Wall Street Breakfast: Risk Aversion Grips The Markets

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Includes: AAPL, AFRAF, AGN, AUDVF, BMWYY, CAB, DDAIF, EA, EBAY, FB, GS, POAHY, QQQ, RDY, RGR, SPY, SWHC, SYMC, TEVA, THERA, TSLA, V, VLKAY, WBA, WMT
by: Wall Street Breakfast
Wall Street Breakfast
Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day and delivered to over 900,000 email subscribers.

Equities across the globe are drifting into the red ahead of a data heavy week in the U.S. that will include retail sales, inflation and other economic figures. Reasons for the declines: Brexit woes, weak Chinese investment growth, fresh strength in the yen, slipping oil prices and the worst mass shooting in U.S. history (see all below). Traders are also anticipating a busy week for central banks with Fed, BOJ, SNB and Bank of England meetings.

Economy

With ten days to go until a Brexit vote, the "Leave" campaign has taken a lead over "Remain" in the latest YouGov poll, reversing the one point lead held by the pro-EU camp in the last survey taken on June 6. Another poll from research firm ORB showed that 55% of British citizens felt they should leave the EU, versus 45% who favored staying. Sterling has taken another leg down this morning, falling 0.7% to $1.4150.

Industrial production in China held steady in May but investment growth weakened as tepid demand and industrial overcapacity continued to weigh on the world's second-largest economy. Fixed-asset investment grew just 7.4% from a year earlier, a sharp drop from the 10%-plus growth recorded in the first four months of the year. Meanwhile, the IMF is calling China's corporate debt problem a "key fault-line... that must be addressed immediately with a commitment to serious reforms."

The safe-haven yen strengthened across the board overnight, hitting a three-year high against both the euro and sterling on Brexit worries and reaching a six-week high vs. the greenback. Anxiety is also in the air over a possible Japanese credit rating downgrade after the government delayed a planned second sales tax hike and led investors to reassess the country's risk.

Oil futures are down 1.1% to $48.52/bbl after dropping 4.2% in the previous two sessions as drilling rigs targeting crude in the U.S. rose by three to 328 last week, a second weekly gain which is a record since last August. The data from Baker Hughes suggests companies may be able to revive output at current prices. Iran is also seeking to boost output by 600K-700K bpd over five years from fields west of the Karoun River along the Iraqi border.

The day prior to May's weak employment report, Fed Funds futures put the probability of a June or July rate increase at 20.6% and 60%, respectively. The trading vehicles now suggest that a rate increase is almost off the table, with the probability of a move this week at less than 2% and July at 20%. In fact one would now have to go all the way out to December to find short-term rate punters expecting more than a 50% chance of the FOMC lifting rates.

Stocks

At least 50 people are dead and more than 50 others wounded after a gunman opened fire and took hostages at a gay club early Sunday morning in Orlando. The shooter, identified as Omar Mateen, was killed in a shootout with law enforcement and pledged loyalty to Islamic State before carrying out the attack. Gun stocks will be on watch at the open following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. SWHC +5.1%, RGR +1.8%, CAB flat premarket.

Facebook turned on its "Safety Check" for the first time in the U.S. following the weekend massacre. The feature allows people to use the social networking site or app to alert people and friends that they are safe in the wake of a crisis or disaster. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has previously employed Safety Check after emergencies in France, Belgium, Pakistan, Nigeria, India and other countries.

Coming off its first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) kicks off its annual developers' conference in San Francisco today facing questions about whether the company's best days are behind it (AAPL -23% over the past year). The focus of the week-long WWDC is expected to be on Siri, and whether Apple will open the digital assistant to outside developers. The tech giant is also expected to announce a refresh for its entire software lineup, as well as updates to Apple Music and other home-grown apps.

