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China's retail sales growth slumps to 16-year low as trade war escalates: Morning Brief

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

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WHAT TO WATCH

Key consumer spending data will take center stage.

The U.S. Commerce Department will be releasing retail sales data for April ahead of the market open, and investors will get a peek into the health of the American consumer. After advancing 1.6% in March from the prior month, economists are predicting a more modest jump of 0.2% in April, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, some of the big corporate earnings reports scheduled for Wednesday include Alibaba (BABA) and Macy’s (M) before market open, and Cisco (CSCO) after market close.

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TOP NEWS

Wholesale garment factory workes at sewing machines, Beijing, China, video still

China's retail sales growth slumps to 16-year low: China reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for April on Wednesday, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more stimulus as the trade war with the United States escalates. [Reuters]

Walmart mulls floating Asda on stock exchange: Walmart (WMT) in the U.S. is considering putting UK supermarket giant Asda on the stock exchange, according to multiple reports by Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times. According to the reports, Walmart International CEO Judith McKenna, told Asda managers at an event in Leeds, northern England, on Tuesday: “While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an IPO – a public listing – to strengthen your long-term success.” [Yahoo Finance UK]

Tilray posts bigger quarterly loss: Canada's Tilray Inc. (TLRY) reported a bigger quarterly loss on Tuesday, as the cannabis producer ramped up investments, acquired a hemp-based food maker and expanded internationally. [Reuters]

All the theories behind bitcoin's recent price surge: Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is back. The cryptocurrency has risen by over 100% against the dollar since the start of the year and over 50% since the start of the month. As of Tuesday, bitcoin was trading at a 10-month high above $8,000. [Yahoo Finance UK]

Rivlin, trailblazer in the economics field, dies: Alice Rivlin, former head of the Office of Management of Budget, and vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board, died of cancer at the age of 88 on Tuesday. Rivlin, known for her penchant for budget economics, also headed the Congressional Budget Office as its first ever director in 1974 and left a lasting imprint on the way that the U.S. government approaches funding. [Yahoo Finance]

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