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Oct 24, 2019

Business | Politics: White House delayed Ukraine trade decision in August, a signal that U.S. suspension of cooperation extended beyond security funds

David J. Lynch

The White House’s trade representative in late August withdrew a recommendation to restore some of Ukraine’s trade privileges after John Bolton, then-national security adviser, warned him that President Trump probably would oppose any action that benefited the government in Kyiv, according to people briefed on the matter.
The warning to Robert E. Lighthizer came as Trump was withholding $391 million in military aid and security assistance from Ukraine. House Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry into allegations that the president did so to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the business activities of former vice president Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden. As part of the inquiry, lawmakers are closely scrutinizing the White House’s actions between July and September.
The August exchange between Bolton and Lighthizer over the trade matter represents the first indication that the administration’s suspension of assistance to Ukraine extended beyond the congressionally authorized military aid and security assistance to other government programs. It is not clear whether Trump directed Bolton to intervene over Ukraine’s trade privileges or was even aware of the discussion.
“It was pulled back shortly before it was going to POTUS’ desk,” one administration official said, referring to the Ukraine paperwork and using an acronym for the U.S. president. “Bolton intervened with Lighthizer to block it.”
In response to questions from The Washington Post, another administration official said the presidential proclamation about the trade status of Ukraine and two other nations had been held up for several weeks in the office of the White House staff secretary as part of a routine “country review process.”
One former U.S. government official said the president wanted “the total elimination” of the global trade program at issue. Known as the “generalized system of preferences,” or GSP, it allows 120 countries to ship roughly 1.5 percent of total U.S. imports without paying tariffs.
But in March 2018, Trump signed legislation reauthorizing the program through 2020, and Lighthizer in recent weeks has been negotiating with India over restoring its GSP status, which was suspended in March.
Bolton resigned Sept. 10, one day before the administration released the military aid under pressure from lawmakers.
In early October, nearly two months after withdrawing the initial effort to restore Ukraine’s trade privileges, Lighthizer sent the necessary paperwork to the White House for a second time. He later withdrew it again, on Oct. 17, amid an intensifying storm over the president’s policy toward Ukraine.
The administration now plans to include the restoration of some of Ukraine’s suspended privileges in a package of trade measures slated for release this month, a person briefed on the planning said.
This account is based on interviews with 10 current and former administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Through a spokeswoman, Bolton declined to comment. The White House declined to comment. Lighthizer’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Bolton’s intervention came as the president was telling White House aides that any assistance for Ukraine depended upon Zelensky publicly stating that his government would investigate Hunter Biden’s role as a board member of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, according to congressional testimony this week by acting U.S. ambassador William B. Taylor Jr.
“The president doesn’t want to provide any assistance at all,” Taylor said Tim Morrison, the National Security Council’s top Russia official, told him Aug. 22.
Five days later, Bolton arrived in Kyiv for a meeting with Zelensky. And Sept. 1, Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who was coordinating the administration’s Ukraine policy, told Taylor that “everything” depended upon Zelensky saying publicly that he would investigate Joe Biden and allegations of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Taylor told the House impeachment inquiry Tuesday.
Bolton did not share Trump’s view that Ukraine might be a source of damaging political information, but he was privy to weeks of back-and-forth within the administration and in Kyiv about the military aid.
Taylor testified Tuesday that Bolton was “so irritated” by a linkage between “investigations” and a proposed meeting between Trump and Zelensky that he had shut down a July 10 White House Ukraine policy gathering and told National Security Council staffers there “that they should have nothing to do with domestic politics.”
Bolton also had instructed the then-head of Russia policy at the NSC to “brief the lawyers,” according to a copy of Taylor’s opening statement obtained by The Washington Post.
At issue in Bolton’s warning over the trade privileges was Lighthizer’s recommendation to the White House that the president reinstate Ukraine’s ability to export some products to the United States on a duty-free basis. Roughly a third of Ukraine’s benefits under the program was suspended in December 2017 amid long-standing concerns that the country was routinely violating U.S. intellectual property rights.
That suspension took effect in May 2018. After the Ukrainian government then took steps to address the U.S. criticism, such as by passing a law to improve the collection of copyright royalties, officials in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) considered allowing the country to regain about a third of its suspended duty-free privileges.
Over the summer, USTR officials reached out to the International Intellectual Property Alliance, or IIPA, an industry coalition that had filed the initial complaint against Ukraine, to ask if it would object if the government restored some of Ukraine’s GSP rights. IIPA represents copyright holders in the music, film, book and software industries who are being cheated out of millions of dollars in royalty payments.
Long a haven for piracy, Ukraine was one of 11 countries this year listed on USTR’s priority watch list for intellectual property violations. U.S. officials say Ukrainian government offices often use counterfeit software. Black-market operators produce pirated physical and digital products. Some claim to represent copyright holders and collect royalty payments on their behalf but then fail to distribute them to the artists.
“We were supportive of the U.S. government decision one way or the other,” said Eric Schwartz, an attorney representing IIPA.
USTR’s decision to partially suspend Ukraine’s duty-free privileges affected products such as chocolate bars, helium, mushrooms, deodorant and telescopic gun sights, according to a 2017 Federal Register notice.
The partial suspension dramatically affected U.S. imports of those individual products. Ukrainian chocolate shipments to the United States last year fell by more than half to $110,000 from $247,500, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s online database.
But Ukraine is a minor participant in the GSP program, and its partial suspension carried only modest financial consequences. Of the country’s $1.4 billion in sales to American customers last year, just $51 million entered the United States via the duty-free program.
India, which also has been suspended from the program, is its largest beneficiary, with $6.3 billion in U.S. sales last year.
“We really haven’t heard much about this suspension from the Ukraine side,” said Morgan Williams, president of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council. “We think they ought to be more interested in it.”
Over the years, various Ukrainian governments have failed to follow through on repeated promises to tighten their enforcement of intellectual property rights. At a USTR hearing in September 2017, Vitalii Tarasiuk, head of the economics and trade office at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, said intellectual property protection was “one of the top priorities” for their government.
He also said “ongoing Russian aggression” limited the resources Kyiv could devote to improving its intellectual property environment.
Trump took office vowing to crack down on foreign countries that had taken advantage of the United States in trade. Even as he confronted major trading partners such as China and the European Union, the president dispatched Lighthizer to address shortcomings in smaller trade programs.
Three days before Christmas 2017, the president cracked down on Ukraine for a chronic failure to “provide adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) despite years of encouragement and assistance from the U.S. Government,” according to a USTR statement at the time.
“President Trump has sent a clear message that the United States will vigorously enforce eligibility criteria for preferential access to the U.S. market,” Lighthizer said in announcing the move. “Beneficiary countries choose to either work with USTR to meet trade preference eligibility criteria or face enforcement actions. The administration is committed to ensuring that other countries keep their end of the bargain in our trade relationships.”
Trump delayed the effective date of the partial suspension for 120 days, saying Ukraine “has a viable path to remedy the situation, including improving the current legal regime governing royalty reimbursement to right holders’ organizations.”
When Kyiv failed to act quickly enough, the administration implemented the partial cutoff April 26, 2018. Ukraine subsequently passed legislation to address some of the White House’s concerns. The measure was welcomed by U.S. industry and government officials. But it left in place existing rogue operators, many with government connections, a major shortcoming in the eyes of American critics.
Still, U.S. officials, with industry support, thought it made sense to reward Ukraine’s efforts by restoring to duty-free status some of the products that had been eliminated last year.
Per routine practice, Lighthizer’s recommendation was reviewed widely in the administration this year, including at the Office of Management and Budget and the State Department. The formal paperwork was sent to the office of Derek Lyons, the White House staff secretary, where it languished.
In response to questions, a senior administration official last month said the Ukraine decision had been delayed as part of a routine review. This month, the Ukraine announcement was set to be packaged with separate trade actions involving Thailand and Mali, and was readied for action.
Then as the Ukraine-focused House impeachment inquiry gathered steam, Lighthizer yanked the Ukraine recommendation for a second time.
Dan Balz, Anne Gearan and Shane Harris in Washington and David Stern in Kyiv contributed to this report.

