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Market Snapshot* Monday, May 08, 2017 DJIA Nasdaq S&P Year % -7/32 30-Year % -17/32 Euro $ Nymex Crude $ Source: SIX
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Market Snapshot* Monday, May 08, 2017 DJIA Nasdaq S&P Year % -7/32 30-Year % -17/32 Euro $ Nymex Crude $ Source: SIX Financial Information, ICAP plc *preliminary values subject to adjustments Stocks U.S. stocks ticked up on Monday, as a slump in materials shares offset gains in the energy and technology sectors. Treasurys U.S. government bond prices drifted lower Monday as investors anticipated coming economic data releases and a round of bond auctions this week. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note settled at 2.376%, above the 2.352% on Friday. Forex The euro slid Monday as investors took profits after the weekend's French election outcome, while the dollar firmed ahead of important U.S. economic data. Commodities Crude futures edged higher Monday, amid expectations that major producers will cut their supplies for longer in a bid to reduce high global inventories. Obama Warned Trump Against Hiring Flynn Former President Barack Obama warned then President-elect Donald Trump against hiring Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, a former Obama administration official said Monday. The warning by Mr. Obama came shortly after the November election and concerned Mr. Flynn s checkered service as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 2014, Mr. Obama fired the then-lieutenant general from that senior Pentagon post. Mr. Flynn later became a vocal Trump supporter and was tapped to be his first national security adviser. Mr. Flynn resigned just weeks into the national security job, however, under pressure for having misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with a Russian diplomat during the presidential transition. Mr. Obama s warning during a Nov. 10 Oval Office meeting with Mr. Trump focused on Mr. Flynn s performance as head of DIA, not his dealings with Russian officials, the former official said. Sinclair Broadcast to Buy Tribune Media for $3.9B TV station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. said Monday it is acquiring Tribune Media Co. for $3.9 billion, a deal that would create a behemoth with more negotiating leverage over programmers and distributors and the ability to launch new channels or wireless streaming services. We will be the largest broadcast group by a country mile, Sinclair Broadcast Group Chief Executive Chris Ripley told analysts Monday. The combined companies, he said, would cover 72% of the nation s television households and have $4.3 billion in revenue. on page 2 Tomorrow s Calendar 6:00 a.m. Apr NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism Small Business Idx (previous 104.7) 7:45 a.m. 05/06 The Retail Economist/Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index Chain Store Sales, W/W% (previous -0.2%), Chain Store Sales, M/M% (previous +1.9%) 8:55 a.m. 05/06 Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index Ret Sales Mo-to-Date, M/M% (previous +1.3%), Ret Sales Mo-to-Date, Y/Y% (previous +2.0%), Latest Wk, Y/Y% (previous +2.3%) 10:00 a.m. May IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index Economic Optimism Idx (previous 51.7), 6-Mo Economic Outlook (previous 51.1) 10:00 a.m. Mar Monthly Wholesale Trade Inventories, M/M% (expected -0.1%) 10:00 a.m. Mar Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey 4:30 p.m. 05/05 API Weekly Statistical Bulletin Crude Stocks, Net Chg (Bbls) (previous -4.2M), Gasoline Stocks, Net Chg (Bbls) (previous -1.9M), Distillate Stocks, Net Chg (Bbls) (previous -0.4M), Refinery Runs page 1 Sinclair already has 173 stations in midsize and small markets. The addition of Tribune s 42 stations would give Sinclair outlets in just about every major market as well, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. By having such a big reach, Sinclair would have tremendous leverage when it makes deals to acquire content for its television stations, industry observers say. It also would have more clout with local and national advertisers. Coach to Buy Rival Kate Spade for $2.4B Coach Inc. agreed to acquire rival Kate Spade & Co. for $2.4 billion, as the purse maker seeks to tap younger consumers when growth in the handbag market has stalled. Sales of handbags have slowed as women have traded down to smaller, less expensive bags and aggressive discounting both in stores and online has pressured profits. The proposed merger would combine two big U.S. players, and create a company with $5.9 billion in annual sales and 1,300 retail stores and outlets around the world. On Monday, Coach Chief Executive Victor Luis said there is little overlap between customers of the two brands, especially since Coach has tried to move upscale in recent years. The attraction of Kate Spade was its appeal to younger shoppers, Mr. Luis said, adding that only 10% of consumers say they buy both brands. Goldman Makes Investment Bank Leadership Changes Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is