• A short-term funding spike raises hopes for Fed cuts as banks rush to bid in second day of intervention Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 15:30

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York saw huge demand from banks Wednesday morning, as they rushed to bid on the $75 billion on offer in a second day of intervention to ease a crunch in overnight funding markets.

    Banks bid for $80.05 billion in funding in the auction—$5 billion above the maximum amount offered by the Fed. Tuesday’s auction, the first in a decade, saw banks take $53 billion of the $75 billion on offer. Overnight rates remained elevated before Wednesday’s auction at about 2.8%. Soon after, it dropped to 2.6%...

  • Trump said on Twitter that he has ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to ‘substantially increase’ sanctions on Iran in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 15:25

    WASHINGTON—President Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that he has ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “substantially increase” sanctions on Iran in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

    “I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!” he said.

    While Mr....

  • U.S. and Saudi military forces and their elaborate air-defense systems failed to detect the launch of airstrikes aimed at Saudi Arabian oil facilities, U.S. officials said Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 15:05

    WASHINGTON—U.S. and Saudi military forces and their elaborate air-defense systems failed to detect the launch of airstrikes aimed at Saudi Arabian oil facilities, allowing dozens of drones and missiles to hit their targets, U.S. officials said.

    Saudi and U.S. focus had been largely on the kingdom’s southern border with Yemen, where Riyadh has been fighting Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen’s civil war, the officials said. The attacks, however, originated from Iranian territory in the northern Persian Gulf, people familiar...

  • Israel’s Netanyahu is facing an uphill battle to stay in power after strong election challenge from Gantz Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:45

    TEL AVIV—Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced an uphill challenge to remaining in power Wednesday after the country’s voters appeared to deny him a parliamentary majority and likely handed his rival, former Gen. Benny Gantz a chance to become the country’s first new prime minister in a decade.

    Mr. Netanyahu woke up to a dramatically different political landscape after Tuesday’s election, with few secure options for remaining in power. With about 60% of the vote counted in the early afternoon, Israeli media projections...

  • Trump names Robert O'Brien as national security adviser Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:45

    WASHINGTON—President Trump named Robert C. O’Brien as his new national security adviser, picking a top hostage-affairs official for the high-profile White House role.

    Mr. Trump tweeted the announcement Wednesday morning, writing “I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!”

    Mr. O’Brien takes the job just as Mr. Trump...

  • House subcommittee chairman says Juul hasn’t turned over documents including a list of schools that have received funding from Juul to implement programs meant to prevent teen vaping Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:30

    The leader of a House committee investigating Juul Labs Inc. said the e-cigarette maker has failed to turn over documents it requested and warned that the committee could issue a subpoena demanding them.

    Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D., Ill.), chairman of a House subcommittee focused on economic and consumer policy, said in a letter to Juul Chief Executive Kevin Burns that the company hasn’t produced a range of documents that members of the committee requested Juul hand over in June and July.

    A spokesperson for San Francisco-based Juul didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • FBI probes payroll processor whose woes affected about 8,000 employees at nearly 400 firms Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:10

    Troubles tied to a payroll processor sent hundreds of small businesses scrambling for funds this month, triggered an FBI investigation and cast a spotlight on a critical but lightly regulated industry.

    About $30 million destined for paychecks and related tax payments went missing on Sept. 4 because of problems tied to MyPayrollHR, based in Clifton Park, N.Y. Workers at firms that used MyPayrollHR saw funds yanked back out of their bank accounts—in some cases twice—after another firm discovered the money backing the deposits...

  • Heard on the Street: General Motors is under intense pressure to show it can cruise through the next downturn without too much damage Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 13:45

    Following its bankruptcy and government bailout in 2009, General Motors is under intense pressure to show it can cruise through the next downturn without too much damage. Only then can the largest U.S. auto maker expect a better stock-market valuation.

    This uncomfortable truth is the backdrop to the United Automobile Workers strike at GM, which entered its third day Wednesday. Many of the UAW demands seem reasonable, particularly for temporary and other workers who don’t enjoy the same perks as Old Timers. But that is no basis...

  • Facebook is getting into the streaming game, with a new set-top version of its Portal device that adds to the company’s bet that the future of smart homes will be social Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 13:25

    Facebook Inc. is getting into the streaming game, launching a new set-top version of its Portal device that adds to the company’s bet that the future of smart homes will be social.

    The second-generation Portal devices will include one with television chat and video-streaming capabilities, while all models are equipped with speakers and a camera that track people as they move around a room. The devices use artificial intelligence to home in on voices as well as create special effects and casual games among friends.