Press Release: The CFTC Charges Upstream Energy Services with Acting as an Unregistered Futures Commission Merchant

3minutos - Source: CFTC

October 24, 2019  
Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced today that it issued an order filing and settling charges against Upstream Energy Services LLC of Houston, Texas requiring it to pay a $75,000 civil monetary penalty for acting as an unregistered Futures Commission Merchant (FCM).
“The Commission will continue to vigorously pursue violations of the registration requirements of the Commodity Exchange Act, which are designed to protect market participants and ensure market integrity,” said CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald.
The order finds that between April 2017 and September 2018, Upstream, which has never been registered with the CFTC, accepted orders from two corporate clients to trade natural gas commodity futures and options on NYMEX, a futures exchange and designated contract market.  Upstream placed orders and entered into transactions on behalf of these clients in the company’s trading accounts. Upstream also extended credit to their clients by providing margin and money on their behalf to trade in Upstream’s accounts. In addition, Upstream received fees as compensation for its services in connection with the futures and options orders and transactions. Given these activities, the order finds that Upstream violated the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) by acting as an FCM without being registered with the Commission.
The order recognizes Upstream’s cooperation with the Division of Enforcement’s investigation and notes that their assistance is reflected in the form of a substantially reduced civil monetary penalty. In addition to the civil monetary penalty, the CFTC orders Upstream to cease and desist from further violations of the FCM registration provision of the CEA. 
The Division of Enforcement staff responsible for this case are W. Derek Shakabpa, John Buffington, Alben Weinstein, Patryk J. Chudy, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.

Press Release: The CFTC Charges New York Man with Misappropriating Customer Funds Intended for Futures and Forex Trading

2-3 minutos - Source: CFTC

October 24, 2019  
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Eyal Alper of Tarrytown, New York, for fraud and misappropriating funds. 
The CFTC’s complaint charges Alper with defrauding members of the public by fraudulently soliciting them to trade futures and/or forex contracts through accounts purportedly managed by Alper, and misappropriating at least $280,000 of the funds provided to him for these purposes. 
According to the complaint, Alper improperly commingled the customers’ funds with his own funds, never opened trading accounts for his customers as promised, and sent false statements to his customers reporting purported profits in the fictitious accounts.
In its continuing litigation against Alper, the CFTC seeks restitution to defrauded customers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction against future violations of federal commodities laws, as charged.
The CFTC thanks and acknowledges the assistance of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.
The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Alan Edelman, Kara Mucha, Daniel Jordan, and Rick Glaser.
* * * * * * *
CFTC’s Foreign Currency (Forex) Fraud Advisory
The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Foreign Currency Trading (Forex) Fraud Advisory, which states that the CFTC has witnessed a sharp rise in Forex trading scams in recent years and helps customers identify this potential fraud.

Press Release: U.S. Financial Regulatory Agencies Join the Global Financial Innovation Network

Washington, DC

October 24, 2019
Joint Release
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Office of Comptroller of the Currency
Securities and Exchange Commission

—The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today announced joining the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). 
U.S. financial regulators have taken proactive steps in recent years to enhance regulatory clarity and understanding for all stakeholders and promote early identification of emerging regulatory opportunities, challenges, and risks. Participation in the GFIN furthers these objectives and enhances the agencies’ abilities to encourage responsible innovation in the financial services industry in the United States and abroad. By promoting knowledge-sharing on innovation in financial services, U.S. members of GFIN will seek to advance financial and market integrity, consumer and investor protection, financial inclusion, competition, and financial stability. Participation in international organizations such as this helps U.S. financial regulators represent the interests and needs of the nation and its financial services stakeholders.
The agencies join 46 other financial authorities, central banks, and international organizations from around the globe that are members of the GFIN to foster greater cooperation among financial authorities on a variety of innovation topics, regulatory approaches, and lessons learned.
Media Contacts:
CFTC             Office of Public Affairs                 (202) 418-5080                               
FDIC               David Barr                                  (202) 898-6895       
OCC               Bryan Hubbard                           (202) 649-6870                               
SEC                Office of Public Affairs                (202) 551-4120                   

Bonds | Treasury Yields Report: Interest rate cuts could make these bonds an attractive target

