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NYSE - Nasdaq Real Time Price. Currency in USD
35.51
-0.78 (-2.15%)
As of 3:47PM EDT. Market open.
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Previous Close36.29
Open36.35
Bid35.43 x 2900
Ask35.44 x 800
Day's Range35.33 - 36.65
52 Week Range26.19 - 46.90
Volume17,656,512
Avg. Volume15,346,323
Market Cap27.227B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.17
PE Ratio (TTM)20.57
EPS (TTM)1.73
Earnings DateJul 26, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est39.97
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  • Crude Climbs by Most This Year as Iran Shoots Down U.S. Drone
    Bloomberg29 minutes ago

    Crude Climbs by Most This Year as Iran Shoots Down U.S. Drone

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil jumped the most this year as attacks by Iran and its proxies in the sky and on sea and land prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to warn the Islamic Republic it made “a very big mistake.”Futures climbed 5.4% in New York on Thursday after Iran shot down an American drone just a week after two tankers were targeted in the region. Meanwhile, Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen said they hit a Saudi Arabian power plant with a cruise missile, at least the third such attack on the kingdom’s infrastructure in a week.Trump appeared to downplay the Iranian drone downing, saying a “loose and stupid” individual -- rather than Iran’s top leaders -- may have been culpable.Crude was also boosted by an equity rally after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it’s ready to lower interest rates for the first time since 2008.After slipping into a bear market earlier this month, U.S. oil futures have surged more than 10% since the middle of last week, as America and Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for a spate of attacks while the Trump administration tightened sanctions on the OPEC member. Word that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to resume trade talks at the G-20 summit in Japan have also brightened sentiment about global growth.“The Iran conflict isn’t going away any time soon,” said Michael Hiley, head of over-the-counter energy trading at LPS Futures in New York. “If you combine that with Trump and Xi making nice -- they are at least saying the right things -- then that’s certainly going to prop up” the oil market.West Texas Intermediate for July delivery, which expires Thursday, rose $2.89 to settle at $56.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest gain since Dec. 26. The more-active August contract advanced 5.7% to close at $57.07 a barrel.Brent for August climbed $2.63 to end the session at $64.45 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe Exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a $7.38 premium to WTI for the same month.Iran said the craft it shot down was spying and stated it would defend its airspace and maritime boundaries “with all our might.” Iran and the U.S. continue to dispute whether the U.S. Navy drone was over international or Iranian waters when it was shot down near the entrance to the Persian Gulf.Speculative traders who’d turned against crude recently are ready to pile back in, said LPS’s Hiley. “Certainly there are some buying bullets out there; there’s some dry powder,” he said. “You can’t be short in this market.”\--With assistance from Sharon Cho.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Nussbaum in New York at anussbaum1@bloomberg.net;Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net, Joe Carroll, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Merkel Won't Budge as EU Leaders Clash Over Jobs: Summit Update
    Bloomberg2 hours ago

    Merkel Won't Budge as EU Leaders Clash Over Jobs: Summit Update

    (Bloomberg) -- European Union leaders are heading into dinner at a summit in Brussels on Thursday to decide who’s going to lead the bloc’s key institutions -- even though it’s not clear exactly who’s in the running for what.At stake is oversight of monetary policy for the euro area and regulation of the vast single market stretching from the Arctic circle to the Mediterranean. Conflicting political interests, geographical power, gender balance and institutional muscle-flexing will all come into play.Read More: A Guide to Where Leaders Stand in Horsetrading for Top EU JobsKey Developments:France is focusing on getting the European Commission post rather than the European Central BankGerman ECB candidate Jens Weidmann has made a late bid to win round critics What Merkel’s Allies Want (7 p.m.)Even though Christian Democrat leaders are coming to terms with possibly having to ditch their formal candidate to lead the EU Commission, they are not willing to waive their party’s claim to the bloc’s most powerful job, said an EU diplomat from a country with a center-right government. This means that if they concede that Manfred Weber doesn’t get the job, they will also demand that another candidate from their own political family does, the diplomat said, asking not to be identified discussing the private deliberations.World Bank chief Kristalina Georgieva is someone who commands respect, the person said. The diplomat downplayed Michel Barnier’s chances, citing the Brexit negotiator’s rival campaign against Weber, which has annoyed his Christian Democratic party.France Hopes for Progress on Top Candidates (6:30 p.m.)France wants to at least narrow the list of possible candidates, even if leader’s probably won’t complete the process, a French official said. French President Emmanuel Macron went into meetings on Thursday with leaders striking a more conciliatory pose, in contrast to the last summit when he pointedly omitted Weber from a shortlist of candidates. The French official said there are around a dozen people in Europe who have the experience and skills for the top jobs. That includes Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite, Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva and Croatia’s Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, who are “options” that are “credible.”Macron won’t close himself off by backing any one option, or by trying to block any name or nationality, the official added. EU Lawmakers Dig In Over Potential Candidates (4:35 p.m.)The European Parliament will only back a president of the European Commission chosen from the official pool of candidates, the assembly’s president Antonio Tajani told reporters in Brussels. If lawmakers insist on this stance, that would limit the universe of potential contenders and kill the bids of outsiders, such as Barnier.Tajani said that German conservative Manfred Weber has the rightful claim to lead the commission, as his center-right party got the most votes in last month’s EU elections. Tajani, however, didn’t exclude the other two lead candidates from consideration -- liberal Margrethe Vestager and center-left Frans Timmermans.Tusk Is More Cautious Than Optimistic (3:47 p.m.)The European Council president tweeted his wariness after the start of the summit.Conte Wants Commission Head Who Mirrors Him (3:35 p.m.)Italy is on a collision course with Brussels over its failure to rein in debt, but that doesn’t stop Premier Giuseppe Conte from having his say on the jobs front.“Our ideal candidate for the commission presidency is the one who starts to re-discuss European rules,” the premier told reporters before the summit. Conte is seeking to adjust the bloc’s budget limits to boost growth and jobs.Barnier Bids for EU Commission President (3:35 p.m.)Barnier called Boyko Borissov Wednesday to tell him that he’d be a great candidate for the EU Commission, the Bulgarian premier revealed. Borissov told Barnier that EU’s center-right parties already have a candidate, and that is Weber. Borissov’s comments are the first official confirmation that Barnier is running a parallel campaign against the candidate of his own party, and may put the EU’s Brexit chief in a difficult position. Borissov also said that Weber is “plan A,” thus leaving open the possibility of other candidates being backed.Merkel Says Must Pick EU Chief Backed by Parliament (1:55 p.m.)German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she backs the so-called Spitzenkandidat principle, whereby parties backed top candidates ahead of the EU Parliament election to take over running the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm. That’s a sign that she’s not ready yet to abandon Manfred Weber, the German conservative she’s been backing so far.“We need a joint solution, so it would be unacceptable to me for the European Council to make a recommendation that in the end isn’t supported be the European Parliament,” Merkel told reporters in Brussels on her way into the meeting. “It may well be that there will be no result today. But that’s not a big worry in my view because, as I said after the European election, the goal should be to find a solution by the time the European Parliament convenes so that we can get straight to work. So we’ll still have a few days time.”Finnish PM Backs His Fellow Countrymen for ECB Job (1:50 p.m.)Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne lauded the two “fantastic” Finnish candidates to head the ECB, Erkki Liikanen and Olli Rehn, insisting the job would be part of the package of posts discussed at the summit.Speaking to reporters upon his arrival at Brussels, Rinne said the summit would first focus on dividing up the positions before actual candidates are discussed. Reaching agreement on the package will be difficult, but possible, he said, noting he personally viewed Frans Timmermans as a “very good” head for the European Commission. The Social Democratic group has a common stance, he said.Croat President Seen as Compromise Solution (1:50 p.m.)The possibility of Croatia’s president -- EPP-affiliated ex-diplomat named Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic -- emerging as a compromise candidate for European Commission president is as much a possibility as any other scenario, according to an EU official. She would tick a lot of boxes: commission chief for EPP; gender, eastern European. Remember that the only country that Merkel visited during the European Parliament election campaign was Croatia.For Italy, It’s Anyone But Weidmann at ECB (12:55 p.m.)Italy’s populist government is eager to stop Weidmann from getting the top ECB job. Rome wants an ECB president who will follow Mario Draghi’s lead on quantitative easing among other policies, and is wary of what it sees as a hawkish successor such as Weidmann, according to a person familiar with the confidential discussions.Rome is ready to consider French or Spanish candidates for the post, and doesn’t have a preference between French hopefuls Banque de France Governor Francois Villeroy De Galhau or ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure, said the person, who declined to be identified discussing strategy.Leaders Must Opt for Change, Vestager Says (12:10 p.m)Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, says she’s not confident that she will get the the presidency of the European Commission, but adds that she hopes that heads of state will hear the calls from voters for something new. Asked about her own chances ahead of a meeting of her liberal parties group, she told reporters that she will probably be sleeping by the time EU leaders make a decision.Earlier:Weidmann Attempts Game Changer in ECB Race by Endorsing OMTFrance to Focus on Top EU Post, Easing Weidmann’s Path to ECBFaltering German Hands Vestager Chance to Claim Europe’s Top JobRace for Top ECB Job Is Proxy Battle Between Merkel and Macron(A previous version of this story corrected the Bulgarian prime minister’s name.)\--With assistance from Richard Bravo, Zoe Schneeweiss, Ian Wishart, Viktoria Dendrinou, Jonathan Stearns, Milda Seputyte, Jan Bratanic, Lyubov Pronina, Alexander Weber, Ewa Krukowska, Sammy Jenkins, Katharina Rosskopf, Patrick Donahue, Marine Strauss, Maria Tadeo, Kati Pohjanpalo, Slav Okov and Stephanie Bodoni.To contact the reporters on this story: William Horobin in Paris at whorobin@bloomberg.net;Nikos Chrysoloras in Brussels at nchrysoloras@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Chad ThomasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump Again Downplays Iranian Attack After Navy Drone Shot Down
    Bloomberg2 hours ago

