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Dec 3, 2018

The 10-Point: A Guide to the Day's Top News

The 
Wall Street Journal.
The 
10-Point.

Today's guide to the WSJ
Good Morning. This evening, The Wall Street Journal kicks off our annual CEO Council meeting in Washington, D.C., with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sitting down with me to discuss what’s ahead for Congress and businesses. Tomorrow we’ll have more interviews, including discussions with national security adviser John Bolton, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and others. Full coverage of the event, including regular updates and video clips, can be found here, and the complete list of planned interviews is here.
 —Matt Murray, editor in chief
In today’s edition, a trade truce between the U.S. and China, remembering George H.W. Bush, rioting in Paris and more.
1.
Over the weekend China and the U.S. agreed to a cease-fire in a trade spat that has shaken global markets. The U.S. postponed plans to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, with the two sides entering negotiations on other contentious issues.
  • The truce was greeted with relief across the world, easing concerns over a possible new Cold War, though this was tempered by signs that the leaders didn't bridge major differences. Stock markets in Europe and Asia rallied today, while U.S. stocks were poised to open higher.
  • Overnight, President Trump said on Twitter that China agreed to cut tariffs on U.S. cars, a deal that Beijing has neither confirmed nor denied.
     
  • The two countries face thorny obstacles to a lasting trade peace. The U.S. set a timeline of about three months for the two sides to negotiate issues that have proved largely intractable in the past.
  • U.S. chip maker Qualcomm ruled out reviving its scrapped takeover deal for Dutch peer NXP after the White House said China, which didn't approve the tie-up in time, would reconsider it as part of the trade truce.
     
  • The Group of 20 nations issued a joint statement over the weekend affirming the importance of the multilateral trading system. The statement had concessions in the language to the U.S. and China on protectionism and unfair trading practices.
From reporter Bob Davis:
President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping struck a truce in an increasingly bitter trade battle. The U.S. delayed plans to increase tariffs on Chinese goods on Jan. 1 while the two nations launch new trade talks. China pledged to discuss thorny trade issues. But this is far from a true deal. Lots of tough negotiations are ahead, with an uncertain chance for success.
bob.davis@wsj.com


2.
Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to extend OPEC’s efforts to stabilize oil markets.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at a Group of 20 summit in Argentina. PHOTO: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
Russia has yet to decide on how much production it would cut, President Vladimir Putin said, underscoring the challenges that remain. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russia-led allies are set to meet Thursday and Friday in Vienna to decide whether output curbs are necessary. Oil prices climbed today following news of the agreement.
  • Qatar said it plans to leave OPEC by next month, a surprise decision for a member that has long played a key role inside the cartel, but has more recently clashed with de facto leader Saudi Arabia.
  • Oil prices, which have sharply fallen this year, are once again dragging on the market for junk-rated corporate bonds, spurring investors to assess the risks for businesses and financial markets.
     
  • In a year of battered global markets, the big winners have been stock-exchange operators and trading firms. NYSE parent Intercontinental Exchange, Nasdaq and CME Group are up by double-digit percentages this year, while shares of high-speed trading firm Virtu have soared 38%. 
3.
World leaders, past and present, remembered the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, who died Friday.
President George H.W. Bush, arriving from a day trip to Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 15, 1989, waved to the White House balcony where first lady Barbara Bush was waiting for him. PHOTO: CHARLES TASNADI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
George Herbert Walker Bush led the U.S. to a swift and decisive victory in the first Persian Gulf War and presided over the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union and unification of Germany, before a recession helped cost him a second term as president. Mr. Bush was 94.
  • Following a short service at the U.S. Capitol, Mr. Bush will lie in state in the rotunda from Monday evening until Wednesday morning. A state funeral will be held at 11 a.m. EST Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral.
     
  • President Trump declared Wednesday a national day of mourning. The operators of the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market said the exchanges would be shut that day.
     
  • In Houston, Mr. Bush’s adopted home, he was beloved.
     
  • The former president’s economic legacy on taxes, banking and trade reverberates today.
     
  • The Journal’s Gerald F. Seib remembers Mr. Bush’s legacy in his latest video.
4.
The best-run U.S. companies of 2018—and how they got that way. A trash hauler, a liquor giant, a maker of hip replacements and the company that brought us the iPhone all share one distinction: They are among the most effectively run U.S. companies. Those are some of the revelations of this year’s Management Top 250, a landmark ranking that uses the principles
 of the late management guru Peter Drucker to identify the most effectively managed companies. Explore the full list and our report.
           