    ...
  • With supply disrupted and labor markets tight, don’t give inflation up for dead Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 13:05

    In recent days, the U.S. suffered two supply shocks: an attack on Saudi oil production sent crude prices sharply higher and the United Auto Workers walked off the job at General Motors Co., the union’s first strike in 12 years.

    Neither event would be worrisome in isolation. But they aren’t isolated. They are the latest in a series of supply shocks for the American and global economies.

    Some...

  • A group formed to respond quickly to hacks and other cyber threats has temporarily expelled Huawei after legal advice Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 12:00

    Huawei Technologies Co. has been suspended from membership in a global trade group of companies, governments and experts set up to tackle computer security breaches and share information about vulnerabilities.

    The Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams, called “First,” was set up in the 1990s to encourage international cooperation in addressing and preventing hacking incidents. It has grown into a sort of informal first responder to big global hacks and cybersecurity incidents. Members share information and intelligence to identify and isolate cyberattacks or vulnerabilities quickly, and disseminate information to protect against their rapid spread.

  • Facing mounting antitrust probes, tech platforms offer fees and news-ranking changes that media outlets have pursued for years Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 11:40

    Alphabet Inc. ’s Google and Facebook Inc. are making concessions long sought by news publishers whose business has been hurt by the platforms’ dominance, moves that some in the media industry see as an effort to pre-empt potential regulatory backlash.

  • London intervenes to review $5 billion purchase of U.K. defense firm by American private equity outfit Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 11:35

    LONDON—The U.K. halted the $5 billion sale of a British defense firm to an American investor on national security grounds, pending further government review, in a rare move for a country that hasn’t typically inserted itself in big, cross-border deal making.

    The intervention comes as critics of the deal for Cobham PLC—which makes air-to-air refueling systems and communications equipment for military and commercial planes—have said the deal is counter to national interest and undervalues the company. Some lawmakers and the founding Cobham family, which retains a small stake, have opposed the proposed purchase by U.S. private-equity firm Advent International Corp. Earlier this week, shareholders overwhelmingly approved it.

  • Markets will seek clues on outlook for further reductions in new projections and at Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 11:10

    The Federal Reserve is likely to cut its short-term benchmark rate by one quarter percentage point to a range between 1.75% and 2% at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday. The big question is what kind of clues the central bank offers about any more rate reductions.

    Hints could be provided in the Fed’s new policy statement and economic projections, to be released at 2 p.m. EDT, and at Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference at 2:30 p.m. Here’s what to watch:

    ...
  • Do you pay your phone or cable bill on time? Soon, doing so could help you get a loan. Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 11:10

    Equifax Inc. will soon give consumers the option to let lenders review their electric, phone and cable payment information, the latest move aimed at providing lenders more data to determine whether to approve loan applicants.

    Equifax, one of the largest U.S. credit-reporting firms, is partnering with Urjanet Inc., a data aggregator that receives payment information from roughly 6,500 utility, phone and other companies. By around early next year, banks and other lenders will be able to ask consumers if they want to supplement...

  • President is set to unveil a multibillion-euro commitment from insurers and asset managers in pursuit of global backers for domestic companies Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 10:50

    PARIS—French insurers and asset managers have pledged €5 billion in investment for homegrown tech firms as part of President Emmanuel Macron’s push to nurture France’s fledgling startups into a cohort of highly valued heavyweights.

    Mr. Macron announced the funding on Tuesday before hosting a dinner for executives from about 40 sovereign funds and venture-capital firms—including KKR & Co., Accel and Lightspeed Venture Partners—at the Élysée Palace on Tuesday evening. Investors include AXA SA, BNP Paribas’s insurance unit,...

  • The passing of the asset crown is the latest chapter in one of the most dramatic transformations in the history of financial markets Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 10:30

    Money managers that mimic the stock market just became the new titans of the fund-management world.

    Funds that track broad U.S. equity indexes hit $4.27 trillion in assets as of Aug. 31, according to research firm Morningstar Inc., giving them more money than stock-picking rivals for the first-ever monthly reporting period. Funds that try to beat the market had $4.25 trillion as of that date.

    The...

  • Streaming rights to ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Friends,’ ‘Big Bang Theory’ and other classics attracted over $2 billion in recent months Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 10:10

    Entertainment heavyweights have spent more than $2 billion on classic television shows in recent weeks while signing talent for new programming, in an effort to win over streaming customers who soon will have many more options to choose from.