    Trump Again Downplays Iranian Attack After Navy Drone Shot Down

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump downplayed Iran’s attack on a Navy drone in the Persian Gulf that escalated regional tensions and fueled a surge in oil prices, suggesting a “loose and stupid” individual may have been responsible for the strike.“I would imagine it was a general or somebody who made a mistake by shooting that drone down,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “I find it hard to believe it was intentional. It could have been somebody who was loose and stupid.”In a story published earlier Thursday by Iranian state-run media, an Iranian military officer said the drone was shot down in order to send a “clear message.”U.S. and Iranian officials continue to argue whether the high-altitude drone was over international or Iranian waters when it was shot down after weeks of rising tensions over a spate of attacks in the region. Trump said the drone was “clearly” in international waters, and went on to say that the U.S. “will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”Yet it was the second time in a week that Trump sought to minimize Iranian actions against U.S. interests, even as some of his advisers and closest congressional allies urged a forceful response. Earlier this week Trump called an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman a “minor issue.” During his comments Thursday, he called the drone attack “a new fly in the ointment.”While Trump has ratcheted up economic sanctions on Iran as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic, he has also said he doesn’t want a war with Tehran and he campaigned in 2016 on withdrawing the U.S. from intractable Middle East conflicts.Iran’s foreign minister said the Navy aircraft was inside Iranian airspace. The U.S. said the Global Hawk drone was flying in international airspace about 34 kilometers (20 miles) away from Iranian territory when it was shot down over the Strait of Hormuz, an oil choke point.“This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace,” said Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command.The downing of the drone fanned fears that a military clash between the U.S. and Iran is just a matter of time, stoking tension throughout the Gulf, which supplies one-third of the world’s oil.“We will defend Iran’s airspace and maritime boundaries with all our might,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary for the Supreme National Security Council, was quoted as saying by state-run Iranian Students’ News Agency. “It doesn’t matter which country’s aircraft cross our airspace.”Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Trump, said he would “encourage the president to deliver an unequivocal message that there is a cost to doing this. So if they’re itching for a fight, they’re going to get one.”A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on both sides to “exercise maximum restraint and avoid any action that could inflame the situation.” Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that a war in the region could trigger a fresh wave of refugees.“I want to say at once that this would be a catastrophe for the region” that may stoke “a surge in violence and perhaps an increase in the number of refugees,” Putin said at his annual “Direct Line” call in show on Thursday.Trump was briefed on the drone downing Thursday in a meeting with National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. The region has been volatile since Trump tightened sanctions on Iranian oil sales in early May, sent military reinforcements to the region and provoked an increasingly squeezed Iranian government to pull back on commitments under the 2015 deal that was meant to prevent it from developing a nuclear bomb.Washington quit the accord a year ago and reimposed sanctions to try to force Iran to rein back regional proxy militias and its weapons programs.Frictions flared further last week after an attack on two oil tankers outside the entrance to the Gulf. The U.S. blamed Iran, which has denied involvement. Iran on Monday warned European nations that it would breach the multilateral nuclear accord, which had traded some sanctions relief for limits on Tehran’s nuclear program, as soon as June 27 unless they find a way to circumvent U.S. penalties.“We are seeing an escalation and the frequency of attacks is concerning even though they are still mostly minor,’’ said Renad Mansour, a research fellow in the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House. “People across the region are starting to make preparation for the possibility of a trigger coming from somewhere.’’The tensions come with the Pentagon’s leadership in flux. Shanahan is scheduled to hand over responsibility for the Defense Department to Army Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday night. It’s not clear if Esper will be Trump’s pick to permanently lead the Pentagon, which is approaching its seventh month without a confirmed secretary in charge.On Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden, front-runner in the Democratic presidential race, said Trump’s Iran strategy is a “self-inflicted disaster” and blamed the stepped up hostilities on U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear accord.West Texas Intermediate oil surged as much as 6.1%, the most this year, and was trading $2.93 higher at $56.69 a barrel as of 1:01 p.m.Attacks on regional oil infrastructure since mid-May have helped whipsaw oil prices. A measure of price volatility for the benchmark U.S. crude grade reached a five-month high on Monday, pulled between the threat of disrupted supply and mounting concern that trade wars will weaken demand.The drone downing followed a missile strike by Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels overnight on Saudi Arabia. Trump was briefed and was “closely monitoring the situation,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Wednesday night, without providing details of the incident.A news agency operated by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen said that they had hit a power station in Jazan, on the southwestern coast of Saudi Arabia, with a cruise missile. The official Saudi Press Agency later said a projectile fired from Yemen had fallen near a desalination plant causing no damage or casualties.Saudi Aramco said all of its facilities are “fully operational”.\--With assistance from Golnar Motevalli, Verity Ratcliffe, Anthony DiPaola, Alexei Anishchuk, Margaret Talev, Arsalan Shahla, David Wainer and David Marino.To contact the reporters on this story: Josh Wingrove in Washington at jwingrove4@bloomberg.net;Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net, ;Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Joshua GalluFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg5 hours ago

    France Hitches a Ride on NASA’s Next Mission to the Moon

    (Bloomberg) -- France has joined a NASA-led moon mission and Europe should do the same, the French space chief said.The American and French space agencies, NASA and CNES, signed an accord during the Paris Air Show on June 19 that will allow France to take part in the mission dubbed “Artemis,” after the Greek goddess of hunting and the moon. The U.S.-designed project aims to send "the first woman and the next man" to the lunar surface as soon as 2024.“There’s a certain enthusiasm around the mission," CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall said in an interview in the French capital after talks between the heads of the world’s major space agencies. "Clearly Europe must be part of it.”He said Europe will discuss the scope of its participation in Artemis in Seville, Spain, in November when member states and the European Space Agency, gather to talk about future space plans. The bloc could spend up to 600 million euros ($680) a year on the project, Le Gall said.Europe has been mostly watching from the sidelines as the U.S. and China compete to achieve the first manned moon landing since 1972, weighing what role to play given its budget constraints and smaller appetite for gigantic space projects.But French President Emmanuel Macron has been urging the bloc to enhance its space strategy, citing new threats by China and Russia and tensions with the U.S., the traditional guarantor of European security. He has vowed to reinforce France’s military space program amid the creeping militarization of the Earth’s outer atmosphere.Le Gall said that one way to fund Artemis would be to divert the 150 million euros that France spends each year on the International Space Station -- a joint mission between Russia, Japan, the U.S., Europe, Canada and other nations that was launched in 1998 and is due to end around 2030.A woman or another man landing on the moon in five years time isn’t certain, though.NASA is still lobbying Congress and President Donald Trump to sign off on the project, which requires an extra $20 billion to $30 billion, on top of the agency’s normal budget, to get off the ground in 2024, Administrator Jim Bridenstine told CNN on June 14. Trump this month said on Twitter that NASA should focus on Mars.Read more: Trump Chides NASA for Focus on Moon After Focusing NASA on MoonChina, meanwhile, hasn’t set a date for a manned moon mission. Beijing landed a robot on the far side of the moon in January and has said humans could follow, without giving a time frame.Le Gall said there’s no plan for Europe to develop its own capacity to send humans to space and “for now” it will stick to being the “passenger.”But space research itself brings benefits, he added, and has led to breakthroughs -- such as magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, the Global Positioning System, or GPS, as well as the Teflon, the non-stick coating used in cooking pans.“Space," Le Gall said, "is a showcase."To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Caroline AlexanderFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Johnson Tops Tory Leader Vote as EU Stands Firm: Brexit Update
    Bloomberg5 hours ago