Joy Wiltermuth

Bonds issued by home builders are signaling a pretty upbeat tone for the U.S. economy, even as U.S. recession fears linger.
Wage growth has been on the rise while borrowing costs have fallen, with the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage plunging this week to a three-year low of 3.55%, helping to partially offset the affordability crunch for would-be homeowners. That all should be music to the ears of home builders, which operate cyclical businesses and often rely heavily on debt to construct homes for future buyers.
“Last year, home builders were under considerable pressure because of rates and affordability, which go hand and hand,” said Matthew Kennedy, head of corporate credit at Angel Oak Capital Advisors, in an interview Friday.
“But with Powell pivoting and rates starting to come down,” Kennedy said, “that was an impetus of change.”
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell kept rates steady for the first half of 2019, while vowing to keep a close eye on signs of a potentially slowing U.S. economy. But as the U.S.-China trade war marched on, the central bank in July opted for a quarter percentage point “mid-cycle adjustment” to help support household and business confidence.
In a July report, Moody’s Investors Service said it expects the home-building industry to be stable with 2% to 4% top-line growth over the next 12 to 18 months, but with stronger revenue growth at home builders with a focus on entry-level homes and lower prices.
“Public companies that showed positive growth of above 5% during the first calendar quarter were generally the ones weighted more heavily toward affordable offerings, including Meritage Homes MTH, +2.69%, LGI Homes Inc.  LGIH, +1.37% and Century Communities Inc. CCS, +0.21%, ” wrote Moody’s analysts led by Natalia Gluschuk.
See also: Huge pile of negative-yielding global debt could be a cash cow for some bond investors
Kennedy said he preferred the bonds of builders with a focus on affordability that can attract millennials and others looking for a starter home, or the next step up.
The high risks associated with home builders often land them in the high-yield, or “junk-bond,” category of corporate debt because new homes can sit on the market unsold when sentiment shifts.Like stocks, high-yield bonds also can be vulnerable to bouts of volatility and market shocks.
Friday housing data came out weaker than expected, showing that new-home sales in July fell almost 13%, but with a key caveat that June had a “ridiculously large revision” higher of its sales figure.
Yet, on Friday, the closely-tracked ICE BofAML U.S. High Yield Homebuilders & Real Estate index closed at $101.76 per share and held its 8.78% gain year-to-date, or better than the 6.97% gain of the broader ICE BofAML U.S. High Yield index, according to FactSet.
“You wouldn’t think this would be defensive,” Kennedy said of home builder bonds. “It is just that right now the consumer is very strong, household formation is picking up and affordability is easing.”
Check out: Bank of America’s CEO has one simple reason why he doesn’t see a recession looming
Stephen Percoco, founder of Lark Research, said that Friday’s lower new-home sales report was unlikely to lead to volumes falling below his 6% annual growth target. Sales of new U.S. homes were still 4.3% higher in July than a year ago.
“This year is continuing at a real solid pace, which as long as the economy doesn’t fall back dramatically, the momentum in housing should continue,” the former Salomon Brothers junk-bond analyst, told MarketWatch in an interview.
“But we have to be cautious, because when certain sectors of the economy start slipping, eventually that will affect the consumer and housing will follow.”
Major U.S. stock indexes ended lower on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.11%  losing more than 600 points amid an intensifying U.S.-China trade war. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.19%  shed almost 76 points after President Trump called for American firms to seek alternatives to China after Beijing imposed retaliatory tariffs

EU - FX | Currencies: Pound whipsaws after Johnson calls for UK election

2-3 minutos - Source: CNBC

GP: Pay someone with dollars 191002
wakila | E+ | Getty Images
The British pound boomeranged on Thursday following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for a national election, plunging then recouping some losses to land half a percent lower on the day against the dollar.
Johnson said on Thursday he was asking parliament to approve a national election on Dec. 12 in an effort to break the political deadlock over Brexit and ensure the UK leaves the European Union. In a letter to opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the prime minister said he would give parliament more time to approve his Brexit deal but that lawmakers must back a December election.
Although uncertainty about Brexit has hurt the pound, the currency has been bolstered in October as the chances of a no-deal exit have been all but eliminated. It was against that backdrop the pound retraced its initial losses after Johnson announced his third attempt to force a snap poll. The pound was last down 0.575% to $1.285. It is currently up nearly 5% this month.
After surging to a 5-1/2 month high on Monday, the pound has come back under pressure after British lawmakers blocked Johnson’s plan to push through a withdrawal agreement and get the UK out of the EU on Oct. 31.
The Brexit end game is more uncertain than traders thought last week, setting up the pound for another rocky period. Against the euro it dropped 0.37% to 86.47 pence per euro.
In the UK, data this week showed the government was likely to miss a goal of keeping borrowing below the threshold of 2% of GDP, reflecting weakening public finances even before Brexit.
The Brexit optimism had led money markets to slash the chances of interest rate cuts next year but those estimates are creeping higher again, with a cut now 90% priced for December 2020, up from 60% a week ago.

UK Politics | Brexit: Boris Johnson to seek Dec. 12 election to break Brexit impasse

