Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Americans get set to head to the polls. Xi Jinping’s tough words for Donald Trump dent hopes for a trade detente. And the New Economy Forum opens in Singapore. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
U.S. Midterms Arrive
The most expensive midterm campaign in U.S. history raced to a finish ahead of Tuesday’s election, as both sides braced for a possible split decision that would hand the House to Democrats and leave Republicans holding onto or expanding their Senate majority. The final hours of campaigning showed familiar themes: President Donald Trump was on the road stumping for Republicans, Democrats were accusing the GOP of fresh efforts at voter suppression, and a hard-edged, Trump-backed ad targeting immigration sparked a debate over whether it was insensitive. Here are the races to watch and how to follow them as Americans head to the polls. As for markets, here’s what to expect for stocks, gold and corporate bonds.
Xi Swipes at Trump
If Chinese President Xi Jinping is getting ready to make big concessions to the U.S., his much anticipated speech at a Shanghai trade fair didn’t show it. Xi hit back against President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies Monday with some of his most pointed language yet, denouncing “law of the jungle” and “beggar-thy-neighbor” trade practices. At the same time, he didn’t outline any new proposals that would suggest he was prepared to meet Trump’s demands, such as halting forced technology transfers or rolling back support for state-owned enterprises. Stocks declined across Asia. Billionaire Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma called fighting over trade senseless and decried once again a widening conflict between the U.S. and China.
Tech the Bane of Markets
The sell-off in technology stocks that has been punishing active fund managers showed no signs of abating Monday. Led by the FANG block, the Nasdaq 100 Index fell 0.4 percent, resuming a retreat that drove the index to its worst month since 2008. The renewed weakness was in contrast with the broader market, with the S&P 500 rising 0.8 percent. Shares of Apple Inc. and its major suppliers fell sharply, following a report that the company was canceling a production boost for its iPhone XR line, adding to concerns about the outlook for its biggest product category. The Dow component has dropped almost 10 percent over the past two trading sessions, its biggest two-day skid in more than five years.
Amazon.com Inc. will choose two locations for its new headquarters, according the Wall Street Journal, which cited an unidentified person familiar with the matter. The e-commerce giant last year announced plans to invest $5 billion in a second HQ and hire up to 50,000 people, setting off a frenzy of interest from cities in the U.S. and Canada. It has announced 20 finalists and is scheduled to make a final decision by the end of the year. The company will choose two locations instead of one, according to the Wall Street Journal, which said one location lacked sufficient technology talent. Amazon may want to avoid criticism that its arrival in a new town overwhelms the area. Amazon has fueled an economic boom in its hometown of Seattle, where it is also often blamed for traffic problems and skyrocketing housing costs.
U.S. Vows Pain for Iran Sanction Evaders
The U.S. gave a stark warning to companies around the world: Evading sanctions on Iran will hurt. “I promise you that doing business in Iran in defiance of our sanctions will ultimately be a much more painful business decision than pulling out of Iran,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Monday at a news conference in Washington, after the U.S. imposed penalties on 700 individuals, banks, ships, aircraft and companies tied to Iran’s energy and financial industries. Vowing “swift, severe penalties” to those caught violating sanctions, Pompeo said the U.S. pressure’s campaign has cost Iran $2.5 billion in oil revenue since May. But oil dropped to a seven-month low as Pompeo’s tough talk was softened by his announcement of temporary waivers from penalties for eight governments.
What we’ve been reading
This is what caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- The New Economy Forum opens today in Singapore.
- Asia’s stock rebound may be too good to be true.
- China's private sector is starved for credit.
- Crypto coders shun "Hodl" in favor of "Buidl."
- Tencent will check all gamers' IDs by 2019.
- This Manhattan penthouse's price just dropped to $62 million.
- When cheap power matters more than environmental Armageddon.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.