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Jan 24, 2019

Trump Delays State of the Union Address; Carlos Ghosn Resigns; Big Brands Try to Cut Plastic Waste.

The Wall Street Journal.
What’s News
Sun icon. Good Morning
Here’s what we’re watching as the U.S. business day gets under way:
Trump delays State of the Union address. President Trump said in a tweet late Wednesday that he would give his State of the Union address “when the Shutdown is over.” Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump had indicated he planned to deliver the address in the Capitol next week and would seek alternative venues. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuffed his plan.
The U.S. recognizes an interim president in Venezuela. The declaration of Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader of Venezuela's congress, as the legitimate head of state marks a challenge to authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro and his Chinese and Russian backers.
Carlos Ghosn resigns as Renault CEO and chairman. The announcement, by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire late Wednesday, comes just ahead of the auto company's board meeting today where it was due to name Mr. Ghosn's successor.
Huawei pushes back against spying claims. The telecom giant's chairman, Liang Hua, said it is being unfairly targeted without proof that it conducts espionage for the Chinese government. But the U.S. believes Huawei's ties with the government and role as a supplier of hardware in telecommunications make the company a security threat.
  • The U.S. extradition case for Huawei's CFO is questioned. Canada's ambassador to China said chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou can make "strong arguments" to fight possible extradition.
Politics cloud Europe's economic path. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, European leaders discussed the continent's recovery from the financial crisis, which has faltered amid developments like Brexit and France's street protests.
Intel earnings are on tap today. The company will post its fourth-quarter results as the markets close. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Starbucks will also report. 

What's Trending

A serviceman stands by a Russian S-400 antiaircraft missile system near Dzhankoy, Crimea. PHOTO: SERGEI MALGAVKO/TASS/ZUMA PRESS
Russia installs a new iron curtain. The country's growing deployment of its S-400 antiaircraft missile system, a potentially deadly shield that hasn't been tested in battle, threatens America's aerial dominance.
Big brands attempt to curb plastic waste. This summer, 25 companies—including Procter & Gamble, Nestlé and Unilever—will test selling products in containers designed to be returned, cleaned and refilled.
Flight attendants now hustle for tips. Their role is becoming more of a sales job as airlines incentivize them to pitch credit cards and peddle food and beverages for tips, writes columnist Scott McCartney.
Google fights to keep users' data safe from hackers. The tech giant's counterespionage team tracks more than 200 hacker groups to fend off attacks, leveraging access to data from Gmail and its other products.
Amazon tries to poach shippers from competitors. The retailer, which is expanding its home-delivery service, is offering to collect packages from merchants' warehouses and deliver them to shoppers, without the extra fees that FedEx and UPS use to pad their revenues.
Andy Murray contemplates surgery. The British tennis star's ailing hip has jeopardized his plan to play one last Wimbledon before retiring. But a relatively new, controversial procedure could extend his career.

Tax Watch

Highlights from our tax coverage
Final rules for a new business tax deduction provide clarity. Many owners of rental real estate stand to benefit, but writers, physical therapists and Major League Baseball team owners don’t.
Unchecking the penalty box. The Internal Revenue Service is waiving penalties for some taxpayers who withheld too little when tax tables changed last year.
No tax holiday at the IRS. The U.S. Treasury said more than half of IRS employees would work during tax-filing season, despite the federal government shutdown.
Don’t take a number. The government shutdown has stopped the IRS from issuing some new employer identification numbers, a key step in many business deals.
Investors can’t bank on taxes. Following the 2017 tax overhaul, banks’ 2019 earnings growth isn’t likely to be as robust as in 2018.
High rates, not high taxes. The U.S. once had a 70% tax rate. But high earners and celebrities—from Jack Benny to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower—avoided paying it, writes columnist Laura Saunders.

Chart of the Day

Lockstep moves stoke fears. Correlations across risky assets like stocks, bond yields and commodities hit their highest level in almost a year, with the S&P 500, U.S. crude oil and the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield shifting in tandem in nine of the previous 12 sessions through Tuesday. Investors worry these patterns signal volatility ahead, as they have previously occurred near major market turning points.

News From Other Sources

Capital raising by U.S. oil companies falls sharply. Companies in the sector haven't held any bond sales since the start of November and share sales have also slowed, suggesting that growth will be weaker this year after a record-breaking boom in 2018.

via Financial Times
"Fat finger" blamed for conglomerate losing $41 billion. An investment firm that is part of Southeast Asia's 186-year-old Jardine Matheson group plunged 83% today before recovering quickly, suggesting human error may have caused the drop.

via Bloomberg
Real Madrid tops world soccer's rich list. The Spanish club is the world's richest with record revenues of $853.8 million. Deloitte's Football Money League, based on the 2017-18 season, also shows the combined revenues of the top 20 clubs have risen 6% to $9.44 billion, a new record.

via BBC

This Day in History

Jan. 24, 1965
Winston Churchill Dies
Sir Winston Churchill, the British leader who led the U.K. and its allies to victory in World War II, passed away at 90. He replaced Neville Chamberlain in 1940 as prime minister of a new coalition government as the U.K. stood alone against Nazi Germany in the first year of his administration. He coordinated an alliance with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin that would go on to defeat the Axis powers. The U.K. held the largest state funeral in world history at the time, with representatives from more than 100 nations in attendance.
—Compiled and edited by JuJu Kim in New York and Bryony Watson in London.

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