• Saudi Arabia’s central bank transferred $40 billion to country’s wealth fund Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 23:44

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—The central bank here transferred $40 billion to the kingdom’s wealth fund, the Saudi finance minister said, as the state-owned investor picked up minority stakes in American corporates amid the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

    “We are in a very unusual time. This is a very exceptional one-off transaction that came after a lot of deliberation,” Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told The Wall Street Journal late Friday by telephone.

  • The large provisioning suggests banks are worried about the economy’s health. The move crimps bank earnings, as the money can’t be used for more productive purposes. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 21:54

    TORONTO—Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank Group and Bank of Montreal set aside billions of dollars during their second quarters to guard against defaults by their borrowers. The question now looming for the rest of the year: how much will they need?

    “We won’t know until the end of the year, or early next if they did enough,” said Gabriel Dechaine, an analyst with National Bank. “We’re in the first quarter of a downturn. It’s hard to say they’ve washed their hands of this.”

  • Investors have been encouraged in recent weeks by signs of states and businesses around the country reopening, helping stocks rebound from their March lows Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 21:24

    The S&P 500 edged up Friday, notching a second consecutive week of strong gains and its best two-month performance since 2009.

    Investors have been encouraged in recent weeks by signs of states and businesses around the country reopening, helping stocks rebound from their March lows. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that New York City is on track for an initial reopening on June 8.


  • Commercial real-estate stocks suffered some of the biggest losses in May, while home builders have surged. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 19:34

    Shares of home builders have been standouts this month in an otherwise muted period for the stock market, signaling that investors are betting on a swift housing recovery as stay-at-home orders are lifted.

    The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF, composed of major builders, home-improvement retailers and other related stocks, has surged 19% in May, compared with the S&P 500’s 3.3% monthly gain. National home builders including PulteGroup Inc., Lennar Corp. and D.R. Horton Inc. were among the top gainers in the benchmark...

  • Occidental Petroleum plans to pay a quarterly dividend of just 1 cent a share in July, the second cut in the past two months. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 19:14

    Occidental Petroleum Corp. is nearly eliminating its dividend as it seeks to conserve cash amid low oil prices and weak demand due to coronavirus lockdowns.

    The Houston-based oil producer, laden with debt following its $38 billion deal to buy rival Anadarko Petroleum Corp. last year, plans to pay a quarterly dividend of just 1 cent a share in July, the company said Friday.


  • Even with spending in May and June likely to improve from April’s staggering decline, the second-quarter collapse will be massive Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 19:04

    With more businesses starting to reopen, consumer spending looks as if it is starting to dig its way out of the hole caused by the coronavirus crisis. But the hole is very deep.

    The Commerce Department on Friday reported that consumer spending fell a record 13.6% in April from a month earlier following a 6.9% drop in March. Adjusted for inflation, that places April’s level of spending about 17% below its first quarter average. Put into the annualized terms the Commerce Department uses when reporting gross domestic product—what...

  • Analysis: Casinos are opening up for business next week, but not everything will be back Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 18:49

    What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—unless it is an infectious disease you bring home to your loved ones.

    Casinos in America’s original gambling mecca will be allowed to reopen next week after adopting social-distancing precautions, and the biggest ones are wasting no time. While you still can’t fly to Venice, restaurants, bars, pools and, of course, the gaming floor will be open at The Venetian starting June 4. And, although the real Big Apple remains locked down, the New York, New York resort won’t be. A Park Avenue King...

  • Online sales weren’t enough to protect Nordstrom from a precipitous revenue drop, but the clothing retailer seems to have what it takes to come out of the crisis in decent shape. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 18:34

    Clothing retailers have a pretty low bar to clear these days. Solvent? Great. Paying rent? Even better. Nordstrom cleared both of those last quarter and seems well-positioned to emerge from the pandemic in decent shape.