    Johnson Tops Tory Leader Vote as EU Stands Firm: Brexit Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Follow @Brexit, sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, and tell us your Brexit story. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt will go into a final ballot of Conservative members of Parliament this afternoon to choose a shortlist of two candidates to succeed Theresa May. European Union leaders meeting in Brussels made clear the next British prime minister won’t be able to change the Brexit deal.Must read: When Boris Johnson Talks Brexit, MPs Hear What They Want to HearKey Developments:Front-runner Boris Johnson won 157 votes, Gove was second with 61 votes followed by Hunt on 59. Home Secretary Sajid Javid was eliminatedResults of final ballot at 6 p.m. Tory activists will then pick a winner in JulyJohnson’s campaign has war-gamed holding a general election within monthsChancellor Philip Hammond said next PM might have to hold election or referendum to break impassePound risesWith Javid Out, Davidson Backs Gove (3:15 p.m.)Ruth Davidson, leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland, said that with Sajid Javid out of the race, Michael Gove was now her “preferred” candidate to become Tory leader and prime minister.Gove is “smart, articulate and always on top of the detail,” Davidson said of her fellow Scot on Twitter. Though she doesn’t have a vote in Thursday’s final ballot of Tory members of Parliament, Davidson is an influential figure in the party, and with just two votes separating Gove and Jeremy Hunt this morning, her endorsement could be significant.Varadkar: No Brexit Deal Without Irish Backstop (2:15 p.m.)Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told reporters in Brussels the EU remains united in its refusal to renegotiate the Brexit deal, with leaders only willing to consider changes to the non-binding political declaration. Varadkar said that meant the Irish backstop provision, which all Tory candidates have promised to change, must stay.“There’s no withdrawal agreement without a backstop, and there’s no implementation period without a withdrawal agreement,” Varadkar said, following talks with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. He warned patience was running out in the bloc.“There is very much a strong view across the European Union that there should be no more extensions,” he said. “I think any extension could really only happen if it were to facilitate something like a general election in the U.K., or perhaps even something like a second referendum."Javid Bows Out, ‘Humbled’ by Support (2 p.m.)Sajid Javid, who was eliminated in the Tory leadership voting this morning, has posted a statement on Twitter thanking his supporters -- but without saying who he will support in Thursday’s final ballot of MPs.“I’m proud to have made the case for being a party that heals divisions, protects our precious Union, embraces modern Britain, and brings Conservative values to new audiences,” Javid said. “And that my team have navigated this contest in an honest, decent and straightforward way.”Johnson Can Be Pragmatic, Luxembourg PM Says (1:30 p.m.)Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister he will have to deal with the EU on the basis of agreements made by his predecessor Theresa May.“I’m sure that he can be very pragmatic as the former mayor of a capital,” Bettel told reporters as he arrived at an EU Summit in Brussels. “It’s the choice of the Tories. It’s not my choice. Brexit also was not my choice. If they choose Boris Johnson he will have to deal with us on agreements we’ve done with Theresa May.”Gove, Hunt in Fight to Face Johnson in Run-Off (1 p.m.)Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt will battle it out for second place in voting by Tory MPs this afternoon after Sajid Javid was eliminated in Thursday morning’s ballot.Boris Johnson topped the poll again with 157 votes, up from 143 on Wednesday and will face Gove, who won 61 votes, up from 51, or Hunt, who won 59, up from 54, in a ballot of Conservative party members next month.Hunt and Gove have two-and-a-half hours to persuade the 34 who backed Javid to switch support to them before voting begins again at 3:30 p.m. The final result will be announced at 6 p.m.BOE Sees Rising No-Deal Concern in Markets (12:15 p.m.)The Bank of England said the perceived risk of the U.K. leaving the European Union without a deal had risen, even as policy makers unanimously voted to keep policy unchanged.While officials, led by Governor Mark Carney, said they still see the need for interest-rate hikes in coming years if their forecasts bear out, they also acknowledged that investors are taking a different view than the bank’s assumption of a smooth Brexit.Hammond: Tory Rivals’ Plans Not Deliverable (11:45 a.m.)Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond suggested none of the Tory remaining leadership candidates would be able to deliver on their Brexit and spending promises without breaking fiscal discipline, saying they were all “addressing a certain audience” in their campaigns.“It’s about how they will handle the real world situation they will find themselves in,” Hammond told Bloomberg, declining to say who he voted for in the contest. “What they are all suggesting, as I think I have signaled many times, is unlikely to be deliverable.”Whoever becomes prime minister will need to stick to “fiscal responsibility,” Hammond said. “If they throw that away they will live to regret it.”Johnson Light on Detail, Optimistic on Britain (11.20 a.m.)In an interview with London’s Evening Standard newspaper, Boris Jonson continued his strategy of giving very little detail about his plans for government. He promised to get Brexit “over the line’’ and then change the national conversation, with tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and bringing the “excitement’’ back.He was vague on the expansion of London’s Heathrow airport and the high-speed rail link from the capital to Manchester, but the newspaper concluded he would continue with both.Even more notable was the newspaper’s op-ed supporting him. It concluded that Johnson wasn’t promising Brexit by Oct. 31, might be able to sell a repackaged version of the existing deal with Brussels, and could even have the political room to back a second referendum. As the paper is edited by former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, its analysis of the state of Conservative politics is often astute.Javid Says He’s ‘Quietly Confident’ (10:15 a.m.)Tory leadership candidate Sajid Javid, who needs to pick up ground on Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove to reach the final pair, said he’s “‘quietly confident” of getting through.“Colleagues know what a historic decision it is,” he told reporters waiting outside the voting room in Westminster.Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg was among the early voters, confirming he backed Boris Johnson. Asked if he thought it was now inevitable that the front-runner would become prime minister, Rees-Mogg replied: “Nothing is inevitable but death and taxes, but he has a good chance.”Outside the room, backers of the various candidates frantically crossed names off their lists, at times relying on journalists to identify some of the more obscure Tory backbenchers.Fourth Round of Tory Voting Begins (10 a.m.)Conservative Party members of Parliament are voting in the fourth round of the leadership contest to succeed Theresa May as prime minister.It’s the first of two voting rounds scheduled on Thursday as the Tories whittle the remaining candidates down to two from four. Results are expected at about 1 p.m., with the second vote held in the afternoon. The final pairing should be known shortly after 6 p.m., and they’ll then be put to a month-long vote of 160,000 grassroots party members.Rutte Hopes Next PM Will Change U.K. Position (8:20 a.m.)Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the European Union will only grant a further Brexit extension to the U.K. if the new prime minister has a plan for getting a deal agreed. He confirmed that negotiations on the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened, but said “certain changes” could be made to the political declaration accompanying it.The Irish border backstop cannot be time-limited because “it’s the only logical result given the red lines,” Rutte told BBC Radio 4. “If the backstop would have a time limit, that would mean a hard border,” and that would mean an end to the Good Friday Agreement and a return to violence, Rutte said.The new prime minister will have to be flexible on the U.K.’s red lines, he said.“I hope that the campaign is done in poetry and governing is in prose,” Rutte said. “That when they will read all the briefs and get aware of all the details -- where we are at the moment in terms of Brexit negotiations -- that they will realize that something has to change in terms of the British position,” Rutte said.Davis: Johnson’s Success Will Eclipse Mistakes (7:50 a.m.)Former Brexit Secretary David Davis said Boris Johnson will be such a success as prime minister that it will eclipse his past mistakes, including his decision when mayor of London to spend 43 million pounds ($55 million) of taxpayers’ money on a bridge that was never built.“I’m talking about a man who’s going to make the economy much bigger than it is, and that is going to make that sum of money look tiny in comparison,” Davis told BBC Radio when asked about the botched Garden Bridge project. “He’ll be a very good prime minister.”Davis, who originally supported Dominic Raab in the leadership race before switching to Johnson, said the former foreign secretary’s performance when they were both in Cabinet has convinced him that he will live up to his pledge to take the U.K. out of the EU on Oct. 31.“He’ll make the most of it, he’ll give an upbeat tone to this country,” Davis said. “We’ve had three years of people doing this country down, Boris believes we’ve got a great future.”Rudd: Johnson Should End ‘Game Playing’ in Votes (7:15 a.m.)Home Secretary Amber Rudd said front-runner Boris Johnson should “repudiate” stories about vote lending in the Tory leadership election, amid reports his supporters are trying to fix the process so he has a run-off against someone he sees as an easier opponent.“Each MP has a really important responsibility to think about who can deliver us from this real difficulty we’re in and who will be a prime minister,” Rudd told BBC Radio. “I would call on Boris himself to repudiate the information coming out -- ‘friends of Boris’ saying this, saying one thing. This is a serious moment, we don’t need that sort of game playing going on in Parliament.”Rudd, who is backing Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said some supporters of Rory Stewart -- who was eliminated from the race on Wednesday -- had told her they would be switching their support to Hunt. “Most are saying they don’t want to go public,” she said. “A lot of people are quite bruised by this process.”Earlier:U.K. Tories Prepare to Pick Final Two Candidates to Succeed MayNext U.K. Premier Might Need to Go Back to People, Hammond SaysJohnson’s Backers Eye Early U.K. Election, Despite Brexit Crisis\--With assistance from David Goodman, Thomas Penny and Patrick Donahue.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net;Kitty Donaldson in London at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.net;Zoe Schneeweiss in London at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Emma Ross-Thomas at erossthomas@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg9 hours ago

