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Dec 30, 2018

What's Next: U.S., China Work on Trade Deal; Markets Brace for More Volatility; Lessons for 2019.

The Wall Street Journal.
Good AfternoonWelcome to What’s Next, a Sunday newsletter from the folks who deliver your essential weekday What’s News briefing. We won’t overload you: just a quick look at the week ahead and great stories you ought not to miss.

Week Ahead

The work week is coming. Be ready.
U.S., China fleshing out trade deal. Chinese and U.S. negotiators are starting to flesh out a deal that could defuse trade tensions by boosting U.S. exports and loosening regulations that hobble U.S. firms operating in China.
Markets prepare for another volatile week. Investors are bracing for more wild swings in the stock market. “The volatility we’re seeing is very reminiscent of some of those ugly periods like when the dot-com bubble popped in 2000, or the post-Lehman financial crisis,” one analyst said. 
The partial government shutdown is headed into 2019. Congress and the White House adjourned until Monday, Dec. 31, the latest sign that lawmakers don’t expect to reach an agreement to end the shutdown this year. The fight over the border-wall funding is likely to be the first order of business for the new Congress on Jan. 3. The shutdown has affected nine of 15 federal agencies, forcing about 380,000 employees to take unpaid leave.
Tech that will change your life in 2019. The coming year will make good on some of the tech industry’s biggest promises—from delivery wagons and foldable phones to privacy crackdowns and corporate health tracking.
Lessons for the year ahead. From the tax overhaul and trade to health insurance and employment benefits. What executives need to know in 2019.

Go Deeper

Long reads and smart WSJ analysis curated by our editors
1989: The year of unfulfilled hopes. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and protests in Tiananmen Square, the promise of a world of growing democracy has given way to a turbulent, fragile international order.
North Koreas secret bankers. The Kim Jong Un regime moves millions of dollars around the world despite sanctions and pressure on international banks to curtail its activities. The hidden system is central to the country’s efforts to keep its economy afloat.
Sears chairman makes last-minute bid to save chain. Edward Lampert’s ESL Investments unveiled an offer to save a chunk of Sears Holdings's stores, but the retailer’s survival isn’t guaranteed. Sears, an American retail staple since 1886, has been struggling and at many closing stores the final weeks have brought sadness and stress for employees
The last 747. Smaller, ultraefficient long-range airliners are overtaking the once celebrated giant of the sky. It is a mixed blessing for passengers, who can pick from more direct flights, but often end up in crammed planes offering fewer perks.
My banker is an algorithm. Square and other tech firms are jumping into banking, using their vast troves of data to determine creditworthiness.
Business has a bigfoot problem. Regulators are increasingly focusing on the power that large companies from Apple to Walmart have over their workers and suppliers, and companies appear to be aware of the risk. Investors should take note, too, writes The Journal's Heard on the Street columnist.
Amazon plans to build new Whole Foods Stores. Amazon is planning to expand Whole Foods stores across the U.S. to put more customers within range of the e-commerce giant’s two-hour delivery service. 
At a trouble Nissan, a new man takes the wheel. A 40-year veteran at the auto maker who pushed to investigate former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, the private Hiroto Saikawa now faces challenges that would tax even the most charismatic executive.
The comeback capital of Puerto Rico. For a pleasure-packed long weekend in San Juan, the resilient capital, heed these tips on where to sleep, eat, swim, sightsee and drink addictive watermelon mojitos.
The new space race between the U.S. and China. Already rivals on Earth, Washington and Beijing are also the main contenders in a race to determine “who will be in a position to obtain the vast resources in space, secure the routes of trade and write the rules of space commerce." Here are some of the milestones the rivals hope to achieve over the next 15 years.
Sylvia Plath’s lost story. In a previously unpublished work from 1952—"Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom"—a young woman realizes she has boarded an unusual train bound for a mysterious destination. Read an excerpt.

Chart of the Week

Indonesia’s volatile Child of Krakatau is more explosive. The volcano that unleashed a tsunami and killed more than 400 people in Indonesia has collapsed to about a third of its previous height and is ejecting superheated magma into the sea, magnifying the power of the eruptions and sending ash more than a mile into the air.
The volcano, called Anak Krakatau, is creating its own "volcano thunderstorm," sending ash more than a mile skyward in eruptions as frequently as every minute.
“It is inherently unstable as it’s just made of layers of lava and ash and debris.”

This Day in History

Dec. 30, 1936
Auto Industry Workers Stage Sit-Down Strike
The United Auto Workers staged a sit-down strike at a General Motors plant in Flint, Mich., beginning a 44-day sit-in that would change the U.S. auto industry. Workers refused to leave the Fisher One, Fisher Two and Chevrolet Number 4 plants for more than a month. As production was severely crippled, GM reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers in February of the following year. The strike legitimized the UAW, leading to the unionization of the entire U.S. automobile industry.
—Compiled and edited by Josee Rose in London and Phil Nobile in New York

Source: WSJ

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