    Make no mistake: Its sales numbers reported late Thursday were bad. In the quarter ended May 2, net sales dropped 40%, which was worse than the already-dire 33% decline analysts predicted, according to FactSet. Its shares were down more than 8% Friday morning after already having dropped 56% year to date through...

  • Tencent in Talks to Buy Warner Music Stake Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 18:09

    Tencent Holdings Ltd. is in discussions to buy a stake in Warner Music Group as part of the record company’s initial public offering, a key test for a new-issue market that has been hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Chinese internet giant is discussing an investment of $200 million ahead of an IPO that is slated for next week, according to people familiar with the matter.


  • The Fed’s June policy meeting could lay groundwork for a forthcoming reset to support a virus-stricken economy Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 18:09

    Federal Reserve officials head into their next policy meeting deliberating how to assist an economy in a deeper hole than it faced after the 2008 financial crisis at a time when their tools might have less zip.

    They are likely to debate how to adjust their plans to purchase Treasury and mortgage assets and how to make more concrete their assurances to keep interest rates near zero for some time.


  • RT @AaronBack: It's here. The perfect Twitter storm @djtgallagher @DoubleLJSquared Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 14:53

    President Trump may not succeed in ending social media as we know it, but he can certainly rain on the sector’s latest socially distant parade.

    Social-media use has been soaring as a result of the novel coronavirus, with users desperate for news and conversation. The pandemic has also brought urgency to the longstanding calls for the industry’s two largest players to prevent misinformation on their platforms, though. Here, Facebook and Twitter seem to be caught in a bit of a Catch-22: damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

  • Heard on the Street: Beware the losers from Europe’s green reconstruction Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 14:18

    A key problem for Europe is the economic divide between “core” rich countries and the “periphery.” Paradoxically, ambitious plans for the region’s post-Covid reconstruction could make the periphery even more peripheral.

    This week, the European Union proposed a new €1.85 trillion ($2 trillion) plan including a much-trumpeted €750 billion “recovery” fund. The latter pot has two distinct ambitions: providing economic life support for Southern Europe, which has suffered more from the coronavirus; and an industrial transformation...

  • Charter prices for vessels that transport crude have tanked 77% since their peak in mid-March Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 14:03

    The cost of shipping oil around the world is sliding as sweeping output cuts by crude producers reduce competition for hiring tankers.

    Charter prices for vessels that transport crude oil have dropped 77% from their March peak, which came during a short-lived battle for a greater share of the oil market between Saudi Arabia and Russia. On Thursday, it cost around $59,000 a day to charter a very large crude carrier, or VLCC, a kind of tanker that can hold two million barrels of crude, according to Norwegian bank Clarksons Platou...

  • Personal income, which includes wages, interest and dividends, rose 10.5% in April, primarily reflecting a sharp rise in “government social benefits” through federal coronavirus stimulus programs Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 13:48

    U.S. consumer spending fell by a record 13.6% in April during coronavirus lockdowns, but there are signs that purchasing is starting to pick up.

    The April decline was the steepest for records tracing back to 1959. Weak April spending adds to the evidence that the U.S. economy is in for a long, slow recovery. The coronavirus pandemic and related lockdowns wiped out a decade of job gains within a month.


  • The nation’s GDP growth slowed to a 11-year low last fiscal year as a nationwide coronavirus lockdown started to strangle the already struggling economy. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 13:48

    NEW DELHI—India said Friday that its gross-domestic-product growth slowed to a 11-year low last fiscal year as a nationwide coronavirus lockdown started to strangle the already struggling economy.

    For the year ended March 31, India’s gross domestic product grew 4.2%, according to government data released Friday. The last time it was that low was the year through March 2009. In the quarter ended March 31, GDP growth was 3.1%, down from the previous quarter’s 4.7% expansion.

  • The tax implications of working from a different state during the pandemic Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 13:03

    In March, millions of people had their workplaces scrambled by the coronavirus pandemic and hastily decamped to work remotely. Even with some offices reopening, many hope to prolong the arrangement now that summer is here.

