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Morning Brief: China's economic growth hits weakest pace since 2009

Friday, October 19, 2018

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What to watch today

Thursday’s market sell-off marks the ninth down day for stocks in the last 11 trading sessions. Aside from investors eyeing the broad market action on Friday, the busy week of earnings will come to a close with notable reports coming from Procter & Gamble (PG), Honeywell (HON), Kansas City Southern (KSU), and Schlumberger (SLB), all due to report before the market open.

And on the economic data side, the monthly reading on existing home sales will be the highlight.

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Top news

(Chinatopix via AP)

China economic growth hits weakest pace since 2009: China’s economic growth cooled to its weakest quarterly pace since the global financial crisis, with regulators moving quickly to calm nervous investors as a years-long campaign to tackle debt risks and the trade war with the United States began to bite. The economy grew 6.5% in the third quarter from a year earlier, slower than 6.7% in the second quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. [Reuters]

Mnuchin drops out of Saudi Arabia’s ‘Davos of the Middle East’: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted Thursday that he will not be attending the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia next week. The news comes after prominent members of the world’s business community have been dropping out of Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative. Here’s a list of everyone who has dropped out, so far. [Yahoo Finance]

PayPal profit beats estimates: PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL) on Thursday reported a third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as the company signed up more new customers and volume of payments processed rose. Net income rose to $436 million, or 36 cents per share, in the third quarter, from $380 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $3.68 billion from $3.24 billion. [Bloomberg]

Unilever, Nestlé benefit from the return of inflation: Two of the world’s largest consumer-goods companies, Unilever PLC (UL) and Nestlé SA (NSRGY), reported stronger sales as a wave of inflation in many markets emboldened them to raise prices. The new pricing power gives a boost of confidence to the entire industry, which has struggled in recent years with fierce competition and rapidly changing consumer tastes. [The Wall Street Journal]

AIG shares fall more than 3% after forecasting $1B loss: Insurance giant AIG (AIG) said it expects to report between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion in pre-tax catastrophe losses for the third quarter. The company said the losses were a result of numerous weather events like the typhoons in Japan as well as Hurricane Florence.  [CNBC]

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.