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Wall Street Breakfast

Author: bmotrader   |   Latest post: Fri, 10 Jul 2020, 7:55 AM

 

Wall Street Breakfast: 'China Trade Deal Is Fully Intact'

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Trade-related headlines are casting light on the delicate state of the markets after a comment from Peter Navarro sent assets whipsawing. In an interview on Fox News, the White House trade adviser said a hard-won U.S.-China trade deal was "over," though he later clarified that his comments had referred to the "lack of trust" in the Chinese administration. President Trump later confirmed the trade deal between the U.S. and China was "fully intact," adding he hoped Beijing would continue to live up to the terms of the agreement. U.S. stocks are likely to continue their climb higher today, with futures tied to the S&P 500 ahead by 0.8%, as manufacturing and services sectors begin to recover from lockdowns. Data from Europe overnight showed an upturn in June, while surveys of American purchasing managers will be released at 9:45 a.m. ET.

V-shaped?

Predictions on the current stock rally continue to rage and forecasts for the economy are no different. "You'll see a big V in terms of the economy going up for the next few months because it's been closed," Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman told Bloomberg Invest Global on Monday, though it may "take quite a while before we sync up and get back to 2019 levels." Also at the event, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman said he believes the recovery will begin by year-end and sees a normalization of the economy in the second half of 2021.

Worker visas added to green card ban

The Trump administration's ban on green cards issued outside of the U.S. will stay in effect until the end of the year and many temporary work visas like H-1Bs will be added to the freeze as well, according to the Associated Press. The move is estimated to free up as many as 525,000 jobs while the economy is suffering from the effects of COVID-19. Tech-industry officials and other business leaders have warned that the decision would cramp companies' ability to recruit top talent to the U.S. and the order is likely to be challenged in court by business groups.

Macs leave Intel for custom silicon

At its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) officially announced the transition from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) chips to custom silicon for Macs based on ARM (OTCPK:SFTBY) architecture. It's also making two changes to its app approval policies and will let iPhone users change default mail and browser apps, helping address antitrust concerns. Other highlights: The CarKey feature will enable iPhones and Apple Watches to unlock, lock, and start NFC-compatible cars, while some COVID-19 features were introduced like hand washing reminders.

Mixer comes to an end

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is shutting down its Mixer live-streaming service and will move its streamers and the audience to Facebook Gaming (NASDAQ:FB). It's a setback for the company's ambitions to compete with Twitch (NASDAQ:AMZN) and YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL), but looks likely to broaden its gaming service reach: Microsoft will provide its Project xCloud streaming service to Facebook Gaming. "It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences we want to deliver to gamers now," said Microsoft's Phil Spencer. As of last August, Mixer had about 30M viewers.

Biggest work-from-home winner

Fastly (NYSE:FSLY) has surpassed Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) to become the best performer among tech companies since the coronavirus pandemic began roiling the economy. Shares surged 15% on Monday to record a 60% gain over the past seven trading days, and are up 222% since the market's peak on Feb. 19 (Zoom is up 159% over that stretch). As a cloud computing services provider, Fastly has major customers like Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) and Slack (NYSE:WORK), which are all seeing usage spikes with so many people working remotely.
 

#BoycottFacebook

The ADL and NAACP last week called for big advertisers to pull spending from Facebook (FB) for July to protest toxic content on its platforms. Several apparel brands have taken up the call, including The North Face and Patagonia, while Ben & Jerry's is considering joining the group. "What they've been doing is not fully right with our values, period," said CEO Matthew McCarthy. "The reality is, anything that's right for the business, but wrong for our values, is wrong." While Ben & Jerry's parent Unilever (UL, UN) said the move is not a solution "at this stage," the ice cream brand has taken different positions than the broader company in the past.

Plant-based breakfast

As part of its summer menu, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) will begin selling a breakfast sandwich made with Impossible sausage at most U.S. locations. "Over the years, in response to customer interest, we have added plant-based milk alternatives such as soy, coconut, almond, and oat milk. We are thrilled to expand our plant-based menu into food with this new breakfast sandwich," said Michael Kobori, chief sustainability officer at the company. Previously, Starbucks partnered with Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) to offer similar plant-based sandwiches in Canada and China.

Space travel agency

Shares of Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) surged 16% on Monday after signing a "Space Act Agreement" with NASA. The deal will see the company find would-be space travelers, train them and organize transport to the International Space Station. "We are excited to partner with NASA on this private orbital spaceflight program, which will not only allow us to use our spaceflight platform, but also offer our space training infrastructure to NASA and other agencies," Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in a statement.

Boon for the energy industry

It's the single-largest energy infrastructure investment in the region, and the biggest in the world in 2020. A consortium of six global investors has entered into a $20.7B agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to acquire a 49% stake in a newly-formed subsidiary, ADNOC Gas Pipeline Assets, with lease rights to 38 pipelines. Those involved are Global Infrastructure Partners, Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE:BAM), Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, NH Investment & Securities and Snam.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong +1.6%. China +0.2%. India +1.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London +1.3%. Paris +1.6%. Frankfurt +2.5%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.9%. S&P +0.8%. Nasdaq +0.7%. Crude +1.8% to $41.45. Gold +0.3% to $1772.40. Bitcoin +1.9% to $9602.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +2 bps to 0.72%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
9:45 PMI Composite Flash
10:00 New Home Sales
10:00 Richmond Fed Mfg.
1:00 PM Results of $46B, 2-Year Note Auction

 

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