    U.S. Tariff Pain Varies From Turret to Trenches

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a coming daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. From Bible publishers to fishing rod suppliers, they’re streaming to Washington from across the U.S. and pleading for mercy from President Donald Trump’s most radical trade threat yet -- tariffs on almost all Chinese imports.Testifying this week, hundreds of companies are almost all saying they’re hurting from Trump’s brawl with China. Yet a few blocks away, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer made the pain sound mild. Appearing before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday, he pushed back on the notion of big economic damage and suggested the showdown with Beijing is worth “some discomfort.” Here’s a rundown of the differing views:The holiday decor industry is dreading more tariffs. “I don’t think the president ever intended to tax Christmas,” said Richard Tinberg, CEO of The Bradford Hammacher Group.Fed Chairman Jerome Powell mentioned trade concerns four times in his prepared statement to explain why the U.S. central bank opened the door Wednesday to its first interest-rate cut in a decade.Lance Fritz, the CEO of Union Pacific railroad, gave his view in an interview on Bloomberg Television: “I also can see a lot of our customers pulling back on their decision-making both from a capital perspective and from an inventory perspective,” he said. “I do see the early signs of slowing down more broadly than just on one segment of the economy.”Bloomberg chief economist Tom Orlik published new research Thursday that shows growing evidence the trade war is eroding long-term growth prospects.Lighthizer acknowledged there are strains but didn’t see them as very widespread or the U.S.’s fault. “I don’t believe for a second that what we’re doing is having a largely negative effect on economic growth,” he said. “The economy in a lot of other countries is slowing down and it doesn’t have anything to do, in my judgment, with what we’re doing.”Mapping the Trade WarToday’s Must ReadsThe Cold War in tech | This scorecard tracks U.S.-China tech supremacy fightU.S. CEOs in Beijing | Dow, UPS, Pfizer chiefs plan to meet Premier Li KeqiangTrudeau visits Trump | U.S., Canadian leaders set to spar on uranium, lumberThe next battlefield | Investor bets next target of Trump trade angst is EuropeHarleys in China | Iconic motorcycle maker, Chinese partner rev up for AsiaTrump’s LatestRead more: Mexico ratifies USMCA, Trump urges same from U.S. CongressEconomic AnalysisShipping rates need U.S.-China progress to stay afloat: Intelligence Here’s a refresher ahead of the Trump-Xi summit next week: QuickTakeComing UpWTO chief Roberto Azevedo holds press briefing in Geneva ThursdayEU and Mercosur officials hold trade talks this week in BrusselsTrade, USMCA to be topics of Trudeau, Trump talks Thursday in DCPublic hearings on U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods continue Thursday, FridayG-20 leaders meet June 28-29 in Osaka, JapanTo contact the reporters on this story: Sarah McGregor in Washington at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net;Mark Niquette in Columbus at mniquette@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Zoe SchneeweissFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Can This Gold Rally Continue?
    Bloomberg13 hours ago

    Can This Gold Rally Continue?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- For the past six years, there’s been no number more filled with dread for gold bulls than $1,350 an ounce. Barring a few brief spikes, the metal has struggled to break through that level ever since it came off its run-up to $1,900 between 2011 and 2013. This matters, because an asset that has few fundamental factors drivingits performance (short of its negative correlation to the greenback) is unusually susceptible to the psychological hocus pocus that can sometimes make technical analysis work.Thousands of investors believe that $1,350 an ounce is a “resistance level” that gold will struggle to break above. As a result, they’re likely to sell hard as the price approaches that point, and change their view of things if it confounds them by decisively moving higher.It looks like we’re in that territory now. After a momentary incursion above $1,350 on Tuesday, spot gold decisively broke through on Wednesday afternoon and climbed as high as $1,394 early in the Asian day Thursday. That’s its most elevated level since September 2013.The question is whether this is just another temporary spike.There’s some reason to think the best is already behind us. Investors tend to flock to the yellow metal when expectations of economic growth suffer a sharp setback. If you consider flight-to-safety sovereign bond rallies(2) over the past decade, the median peak gain for gold has been 7.2%. This time around, we’re already sitting on an 8% rise. At the same time, there are signs of a more dramatic re-evaluation of economic prospects than we saw in gold’s previous pips above $1,350 in July 2016 and March 2014.Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell opened the door to interest rate cuts as early as next month in a media briefing after the central bank’s policy meeting Wednesday – almost certainly the main reason that gold has been looking so peppy. If the Fed cuts in July, it’s more likely to be by half a percentage point than a quarter-point, Robert Mead, co-head of Asia-Pacific portfolio management at Pimco, told the Bloomberg Buy-Side Forum in Sydney on Thursday.Should the Fed ease significantly – providing a “Powell put” to bail out an economy struggling under the weight of trade tariffs – you can expect to see a marked weakening of the dollar. That, in turn, ought to be good for gold.The deteriorating economic picture in Europe should also provide support. Gold doesn’t produce a return, but that’s not the disadvantage it once was in a world where sovereign debt in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria and Japan – and, perhaps soon, France – provides negative yields. Funds so far seem unconvinced. Money managers, a group that’s been relentlessly bullish on the prospects for gold futures and options over most of the past decade, have been net-short for 24 weeks out of the past year and were still expecting price falls just last month. While that spiked up to a net-long position of 156,718 contracts in the most recent week, such data is subject to sharp reversals whenever movements in the underlying asset give investors a chance to take profits.Still, in a world where uncertainty seems to spike every time the U.S. president opens his Twitter app, it’s hardly surprising a metal that thrives on chaos is finally getting its moment in the sun. The $1,350 level has been a price ceiling for gold for nearly six years. It could just as easilyturn into a floor in the future.(1) We're defining this as episodes when the yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries fell by 40 basis points or more from a month earlier.To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at dfickling@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Forget Facebook's Cryptocurrency Play Libra and Buy Square (SQ) Stock?
    Zacks20 hours ago

    Forget Facebook's Cryptocurrency Play Libra and Buy Square (SQ) Stock?

    Square stock is down roughly 3.5% over the last three months as investors decide what's next for the once high-flying financial tech giant.

  • 5 Juneteenth Images to Celebrate African-American Freedom
    InvestorPlaceyesterday

    5 Juneteenth Images to Celebrate African-American Freedom

    Today is Juneteenth and that means it's time to celebrate the freedom of African Americans with a collection of Juneteenth images.Source: Shuterstock For those that don't know, Juneteenth takes place every year on June 19. The holiday takes place on the same day that the complete abolition of slavery in the United States went into effect.President Abraham Lincoln was the person behind granting freedom to African American slaves. He signed the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act on April 16, 1862. Emancipation Day takes place on April 16 every year to commemorate this.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsWhile the Emancipation Act was signed on April 16, 1862, it didn't go into effect until Jan. 1, 1863. Even then, not all states were willing to take part in the change. Texas was the state that stood against the act the longest. It was until June 19, 1865 that salves in this state were free. This is why Juneteenth takes place on June 19.You can check out the following gallery for a collection of images to celebrate Juneteenth with. Feel free to share these images online via Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Instagram, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and other forms of social media.Juneteenth Images to Share OnlineSource: Shutterstock * 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half Juneteenth Images to Share OnlineSource: Shutterstock Juneteenth Images to Share OnlineSource: Shutterstock * 5 Stocks to Buy for $20 or Less Juneteenth Images to Share OnlineSource: Shutterstock Juneteenth Images to Share OnlineSource: Shutterstock * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.Compare Brokers The post 5 Juneteenth Images to Celebrate African-American Freedom appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • 6 Stocks Ready to Bounce on a Trade Deal
    InvestorPlaceyesterday

