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Good morning. With most continental European markets closed on Wednesday, we look to London for excitement in both politics and corporate earnings. In the U.S., Apple Inc. gave tech investors something to cheer, while markets more broadly will await the Federal Reserve’s latest update this evening. Here’s what’s moving markets.
Most of the continent takes the day off, but Brexit doesn't sleep. Theresa May is said to be hoping to wrap up talks on a compromise deal with the Labour party next week, but she’ll do so with frustration engulfing the process. Labour has said it would support a second referendum only if all other options are exhausted, which could infuriate its anti-Brexit members. The Conservatives too face a challenge from grassroots Tories, though at least May got a little reprieve as a key member of the cabinet urged those seeking to replace her as PM to hold off challenging for the top job.
No rest for the Federal Reserve either, which will announce its latest decision on Wednesday. The bank is in the midst of a strategy rethink around the perils of persisting with low interest rates to try to raise inflation while the economy looks to be in relatively good health. And all that rethinking is in the shadow of President Donald Trump’s ongoing criticism of monetary policy, and simultaneous praise for China's approach to stimulating its economy. Watch too for commentary on ever-rising effective funding rates and whether the Fed will make any adjustments to keep that under control.
iPhone sales may have now stabilized following a difficult holiday period, according to the tech giant’s latest numbers. Apple’s services also revenue jumped as consumers signed up for an expanding list of digital subscriptions, and the firm added that it’ll chuck another $75 billion of spare change into the buyback pot while raising its dividend. The report will be welcomed by a U.S. tech sector that’s experienced a dire week for the so-called FAANGs. Investors responded by sending Apple’s stock up 5 percent in after-hours trading.
London will be the focus of today’s earnings with bellwethers including retailers Next Plc and J Sainsbury Plc, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc and the operator of the London Stock Exchange all due to update. Sainsbury’s update comes less than a week after its attempt to combine with Walmart Inc.’s Asda was quashed. With the Dutch among those enjoying a day off, investors in AFC Ajax N.V. will have to wait until Thursday to see a share price reaction following the team’s 1-0 win against England’s Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League semi-final first-leg.
We’ll get ISM manufacturing data, a keenly-eyed U.S. purchasing managers’ index, and hear comments from European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos when he speaks in London. A swathe of U.S. earnings are also scheduled for today, topped by KFC and Pizza Hut owner Yum! Brands Inc., exchange operator CME Group Inc. and cosmetics house Estee Lauder Cos. Inc.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- The world’s wealthiest people are increasingly on the move.
- Instagram is testing out losing the like count on posts.
- London’s hottest restaurant gets a sibling.
- Netflix plans miniseries based on Thai soccer team’s cave rescue.
- Wall Street bears are a dying breed.
- Welcome to the war over Donald Trump’s wallet.
- Does eating rice really prevent obesity?
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.