    This week, AT&T Inc. ’s WarnerMedia struck a deal for “The Big Bang Theory,” while Netflix Inc. acquired “Seinfeld” and Comcast Corp. ’s NBCUniversal said it would have exclusive streaming rights to “Parks and Recreation.” Two other shows, “Friends” and “The Office,” changed homes earlier this summer. The commitments total over $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • Saudi Arabia has restored 50% of production lost in Saturday’s attacks, according to its oil ministry Link
    WSJ Europe Wed 18 Sep 2019 07:45

    Saudi Arabia will soon restore most of its oil output and return to normal production levels in weeks, the country’s energy ministry said Tuesday, following the attacks last weekend on the country’s facilities that hobbled the world’s largest oil exporter.

    The kingdom has restored 50% of production lost in Saturday’s attacks as of Tuesday, newly appointed Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said. He added that the kingdom is using reserves to supply oil to its customers at pre-attack levels and normal production of...

  • Is your old iPhone on its last legs? Are you confused by all of the upgrade options? WSJ’s Joanna Stern wrote a guide to help you. Link
    WSJ Europe Tue 17 Sep 2019 23:25

    This year I’ve written two iPhone reviews. Read this if you have an older iPhone and are unsure about what comes next. If you’d also like to know more about my testing of the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models—particularly their camera and battery life—go here.

    Gather ’round for a tale of two iPhone owners.

    Sir Upgrades-A-Lot owns an...

  • FedEx lowered its outlook for the year and is taking more cost-cutting steps Link
    WSJ Europe Tue 17 Sep 2019 23:25

    FedEx Corp. sharply cut its profit forecast for the year as it faces higher costs to expand services, lower revenue from cutting ties with Amazon.com Inc. and a worsening economic backdrop, sending shares of the delivery company plummeting 10% in after-hours trading.

    The Memphis, Tenn., company expects per-share earnings to fall between 16% and 29% in the current fiscal year, compared with an expectation of a mid-single-digit percentage decline issued in June. FedEx also lowered its revenue outlook.

    ...
  • Biden, Warren start to pull away from Democratic field in latest WSJ/NBC poll Link
    WSJ Europe Tue 17 Sep 2019 23:25

    Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren were the only candidates whose support grew meaningfully since a July survey. But measures of voter enthusiasm for Ms. Warren have risen during the year while declining for Mr. Biden.

    Some 70% of Democratic primary voters rated themselves as enthusiastic about or comfortable with Ms. Warren, compared with 64% who said so of Mr. Biden. In a sign of her support, Ms. Warren attracted 20,000 people to a rally in New York City’s Washington Square Park Monday night.

    The survey underscored Mr. Biden’s strength among voters age 50 and older, as well as among African-Americans, two voting groups that often play influential roles in Democratic primaries.

    Republican pollster Bill McInturff noted that only three contenders have double-digit support even after Democratic voters have been exposed to a large field through televised debates and other media events.

    “The race isn’t getting broader. There aren’t more people in the mix. There...

  • Charges relate to Vale mine collapse in Brumadinho, Brazil, which killed 270 people in the worst mining disaster of its kind in more than half a century Link
    WSJ Europe Tue 17 Sep 2019 23:25

    SÃO PAULO—Brazilian police are set to announce the first criminal charges against employees of mining giant Vale SA and German safety inspector TÜV SÜD as early as this week over the deadly collapse of a mine-waste dam in January, according to a person familiar with the probe.

    Police expect to formally accuse eight to 12 people from both companies for the crime of false representation in the first of a series of charges, alleging that certificates produced by TÜV SÜD to attest to the stability of Vale’s fateful dam were issued...

  • Treasury Department unveils new rules for national-security reviews of investments Link
    WSJ Europe Tue 17 Sep 2019 23:25

    WASHINGTON—Foreign investors who want to put money into U.S. businesses that rely on sensitive technology, infrastructure and data could face greater national-security scrutiny under proposed rules released Tuesday by the Trump administration.

    Treasury Department officials provided a first glimpse of how they would implement Congress’s order last year to expand the scope of national-security reviews of foreign investment deals, including those involving satellites, oil refineries, financial-market systems and drinking water...

  • Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is testifying as part of House inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice in Russia probe. Link
    WSJ Europe Tue 17 Sep 2019 23:25

    WASHINGTON—Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski stonewalled lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee about his conversations with President Trump for nearly six hours on Tuesday, after the White House sought to impose limits on the scope of his testimony.

    Mr. Lewandowski affirmed the accuracy of elements of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and any White House obstruction of justice, including that Mr. Trump sought to have him ask the attorney general to restrict the Mueller probe in 2017. But, adhering to White House instructions, he declined to answer questions on matters not included in the Mueller report, incensing Democrats on the panel as he did so.

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