Wall Street Breakfast: Amazon Finds Homes For New Headquarters

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Includes: AAPL, AMZN, BA, CMI, CPB, E, EIX, GILD, GM, GOOG, GOOGL, K, KHC, MAC, NAV, PCG, QQQ, REGN, SNAP, SPY, SSNLF, TI, VOD
by: Wall Street Breakfast
Wall Street Breakfast
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Amazon has selected New York's Long Island City and Northern Virginia's Crystal City as the sites for its second and third headquarters, WSJ reports, with an announcement expected as soon as today. Other cities may also receive major sites, according to sources. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) began the search across North America in September 2017, saying its new HQ2 location (which will now likely be split) would house roughly 50K jobs and represent billions in investments.

Economy

Monday's broad market rout cannot be blamed exclusively on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and chipmaker worries, with global growth (as well as the Fed) appearing to influence sentiment. That's getting a boost this morning on reports that China's Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone for the first time in months about a possible deal that would ease trade tensions. Liu is also expected to visit the U.S. for talks ahead of a planned Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 summit on Nov. 30.

The U.K. and EU are "almost within touching distance" of a Brexit deal which could be clinched in the next 24 to 48 hours, Theresa May's de facto deputy told BBC Radio. European investors today also have their eyes on Rome, which must present substantially revised spending plans or face disciplinary measures. The populist administration may cut its growth target, but there will likely be no movement on the controversial budget gap.

"The U.S. has had a trade imbalance with Japan for too long. American products and services too often face barriers to compete fairly in Japanese markets," Vice President Mike Pence said at a joint media appearance with Shinzo Abe. "The best opportunity for free, fair and reciprocal trade will come in a bilateral trade agreement," he added, stating the deal with Japan would serve as a "model" for other countries. Nikkei -2.1%.

Japan's central bank has also become the first among G7 nations to own assets collectively worth more than the country’s annual economic output, with its hoard reaching a staggering ¥553.6T ($4.9T). Assets started ballooning when Governor Haruhiko Kuroda took the BOJ helm in early 2013, vowing that such steps would boost Japanese inflation to 2% in two years. That target has proved elusive, barring a brief increase in prices after a sales tax hike in 2014.

According to Bloomberg, President Trump plans to meet with his trade team today to discuss a draft report on European auto tariffs, which he sees as a point of leverage in negotiating with the European Commission. The EPA is also set to announce proposals today on new rules that would significantly decrease emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxide from diesel-powered heavy-duty trucks. Companies that could be affected include Cummins (NYSE:CMI) and Navistar (NYSE:NAV).

Crude is another leg lower this morning, slipping over 2% to $58/bbl, following the latest comments from President Trump. "Hopefully, Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production. Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!" he wrote on Twitter. On Monday, U.S. WTI crude prices fell for the 11th consecutive session, the most on record since the contract began trading.

Natural gas is expected to overtake coal as the world’s second largest energy source after oil by 2030 due to a drive to cut air pollution and the rise of LNG. The estimates are based on the IEA's "New Policies Scenario" that takes into account legislation and policies to reduce emissions and fight climate change. They also assume more energy efficiencies in fuel use and other factors.

The death toll has reached 42 in California's wildfire, making it the deadliest in state history, while an additional 228 people remain missing. Despite sharp criticism on Twitter, President Trump late Monday approved California's request for federal disaster aid. Edison International (NYSE:EIX) and PG&E (NYSE:PCG), whose shares have plunged over the last two sessions, will likely face lawsuits as soon as this week blaming their faulty power lines for sparking the blazes.

Stocks

Setting up a battle for East Coast talent with tech rival Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG, GOOGL) said it plans to double its workforce in New York City to more than 14,000 employees over the next decade. "Not everybody - big surprise - wants to live in Silicon Valley, so we want to make sure we have the opportunity to build vibrant centers across the country," CFO Ruth Porat told the WSJ Tech D.Live conference.

Telecom roundup: Vodafone froze its dividend after recording a loss of €7.8B in the first half of the year (triggered by a massive impairment charge), and pledged to reduce operating costs and review its tower assets. Meanwhile, Amos Genish has been ousted as CEO of Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) after an impromptu board meeting this morning. His dismissal has been the subject of intense debate since Elliott Management took control of the board. VOD +7.2% premarket.