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that the only way to break Britain’s Brexit impasse is a general election, and he will ask Parliament to approve a national poll for Dec. 12.
Johnson said he would ask lawmakers to vote Monday on a motion calling for an early election.
Johnson has been mulling his next move since Tuesday, when lawmakers blocked his attempt to fast-track an EU divorce bill through Parliament in a matter of days.
Lawmakers said they needed more time to scrutinize the legislation, making it all but impossible for Britain to leave the EU on the scheduled date of Oct. 31 with a deal.
The British government has been awaiting the EU’s decision on whether to postpone the U.K.’s departure to prevent a chaotic no-deal exit. The request for a delay until Jan. 31 was ordered by Britain’s Parliament to avert the economic damage that could come from a no-deal exit.
Though the EU has not given its answer, Johnson said it looked like the EU would grant the extension — and with it kill off Johnson’s oft-repeated promise that Britain will leave the EU at the end of this month.
“I’m afraid it looks as though our EU friends are going to respond to Parliament’s request by having an extension, which I really don’t want at all,” Johnson said.
Britain’s next scheduled election is in 2022. If Johnson wants an early election, he needs to win a vote in Parliament by a two-thirds majority, or lose a no-confidence vote, which so far opposition parties have refused to call.
The main opposition Labour Party has said it would “support a general election when the threat of a no-deal crash-out is off the table.”
European Council President Donald Tusk has recommended that the other 27 EU nations grant Britain a delay, yet many of the bloc’s members are weary and frustrated at Britain’s interminable Brexit melodrama. But they also want to avoid the economic pain that would come to both sides from a sudden and disruptive British exit.
So they are likely to agree, although politicians in France say President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a shorter extension than the three months that Britain has asked for.
Johnson has vowed that, sooner or later, the U.K. will leave the EU on the terms of the deal he negotiated with the bloc.
He said the Dec. 12 election date would give lawmakers more time to scrutinize his bill, because Parliament would be in session until the formal campaign started on Nov. 6.
“So, the way to get this done, the way to get Brexit done, is, I think, to be reasonable with Parliament and say if they genuinely want more time to study this excellent deal they can have it, but they have to agree to a general election on Dec. 12,” Johnson said.
Meanwhile, U.K. police and politicians have sounded alarms about what could happen in Northern Ireland under Johnson’s proposed Brexit deal, with the region’s police chief warning that a badly handled divorce from the European Union could bring violence back onto the streets.
Police have long warned that if Britain’s departure from the EU imposes a hard border between the U.K.’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland, that could embolden Irish Republican Army splinter groups who are opposed to Northern Ireland’s peace process and power-sharing government.
Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable Simon Byrne told the BBC on Wednesday there also was potential for unrest among Northern Ireland’s pro-British loyalist community. He said, depending on how Brexit unfolded, there could be “a lot of emotion in loyalist communities and the potential for civil disorder.”
“There are a small number of people in both the loyalist and nationalist communities that are motivated by their own ideology and that have the potential to bring violence back onto the streets,” he said.
The all-but invisible Irish border now underpins both the regional economy and the peace process that ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland.
The Brexit divorce deal struck last week between Johnson and the 27 other European Union countries contains measures to keep the Irish border open. But the plan has been condemned by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, an ally of Johnson’s Conservatives. The DUP says the agreement’s proposal to keep Northern Ireland in line with EU goods and customs regulations would impose new checks and friction between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.
Johnson’s Conservative government acknowledges that “administrative procedures including a declaration will be required” on goods going from Britain to Northern Ireland after Brexit, but it says they would be minimal.
DUP lawmaker Nigel Dodds warned Thursday that the British government risked undermining “the political institutions and political stability in Northern Ireland by what you are doing to the unionist community.”
“Please wake up and realize what is happening here,” he told the House of Commons. “We need to get our heads together here and look at a way forward that can solve this problem. Don’t plow ahead regardless, I urge you.”

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Midday: Stocks making the biggest moves midday: Tesla, Microsoft, Ford, Twitter, eBay & more

Michael Sheetz

GP: Microsoft Nadella DLD Munich 170116
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the Digital-Life-Design conference in Munich, Germany, on January 16, 2017.
Tobias Hase | picture alliance | Getty Images
Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading:
Tesla – Shares of Elon Musk’s automaker climbed 16.5% in trading after Tesla reported third-quarter results that surprised Wall Street, delivering a profit of $1.86 a share. The stock’s pop was one of its biggest in the past decade after the report, which also showed Tesla making faster than expected progress on building its highly anticipated factory in Shanghai.
Microsoft — Shares of the tech giant rose 2% on quarterly results that topped analyst expectations. Microsoft reported earnings per share of $1.38 on revenue of $33.06 billion. Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected a profit of $1.25 per share and sales of $32.23 billion. The beats were driven by a 59% surge in revenue for Azure, Microsoft’s cloud business.
Ford – Shares of Ford tanked 7% after the automaker lowered its guidance for the rest of the year based on falling consumer demand, primarily in China. The automaker said it expects to make less profit than previously expected for the year, lowering its 2019 earnings guidance to between $6.5 billion and $7 billion. Deutsche Bank downgraded Ford to hold from buy following the announcement.
Twitter – Twitter shares were on pace Thursday for their worst day since July 2018 after the company said advertising issues contributed to a sizable revenues miss in the third quarter. The stock was last seen down nearly 20% after Goldman Sachs cut its price target on the company by more than 30%.
eBay – Shares of the e-commerce company dropped 9% after eBay reported quarterly results that saw the critical measure of gross merchandise value (GMV) fall for a third straight quarter. Even though eBay’s results were slightly better than expected on the top and bottom lines, Wall Street analysts emphasized the company’s earnings were unexceptional.
Dow – Shares of Dow rose 1.5% after the chemical company beat on the top and bottom lines of its third quarter results. Dow reported earnings of 91 cents on revenue of $10.764 billion. Wall Street expected earnings of 73 cents per share on revenue of $10.735 billion, according to Refinitiv.
3M – The industrial and consumer company’s stock fell 4.3% after reporting worse-than-expected revenue, in addition to 3M’s lowered forecast for both fourth quarter and fiscal year earnings.
PayPal – A break-out quarter for PayPal sent its catapulted its stock up more than 8% on Thursday. Total payment volume, a key metric for PayPal and its peers, came in at $178.7 billion, well ahead of expectations. It reported earnings per share of 61 cents versus 52 cents forecast.
Hershey – The consumer products giant’s stock dropped nearly 2% after Hershey reaffirmed its fiscal year earnings forecast between the range of $5.68 a share to $5.74 a share, below the $5.76 a share Wall Street analysts surveyed by FactSet expected.
– CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald, Tom Franck and Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

Energy | Oil | Oil Price Report: Oil edges higher, but weak demand outlook weighs