5.
The worst rioting to hit Paris in years has put French President Emmanuel Macrons economic overhaul to the test. Mr. Macron is weighing an emergency clampdown on protests and is trying to shield his pro-business agenda from surging public anger. 
  • Mr. Macron convened a crisis meeting of ministers yesterday after protests violently escalated, leaving the Arc de Triomphe vandalized and the heart of Paris dotted with burning cars and smashed storefronts.
From reporter Matthew Dalton:
France’s gilets jaunes—or yellow vests—movement has quickly become the most serious threat yet to the young presidency of Emmanuel Macron. Rioting in central Paris during protests Saturday shocked much of France’s political class and raised the stakes for Mr. Macron as he seeks to pass business-friendly overhauls of France. Now, he’s considering drastic measures such as imposing a state of emergency, which allows authorities to ban protests for the sake of public order.
matthew.dalton@wsj.com
6.
Trending Stories at WSJ.com
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent at least 11 messages to his closest adviser, who oversaw the team that killed Jamal Khashoggi, in the hours before and after the journalist’s death, according to a CIA assessment. (Read)
The Supreme Court will be asked to rule on a case involving the Securities and Exchange Commission that was considered by newly appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh last year as an appeals court judge. (Read)
A new video showing an NFL player attacking a woman raises doubts about the league’s investigations. (Read)
7.
What We’re Following
Tribune Media Deal: Nexstar Media Group has reached an agreement to buy rival TV-station owner Tribune Media.
James Comey Testimony: The former FBI director and House Republicans reached an agreement allowing him to testify in a closed-door hearing.
Amazons Cashierless Technology: The company is testing the technology for bigger stores.
Chinas EV Ambitions: The country plans to replace millions of gasoline-fueled taxis, buses and trucks with electric models as it aims to lead the global shift to battery-powered transportation.
8.
Some people with diabetes are trying to create their own version of insulin.
PHOTO: BRIAN WENGROFSKY
The price of insulin has skyrocketed over the past few decades, making it increasingly difficult for diabetics to afford. The Journal’s Jason Bellini takes a look at some of the unconventional steps Americans are taking to access the lifesaving drug. 
9.
What Else We’re Reading
Apple plans to hold off until at least 2020 before offering an iPhone that can connect to the next generation of high-speed phone services coming next year. (Bloomberg News)
Pope Francis said homosexuality in the clergy is a serious matter that worries him. (BBC News)
Why are taxi drivers in New York killing themselves? (New York Times)
The Green Bay Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy after the team’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals. (Associated Press)
10.
Today’s Question and Answer
In response to our question about proposed U.S. regulations that would allow the majority of homes to be bought and sold without being appraised by a person:
Mark Linse from Florida said: “Sheer stupidity! Did we learn nothing from the housing bubble?”
Steve Bashein of Maryland wrote: “The more the government gets out of the business of minding everyone’s business, the better. Did we really need the government to tell home buyers and lenders that they ought to assure the market value of a home before buying or lending for it? Lenders of repute do not need this info. Anyone who makes the biggest purchase of their life and fails to do due diligence to determine market value deserves what they get. No nanny state, please, to protect some from their stupidity and exhaust others with unnecessary, expensive, burdensome government regulations. Hail to common sense!”
Shirley Spratt Mitchell from North Carolina shared: “Unacceptable risk if homes—usually the most expensive purchase for any of us, no matter what price the home—are not individually appraised. I wouldn’t want to purchase a diamond from a box without a specific appraisal.”
JD Kasman of South Carolina wrote: “While today’s technology-rich environment would seemingly support a human-less real-estate appraisal process, real estate is an extremely nuanced sector. Technology can provide plentiful inputs for determining value, but at the end, a seasoned professional needs to synthesize that information and ‘touch and feel’ the real estate. After 40 years in the real-estate business nationally, there was nothing compared with getting out and seeing what I was analyzing. I strongly emphasized that point to everyone that ever worked for me as a basic foundation of success in the business.”
Question for tomorrow’s 10-Point: What are your thoughts on the trade truce reached by the U.S. and China over the weekend? Email us your comments, which we may edit before publication, to 10point@wsj.com, and make sure to include your name and location..

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