Can't beat 'em, join 'em. That appears to be the thinking of China's top life insurer after it backed Didi Chuxing (Private:DIDI) just months after investing in rival Uber China (Private:UBER). China Life Insurance (NYSE:LFC) is plowing about $600M into the taxi app, half of which will go towards its latest funding round that now exceeds $3.5B, and would value Didi at more than $25B.

Eager to grow in competitive video gaming, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) has announced plans to substantially expand competitions for its own titles, starting with Madden. The effort puts it on par with some of the bigger events in professional video gaming, also known as e-sports, and will award $1M in cash prizes over the course of the series.

Symantec is buying privately held cyber security company Blue Coat for $4.65B, with Blue Coat chief Greg Clark becoming the company's CEO once the deal closes. Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC), which makes the Norton antivirus software, has been undergoing a transformation over the past year, selling its data storage unit, Veritas, for $7.4B to gain the cash necessary for turning around its core security software business.

With regulators circling Theranos, Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) has announced its intention to terminate its relationship with the blood-testing startup, and immediately close all 40 Theranos Wellness Centers at its stores. It's yet another blow to Theranos (THER), as those centers are the firm's primary source of revenue. The company once touted its Edison device as a ground-breaking technology able to test blood from just a pinprick.

Wal-Mart will stop accepting Visa cards in Canadian stores after failing to agree on terms with the credit card provider - the latest in a years-long battle between the two companies over fees and the right to steer customers to certain types of payments. Visa (NYSE:V) is the largest payments network in Canada, with 50.6M cards in circulation and $232.6B worth of transactions last year. V -0.5%, WMT unchanged premarket.

Looking to bolster its American business, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (NYSE:RDY) has agreed to buy eight generic medicines from Teva Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:TEVA) and Allergan (NYSE:AGN) for $350M in cash. The sale to India's second-largest drugmaker could put Teva a step closer to winning U.S. antitrust clearance for its $40.5B acquisition of Allergan's generic drugs portfolio, and is contingent on the deal's approval.

The Libyan Investment Authority, the country's sovereign wealth fund, will go head-to-head with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) in a London court today in a dispute over $1.2B in derivative transactions it purchased in 2008. In its lawsuit, the $67B Libyan fund claims that the dealings were rendered worthless during the financial crisis, but Goldman still earned $350M in profit on the trades.

An anonymous bidder has agreed to pay $3,456,789 to eat lunch with Warren Buffett, tying the record for the right to dine with one of the world's most admired investors. The five-day auction on eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) ended on Friday night. Money will go to Glide, a San Francisco charity that provides food and health care to people who are homeless, poor or struggling with substance abuse.

Electric vehicles remain in focus with German automakers as the Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) scandal continues to throw a spotlight on diesel emissions. Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF) plans to unveil its long-range Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle at the Paris Auto Show in October, and Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF) aims to introduce a new EV model every year beginning in 2018. A new all-electric flagship sedan is expected out of BMW (BAMXY) in 2021, while Porsche (OTCPK:POAHY) has the dreamy Mission E Electric sports car in the works.

Tesla is revising its nondisclosure agreements to address concerns customers were discouraged from reporting possible safety problems with its vehicles. The move comes after suggestions from an automotive blog and regulators that agreements Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) asked customers to sign in exchange for covering some repair costs could prevent them from disclosing potential safety issues to the NHTSA. TSLA -0.5% premarket.

Hobbled by a strike involving more than a quarter of its pilots, Air France (OTC:AFRAF) said about 85% of its flights would operate today. The conflict may cost the airline tens of millions of euros, CEO Alexandre de Juniac said last week. Cancellations could also disrupt transport plans for football fans on the fourth day of Europe's soccer championship, and will add to other work stoppages across France protesting the government's labor reform.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -3.5% to 16019. Hong Kong -2.5% to 20512. China -3.2% to 2833. India -0.9% to 26396.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -1.4%. Frankfurt -1.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.4%. Nasdaq -0.5%. Crude -1.1% to $48.52. Gold +0.9% to $1287.20.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 1.61%

Today's Economic Calendar

No events scheduled

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