    6 Stocks Ready to Bounce on a Trade Deal

    When it comes to the stock market, U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) account may be the crystal ball which can help investors predict what's going to happen next.Back in early May, Trump fired off a tweet in which he said that China "broke" the trade deal, and that new tariffs would be coming soon. That tweet shook markets. Stocks fell. Over the next month, trade tensions between the U.S. and China heated up. Stocks kept falling. From Trump's tweet to the end of May, the S&P 500 shed more than 6%.Now, in late June, Trump has fired off another trade-related tweet. But this one has a far more positive tone. In this tweet, Trump said that he and China President Xi Jinping are going to have an "extended meeting" next week at the G-20 Summit in Japan. That tweet surprised markets, since most investors presumed the two nations were on such disagreeable terms that a meeting at G-20 wasn't going to happen. Now, it's going to happen. That's good news for markets. The S&P 500 responded by rallying more than 1% that same day.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn other words, a Trump tweet was the very thing which started a big meltdown in markets in May, because that tweet basically said trade talks are not going well. Now, a different Trump tweet could be the very thing which starts a melt-up in markets in late June, because this tweet basically says that a trade deal could be coming soon. * 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half With that in mind, let's take a look at six stocks that are ready to bounce in a big way in the event a trade deal does get struck between the U.S. and China sometime soon. Stocks to Buy for a Trade War Bounce: Alibaba (BABA)Source: Shutterstock If the U.S. and China strike a trade deal in the foreseeable future, one stock that will fly higher is Alibaba (NYSE:BABA).Being the juggernaut in the Chinese e-commerce landscape, Alibaba goes as the China economy goes. When China's economy is firing on all cylinders, so is Alibaba. Revenue growth is big, margins are healthy and BABA stock moves higher. On the flip side, when China's economy is slowing, Alibaba slows, too. Revenue growth decelerates, margins compress and BABA stock moves lower.China's economy was firing on all cylinders in 2017. That's why Alibaba stock went from $90 to $180. But, China's economy slowed in 2018. That's why BABA stock fell from $180 to $130. Shares rebounded to $190 in 2019 as China's economy picked up steam against the backdrop of improving trade relations. But trade relations deteriorated in May, and since then, BABA stock has dropped back to $160.It looks like trade relations are back on the "getting better" path. So long as they remain on that path, BABA stock will move higher. In the event that a trade deal is actually struck, this stock will soar to levels above $200. iRobot (IRBT)Source: Shutterstock One under-the-radar growth stock which is set to win big if the U.S. and China strike a trade deal is iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT).iRobot manufactures and sells consumer household robotic products, with the present focus on robotic vacuums. This is a growth market. Low-level automation is the first step of the automation revolution, and iRobot is king in the low-level-automation world, creating machines which automate simple tasks that most people don't like to do (vacuuming, mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool, so on an so forth). As such, as the automation wave gains mainstream traction over the next several years, household robotic adoption will rise rapidly and iRobot's sales and profits will march higher. That growth will ultimately push IRBT stock higher, too.This secular growth narrative has hit a snag with the trade war. iRobot is a U.S. company. One of its biggest growth markets is China. As such, iRobot is at the epicenter of the U.S.-China trade war, and every tariff hike back and forth results in higher input prices for the company. In short, trade war tensions between the U.S. and China have put the secular iRobot growth narrative on hold. * 5 Stocks to Buy for $20 or Less If a deal is struck between these two countries, that holding period will end, and it will be replaced by resumption of the iRobot secular growth narrative. That resumption will put IRBT stock back on a winning path. Luckin Coffee (LK)Source: Shutterstock One growth-oriented way to play a trade war resolution is through buying shares of Luckin Coffee (NASDAQ:LK).Luckin Coffee is China's brand new, hyper-growth coffee shop chain, which is surging throughout China using a unique, small-store, digital-first model that resonates with China's millennial urban consumers. At scale, this company could one day turn into the Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) of China. Starbucks has a $100 billion market cap. Luckin's market cap is at $5 billion. As such, the runway for long term growth in LK stock is quite promising.But, this is a China growth story, and if the China economy isn't doing well, the LK stock growth narrative won't be smooth. China's economy won't do well if trade tensions continue to escalate. But if a trade deal is struck, China's economy will get back to firing on all cylinders. If that happens, the Luckin stock growth narrative will fire on all cylinders, too.As such, a trade war resolution could be the exact catalyst LK stock needs to get started on a long-term winning path. Nike (NKE)Source: rodrigofranca via FlickrOne global apparel giant that stands to benefit tremendously from a trade deal is Nike (NYSE:NKE).Nike is the world's leading athletic apparel brand. As the world's leading athletic apparel brand, the company has a ton of exposure to China, trade and tariffs. Roughly 26% of Nike brand footwear and apparel is manufactured in China, and the Greater China geography accounted for 15% of Nike brand sales last year. As such, Nike has broad exposure to both U.S.-China tariffs and a trade-related China economic slowdown.Remove these issues, though, and Nike looks really good right now. The company is simultaneously benefiting from a secular rise in global athletic apparel adoption and growing share in that market using rapid product innovation and a shift to a direct-sales model. * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today Broadly, then, if trade war risks disappear, NKE stock should fly higher. The rest of this growth narrative is on fire right now. Remove the one headwind, and that creates runway for big gains in Nike stock. Foot Locker (FL)Source: Shutterstock Along the same lines as Nike, another athletic apparel stock that should run higher if a trade deal is struck is Foot Locker (NYSE:FL).Things look good at Foot Locker right now. After spending a few quarters below zero, comparable-sales growth is back in positive territory again, and comps were up nearly 5% last quarter. Physical stores are comping positive. Digital sales are growing at a double-digit pace. Gross margins are expanding. Profits are up.Net net, the numbers at Foot Locker are pretty good, supported by a secular rise in athletic apparel adoption and stabilization in the physical and wholesale retail markets. The only problem here is the trade war. Unfortunately, it's a big problem. Owing to the athletic footwear market's broad exposure to imports from China, Foot Locker presently finds itself at the epicenter of the trade war. The higher tariffs go, the worse things will get for Foot Locker.But, if those tariffs go away entirely, things will get way better for Foot Locker. FL stock is cheap enough right now (8 times forward earnings) that if things do get better, the stock will bounce in a big way. Intel (INTC)Source: Shutterstock One sector that has been killed by the U.S.-China trade war is the semiconductor market, and one stock in that market that could win big in the event of a trade war resolution is Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).The semiconductor space has a lot of U.S.-Asia trade exposure, with big customers and manufacturers on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Thus, as trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalated, global semiconductor demand weakened and production costs became an issue. Consequently, semiconductor stocks dropped.Intel was one of those stocks. As one of the world's largest semiconductor companies, Intel has huge exposure to China. But a trade resolution between the U.S. and China should re-stoke demand and ease rising cost pressures. If that happens, Intel's revenue and margin growth trajectories will meaningfully improve. * 10 Stocks to Buy That Wall Street Expects to Soar for the Rest of 2019 Much like FL stock, INTC stock is cheap enough today (10x forward earnings) that any positive news on the trade front should put significant upward pressure on shares.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long BABA, IRBT, LK, NKE, FL, and INTC. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy for a Seemingly Sleepy Summer * 6 Chip Stocks Staring At Big Headwinds in 2019 Compare Brokers The post 6 Stocks Ready to Bounce on a Trade Deal appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Fed Signals Law Is on Its Side If Trump Tries to Remove Powell
    Bloombergyesterday

    Fed Signals Law Is on Its Side If Trump Tries to Remove Powell

    (Bloomberg) -- The world’s most powerful central bank is making clear it thinks the law is on its side if President Donald Trump tries to remove Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve chairman.White House lawyers have equipped Trump with a possible blueprint for demoting Powell by stripping him of his chairmanship and leaving him as only a governor, according to people familiar with the matter. But the Fed, which faces frequent attacks from Trump for not being more accommodating to his economic agenda, has hinted for the second time that it won’t back down easily.In response to inquiries Tuesday about the White House review of the legality of removing Powell, Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith offered a direct response, saying the chair can “only be removed for cause.”For his part, Powell has previously demonstrated his resolve: “The law is clear that I have a four-year term. And I fully intend to serve it,” he told the CBS News program “60 Minutes” in March.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the Fed's independence on Wednesday. “The last thing we need is a president threatening the chairman of the Fed” to get interest rates where he wants them, Pelosi told reporters. “This is very, very wrong.”The latest episode in Trump’s battle with the central bank was revealed as the Fed entered a two-day policy meeting, after which Powell will hold a news conference. Trump, meanwhile, officially launched his re-election bid on Tuesday, a campaign in which he’ll ask voters to keep him in the White House largely on the strength of the U.S. economy.He has set up the Fed and Powell as a scapegoat if there’s any downturn before election day, and before leaving the White House for his political rally in Orlando, didn’t dismiss the idea of removing the chairman. “Let’s see what he does,” Trump told reporters.But Powell’s and Smith’s statements suggest possible friction if Trump acts on a plan to remove the chairman. It appears “the Fed has done their own analysis and it’s given them sufficient confidence to plant a flag,” said Sarah Binder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington who has written a book on the Fed’s relationship with Congress called “The Myth of Independence.”Some senior administration officials have said they don’t think Powell can be removed. Asked in November if Trump could fire Powell, the president’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said: “a Fed chair can only be removed for cause.”The Fed may feel compelled to show some firmness given how little support it has received from Senate Republicans who shy from crossing the president, Binder said. “They’re staking their ground in the absence of any clear signal from the Hill, taking a stand on whether the chair can be removed.”A chorus of Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned Trump away from any action that could undermine the Fed’s independence. Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby expressed the most concern among his party, saying on Tuesday that the Fed should remain “above politics” and do “what’s best for the economy and what’s best for the long-term stability of our currency, too.”Trump has expressed skepticism of other central bankers as well. Earlier Tuesday, he criticized European Central Bank President Mario Draghi for signaling a rate cut and pushing down the value of the euro. He told reporters that he wants a “level playing field” from the Fed.Bloomberg News reported in December that Trump discussed firing Powell out of frustration over the central bank’s interest rate increases. Earlier this year, Trump asked White House lawyers to explore his options for removing Powell as chairman, according to people familiar with the matter.Trump’s team conducted the legal analysis and concluded that it would be highly questionable to fire Powell without cause but that a case could be made for replacing him with a sitting Fed governor, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Those findings remain closely held within the White House.While Trump still regularly expresses his displeasure with the Fed in tweets, talk of removing Powell has subsided. Trump told Powell in a March phone call, “I guess I’m stuck with you,” according to the Wall Street Journal.The Federal Reserve Act provides explicit protection for all Fed governors against removal by the president except “for cause.” Courts have interpreted the phrase to require proof of some form of legal misconduct or neglect of basic duties. A disagreement over monetary policy wouldn’t meet that bar.But if Trump tries to remove him, Powell may be unwilling to challenge him in courts out of concern about damage to the institution and possibly to financial markets, said Mark Spindel, chief investment officer at Potomac River Capital.“In doing that calculus, I think Jay would run to ground and decide it’s just not worth the fight,” he said.(Updates with Pelosi comments in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Austin Weinstein and Laura Litvan.To contact the reporters on this story: Saleha Mohsin in Washington at smohsin2@bloomberg.net;Christopher Condon in Washington at ccondon4@bloomberg.net;Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net;Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Jack Dorsey’s newest “wellness” gadget is bogus
    Quartzyesterday

    Jack Dorsey’s newest “wellness” gadget is bogus

    One of the more intriguing elements of Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s much-discussed wellness routine are his regular 30-minute visits to a tent in his garage. Dorsey’s tent made from a steel-infused material that blocks electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and radio frequencies (RF), according to its manufacturer SaunaSpace.