The second standard for 5G networks, called Release 16, will be set in December next year and turned in to the International Telecommunication Union, Samsung's (OTC:SSNLF) Sungho Choi told the 5G Vertical Summit in Seoul. The standards will open the door for connected cars, smart factories, enterprise and private networks, and public safety, playing a "central role in the fourth industrial revolution."

Snap's VP of content is leaving the company, the latest in a series of executive departures as the social network wrestles with stock performance and app redesigns. Over the last five years, Nick Bell led efforts to build out Snapchat's (NYSE:SNAP) media vertical Discover, as well as its Live video division. He also led its recent strategy to invest in more original programming.

With mall vacancy rates sitting at a multi-year highs, U.S. mall operator Macerich (NYSE:MAC) is testing new ways to give consumers a reason to visit. This weekend, it will unveil a new concept called BrandBox at Tysons Corner Center, just outside Washington, D.C., which will help popular online brands own a shared physical space. Macerich will provide services like shelving, inventory tagging and foot traffic data, without the typical leasing strings and red tape.

Kellogg is exploring a sale of its Keebler, Famous Amos and fruit snacks businesses, making it the latest Big Food company to slim down and focus on its core. Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) recently announced plans to divest its fresh food business and Arnott's cookie and crackers, while Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) agreed to sell its Indian food business, Complan. Kellogg's (NYSE:K) North American organizational structure will be also be redesigned for top-line growth.

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are planning to launch a clinical trial of four Ebola treatments as the country faces the worst outbreak in its history. More than 200 people have died from the disease since August, and almost 330 confirmed or probable cases have been reported. The drugs include Gilead's (NASDAQ:GILD) antiviral Remdesivir and three monoclonal antibody preparations: ZMapp, mAb 114 and Regeneron's (NASDAQ:REGN) 3470-3471-3479.

Abu Dhabi could become a net exporter of natural gas after Eni (NYSE:E) sealed a deal with the Middle Eastern emirate to develop major natural gas fields. It expects to achieve daily production of 1.5B cubic feet of gas and 150K of oil at an offshore block that includes the Hail and Ghasha deposits. Investment in the project, which Eni will develop with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., could total $20B over 40 years.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet (NYSE:BA) crashed into the sea northeast of the Philippines on Monday, due to mechanical problems, marking the second crash in less than a month involving aircraft from the USS Ronald Reagan. A hint of possible issues with the jet came from Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marines, in January. "Right now we've got too many Hornets... We need to get rid of them, because we don't have time to fix them."

Meanwhile, two U.S. pilots' unions say the potential risks of a safety feature on Boeing's (BA) 737 Max aircraft - linked to a deadly crash in Indonesia - were not sufficiently explained in their manuals or training, Bloomberg reports. A safety bulletin released by the planemaker last week reportedly followed "existing procedures" designed to address circumstances where wrong information was transmitted from flight sensors.

Expanding its car-sharing program, Maven will allow non-GM branded vehicles on its platform "like the Tesla Model S or Ford F-150" by mid-2019, the company revealed at the UBS Global Technology Conference. Unlike competitors, however, Maven is maintaining its dual car-sharing approach. It will continue to offer its own fleet of GM-branded cars for rent and expand the peer-to-peer option to more cities.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -2.1%. Hong Kong +0.6%. China +0.9%. India +1%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.2%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt +0.8%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.6%. S&P +0.6%. Nasdaq +0.9%. Crude -2.3% to $58.57. Gold -0.4% to $1198.30. Bitcoin -1.8% to $6264.
Ten-year Treasury Yield

Today's Economic Calendar

6:00 NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
10:00 Fed's Reserve Gov. Lael Bralnard: “Artificial Intelligence and the New Financial Landscape”
10:00 Fed's Kashkari Speech
2:00 PM Treasury Budget
2:20 PM Fed's Harker Speech
5:00 PM Fed's Mary Speech

Companies reporting earnings today »