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Vaping And Gig Business Models Under Attack - The Policy Market

by: The Policy Market

Welcome to The Policy Market - Seeking Alpha's presentation of today’s top policy-related news stories with potential market impact. Follow this account and turn the e-mail alert on to receive this article in your inbox each morning before the market open.

Feds mull ban of flavored vaping products

The Trump administration is prepping a ban on flavored e-cigarettes as federal agencies probe an outbreak of a lung problem that killed at least six people and reportedly led to the sickness of hundreds of others. A potential link between THC vaping and lung disease is at the heart of the investigation. President Trump and HHS head Alex Azar have both confirmed that a ban is possible after the vaping issues are investigated. Names of interest include: Juul (JUUL), Altria (NYSE:MO), Phillip Morris (NYSE:PM), British American Tobacco (BAT), Vector Group (NYSE:VGR), Imperial Brands (OTCQX:IMBBY).

Government and industry players try to hash out biofuel deal

The White House yesterday met with representatives from the biofuel and oil refining industries, aiming for a deal to help farmers by pumping up U.S. ethanol demand, Reuters reports. The separate meetings - one with agriculture reps, another with oil refiners - reportedly discussed Trump's plan to increase biofuel blending mandates after its decision last month to exempt 31 refineries from an obligation to blend ethanol with gasoline angered farmers. So far, a proposal to boost nationwide blending quotas by 1B gallons next year has fallen short of demands of farmers and the biofuel industry.

Eased Iran sanctions discussions may have sent Bolton packing

John Bolton was fired after going ballistic over the president's interest in discussing eased sanctions on Iran as a way to bring that country's government to the negotiating table, reports Bloomberg. "Bolton made sure to block any and all avenues for diplomacy with Iran, including a plan being brokered by [France's] Macron," says the Carnegie Endowment's Suzanne DiMaggio. The report yesterday helped send crude oil to a 2.5% loss on the day, with WTI changing hands at less than $56 per barrel.

Gig players helped by Governor Newsom comments

The business models of Uber (NYSE:UBER), Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), and DoorDash (DOORD) - to name three - are seemingly under threat after California lawmakers passed a bill requiring them to soon begin treating contractors as employees. Governor Newsom, however, says he's committed to continuing negotiating with companies hoping to be exempted from the bill. Uber and Lyft have put together a $90M war chest to push a referendum against the new law. Lyft rose 2.4% yesterday and Uber 1.5%.