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Dec 27, 2018

What's News: The Dow's Big Day; Trump's Trade Impact; Alabama Football's Only Flaw

The Wall Street Journal.
Newspaper.
What’s News
Sun icon. Good Morning
Here’s what we’re watching as the U.S. business day gets under way:
Dow logs its biggest daily point gain. The Dow surged more than 1,000 points for the first time in a single session, rebounding 5% after a four-day selloff put the blue-chip index and the S&P 500 on the brink of a bear market. Global stocks were mixed early on Thursday after the rebound. Oil prices had their biggest one-day increase on Wednesday in more than two years, but declined on Thursday.
  • The government shutdown continues. A protracted budget fight at a time of heightened market volatility could worsen an already murky outlook. 
  • Activist investors gain clout. Shareholder activists had their busiest year ever as market declines made companies more affordable and the investors and their tactics become more widely accepted.
 
Trump surprises troops with trip to Iraq.
Trump surprises troops with an Iraq trip. The president, accompanied by the first lady, made a surprise visit to the al-Asad Air Base near the Syrian border, marking his first visit to a U.S. military combat zone.
Troubled hospitals still get accreditation. More than 100 psychiatric hospitals have remained fully accredited by a major watchdog despite safety violations that include lapses linked to the death, abuse or sexual assault of patients.
Medical checks step up at the border. Homeland Security officials said the agency had taken steps to improve the monitoring of migrants’ health and their care after an 8-year-old boy died in Border Patrol custody.
Powell is “100% safe” at the Fed, says an economic adviser to Trump. Kevin Hassett is the latest top White House aide to insist that President Trump has no wish to oust or demote Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, even if he could. 
Chief executives and bankers retain ties to Saudis. Western investors are struggling to decide how to preserve their relationships with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

What's Trending

Trump’s trade impact: A world divided in two. When Donald Trump entered the White House on a platform of defiant nationalism nearly two years ago, many feared he would dismantle the global trading system the U.S. and its allies had built over the past 70 years. He hasn’t. Instead, he is presiding over its realignment into two distinct systems.
The acting U.S. attorney general incorrectly claimed an academic honor. Matthew Whitaker said on his résumé and in government documents that he'd been named an Academic All-American while playing football at the University of Iowa.
Meet the corporate chemist reformulating DowDuPont. Edward D. Breen has spent the past three years merging DuPont and Dow Chemical. His next act? Taking the industrial bastions apart again.
Think electric vehicles are great now? Just wait. Scores of electrics and hybrids will roll off the line over the next 18 to 36 months. Columnist Dan Neil is busy spray-painting his minivan until that time comes.
Junior League strains to keep members and thrift stores. The women’s volunteer organization is among many traditional civic groups that has been forced to shift strategies to survive in a quickly changing world.
Drone deliveries cheer shoppers, but irk neighbors. In one of the world’s most advanced drone-delivery tests, sunscreen and burritos arrived in minutes, as did complaints about noise and mess.
The mystery of Alabama football’s only flaw. Developing good placekickers is a challenge across college football. At Alabama, a menacing fringe of fans and Nick Saban’s preference for holders could make it tougher.

Chart of the Day

Superheroes help propel Hollywood to a record year. “Black Panther” and other Disney superheroes powered box-office returns, with 2018 ticket sales expected to finish up about 6% from last year. In a sign of how top-heavy the market has become, three Walt Disney movies—“Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “The Incredibles 2”—accounted for nearly $2 billion in domestic grosses.
 

News From Other Sources

LinkedIn’s co-founder apologizes for deception in Alabama Senate race. Reid Hoffman, the tech billionaire whose money was spent on Russian-style social media deception last year, apologized, saying he hadn’t approved the operation and didn’t support such tactics in American politics.
via the New York Times
Vinci will buy a majority stake in Gatwick Airport. The French infrastructure group will spend $3.7 billion on the London airport, which had 46 million passengers in 2018. Its operations descended into chaos in the run-up to Christmas after drone sightings led to a prolonged shutdown.
via Financial Times
Amazon's record holiday shows customers still have an appetite for spending. Shoppers loaded their online baskets with items from Echo speakers to Calvin Klein clothes, suggesting consumer optimism wasn't deterred by a tumbling stock market. The internet retailer said “tens of millions of people worldwide” signed up for its Prime service.
via Bloomberg
 

This Day in History

Dec. 27, 1945
International Monetary Fund Is Formed
Stemming from the ideas of economist John Maynard Keynes and U.S. Treasury official Harry Dexter White, the International Monetary Fund started with 29 nations, growing to 189 countries today. It was conceived at the Bretton Woods Conference after World War II. 
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
—Compiled and edited by Phil Nobile in New York and Katy Barnato in London