Tuesday, May 29, 2018
What to watch today
We’ve got another crisis in Europe, this time in Italy. In recent years, we’ve heard of risks of a Greek and/or British exit from the European Union and/or euro zone. Now it’s Italy, the euro zone’s third largest economy. Italian stocks are plummeting and yields are surging, and the shockwaves are being felt in global markets. U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. But futures are deep in the red as we await markets to re-open at 9:30 a.m. ET.
In the week ahead, the biggest economic event in the U.S. will be the May jobs report. On Friday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its report on employment in May, with economists expecting the economy added 190,000 jobs during the month with the unemployment rate expected to remain steady at 3.9%.
The week’s biggest corporate news, however, is likely to be Tuesday’s closure of Starbucks (SBUX) stores across the country for racial-bias training. This move comes after two black men were removed from a Philadelphia Starbucks in April, sparking outrage and leading the company to change its policies to allow people to stay in their stores without making any purchases.
IPhone Screen Makers Fall on Report of Apple OLED Shift in 2019: The shares of Japan Display Inc. and Sharp Corp. fell after South Korea’s Electronic Times reported that Apple Inc. (AAPL) has decided to use next-generation screens for all of its new models next year. If true, Apple’s move would be negative for JDI and Sharp, which have so far been unable to mass produce OLEDs and currently supply LCD screens. [Bloomberg]
Kim Jong Un sends aide to U.S. for pre-summit talks: Kim Jong Un has dispatched a senior aide to the U.S. for talks with American officials ahead of the North Korean leader’s planned summit with Donald Trump next month, the Yonhap News Agency said Tuesday. The trip by Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s former spy chief, signals that preparations for the unprecedented meeting in Singapore are moving forward. [Bloomberg]
Push for Nafta deal forges on as Congress, tariff deadlines loom: Canada’s foreign minister is headed to Washington as the clock ticks down to reach a deal on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement that could pass Congress this year and skirt metals tariffs. Time is running out. The U.S. has exempted Canada and Mexico so far from tariffs on steel and aluminum, but tied that to Nafta talks. Those exemptions are set to expire Friday morning. [Bloomberg]
China’s Ant Financial raises $10B at $150B valuation: Ant Financial Services Group, operator of China’s biggest online payment platform by market share, Alipay, has closed its latest funding round having raised $10 billion from a clutch of global and local investors, five people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Ant’s first fundraising targeting global money values the firm at $150 billion. [Reuters]
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