3minutos - Source: CNBC

RT: Worker on oil rig in the Permian Basin near Wink, Texas 180822
A drilling crew member on an oil rig in the Permian Basin near Wink, Texas.
Nick Oxford | Reuters
Oil prices climbed on Thursday, with Brent rising above $61 a barrel as a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories and the prospect of further market-supporting action by OPEC and its allies offset some concern over the outlook for demand.
U.S. inventories dropped by 1.7 million barrels in the week to Oct. 18, and one analyst said stocks could fall further in coming weeks. OPEC and its allies meet in early December and could, officials have said, opt to deepen supply curbs.
Brent crude was up 60 cents at $61.77 a barrel, having risen 2.5% on Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 42 cents to $56.39.
“We feel that even minor supportive headlines on the trade front or geopolitical developments could prompt an exaggerated price response in a market in which net speculative WTI length had dropped into the red zone,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.
Gains in stock markets also lent support to oil prices, dealers said.
Wall Street opened higher, Asia cheered a one-year peak for Tokyo’s Nikkei and MSCI All World index <.MIWD00000PUS> was at its highest since late July.
Still, the recent truce in the U.S.-China trade war is not an economic turning point and has done nothing to reduce the risk that the United States could slip into recession in the next two years, a Reuters poll of economists found.
In the latest sign of economic weakness, employment in Germany’s private sector fell for the first time in six years in October, a survey showed.
Oil’s gains on Wednesday were supported by the drop in U.S. crude inventories as reported by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
“The seasonal weakness in crude oil processing now appears to have come to an end, and processing should increase again,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said of the EIA report.
“All things being equal, this should result in further falling crude oil stocks.”
Brent prices have risen 14% this year, supported by a supply pact among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies.
Since January OPEC, Russia and other producers have implemented a deal to cut oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day until March 2020 to support the market. The producers meet on Dec. 5-6 to review the policy.
Adding further price support, officials have said that extended supply curbs are an option to offset the weaker demand outlook for OPEC crude in 2020.

Commodities | Gold | Gold Price Report: Gold edges down as investors await clarity on Brexit

3minutos - Source: CNBC

RT: Gold bars 171215
Leonhard Foeger | Reuters
Gold inched down on Thursday as investors awaited clarity on Brexit after the European Union delayed a decision on granting Britain an extension, while a weaker dollar provided a floor under prices.
Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,488.58 per ounce as of 0725 GMT. U.S. gold futures lost 0.3% at $1,491.30 per ounce.
With EU members delaying their decision on whether to give Britain a three-month Brexit extension, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said if the deadline was deferred until the end of January he would call an election by Christmas.
“Even if Brexit goes through, there are enough geopolitical uncertainties to keep gold supported for the next two to three years,” said Hareesh V, head of commodity research at Geojit Financial Services.
“The dollar (index) has corrected from the 99.5 level to 97.2 on a continuous basis for the last two weeks. That is providing some support to prices,” he said.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, was down 0.1% at 97.396, on track for its second straight session of losses.
Markets have been volatile for months due to geopolitical uncertainties such as the U.S.-China trade war, Brexit, Hong Kong protests and tensions in the Middle East.
Non-yielding bullion is often seen as a safer investment during political and financial turmoil.
OANDA analyst Jeffrey Halley pointed to a lot of stale long positions and said a breakdown through $1,460.00 was likely to prompt more long-term holders to unwind positions to lock in profit.
Market participants await European and U.S. manufacturing data due on Thursday to gauge the health of the global economy, and a European Central Bank meeting, with no policy change expected at President Mario Draghi’s last at the helm.
Investors also await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting on Oct. 29 and 30, at which it is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate.
Asian shares pulled ahead as corporate earnings and a ceasefire in northern Syria helped lift sentiment, though the U.S.-China trade spat and Brexit prevented a decisive shift towards riskier assets.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.13% to 918.48 tonnes on Wednesday from 919.66 tonnes on Tuesday.
Silver fell 0.4% to $17.49 per ounce. Platinum was up 0.6% at $920.74 per ounce after scaling a more than three-week high, while palladium rose 0.6% to $1,752.53 per ounce.

