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Judge rules Qualcomm violated antitrust law: Morning Brief

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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WHAT TO WATCH

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will be releasing its minutes from its last meeting at 2 p.m. ET. The Fed held interest rates steady at 2.25% to 2.50% and noted that inflation was running below its target of 2%.

Nevertheless, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments during the press conference that some “transitory” factors could be impacting inflation rattled investors and sent the markets into a frenzy. Investors will likely turn to the minutes for additional clues as to what Powell could have meant when he alluded to transitory factors.

Meanwhile, Lowe’s (LOWslashed its earnings guidance for 2019 and missed Wall Street’s bottom-line expectations in fiscal first-quarter results delivered Wednesday early morning. Lowe’s posted adjusted earnings of $1.22 per share on net sales of $17.74 billion. Consensus analysts expected the company to deliver adjusted earnings of $1.33 per share on revenue of $17.66 billion, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. The results followed Home Depot’s (HD) weaker-than-expected quarterly results Tuesday.

Big box retailer Target (TGT) will also report before the opening bell. Target is expected to report earnings of $1.44 per share on $17.43 billion in revenue, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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TOP NEWS

Attendees look at the latest technology from Qualcomm at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised to open China's market wider as he opened a trade fair meant to promote the country's image as an importer, but he offered no response to U.S. and European complaints about technology policy and curbs on foreign business. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Judge rules Qualcomm violated antitrust law: Qualcomm Inc (QCOM) unlawfully suppressed competition in the market for cellphone chips and used its dominant position to impose excessive licensing fees, a U.S. judged ruled, sending the company's shares down 13% in pre-market trade.. [Reuters]

U.S. weighs blacklisting Chinese surveillance firms: The U.S. is considering cutting off the flow of vital American technology to as many as five Chinese companies including Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., widening the dragnet beyond Huawei to include world leaders in video surveillance. The U.S. is deliberating whether to add Hikvision, Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. and several unidentified others to a blacklist that bars them from U.S. components or software, people familiar with the matter said. [Bloomberg]

May to face pressure to abandon Brexit and resign: Theresa May is facing pressure to abandon her Brexit deal and quit as British prime minister within days, according to people familiar with the matter. Several senior government officials said they were shocked that the premier’s new offer intended to win votes in Parliament for her European Union divorce agreement had been so badly received so quickly. [Bloomberg]

Bernie Sanders heads to Walmart's annual meeting to press for worker representation: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is expected to attend Walmart’s (WMT) annual shareholders’ meeting next month, as part of a push for the U.S.’s largest employer to appoint hourly store associates to its board of directors. [Yahoo Finance]

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