making the biggest changes in a decade to the leaders atop its investment-banking division, which advises companies on mergers and capital raises. The firm promoted deal maker Gregg Lemkau and financing executive Marc Nachmann to join John Waldron as co-heads of the unit, according to people familiar with the matter. Richard Gnodde, Mr. Waldron s counterpart in London, will relinquish his co-head title to focus on overseeing Goldman s international business. Mr. Nachmann will move to London. The other co-head position being filled had been vacated recently. Goldman s investment-banking arm includes mergers-andacquisitions advice as well as equity and debt underwriting. It is the firm s second-largest unit by revenue, with $6.3 billion last year, and has been riding a deal-making boom to higher profits over the past few years. Separately, Goldman elevated another deal maker, Francois-Xavier de Mallmann, to a senior role in London. Parexel International Explores Sale Drug-research services provider Parexel International Corp. is exploring a sale, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is working with investment bankers to sound out potential buyers, including private-equity firms, some of the people said. As of early Monday afternoon, Parexel had a market value of about $3.5 billion. Should the company be sold, and there is no guarantee that it will, it could fetch upwards of $4 billion using a typical takeover premium. Parexel is a so-called contract research organization. Such groups, known as CROs, work with drug companies to help them conduct clinical research. Parexel, based in the Boston area, works with biotech and medical-device companies, in particular, helping them test and market their products. Parexel operates 86 locations and has nearly 20,000 employees, according to its website. Restaurant Slowdown Slices Tyson s Earnings Slower restaurant sales are making it harder for Tyson Foods Inc. to sell pizza toppings and processed meats. Earnings in the meat giant s prepared foods division fell 29% in the most recent quarter, the company said on Monday, as it scaled back forecast profit margins for that business in the months ahead. Tyson, the largest U.S. meat company by sales, is counting on the prepared foods business to expand outside its meatpacking roots. In April Tyson said it would pay $4.2 billion for sandwich maker AdvancePierre Foods Holdings Inc., part of a longer-term expansion into more profitable businesses that executives see as less prone to market swings. Pension Fund Withholds Support Of Bombardier Chairman Pierre Quebec s big pension fund is opposing the re-election of Bombardier Inc. executive chairman Pierre Beaudoin, signaling a new level of investor activism at the ailing aerospace company controlled for decades by Mr. Beaudoin s family. The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec cited the board s recent missteps on executive compensation, in which hefty raises awarded to executives were rolled back after a public outcry, saying its decisions fell short of the necessary standards of stewardship. Protest over the pay raises included a demonstration outside the company s Montreal headquarters and was fueled in part by resentment that the company has received hundreds of millions of government financing. The Caisse said it also is withholding support for the company s revamped compensation plan, which would have deferred some of the raises. Both the Quebec and federal governments have provided a lifeline to Bombardier over the last couple of years as it has struggled with delays and cost overruns related largely to its CSeries commercial jet program. Quebec s Caisse, which has about 270 billion Canadian dollars (US$197 billion) in assets under management, on page 3 page 2 invested US$1.5 billion to acquire almost one-third of Bombardier s train business. On Deck Capital To Focus On Turning a Profit On Deck Capital Inc. said Monday it is throttling back its growth plans and cutting more jobs as the lender tries to post profits in the second half of The New York firm, which specializes in online loans to small businesses, announced its new strategy while reporting that it lost $11.6 million in the first quarter. That was a narrower loss than the same period in 2016, but it was the company s seventh quarterly loss since going public in December Its shares were down about 9% in midafternoon trading Monday. In recent months, the one-time fintech darling has been grappling with an uptick in defaults on its loans to small businesses. It has also reported lower revenue from sales of loans to investors and rising funding costs. Some On Deck shareholders, dealing with a nearly 80% decline in the stock price since the IPO, have been pushing the company to slash expenses and explore a possible sale. Fairfax Reviewing TPG-Led Consortium Takeover Offer Fairfax Media Ltd. (FXJ.AU), which owns newspaper titles including the Age and the Australian Financial Review, said Monday it is reviewing a takeover offer from private-equity firm TPG Group and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board. Fairfax