UK News: Bodies in truck container identified as Chinese nationals: Live updates

By Lauren Said-Moorhouse

Chinese censors on Thursday cut off CNN's coverage of the deaths of 39 Chinese nationals found in a truck in England the day before.
It is not uncommon for China to censor negative or sensitive stories covered by international broadcasters.
Lily Lee/CNN
Lily Lee/CNN
Belgium has now opened an investigation into the deaths of 39 people on a truck in the UK, according to the country's Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office.
In a statement released Thursday morning it said the investigation “will focus on the organizers of and all other parties involved in this transport.”
The preliminary findings of the prosecutor outline the origins and initial movements of the container carrying the group. Here's their timeline of the container's movements:
  • It arrived at Zeebrugge port in Belgium on Tuesday at 2:49 p.m. CET (1:49 p.m. BST)
  • It left the port that same afternoon
  • It arrived in Purfleet in England on Wednesday at 1:00 a.m. CET (12:00 a.m. BST.)
It remains unclear when and where the victims entered the container.
Chinese officials will make their way to Essex after it was confirmed that the 39 people found dead in a truck at an industrial park Wednesday were all Chinese nationals.
“Staff from the Chinese Embassy in the UK are en route to the scene to verify relevant information,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in an online statement.
Shortly after, the embassy in the UK released a statement on the tragedy.
“We read with heavy heart the reports about the death of 39 people in Essex, England. We are in close contact with the British police to seek clarification and confirmation of the relevant reports, “ the statement read.
UK police now believe that all the people found inside a container on Wednesday were Chinese nationals, according to the latest update on the investigation's progress Thursday morning.
"Of these, 38 are believed to be adults, and one is a young adult woman. We previously reported that she may have been a teenager. We have since confirmed that eight of the deceased are women and 31 are men and all are believed to be Chinese nationals," Essex police said in a statement.
The statement continued that a full coroner's process must be undertaken for each person to establish a cause of death before the investigation will move on to attempting to identify each individual found in the container.
Police move the truck from the industrial park to Tilbury Docks.
Police move the truck from the industrial park to Tilbury Docks. Bianca Britton/CNN
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister said today that the truck found with 39 bodies inside in Grays, England, had not entered Bulgaria since 2017.
Speaking on Bulgarian television channel bTV, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said: “The truck was registered in 2017, in Bulgaria.”
“It then leaves Bulgaria, and never re-enters Bulgaria again,” he said. “There is no way that we can be connected, except for the registration plate of the truck. Despite this, we are working very well with the British authorities.”
Some background: CNN saw the truck being moved later on Wednesday. Police said it would be moved to a "secure location" at Tilbury docks, about a 20-minute drive away from Grays, to "maintain the dignity of those who have lost their lives."
Paul Berry — a local councilor for Armagh in Northern Ireland — identified the driver of the truck as Morris Robinson. Berry told CNN that he learned of the arrest after speaking with Robinson's father.
In a separate incident, nine people — all alive — have been found in the back of a truck, the UK’s Kent Police said in a statement today.
They were found on a highway and “are now being checked as a precaution by the South East Coast Ambulance Service before they are passed to Home Office immigration officers,” the statement said.
The discovery comes after 39 bodies were found in a truck container in Essex. The driver has been arrested on suspicion of murder and an investigation is underway.
The driver of a truck that was found with 39 bodies inside in the town of Grays, England, on Wednesday has been identified by a local councillor as Morris Robinson.
Paul Berry, the local councillor for Armagh (the area where Robinson lives in Northern Ireland), told CNN he learned of the arrest after speaking with Robinson’s father.
Berry confirmed to CNN the identity of the driver, saying that he was known locally as “Mo." He said Robinson’s family is “salt of the earth and clearly we need to give them space”.
Earlier Wednesday, Essex Police said a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland remains in custody on suspicion of murder.
“I will not be commenting on the identity of the suspect of this man,” Deputy Chief Constable of Essex Police Pippa Mills said during a news conference.
Here's a photo of Robinson:
Facebook / Mo Robinson
Facebook / Mo Robinson
Matthew Carter from the British Red Cross near the area where the truck was before it was moved.
Matthew Carter from the British Red Cross near the area where the truck was before it was moved. Bianca Britton/CNN
The British Red Cross will assist in the identification process and offer support to families, an official told reporters.
"I can't overstate how big a tragedy it is that 39 people felt like they had no better option than to get in the back of this truck and obviously it's ended in an absolute tragedy," said Matthew Carter, an emergency communications delegate for the British Red Cross.
He said the Red Cross is also offering support to the forensic team.
"Somewhere where they can come and reflect, have a chat. It’s not something they (forensics) deal with on a day to day basis," Carter said.
Detectives are still piecing together the series of events that led to the discovery of 39 bodies in a truck in an Essex industrial estate. Here are the key timings that have been established by Essex Police thus far.
  • 12:30 a.m.: The container is now thought to have traveled from the Belgian port city of Zeebrugge into Purfleet, Essex, and docked in the Thurrock area shortly after 12:30 a.m., according to police The tractor unit of the truck is believed to have originated in Northern Ireland.
  • 1:05 a.m.: Police say they believe the truck and container left the port shortly after 1:05 a.m. local time.
  • 1:40 a.m.: Shortly after this time, ambulance workers called police to report that 39 people had been discovered dead in the container of a truck at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Eastern Avenue.

US Durable Goods Orders: US durable goods orders fall 1.1% in September

1minuto - Source: CNBC

GP: Appliances for sale at Home Depot durable goods 140528
Appliances for sale at Home Depot store.
Getty Images
Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods tumbled in September by the largest amount in four months while a closely watched category that tracks business investment fell for a second month.
The declines underscored the troubles manufacturing is having in the face of a global slowdown and trade war uncertainty.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that orders for durable goods dropped 1.1% in September, the biggest setback since a 2.3% decline in May. Orders in a category that serves as a proxy for business investment spending dipped 0.5% following a 0.6% decline in July.
U.S. manufacturing has been struggling this year as a global slowdown and President Donald Trump’s get-tough trade policies have hurt export sales. Auto production was also curtailed because of a strike at General Motors.

Europe Politics: Mario Draghi’s Last Hurrah Clouded by Divisions at E.C.B.

By Jack Ewing

Business|Mario Draghi’s Last Hurrah Clouded by Divisions at E.C.B.
The central bank president oversaw his last monetary policy meeting. Christine Lagarde, his successor, may face a revolt by opponents of his easy money policies.

CreditRalph Orlowski/Reuters
Jack Ewing
FRANKFURT — Mario Draghi presided over his last monetary policy meeting as president of the European Central Bank Thursday, his legacy as savior of the eurozone clouded by divisions among the bank’s policymakers that have burst into the open in the final months of his tenure.
Christine Lagarde will be sworn in as Mr. Draghi’s successor on Tuesday, and immediately confront a revolt by members of the bank’s Governing Council who believe the bank’s easy money policies have created asset bubbles and set the stage for a financial crisis.
The Governing Council did not make any changes to monetary policy at the meeting on Thursday, six weeks after it took action to head off recession in the 19 countries in the eurozone.
But an increasingly vocal faction on the council contends that measures designed to push down market interest rates went too far. They say low interest rates, which have fallen below zero for many government bonds, have encouraged irresponsible borrowing.
In September, the council cut the rate banks pay to park money at the central bank to minus 0.5 percent from minus 0.4 percent. The negative interest rate is essentially a penalty on lenders that hoard cash. The council also decided to resume purchases of government and corporate bonds, a way of pushing down market interest rates and making credit cheaper.
These decisions inspired an unusually open backlash from some members of the Governing Council, from countries including Germany and the Netherlands, who believe they were unnecessary and reckless.
Klaas Knot, the president of the Dutch central bank, said the measures were “disproportionate to the present economic conditions.”
“There are increasing signs of scarcity of low-risk assets, distorted pricing in financial markets and excessive risk-seeking behavior in the housing markets,” Mr. Knot said in a statement in September.
Until recently, the dissenters expressed their feelings discreetly, while Mr. Draghi insisted that key decisions by the central bank were backed by consensus. Unity is important to a central bank’s credibility and its ability to influence financial markets. And it was essential during the novel and extraordinary measures introduced on Mr. Draghi’s watch that are seen as having prevented the eurozone from collapse during a severe debt crisis that began in 2010.
The dissenters appear to be taking advantage of the leadership transition to stake out their views while Ms. Lagarde is new in the job and has not had a chance to establish her authority.
Ms. Lagarde will soon acquire a potential ally in this debate. The German government on Tuesday nominated Isabel Schnabel, a member of the German Council of Economic Experts, to a vacancy on the central bank’s Executive Board. If confirmed, Ms. Schnabel will replace Sabine Lautenschläger on the six-person board, which is part of the Governing Council and manages the operations of the central bank.
Ms. Lautenschläger resigned last month. She did not give a reason, but is widely assumed to have been unhappy with the central bank’s course. She was also the only woman on the 25-person Governing Council, a gender imbalance that was a focus of a conference at the bank’s headquarters on Tuesday. Ms. Schnabel’s appointment, and the arrival of Ms. Lagarde, brings that number to two.
In contrast to much of the German economics establishment, Ms. Schnabel, a professor of economics at the University of Bonn, is regarded as a supporter of the policies pursued under Mr. Draghi.
The decision last month to increase stimulus was a response to signs of an economic slowdown caused by trade war, Brexit and conflict in the Middle East.
But even some economists who supported those measures have become concerned that cheap credit is creating real estate bubbles.
Central bank policies “made an essential contribution to economic recovery after the global financial crisis and the eurozone debt crisis that followed,” Jürgen Michels, chief economist at the German bank BayernLB, said in a commentary published Thursday by the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich. “As time goes on the stimulus effect of these policies decreases, and negative factors get the upper hand.”
Jack Ewing writes about business, banking, economics and monetary policy from Frankfurt, and contributes to breaking news coverage. Previously he worked for a decade at BusinessWeek magazine in Frankfurt, where he was European regional editor. @JackEwingNYTFacebook