    But if you’re doing your job in a state different from your usual one, beware: You may need to file returns and perhaps pay taxes there. So check on your 2020 state taxes now to avoid a bad surprise next year.

  • For food companies, was the pandemic boost just empty calories or lasting change? Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 12:33

    The coronavirus crisis has brought massive shifts in how Americans buy and consume food. For America’s major packaged-food companies, which have struggled in recent years, that meant an unexpected upswing in sales. Now the question is which changes will last.

    As social distancing took hold, yearslong trends away from highly processed foods and toward niche brands seemed to suddenly have been thrown into reverse. Since the start of March, shares of General Mills, Conagra Brands and Kraft Heinz are all up by more than 20%. Campbell...

  • Heard on the Street: HBO Max’s dispute with Roku and Amazon risks confusion in an already cluttered marketplace for streaming services Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 12:18

    A basic rule in the media business is to go where the customers are. It’s something AT&T needs to keep in mind as it dramatically ramps up its streaming efforts.

    AT&T has an awful lot of customers already. More than 169 million subscribe to its wireless services, and more than 19 million households use its TV services. But the new Hollywood titan still needs to play ball with others—especially as it looks to get its new HBO Max service off the ground. This was underscored Wednesday, when the formal launch of the service...

  • Stocks have come a long way since March. Here’s a look at this week’s winners and losers. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 12:03

    Investors came back from Memorial Day weekend in a good mood, greeted by the return of one familiar institution and enough positive news to keep the stock market rally going.

    Traders are banking on two things: the support of the Federal Reserve and the eventual end of the coronavirus pandemic. Hope for the latter was bolstered by companies like Novavax Inc., which reported progress on a Covid-19 vaccine, along with economic data that were somewhat better than expected.

  • Investors are pouring money into gold as a hedge against inflation on concerns that stimulus measures will lead to a surge in prices Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 11:48

    Hedge funds are betting that inflation will pick up as central banks and governments world-wide print and spend vast amounts of money to support jobs and businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

    That bet goes against the weight of recent history.

    Gold, a classic inflation hedge, has surged 14% this year as investors fret that central banks...

  • Heard on the Street: Travel shares were among the first to be hammered and could take the longest to recover Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 11:33

    China’s economy is climbing out of a deep hole. For some sectors the climb will be longer and steeper.

    China’s online travel giant Trip.com reported a steep drop in first-quarter earnings Thursday night. Revenue was down 42% year over year. And that isn’t even the bad news: The Nasdaq-listed company, formerly known as Ctrip.com, expects its second-quarter revenue to drop 67% to 77%.


  • The offering values the company at $17.3 billion, making it one of the world’s biggest IPOs so far this year. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 11:18

    The European investment firm behind Peet’s Coffee, Krispy Kreme and Keurig Dr Pepper said it priced the initial public offering of its coffee business at the upper part of its targeted price range, valuing it at €15.6 billion ($17.3 billion)  in one of the world’s biggest IPOs so far this year.

    Backed by JAB Holding, JDE Peet’s B.V. bet that the resilience of coffee demand during economic downturns would attract investors despite slumping IPO markets in Europe and the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Global stocks ebbed as investors braced for President Trump’s response to China. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 11:13

    Global stocks ebbed Friday as investors braced for President Trump’s response to China’s push for tighter security controls on Hong Kong, which could reignite tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

    Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.4%, suggesting that the blue-chips index will open lower. A sharp rally in the gauge this week came to a stuttering halt on Thursday after Mr. Trump said he would hold a press conference on China on Friday.

  • RT @joannechiuhk: The Chinese coffee seller that took on Starbucks faked millions of dollars in revenue. How? Bulk sales to firms with ties…
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 03:23
  • RT @davidamichaels: Scoop from @jingyanghk & @WSJ: juicy details on alleged accounting fraud at Luckin Coffee, some of which predated IPO.…
    WSJ Markets Fri 29 May 2020 02:53
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