said the offer comprises a mix of cash and shares, and would lead to the break up of the company if it is successful. The bid is also subject to several conditions, including due diligence and approval from Australia s foreign investment watchdog. TPG and OTTP are jointly offering 2.18 billion Australian dollars ($1.61 billion) for Fairfax s Domain online real estate classifieds site, Australian Metro Media, Events and Digital Ventures assets excluding the Stan video-streaming service. The cash offer is worth A$0.95 a share, and compares to the company s closing price on Friday of A$1.06 a share. Facebook Fake-News Fight Moves To UK Elections The fight over fake news is moving to Britain. Facebook Inc., criticized for not doing enough to curb misinformation during last year s U.S. presidential race, is trying to show it is making a more-concerted effort in the U.K. ahead of next month s general election. The social network on Monday ran advertisements in major British newspapers that offer tips for spotting false news stories. It also said it was working with third-party fact checkers to address misinformation, and that it recently removed tens of thousands of fraudulent Facebook accounts in the U.K. after improving ways to identify them. Prime Minister Theresa May has called a general election for June 8, an opportunity if current polling bears out to increase the thin majority her Conservative party holds as it enters tough negotiations over the terms of its break up with the European Union. Renaissance Dissident Sues Mercer For Wrongful Discharge Former Renaissance Technologies Corp. executive David Magerman has sued the hedge fund s co-chief executive officer Robert Mercer for wrongful discharge. Mr. Magerman, who gained attention for publicly criticizing the role Mr. Mercer played helping Donald Trump s presidential campaign, filed his 10-page complaint on Monday in federal court in Philadelphia. Mr. Magerman, a research scientist for two decades at Renaissance, acknowledges that Renaissance s employee handbook prohibits employees from publicly disparaging the firm or its employees. But Mr. Magerman claims he obtained approval from at least one Renaissance executive before sharing his concerns with The Wall Street Journal in early February. Fed s Mester Calls for More Rate Rises Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester on Monday called for the central bank to raise shortterm interest rates higher and said it can likely start shrinking its holdings of bonds and other assets later this year. She expressed a largely upbeat view of the U.S. economy and cautioned the Fed shouldn t wait too long to lift its benchmark federal-funds rate, while not saying when it should move next. If economic conditions evolve as anticipated, I believe further removal of accommodation via increases in the federal-funds rate will be needed, she told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in her first public comments since the Fed s policy meeting last week. Fed s Bullard: Current Fed Short-Term Target at Correct Level Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard reiterated Monday his belief that the U.S. central bank essentially has short-term interest rates where they need to be to achieve its job and inflation goals. Citing the Fed s current short-term target rate range of 0.75% to 1%, Mr. Bullard said the policy rate is approximately at an appropriate setting today given where he estimates the appropriate level of interest rates that is neutral in regard to the economy s performance. page 3 Copyright Dow Jones & Co., Inc. Tomorrow's News Today is made available as a complimentary service to Dow Jones News Service paying subscribers. No further redistribution is permitted without written permission from Dow Jones. Tomorrow s News Today is intended to provide factual information, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Dow Jones is not a registered investment adviser, and under no circumstances shall any of the information provided be construed as a buy or sell recommendation or investment advice of any kind. Want to send a co-branded daily version to your valued clients? Dow Jones offers subscribing firms the opportunity to co-brand Tomorrow's News Today for redistribution to their clients. If your firm is interested in co-branding, please contact us at or Talking Points Trump The Peacemaker? Nearly lost amid the hubbub over health care last week was the other piece of big news: President Donald Trump plans to make his first trip abroad by going to Saudi Arabia and Israel, followed by the Vatican, later this month. This is significant because, unlikely as it sounds, Mr. Trump actually has a chance to make a lasting mark in the world s most troubled region: the Middle East. Whether he has the skill, patience or simple good luck to do so is another question, of course. This opportunity arises because of the rapid emergence of an unusual strategic alignment. Historically, America s three most important partners in the region are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. At the