US Market | Futures Indicator Update: Stock futures edge higher after strong Microsoft earnings

Fred Imbert, Silvia Amaro

U.S. stock index futures traded slightly higher on Thursday after the release of better-than-expected earnings from tech giant Microsoft.
Around 7:25 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of more than 45 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also pointed to slight gains.
Microsoft reported earnings per share of $1.38 on revenue of $33.06 billion for the previous quarter. Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected a profit of $1.25 per share on revenue of $32.23 billion. Microsoft’s strong quarterly performance was driven in part by Azure, its cloud business, which saw revenues grow by 59% on a year-over-year basis. The stock rose about 1% in the premarket.
“MSFT delivered strength across the board with no blemishes and importantly gave stronger than expected December quarter guidance which speaks to an inflection point in deal flow as more enterprises pick Redmond for the cloud,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in a note.
Tesla shares spiked more than 18% after the electric car maker posted a surprise quarterly profit. The company also told investors its new Shanghai factor is “ready for production.”
NBCUniversal-parent Comcast, Dow Inc. and PayPal also traded higher on earnings that beat analyst expectations. Twitter, however, plunged about 20% after posting disappointing earnings.
More than 31% of S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly earnings thus far, with nearly 80% of them posting results that beat analyst estimates, according to FactSet.
Amazon, Intel and Visa are among the companies scheduled to report after the bell as investors slog through the busiest day of the earnings season. 

US Elections | Trump impeachment Inquiry: chaos erupts as Republicans barge into inquiry hearing

Joan E Greve

Political tensions over an intensifying impeachment inquiry reached fever pitch on Wednesday as Republicans “stormed” a closed-door committee hearing on Capitol Hill disrupting a crucial deposition related to the Ukraine controversy – a day after devastating testimony from a key diplomat.
A group of Republican members of the House of Representatives, chanting “Let us in”, barged into a secure office suite in the bowels of the US capitol where Laura Cooper, a top Pentagon official who oversees Ukraine policy, was preparing to testify.
The chaos and confusion temporarily shut down the proceedings before the three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry as Republicans tweeted updates of the disruption from their cellphones, which are not typically permitted in classified areas. Their presence in the chamber reportedly erupted into yelling matches with committee members.
Scott Thuman (@ScottThuman)
WATCH: here's the video of when 2 dozen GOP members, led by @mattgaetz entered the secure hearing room (SCIF) to interrupt witness testimony in the #ImpeachmentInquiry as they demand access, despite not being committee members. They're complaining it's a "Soviet-style process".
October 23, 2019
“BREAKING: I led over 30 of my colleagues into the SCIF where Adam Schiff is holding secret impeachment depositions. Still inside – more details to come,” tweeted Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican congressman and one of Donald Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, referring to secured areas of the Capitol known as Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities, or SCIFs, and Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee leading the Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry.
The Republicans who led the protest do not sit on the committees involved in the impeachment inquiry – Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, and Foreign Affairs – and are not permitted to attend. Members of those committees already include Republican members of Congress, as well as Democrats, and both parties attend and ask questions at the hearings, whether public or, as in this case, closed to the public and the press.
But the members who staged protest on Wednesday have sought to attack the inquiry on procedural grounds, objecting to the private nature of the hearings and demanding access to the full breadth of the testimony that has rattled Washington in recent weeks.
Much of the testimony that has been made public, however, and news reports confirm key elements of a whistleblower complaint that set in motion the impeachment inquiry. The investigation centers on reports of Donald Trump withholding military aid and dangling a meeting at the White House for Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in return for favors that would benefit him in domestic US politics.
Could Donald Trump actually be impeached? – video
The invading Republicans remained in the hearing room into the early afternoon and even ordered pizza and fast food.
“Reporting from Adam Schiff’s secret chamber,” Republican congressman Andy Biggs began, in a series of tweets from inside the room. Biggs has accused Democrats of conducting a “Soviet-style” impeachment inquiry and demanded the testimony be made available to all lawmakers.
“When Republican members were in the SCIF, Chairman Schiff immediately left with the witness,” he tweeted. Biggs later clarified that he had “transmitted” to aides for publication, as the use of electronic devices in the secure area violates security protocols.
More than five hours after the standoff began, committee members were recalled to the room and Cooper’s deposition began.
Democrats were furious and, suggested the timing – days after Trump called on Republicans to “get tougher and fight” the impeachment inquiry amid mounting evidence of misconduct – was no coincidence.
“This is a stunt that corresponded very specifically to the president’s complaint that they weren’t fighting hard enough for him, and in direct response to devastating testimony yesterday from Ambassador Taylor,” Democratic congressman David Cicilline, a member of the House foreign affairs committee, said. “Republicans are playing to an audience of one, and the president’s proud of them, but we’re going to continue to do all the work.”
It was unclear if Republicans would attempt to disrupt future hearings.
“Their frustration was boiling over,” said Republican congressman Lee Zeldin, also on the foreign affairs committee, one of the three panels leading the inquiry. “I would imagine things would get worse not better if the process doesn’t improve.”
The dramatic escalation by Republicans on Capitol Hill came after Bill Taylor, the most senior US diplomat in Kyiv, testified for hours before House investigators on Tuesday, delivering an account that was so shocking to some lawmakers freshman Democrat Andy Levin described it as “my most disturbing day in Congress so far – very troubling”.
In a lengthy opening statement, Taylor said Trump wanted “everything”, including military aid to Ukraine, tied to a commitment by Ukrainian leaders to investigate Democrats and the 2016 election plus a company linked to the family of Trump’s leading 2020 Democratic rival, Joe Biden.
Taylor said Trump “wanted President Zelenskiy ‘in a public box’ by making a public statement about ordering such investigations”.
Trump emerged briefly on Wednesday to declare victory in enforcing what he called a “permanent” ceasefire along the northern Syrian border, after his abrupt withdrawal of US troops effectively opened the door for a Turkish offensive against Kurdish-led forces in that region, leaving scores of civilians and fighters dead and hundreds of thousands of people displaced.
Trump, who has denied wrongdoing in the impeachment inquiry, spent the morning on Twitter downplaying the investigation’s findings, including Taylor’s explosive testimony. He did not address the impeachment issues or take any questions after delivering his statement on Syria.
Later, leaving the White House for Pittsburgh to speak at a fracking conference, Trump was unusually quiet when heading to the Marine One helicopter on the lawn.
Meanwhile a report emerged noting that as early as 7 May the newly elected Zelenskiy told senior aides he was already worried about pressure from Trump to investigate his Democratic rivals.
Zelenskiy’s group of advisers spent most of a three-hour meeting talking about how to navigate the insistence from Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, for such an investigation, and how to avoid becoming entangled in the American elections, according to three people familiar with the details of the meeting.
Among the many defenses the White House has offered is that Ukraine had not been aware that Trump was withholding military aid that Congress approved unless it launched two investigations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: Twitter, Comcast, 3M, Dow, Southwest Air & more