  • Japan’s Exports Slump, Hopes Turn to Trump-Xi
    Bloombergyesterday

    Japan’s Exports Slump, Hopes Turn to Trump-Xi

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a coming daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The stage for next week’s Trump-Xi trade war summit is also the scene of mounting casualties.Japan’s exports fell for a sixth straight month in May, the government said Wednesday, as escalating trade tensions add to concerns about global demand. The unsurprising drop serves as a reminder of a headwind buffeting the Bank of Japan, which meets to set policy on Thursday.The latest bad news on Japan’s economy came just after things were looking up in the trade world. U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will hold an “extended meeting” at the Group of 20 summit on June 28-29 in Osaka. Markets cheered. Analysts advised caution for a few reasons:At a rally in Florida later on Tuesday to kick off his reelection bid, Trump maintained his poker face. “We’re either going to have a good deal, and a fair deal, or we’re not going to have a deal at all."Their hopes of progress dashed in the past, economists are watchful. “We do not believe that the meeting will deliver a trade deal” and is more likely to end with both sides repeating already-known views, Iris Pang, an economist at ING Bank N.V. in Hong Kong, wrote in a report.Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant that’s hurting under a U.S. export ban, is a wild card. “China may not be willing to strike any deal or agreement without putting Huawei into the equation,” according to Edison Lee, head of telecom research at Jefferies.In search of their own deal later this year, Japanese and U.S. officials plan to hold staff-level discussions soon and the chief trade negotiators of both countries may talk before the Osaka G-20. Two big topics: agriculture and automobiles.Charting the Trade WarThe value of Japan’s shipments abroad fell 7.8% from a year earlier, as exports to China continued to slide. Further drops in shipments of chip-making equipment offered additional signs of softness in overseas tech demand.Today’s Must ReadsShots fired in FX wars | Trump bemoans weaker euro, yuan as unfair to U.S. Exporting people | Central America uses migration in economic model Apple’s supply chain | iPhone maker is diversifying production, Nikkei reportsChina tariffs distillers | China will keep hefty tariffs on a U.S. grain before G-20Mexico fumes at Trump | Mood in Mexico City turning to anger at U.S. policyTide turns on Huawei | Nokia and Ericsson capitalize on Huawei’s strugglesSteelworkers’ LatestEconomic AnalysisBracing for a long trade war -- China’s 2H outlook: EconomicsTrade war fallout in Asia is leaving a mark on Japan: EconomicsChip-equipment spending hurt in trade war crossfire: IntelligenceComing UpLighthizer testifies to House Ways and Means, 9:30 ET WednesdayWTO chief Roberto Azevedo holds press briefing in Geneva ThursdayG-20 leaders meet in Osaka, Japan, June 28-29\--With assistance from Jiyeun Lee, Henry Hoenig and Jenny Leonard.To contact the reporter on this story: Malcolm Scott in Hong Kong at mscott23@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Zoe SchneeweissFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • He Says He Invented Bitcoin and Is Suing Those Who Doubt Him
    Bloombergyesterday

    He Says He Invented Bitcoin and Is Suing Those Who Doubt Him

    (Bloomberg) -- At a convention on digital currency, rarely does an audience Q&A session include a question as incendiary as, “Why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?” But that’s how a discussion about Bitcoin ended up last year in Seoul.The supposed fraud is Craig Wright, an Australian-born technologist who gained notoriety three years ago when he declared himself the inventor of Bitcoin. The provocateur is Vitalik Buterin, a baby-faced Russian-Canadian programmer who helped create another popular digital currency called Ether. No one disputes Buterin’s role in Ether; many reject Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious genius behind Bitcoin.Wright is a comic-book supervillain for some in the world of cryptocurrency. Buterin’s rant was applauded by a handful of people at the conference, including one of the panelists and a man on the sidelines wearing a vest and metallic fiber shirt. It had the feel of an impromptu live performance of a Twitter flame war. The whole thing lasted 90 seconds. Footage recorded from the crowd provided an amusing YouTube video and sparked a fresh round of tweets mocking Wright.That appeared to be that, until a year later when Buterin received a letter from Wright’s attorney. The legal notice, dated April 12, said Wright intends to sue Buterin in the U.K. for defamation. Less than a week later, Wright filed suit with similar claims against a podcaster named Peter McCormack, seeking 100,000 pounds ($129,000) in damages. And on May 2, Wright’s lawyers served Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin investor, at a cryptocurrency meet-up in London.Ver says by email he intends to defend himself in court. Buterin and McCormack didn’t respond to requests for comment, but all three have recently posted messages online calling Wright a fraud. In a blog post, Buterin painted the legal dispute as being about censorship, free speech and truth.Wright has spent much of the last year with lawyers. He’s currently defending against claims in a U.S. court that he defrauded the estate of Dave Kleiman, a former business partner who died in 2013. Wright is accused of stealing Bitcoins he and Kleiman mined together about a decade ago. A federal judge ordered Wright to submit documentation of his early Bitcoin holdings, which were sealed on Monday, and he attended mediation Tuesday in Florida.At some point, Wright determined the courts could be a useful venue for achieving his own goals. Wright, who says he holds a master’s degree in law from Northumbria University in the U.K., hopes a series of lawsuits can establish himself as the father of Bitcoin. “This will give me the chance to prove my credentials in front of a judge, rather than being judged by Twitter,” Wright told Bloomberg in an email.If he really is Satoshi Nakamoto, Wright will have no trouble funding a protracted legal war on his critics. The true creator of Bitcoin is estimated to hold about $9 billion of the coins. In most cases, the expensive prospect of getting sued tends to make rational people keep critical views to themselves. “There’s some really broad recognition that the threat of defamation lawsuits really substantially chills speech,” says David Greene, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties advocacy group.For whatever reason, that didn’t occur here. Online discussion of Wright reached a peak shortly after his lawsuit against McCormack, and the content was overwhelmingly scathing. During the week following his suit, 65 percent of posts expressed a negative sentiment, compared with about half before, according to Brand24, which monitors conversations on social media. Crowdfunding efforts have popped up to assemble legal defense funds for some of Wright’s defendants. Data from Google suggests the litigation drew the most attention to Wright since his contentious claims in 2016, when he offered what he called definitive proof of his role in creating Bitcoin.Although digital currencies have a market value of more than $280 billion today, the circus surrounding Wright shows that the industry still operates as a free-for-all. Experts aren’t entirely sure who conceived of the world’s most valuable form of digital money, but there’s enough of it to go around that the threat of costly lawsuits doesn’t seem to deter anyone from speaking their mind.John McAfee is a prime example. The software pioneer turned digital coin advocate says he knows the real Satoshi Nakamoto, and it is not Wright. “I am going to tell the truth no matter what the consequences are,” McAfee says. “I’ve been sued over 200 times in my life. I am not afraid of getting sued.” In response, Wright called him “McScammer” and suggested they resolve their dispute in court. The cryptocurrency business is full of colorful characters. Wright joined the starring cast in late 2015, when Wired magazine and Gizmodo reported that he and Kleiman may have invented Bitcoin. A few days later, Wired said Wright may instead be “a brilliant hoaxer.” Police raided Wright’s home in Australia as part of a tax investigation; he moved to Britain.In May 2016, the BBC, the Economist and—most important in the eyes of Bitcoin zealots—several prominent leaders of the cryptocurrency movement said Wright furnished what appeared to be evidence of his claim to the throne. They said he gave a private demonstration of a special digital signature used by Satoshi Nakamoto. “The proof is conclusive, and I have no doubt that Craig Steven Wright is the person behind the Bitcoin technology,” Jon Matonis, founding director of the Bitcoin Foundation, wrote in a blog post at the time.This did not quiet the doubters, either. “It would be like if I was trying to prove that I was George Washington and to do that, provided a photocopy of the Constitution and said, look, I have George Washington’s signature,” Peter Todd, a key Bitcoin developer, told Vice’s Motherboard.Bitcoin holdings attributed to Satoshi Nakamoto haven’t moved in years, according to online ledgers. Critics have urged Wright to verify his identity by transferring some coins, a proposal he has refused.As Wright spars with some cryptocurrency faithful, he’s hoping to get the community’s help with identifying his next legal target. He said he intends to sue an anonymous Twitter user known as Hodlonaut, whose profile picture is represented by a cartoon cat wearing a space helmet. Wright posted a $5,000 reward for information to locate the person behind the account and referred bounty hunters to photos the user had posted showing arm tattoos. Hodlonaut wrote in a tweet Monday that he had issued legal proceedings against Wright in Norway.McCormack, the podcaster Wright sued in April, is piling on as he awaits his day in court. McCormack wrote a satirical response to Wright’s lawyers, saying, “I find it difficult to understand how I can affect the reputation of your client; this mistakenly states that he has any reputation left.”In addition to widespread derision, Wright’s crusade has inflicted damage on his business interests. He’s now pushing a coin called Bitcoin SV, which he says is Bitcoin the way Satoshi Nakamoto truly intended. Wright’s lawsuits drew a harsh rebuke from Zhao Changpeng, the head of one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance. Zhao said he was “against fraud,” and then Binance delisted Bitcoin SV. The coin’s market value plummeted 50% over two days, though it recovered during the broader cryptocurrency rally in May.Wright and his few vocal allies are undeterred. On May 21, Wright said he was granted a U.S. copyright for early Bitcoin code and for the original whitepaper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto. Three days later, someone named Wei Liu filed a competing copyright claim. A spokesman for the agency says it “does not investigate the truth of any statements made.”Calvin Ayre, a dot-com-era gambling tycoon and the most persistent supporter of Wright, said he’d release evidence proving Wright’s claim by the end of May. He didn’t. “But now that we have somebody challenging the copyright, we can take that to a legal conclusion, which is what we are now trying to do,” Ed Pownall, a spokesman for Ayre, wrote in an email.Wright sees the insults as something more sinister than routine internet trolling. He says his detractors are criminals, who profit from human trafficking, and that their true motive is to sabotage his attempts to eliminate illegal uses of Bitcoin. “I designed Bitcoin to stop all of this,” Wright says. “That is why they hate me.”To contact the author of this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at okharif@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Emily BiusoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Donald Trump Has a Point About Mario Draghi and the Euro
    Bloombergyesterday

