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Jan 10, 2019

What' News I Trump Walks Out of Border Wall Talks; Ford Launches European Revamp; How Birth Rates Vary Across U.S

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:
Trump walks out as talks falter over border wall funding. Negotiations collapsed on the 19th day of the partial government shutdown with White House officials saying an increasingly likely option is for the president to declare a national emergency over border security and try to use Pentagon funds to pay for construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Stocks extend gains after Fed minutes. U.S. stocks ended the day higher, after Fed officials signaled they are unlikely to raise interest rates for at least a few months. But European stocks slipped this morning as optimism faded. Later today, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will take questions on the economy and rate increases. 
Ford announces major European restructuring. The car maker has launched talks with trade unions in Europe about job cuts that could run into the thousands as it shuts European plants and cancels production of unprofitable models.
Spectators of U.S.-China trade talks hope for a deal. Countries on the sidelines of the negotiations are anxious for the two players to reach a deal and avert the damage a protracted fight poses to the global economy—even if many see the opportunity to benefit from the dispute. 
Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, are divorcing. The split holds implications for the ownership structure of Amazon as Ms. Bezos, who was instrumental in helping to launch the company, could be entitled to half the couple’s wealth, depending on where they divorce. For some CEOs, divorce spills from the private into the corporate realm, with consequences for their companies.
How birth rates vary across the country. The number of babies born in the U.S. in 2017 was the lowest in 30 years, but some places are more fertile than others, according to a new look at federal data. 
 

What's Trending

PHOTO: JOHN TOMAC
The hotel fees that barely make sense. The fees you used to only find at resorts are moving downtown, writes the Journal's Scott McCartney, as many big-city hotels are adding mandatory facility fees or urban-destination fees to hotel bills, hiding the add-ons, which sometimes reach $50 a night, from advertised room rates.
 
New York City's iconic Chrysler Building is up for sale. The owners are hoping to attract deep-pocketed suitors from across the globe—but a number of real-estate investors believe the Chrysler Building could struggle to recoup the $800 million that an Abu Dhabi government fund paid for a 90% stake in the property in 2008.
A junk-bond drought is making investors nervous. Companies with lower credit ratings haven't sold bonds for weeks amid broader market gyrations. Concerns about market volatility and the durability of the long-running expansion are discouraging riskier companies from issuing debt, and investors from buying it. 
The best stuff we saw at CES. Firms bring their quirkiest and most ambitious projects to the annual electronics and innovation show—good, bad or insane. We may never buy any of it, but we go to Vegas to get hints about the future, as the WSJ's David Pierce discovered.
Cocaine in jalapeño cans and a tunnel from Mexico to Arizona. The trial of Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has given the public an unprecedented look inside the operations of the Sinaloa cartel. 
Know enough to not act like a know-it-all. Ambitious executives often act like they know everything. In hindsight, some professed know-it-alls say they didn’t realize how little they knew about getting ahead.

Tax Watch

Highlights from our tax coverage
Refunds ahoy! Reversing past policy, the Internal Revenue Service will pay tax refunds during the federal government shutdown.
Sell first, then move in. Warner Media hopes to sell its future headquarters before moving in, under a sale-leaseback made more attractive by the 2017 tax overhaul.
Welcome, Mr. Chairman. The new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal, is likely to focus on retirement-savings policies, health-care and the 2017 tax cuts.
 

Chart of the Day

Should you fear the yield curve? There’s a new horror show coming to your screens, writes the Journal's Greg Ip: “Inversion of the Yield Curve,” in which a chilling, disembodied force seeps into the minds of the public, triggering panic in markets and hand-wringing on cable news.
 

News From Other Sources

Rolls-Royce enjoys record car sales after U.S. tax cuts. Ultra-wealthy buyers in the U.S. helped the BMW-owned luxury brand's North American sales reach record levels last year.
via Financial Times
Drugmakers' alleged scare tactics may hold back competition. Officials are concerned that the companies that make costly name-brand biologic drugs are sowing doubt about the wisdom of switching to cheaper, unbranded versions, despite certifications that they are safe and effective.
via the Washington Post
European regulator requests common approach to cryptocurrency rules. The European Banking Authority, which ensures banking regulation is implemented equally across the EU, has called for a "common EU-wide approach" to cryptocurrency regulations to ensure investor protection.
via Cryptoglobe
 

This Day in History

Jan. 10, 2000
AOL, Time Warner Announce Massive Merger
The biggest merger in history at the time, America Online and Time Warner announced that AOL would acquire the legacy media company for a staggering $156.14 billion of stock. Renaming the company to AOL Time Warner, the FTC would clear the deal in December that year. In the following years, the value of AOL plummeted as the dot-com bubble burst. In May 2015, Verizon announced a deal to buy AOL for $4.4 billion in stock.
In recent news, an appeals court will hear the second round of a blockbuster antitrust fight between the Justice Department and AT&T over the telecom giant's $80-billion-plus acquisition of Time Warner.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
—Compiled and edited by Phil Nobile in New York and Bryony Watson in London.