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Morning Brief: Pound plunges after Brexit resignations

Thursday, November 15, 2018

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What to watch today

The U.S. Commerce Department will release retail sales data for October on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Consensus expectations are for advance retail sales to have increased 0.5% in October, up from 0.1% in September. Excluding autos and gas sales, consensus anticipations are for a 0.4% pace of increase, from a flat rate in September.

Retail giants’ quarterly results will also draw focus on Thursday. One of the biggest names set to report is Walmart (WMT), with results coming in before the bell. The country’s largest employer is expected to deliver adjusted earnings of $1.01 per share on revenue of $125.49 billion and post a gross margin of 24.78%.

Nordstrom (JWN) will also report quarterly results Thursday. Investors will be looking for a repeat performance after the department store chain beat Wall Street’s expectations for earnings and sales in August and cited strength in its e-commerce business. Nordstrom is expected to deliver adjusted earnings of 66 cents per share on revenue of $3.7 billion. Shares of Nordstrom are up about 30% this year as of market close Wednesday.

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Top news

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Pound plunges after Brexit Secretary and other ministers resign: The UK pound was sliding on Thursday morning amidst heightened Brexit uncertainty and the resignation of multiple ministers, including Brexit minister, Dominic Raab. Sterling (GBPUSD=X, GBPEUR=X) was down by about 1% against the US dollar and the euro to trade around $1.46 and €1.14, respectively. [Yahoo Finance UK]

Warren Buffett buys JPM shares as he bets on financialsWarren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-ABRK-B) just revealed its recent stock moves and the “Oracle of Omaha” is making a big bet on financials. During the third quarter, Berkshire Hathaway snapped up a new position in JPMorgan Chase (JPM) of 35.6 million shares, making it the 10th largest stock holding. [Yahoo Finance]

China outlines possible trade concessions to U.S.Chinese officials have outlined a series of potential concessions to the Trump administration for the first time since the summer as they continue to try to resolve a trade war, according to three people familiar with the discussions. [Bloomberg]

PG&E falls into crisisCalifornia’s biggest utility was plunged into full-blown crisis by the possibility that its equipment sparked one of the catastrophic wildfires ravaging the state. Shares of PG&E Corp. (PCG) plummeted as much as 32% Wednesday after the company said it had exhausted its revolving credit lines, signaling it was shoring up its cash to prepare for a possible credit downgrade to junk. [Bloomberg]

Powell: All sessions are ‘live‘: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that the introduction of press conferences after every Fed meeting next year means all meetings are now “live” for possible rate increases. The Fed may now raise rates at any of its eight regular policy meetings, and not just the four at which it had been holding press conferences in the past. [Reuters].

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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.