March 23, and the driver's hands were not detected on the steering wheel six seconds prior to the crash. Vehicle logs further show the driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete highway divider but took no action. The National Transportation Safety Board - which was critical of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) safeguards following a 2016 fatal crash - continues to investigate.

Bloomberg reports that Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) is preparing to recalibrate its supervisory board as the bank continues to struggle in its turnaround under current leadership. Since assuming the CEO role in 2015, John Cryan has overseen revenue declines even after overhauling the bank's strategy, and people familiar with the matter say Chairman Paul Achleitner has been mulling potential successors. Former Merrill Lynch head John Thain has been invited to fill a seat on the board.

General Motors' South Korean operations have reported that March domestic sales plummeted by more than half year over year. The dismal figures are another bout of bad news for the troubled unit, which has been taking deep losses of late. GM recently announced a restructuring of its operations in the country, saying in February that it would shut down one of its four Korean factories.

Steven Spielberg's science-fiction thriller Ready Player One opened with ticket sales of $53.2 million in the U.S. and Canada from Thursday through Sunday, giving Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) its first No. 1 debut of 2018. The figures smashed expectations, which predicted North American sales as low as $38 million. Overseas, the movie raked in another $128 million.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -0.31%. Hong Kong closed. China -0.18%. India +0.97%.
In Europe, at midday, London closed. Paris closed. Frankfurt closed.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.28%. S&P -0.23%. Nasdaq -0.52%. Crude +0.35% to $65.17. Gold +0.59% to $1,335.10.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +1.7 bps to 2.761%

Today's Economic Calendar

9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index
10:00 ISM Manufacturing Index
10:00 Construction Spending
6:00 PM Fed's Kashkari speech

 

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