    Donald Trump Has a Point About Mario Draghi and the Euro

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The euro area economy is in a real bind, as Mario Draghi admitted at this week's European Central Bank summit in Portugal. So he won’t have been too thrilled that his suggestions on how to respond were subject to a rapid and damning response from the world’s most famous Twitter account:The messaging from the White House was as economically crude as ever (and monumentally rich, in the context of the vast stimulus on offer in the U.S. over recent years), but in fairness President Trump did manage to highlight one of the biggest risks to the European economy: A stronger euro. Indeed, while the ECB is always at pains to stress that the value of the euro lies outside its remit, the currency surely figures highly in the minds of the bank’s decision-makers.Draghi is now emphasizing rate cuts rather than making a concerted effort to restart quantitative easing (the large-scale purchasing of bonds). It was a policy mistake to end QE at the end of last year given the fragile state of Europe’s economy, but it would take a lot of time to renegotiate its reintroduction with the euro zone’s central bankers. Targeting borrowing rates is simpler and quicker. As negative rates have been around for a long time already, it’s hard to have much faith in them helping to fix the ECB’s weak inflation problem. But they can serve one important purpose: Preventing the euro from rising.If the euro strengthens substantially, it will choke off any chance of Europe's export-led economy recovering from what’s becoming a prolonged slump and it might precipitate a recession. Trump’s trade wars have only added to the woes of local manufacturers, with Germany suffering badly. The ECB will of course couch any rate cuts in terms of correcting inflation expectations that have fallen to record lows (although Draghi’s speech this week did at least prompt a slight rise in those forecasts). Sadly, the brutal reality is that additional monetary stimulus will have little effect on boosting European inflation, which is being held back by global disinflation.The omens for the euro area economy certainly don’t look promising. The yields on Germany’s 10-year bunds are headed unerringly for the ECB's minus-40 basis point deposit rate, and even the yields on French 10-year notes have fallen below zero. This is not a sign of market confidence.All of this points to an important argument made by my colleague Ferdinando Giugliano, and which reflects the frustrations of Draghi himself as he prepares to step down in  the autumn: The ECB should not be solely responsible for stimulating growth; Europe’s political leaders need to step up too. The single currency area is crying out for a proper fiscal policy, but politicians seem determined to wait for another crisis before galvanizing a credible response such as a proper joint budget. It would be unfortunate if a currency spat with Trump was the catalyst by driving the euro stronger.To contact the author of this story: Marcus Ashworth at mashworth4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Marcus Ashworth is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European markets. He spent three decades in the banking industry, most recently as chief markets strategist at Haitong Securities in London.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Timesyesterday

    Trump to meet Xi at G20 but says trade deal must be ‘fair’

    Donald Trump on Tuesday praised Chinese president Xi Jinping as a “terrific” leader, but said he would only agree to a trade agreement with Beijing if both sides reached a “fair deal”. Speaking at the launch of his 2020 re-election campaign in Florida, Mr Trump suggested he was not desperate to secure a deal to end the trade war as the two leaders prepared to hold talks at the G20 summit in Japan later this month.

  • Bloombergyesterday

    How Advanced Economies Are Looking More Like Emerging Markets

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Yields on German government bonds on Tuesday ventured deeper into the uncharted territory of negative nominal levels, triggering various direct and indirect market reactions. More subtly, this reinforces a trend of the past decade: Advanced countries are behaving more like emerging economies in certain ways. This does not mean that these countries are converging down toward their less prosperous and more institutionally unstable counterparts. But it does mean that adding an emerging-market perspective can help in analyzing the prospects of advanced economies.Reacting to concerns of sluggish economic growth and inflationary expectations that could dip lower, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced in Portugal that “further cuts in policy interest rates and mitigating measures to contain any side effects remain part of our tools.” With some commentators likening his remarks to the famous July 2012 “whatever it takes” speech in London, the reaction in markets has included a sharp upward move in the prices of German government bonds. With that, the yield on the euro zone’s benchmark 10-year German Bund traded down 8 basis points to end the day at minus 0.32%.The prospect of additional ECB stimulus has also boosted stocks, with the German DAX gaining 2% on Tuesday, and weakened the euro currency. It also added to the upward push experienced by U.S. stocks on the back of news that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping will be having an extended meeting at the G-20 this weekend in Japan to discuss trade.Not all the news is good for markets, however. The weaker euro set off a Twitter reaction from Trump that has some wondering whether and how the focus of U.S. trade policy will shift to Europe, with its protractedly large trade surpluses. There is also more concern about what persistent and more negative interest rates will do to the integrity of the European financial system, including its ability to deliver long-term financial protection services to households – the sort of thing people in the most developed nations have taken for granted in planning for their future.This illustrates why the ECB announcement is yet another example of advanced countries behaving more like emerging economies. Erupting in the core of the global economy in 2008, the financial crisis involved “sudden stop” dynamics that tipped the advanced world into a “great recession” and threatened a multi-year depression. This so unsettled the advanced world that rather than returning to a status quo ante, faced “multiple equilibrium” – in which the prospect of one outcome increased the likelihood of a similar more pronounced outcome.Policy makers in advanced economies failed to react quickly to structural impediments using structural tools. Instead, the mindset remained cyclical for far too long, deepening the structural challenges. With that, what was an economic problem quickly gained political, social and institutional dimensions – again similar to what repeatedly happens in the emerging world.When it comes to the relationship between the economy and political conditions, the similarities between advanced and emerging countries have not stopped at bad economics fueling messy politics. More recently, we have also seen a reverse causation in which the messy politics contaminates economics and institutions. Examples include the rise of populist policies and political attacks on the independence and effectiveness of central banks.Viewed in this context, the latest ECB announcement looks like yet another step in this broader process .While ECB President Draghi has not tired from stressing on multiple occasions the importance of a more comprehensive policy response, including structural measures to promote higher productivity and lift other impediments to growth and financial stability, the central bank is again reverting to short-term stimulus measures whose effectiveness is increasingly in doubt. They can also take the pressure off politicians who, instead of pursuing needed reforms, will continue to be happy to see an excessive policy burden placed on the ECB. The short-term fixes also carry considerable risks of longer-term collateral damage and unintended consequences that complicate subsequent efforts at economic reform and a strengthened financial architecture.Advanced economies are not actually becoming developing economies. But analysts and policy makers alike can benefit from looking more at the experience of emerging economies in assessing some of what lies ahead for the advanced world. The most important lesson to grasp now is that cyclical liquidity measures are no answer to structural impediments to growth and financial stability.Such measures may buy the economy some time and give a short-term boost to asset prices. But this comes at mounting costs and risks, and these are not just economic and financial. With time, they are also developing deeper socio-political roots that render incremental reforms harder to enact, taking economies ever closer to cliff-like conditions involving the threat of accelerating economic and financial weakness in the absence of “big bang” reforms.To contact the author of this story: Mohamed A. El-Erian at melerian@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Gray at philipgray@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mohamed A. El-Erian is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the chief economic adviser at Allianz SE, the parent company of Pimco, where he served as CEO and co-CIO. His books include “The Only Game in Town” and “When Markets Collide.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Timesyesterday

    ‘Evidence’ of Saudi prince role in Khashoggi case

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be investigated over the grisly killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi because there is “credible evidence” that he and other senior officials were responsible, a UN expert has concluded. Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, said Khashoggi, a veteran journalist, was the “victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law”.

  • Financial Timesyesterday

    Donald Trump launches re-election campaign for the White House

    It turned out to be a great political movement,” Mr Trump said. Mr Trump has held dozens of political rallies since he assumed office in January 2017. Underscoring the power of incumbency, roughly 20,000 Trump supporters wielding placards that read “Four More Years” and “Trump 2020” filled the arena in Orlando in central Florida.

  • Wild Ride for Asia Tech Stock Investors Unlikely to End Soon
    Bloombergyesterday

    Wild Ride for Asia Tech Stock Investors Unlikely to End Soon

    (Bloomberg) -- Investors in Asia tech stocks have needed a strong stomach to deal with this year’s ups and downs. And it isn’t getting any better.The trade conflict between the U.S. and China, concerns surrounding Huawei Technologies Co. and the back-and-forth on whether the demand for memory chips will revive has sent volatility soaring 300% on the MSCI Asia Pacific Information Technology sector since its May low. That level is now the greatest among all sectors in Asia and the highest since April 3.Last week, tech stocks were pummeled after an analyst warned that the recovery in demand for memory chips may not pick up until the second half of next year. The slump continued after Broadcom Inc. slashed its full-year revenue forecast amid escalating trade tensions.And now, stocks are moving in the opposite direction, making investments in the sector a tumultuous ride. Confirmation on Tuesday of the U.S. and China’s plans to meet in Japan next week to relaunch trade talks has pushed the tech gauge to its highest level in more than a month. In turn, the regional benchmark MSCI Asia Pacific Index soared 1.6%.Trump’s comments on the U.S.-China summit are bolstering the chips sector, said Soichiro Tsutsumi, a trader with eWarrant Japan Securities. “Whether the U.S. and China come to an agreement or not is big focus for the sector.”\--With assistance from Min Jeong Lee.To contact the reporter on this story: Divya Balji in Singapore at dbalji1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Nagi at chrisnagi@bloomberg.net, Joanna Ossinger, Min Jeong LeeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump, Xi Stoke Trade Optimism With Plan to Resume Talks at G-20
    Bloombergyesterday

