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Apr 25, 2019

What's News | Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank Merger Scrapped; Biden Announces; Netflix Needs Reruns

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:
Facebook prepares for a large fine. The social-media giant set aside $3 billion for an expected fine from the FTC over privacy issues, cutting into the social-media giant’s profits even as its underlying business remained strong. Facebook posted $15.08 billion in revenue, up 26% from $11.97 billion in the same period last year.
  • Tesla reports loss as Model 3 struggles. The electric-car maker reported one of its worst quarterly losses on record as its struggles with delivering the Model 3 compact car have raised questions about the rosy growth projections made by CEO Elon Musk.
  • Boeing details financial hit from 737 MAX grounding. The aerospace giant said it has begun factoring in more than $1 billion in additional costs while the plane is grounded and production remains scaled back.
  • Earnings season continues. Comcast, Southwest UPS, and Hershey will report numbers before the bell. Amazon, Starbucks, Intel, Ford and T-Mobile will report after markets close. 
Joe Biden enters the 2020 Democratic presidential race. The former vice president said he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, launching a third bid for the White House as a blue-collar stalwart in a party hungry to defeat President Trump. Mr. Biden will initially rely on a decades-old network of big donors.
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank deal talks break down. The banks have ended merger talks, leaving the German government’s hopes to shore them both up and create a banking powerhouse in tatters.
From subpoenas to taxes, Trump plans to battle the House. The president's refusal to cooperate with lawmakers over Robert Mueller’s report marks a heightening of the White House’s resistance to congressional oversight.
Kim-Putin meeting proves light on substance. A summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended with a joint pledge to forge closer ties, but no public promise from Moscow of economic assistance to mitigate the pressure of sanctions.

What's Trending

Netflix fights to keep its most-watched shows. Hollywood studios that licensed old TV shows to the streaming giant are getting into streaming themselves and want their hits back. That's a threat to Netflix because its viewers spend much of their time watching reruns like "Friends" and "The Office."
Carlos Ghosn is granted bail, again. The former Nissan chairman was given bail by a court in Tokyo, paving the way for him to be released as early as Thursday. Under the latest bail terms, Mr. Ghosn isn't permitted to contact his wife without court permission.
Regulators seek executives to staff failed banks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is assembling a stable of executives who could be installed in top jobs at failed banks, taking advantage of a calm spell in the business ahead of the next downturn. 
The man who insured MetLife's future. Steven Kandarian, who is stepping down as the insurance giant's CEO, ditched Snoopy, sued the federal government and faced an "existential" challenge... all in eight years. 
NSA urges dropping call-data program. The National Security Agency has recommended that the White House abandon a surveillance program that collects information about Americans’ phone calls and text messages, saying the logistical and legal burdens outweigh its intelligence benefits.
Fannie and Freddie's uncertain future, explained. The two companies back almost half of new mortgages in the U.S. Now, talks are heating up about reshaping or shrinking them, a move that could impact millions of Americans.
What's keeping more women from board seats? Companies are appointing more women to board seats than ever, yet the overall share of female directors is barely budging. The reason isn’t the pipeline, say recruiters and researchers. It is that board seats rarely become available in the first place.
From pastries to journalistic insult. In this week's Word on the Street column, "puff piece," a term for a fawning media article, has its roots in Middle English and overblown advertising claims.

Tax Watch

Highlights from our tax coverage
1. The other presidential papers. If congressional Democrats succeed in examining President Trump’s tax returns, the revealing material could be in the administrative files for the agency’s audits of the president. The U.S. Treasury didn’t meet a House deadline to provide the returns. Meantime, Vice President Mike Pence hasn’t released a tax return since 2016
2. The more things change, tax-season edition. About as many U.S. households received refunds through Tax Day this year as last, but the average refund was about 2% smaller, new IRS data show.
3. Private-equity firm goes corporate. Blackstone Group LP, the publicly traded private-equity firm, said it would become a C corporation, a move made attractive by 2017’s federal tax overhaul.

Chart of the Day

Two capitalists worry about capitalism's future. Jamie Dimon and Ray Dalio are among the most successful capitalists in the U.S. today. So when they worry aloud about the future of capitalism, it’s worth listening, writes the Journal's Greg Ip.

This Day in History

April 25, 1990
Hubble Telescope Sent into Orbit
U.S. space shuttle Discovery released the Hubble Space Telescope into a low orbit around earth, a day after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space, above the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere, and has been a vital research tool for astronomers in the decades since launch. It has recorded a comet's collision with Jupiter, given a direct look to the surface of Pluto and seen billions of years into the universe's past.
—Compiled and edited by Phil Nobile in New York and Bryony Watson in London.

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