Peter Schacknow

Check out the companies making headlines before the bell:

3M – 3M earned an adjusted $2.58 per share for the third quarter, 9 cents a share above estimates. Revenue fell short of expectations, however, and 3M cut its full-year profit forecast as its results are hit by slowing demand in China and other markets.
Dow Inc. – The materials science company beat estimates by 18 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of 91 cents per share. Revenue also topped forecasts, though sales were down 15% from a year earlier on lower prices.
Twitter – Twitter fell 3 cents a share shy of consensus, with adjusted quarterly profit of 17 cents per share. Revenue also missed estimates. Twitter reported 145 million daily active users during the quarter, better than Wall Street had anticipated, but it also gave weaker-than-expected current-quarter revenue guidance.
Comcast – The NBCUniversal and CNBC parent reported adjusted profit of 79 cents per share, 4 cents a share better than analysts’ forecasts. Revenue also beat expectations, helped by robust additions of high-speed internet customers.
American Airlines – The airline came in 2 cents A share above estimates, with quarterly profit of $1.42 per share. Revenue came in essentially in line with forecasts. American put the cost of the 737 Max grounding at $140 million for the quarter, bringing the total to $540 million.
Southwest Airlines – Southwest earned $1.23 per share for the third quarter, 15 cents a share above estimates. Revenue was in line with forecasts. Strong demand and higher fares helped offset the negative impact of the 737 Max grounding.
Stanley Black & Decker – The toolmaker reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $2.13 per share, 10 cents a share above estimates. Revenue was slightly below forecasts, however,  and the company cut its full-year earnings forecast as it implements a cost-cutting program designed to save $200 million per year.
Microsoft – Microsoft reported earnings of $1.38 per share, 13 cents a share above estimates. Revenue also beat Wall Street forecasts, however the company’s Azure cloud services grew more slowly during the quarter.
Ford Motor – Ford came in 8 cents a share ahead of estimates, with adjusted quarterly profit of 34 cents per share. The automaker’s revenue was slightly below forecasts, and Ford reduced its full-year profit forecast on lower-than-expected China sales as well as higher warranty and incentive expenses.
Johnson & Johnson – J&J cut its previously reported third-quarter profit by $3 billion, to account for the proposed opioid settlement announced earlier this week. However, its adjusted earnings numbers reported earlier remain the same.
Las Vegas Sands – Las Vegas Sands matched Street forecasts, with adjusted quarterly earnings of 75 cents per share. The casino operator’s revenue was on the light side of projections, however, pressured by the impact from the U.S.-China trade dispute, which is affecting its Macau operations.
PayPal – PayPal beat Street forecasts by 9 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of 61 cents per share. The payment service’s revenue was also above estimates. Payment volume came in above forecasts, and PayPal raised its full-year outlook.
EBay – EBay reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 67 cents per share, 3 cents a share above estimates. Revenue came in slightly above forecasts. The e-commerce company forecast current-quarter revenue that is below Street estimates, however, amid increasing online competition.
Tesla – Tesla reported an adjusted profit of $1.86 per share, surprising analysts who had been predicting a loss of 42 cents per share. Revenue was slightly short of estimates, but the automaker’s bottom line was helped by cost cuts and record deliveries.
GlaxoSmithKline – The British drugmaker won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for wider use of its ovarian cancer drug Zejula.
Spirit Airlines – Spirit reported adjusted quarterly profit of $1.32 per share, 9 cents a share above estimates. The airline’s revenue also came in above Street forecasts. The beat came despite a negative impact from Hurricane Dorian during the quarter. Spirit also gave an upbeat current-quarter outlook.
Align Technology – Align beat estimates by 14 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.28 per share. The maker of Invisalign dental braces also reported revenue that was above estimates. Align issued better-than-expected revenue guidance for the current quarter.
General Motors – Workers at GM’s Flint, Michigan plant voted to approve the tentative labor agreement announced last week. The positive vote at GM’s second-largest plant could be an indication that a strike could soon end, with workers across the nation currently in the process of voting on the agreement.