moment, all three of those nations actually are strategically in sync with one another and, simultaneously, on good terms with the new American administration. Often Egypt and Saudi Arabia are out of sorts with one another or with whatever American administration that happens to be in office and they ve been at war, literal or figurative, with Israel more often than not. That s not the case now. Throw in Jordan, the other traditional American partner now generally in step with the others, and you have a new state of affairs. This alignment has emerged, as is so often the case, less because of common interests than common enemies. The Saudis, Egyptians and Israelis all see both Iran and Islamic State one a Shiite nation and the other a Sunni radical movement as existential threats. They also see a new administration in Washington that, unlike its predecessor, shares their view that Iran is to be confronted rather than cajoled and that is more willing to look past the internal human-rights issues in friendly states. Add it all up, and there is an opportunity, says a senior administration official. We ll see shortly how that opportunity can be turned into reality. And what might that reality be? One possibility is a new security structure, created with American help, that knits together Sunni Arab States and pulls in tacit security and intelligence cooperation from Israel to confront the Iranian and Islamic State threats. The goal is to have a bigger burden being borne by the countries in the region, says a second administration official. But also to be in a position where they can have their own regional alliance against Iran to counter Iran, and then also to be in a position where there is a security blanket that is provided by them for them. Making good on that possibility will require a lot of steps that have been somewhere between difficult and impossible in the past. The fact that Mr. Trump s first stop abroad will be in Saudi Arabia, where leaders of other Muslim nations will be gathered, signals that the administration is counting on the chronically cautious Saudis to shoulder a bigger leadership role than they ve been willing to in the past. The second needed step will be turning hypothetical alignment between Israel and Arab states into something real. Already, there is a new level of security cooperation between Egypt and Israel in confronting extremists in the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, quiet unofficial contacts between Saudis and Israelis have begun. But Arab leaders are trapped by decades of their own anti-israel rhetoric, which inflames their populations and restricts their ability to adopt a new posture now. Indeed, Israel withdrew its ambassador to Egypt recently because of local security concerns. Which leads to the third necessary step: progress in making peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Movement on the Palestinian problem has always been a prerequisite for any Arab opening to Israel or closer Arab-American cooperation. In the face of bigger problems, Arab leaders increasingly appear to be on page 5 page 4 Talking Points losing patience with and interest in the Palestinians problems. But decades of preaching to their own people about the primacy of the issue can t be simply brushed away. France Reopens Europe For Business, Kind Of There is a tendency for British and American investors to look down their noses at France. The bureaucracy, 35-hour workweek, aggressive trade unions, pushy farmers and protection of national champions even in yogurt attract derision, and the country is often held up as among Europe s most resistant to change. France has problems, part of the reason for one third of votes for president going to far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen at the weekend. But France has a lot going for it economically. It is rich, educated and highly productive. Output per person is the same as in the U.K. (adjusted for purchasing power), despite having an unemployment rate more than twice as high. Workers in France are far more productive, allowing them both to work less and produce more than British workers. Those who laugh at the 35-hour week tend to forget both that it is only the basis before paid overtime kicks in, and that the average worked in the U.S. is even lower, with last week s nonfarm-payrolls report showing private workers put in 34.4 hours. Even French growth hasn t been that bad. Since 1980, Thatcherite reforms have given Britain the fastest growth in output per head of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, but from 1980 to 2006 France grew almost exactly in line with Germany, Italy and Canada. Since then, Italy has become poorer, Germany a lot richer, while France and Canada have both put in slow growth. France needs reform. Her young people are frustrated, with pre-election polls showing far more support for Ms. Le Pen among youth than among older voters a demographic reversal of the Brexit and Donald Trump votes with which her populist National Front is often grouped. The l
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