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ECB cuts rates, restarts QE
The doves seemingly regained control at the ECB, which yesterday cut rates and began another round of QE. The rate cut (10 basis points on the deposit rate to -0.50%) was mostly expected, but the bond-buying program, while also anticipated, was open-ended - a dovish sign. President Trump quickly signaled his displeasure at the Fed's relative recalcitrance. European stocks and bonds both moved nicely higher following the news, though stocks closed the session with just modest gains. A check of the eye-poppingly low European yields: The German 10-year Bund closed at -0.52%, the Italian 10-year at 0.84%, and the Spanish 10-year at 0.21%.
UAW corruption case broadens
The DOJ charged the 10th person in relation to its multiyear investigation of union corruption. A regional director with the UAW was accused of embezzling union funds and other related fraud charges. Last week, federal agents raided the house of UAW President Gary Jones, but no charges have been filed against him yet. Amid the corruption developments, the UAW is deep into negotiations with Detroit automakers Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM), and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) on a new labor contract.
Rough session for health insurers in front of debate
Health insurers and managed care providers were red across the board yesterday, ahead of last night's Democratic Presidential Debate. Joe Biden is advocating a voluntary approach to expanding Medicare coverage to more Americans, while fast-catching-up Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren want to go "all in" with a single-payer system that would decimate private insurers. Among those which lost ground: WellCare (NYSE:WCG), UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) Triple-S Management (NYSE:GTS), Molina Health (NYSE:MOH), and Humana (NYSE:HUM).