    Trump, Xi Stoke Trade Optimism With Plan to Resume Talks at G-20

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and China said their presidents will meet in Japan next week to relaunch trade talks after a month-long stalemate, triggering a rally in financial markets.President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he had a “very good” phone conversation with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The two leaders will hold an “extended meeting” at the G-20 summit on June 28-29 in Osaka and “our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting,” Trump said on Twitter. The U.S. president had repeatedly threatened more tariffs if Xi spurned the opportunity to talk.“The meeting might very well go well,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House to officially launch his re-election campaign in Orlando. China wants to make a deal, he added. “That is working out pretty much as I anticipated,” he said.Later, at the rally in Orlando, Trump said “we’re either going to have a good deal, and a fair deal, or we’re not going to have a deal at all. And that’s ok too, because we are taking in billions and billions of dollars into our treasury and companies are leaving China because they want to avoid paying these large tariffs."Xi said he’s willing to meet with Trump and exchange views, the state-run China Central Television reported. The two nations’ economic and trade teams should keep in contact on how to solve differences, according to the statement. China’s official Xinhua News Agency said that Trump initiated the phone call with Xi. Their dispute covers areas ranging from tariffs to Chinese intellectual-property protections.U.S. stocks extended gains on the news, while Treasuries retreated. The S&P 500 rose about 1% in New York. Asian stocks advanced Wednesday.Talks broke off last month after the U.S. accused China’s leaders of reneging on provisions of a tentative trade agreement, and Beijing said the U.S. raised its demands. Trump raised tariffs on about $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25%, and said he would expand the tariffs to cover another $325 billion in goods -- essentially everything the country exports to the U.S. -- unless Chinese leaders reversed course.“The fact that both sides are talking should at least postpone thoughts of a further increase in tariffs, for a while at least,” Iris Pang, an economist at ING Bank N.V. in Hong Kong, wrote in a report. “Both sides will repeat their views on the already drafted terms. But it is difficult to see any concrete progress that would either lead to a deal or improve the current deadlock situation.”U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told senators at a hearing in Washington on Tuesday that the Trump administration will stay tough.“Our economic relationship with China has been unbalanced and grossly unfair to American farmers, ranchers and businesses for decades,” Lighthizer said in testimony to the Senate Finance Committee. On top of existing tariffs, the administration is prepared to do more “if certain issues cannot be resolved satisfactorily,” he added.But while expectations have been raised for a breakthrough during the leaders’ face-to-face meeting, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over the weekend downplayed the prospect of a major deal in the near term.“I think the most that will come out of the G-20 might be an agreement to actively resume talks,” possibly with new ground rules and a schedule, Ross said in an interview Sunday with the Wall Street Journal.Paying TariffsTrump has said that China must return to concessions it made in earlier rounds of talks. The U.S. president has repeated his claim that Chinese exporters pay the tariffs, disputing the consensus of economists that the costs are largely borne by U.S. importers and consumers.“They subsidize their industry, so our people are not paying,” Trump said Friday in an interview with Fox News. “There’s this big thing about tariffs, ‘Oh, our people pay.’ It’s a lot of nonsense. You know what happens, really? Companies move back.”Trump’s announcement of the call came shortly after a tweet in which he again accused China and other countries of manipulating their currencies, “making it unfairly easier for them to compete with the USA.”China made moves to strengthen its currency earlier this month. During Trump’s presidency the U.S. Treasury Department has repeatedly refrained from officially accusing China of manipulating the yuan.(Updates with Trump comment at rally in Orlando, Florida, in fourth paragraph, analyst comment in eighth.)\--With assistance from Josh Wingrove, Shawn Donnan, Chelsea Mes, Jiyeun Lee, Malcolm Scott and Daniel Ten Kate.To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, ;Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Justin BlumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Draghi Stimulus Comes With More Punch as ECB Claims Room to Act
    Bloomberg2 days ago

    Draghi Stimulus Comes With More Punch as ECB Claims Room to Act

    (Bloomberg) -- Mario Draghi is set on pushing the limits of the European Central Bank’s firepower right up until he leaves office.With little more than four months to go in his job, the ECB president has all but pledged new stimulus for Europe’s flagging economy that may include both interest-rate cuts and asset purchases. Adding potency to that statement is his declaration that the institution shouldn’t be hemmed in by its rules restricting the room for maneuver.In response, European bonds enjoyed one of their biggest rallies in recent memory as yields tumbled to record lows across the region. German 10-year rates are now hovering just above the ECB’s minus 0.4% deposit rate, while those on French securities dropped below zero for the first time. Traders in money markets are pricing a rate cut by September.Tuesday’s threat of stimulus succeeded where the ECB failed earlier this month in placating investors. It prompted inflation expectations to rise and the euro to fall. According to the institution’s former chief economist, that’s because the extent of Draghi’s pledge opens the door to far more powerful policy action than officials had previously signaled was even possible.“What is very important is the optionality -- to make the options more credible,” Peter Praet, who left the ECB at the start of this month, told Bloomberg Television. “I am not sure that markets say you need to act now, but the markets want to be reassured that if the environment doesn’t improve, do you have the necessary tools to do that.”Summer StimulusThree central bank officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Bloomberg that an interest-rate cut is most likely the first response to any slowdown. Commerzbank AG economists see such a move as soon as the next meeting in July, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. anticipates a change in the policy language first, to set up a cut at the following gathering in September.“The market was really being fairly lazy on pricing in ECB risks because of some sense they were hesitant to use their tools,” said Richard Kelly, head of global strategy at Toronto-Dominion Bank in London. “Draghi had to be even more blunt that they will act if they feel it is needed.”That message led Austria and Sweden bonds to join Germany in the club of nations where investors have to pay to hold their sovereign debt. In Italy, investors brushed off comments from Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini that the government would back so-called mini-bills, seen by many as a step toward a parallel currency to the euro, scooping up its bonds on the prospect of fresh quantitative easing. Yields fell the most in a year.The ECB president’s remarks also incited a response from U.S. President Donald Trump, who said the drop in the euro prompted by Draghi’s remarks is unfair.Draghi responded to that by telling the ECB’s annual retreat in Portugal that “we don’t target the exchange rate -- keep this in mind.”His remarks bring the institution closer to the global easing shift that some economists and investors also expect the Federal Reserve to join this year. U.S. policy makers are seen unlikely to act as soon as their meeting this week.The problem for Draghi is that he has already used up much of the institution’s ammunition. The deposit rate was cut to an unprecedented low of minus 0.4% in 2016. Its stimulus program hoovered so many government bonds that it was getting close to the buffers.The Governing Council capped the amount of sovereign debt the ECB can acquire under QE to ensure it would avoid violating European Union laws prohibiting it from financing governments. It can’t hold more than 33% of a country’s total debt. There’s also a limit on individual issues of as much as 33% if certain conditions are met.While Draghi claims the ECB has developed “headroom” to buy more, the cap still represents a straitjacket that risked undermining credibility. So on Tuesday, he sought to correct that impression by stating that those limits might not need to apply.“The Treaty requires that our actions are both necessary and proportionate to fulfill our mandate and achieve our objective, which implies that the limits we establish on our tools are specific to the contingencies we face. If the crisis has shown anything, it is that we will use all the flexibility within our mandate to fulfill our mandate.”That’s reminiscent of Draghi’s insistence in 2012 that the institution would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro, necessitating the creation of a crisis tool that pushed the boundaries of its competencies.“If they take up QE again, they will have to change various characteristics,” said Nadia Gharbi, an economist at Pictet in Geneva. “What Draghi wants to show is that they are ready to do everything to boost inflation and that the constraints, including on the issuer limits, can be moved.”What Bloomberg’s Economists Say“Draghi also seemed to be emphasizing a need to take action soon...His term ends in October, but he still has a few months to preside over one last big change before he leaves.”--David Powell and Maeva Cousin. See their ECB REACTFor now, the ECB president has succeeded in convincing investors that, even in the dying days of his time in office, nothing will stop his determination to leave a legacy of sustainable inflation. But he of all people knows that such a perception can quickly unravel.“Draghi has managed to revive inflation expectations -- but only as long as he actually delivers,” said Arne Lohmann Rasmussen, head of fixed-income research at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen.\--With assistance from Catherine Bosley, Jana Randow and Piotr Skolimowski.To contact the reporters on this story: Craig Stirling in Frankfurt at cstirling1@bloomberg.net;John Ainger in London at jainger@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Gordon at pgordon6@bloomberg.net, Neil Chatterjee, Fergal O'BrienFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • TheStreet.com2 days ago

    History of Twitter: Facts and What's Happening in 2019

    Dorsey invented the platform, it turned out to be a hit, and with time and experience, he ascended to his rightful place as CEO. The truth may be that its evolution was not the linear, carefully-guided direction of one man, but a product of conflicts played out in boardroom clashes and backroom meetings, all while the site's true value became more apparent to its founders and the world, one tweet at a time. How Was Twitter Founded?

  • Palantir's IPO Plans are Just as Secretive as the Company Itself
    Zacks2 days ago

    Palantir's IPO Plans are Just as Secretive as the Company Itself

    Investors have been excited for a while now about the potential for a Palantir market debut, even though the company has yet to lay out any specific plans for an initial public offering.

  • Right-wing radio host explains why he’s embarrassed for Trump supporters
    MarketWatch2 days ago

    Right-wing radio host explains why he’s embarrassed for Trump supporters

    Conservative talk show host Michael Savage spoke to the New York Times, “with a hint of disappointment” about what continues to drive Trump supporters and why they are so unwilling to second-guess the president