• The funds lent the Japanese tech investor’s imprimatur to Wirecard, but it turns out that SoftBank Group never invested its own money in the deal Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 19:56

    German electronic-payments company Wirecard AG was in a sticky spot back in April. Its share price was under pressure after allegations about its accounting practices in Asia—strongly denied by Wirecard—prompted a police investigation in Singapore.

    Later that month, Wirecard announced a $1 billion investment and strategic partnership with...

  • The benchmark U.S. oil price hasn’t traded above $60 a barrel since mid-September. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 19:41

    Drillers are laying down rigs, hydraulic-fracturing equipment sits idle and U.S. energy producers are promising fiscal restraint. Yet domestic oil and gas production keeps rising—a riddle that has flummoxed traders and kept oil prices trading in a narrow band in recent weeks.

    On Friday, West Texas Intermediate futures for December delivery traded up 2% to $57.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That’s about where they ended last week.

    ...
  • The Dow’s unchanged close Tuesday was the most dramatic example in a string of very small closing changes recently Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 19:16

    The stock market has been eerily quiet of late.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s unchanged close Tuesday was only the most extreme in a series of very slow trading days.

    Over the five sessions ending Thursday, the Dow’s average absolute change was 0.08%, the lowest rolling five-day average for the 30-company index since April 2017, according...

  • RT @WSJ: #WSJWhatsNow: This week was a win for Disney with the launch of Disney+ but Dean Foods can’t say the same. @paulvigna breaks down…
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 19:06
  • Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said that interactions with everyday investors convinced him teachers and other government workers were especially vulnerable to biased financial advice. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 18:51

    PHILADELPHIA–A sweeping federal enforcement initiative aimed at sales practices related to retirement savings for teachers began after town halls across the country where the nation’s top securities regulator heard things that worried him.

    Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said Thursday that interactions with everyday investors convinced him teachers and other government workers were especially vulnerable to biased financial advice.

    ...
  • Investors yanked more than $3 billion out of mutual funds that focus on Treasurys in the first two weeks of November. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 18:46

    A steady rise in Treasury yields has investors putting the brakes on their contributions to U.S. bond funds.

    Investors yanked more than $3 billion out of mutual funds that focus on Treasurys in the first two weeks of November, a sharp reversal from October when net inflows amounted to almost $4 billion, according to data from Lipper. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note stood at 1.824% early Friday, according to Tradeweb, up from below 1.5% in September.

    ...
  • Elizabeth Warren’s tax proposals would push federal rates on some billionaires and multimillionaires above 100% to finance social programs. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 18:26

    That prospect raises questions for taxpayers and the broader economy that experts are starting to ponder: Under which circumstances would taxpayers have to pay those rates? How might that change their behavior? And would investment and economic growth suffer?

    Potential tax rates over 100% could result from the combination of tax increases the Massachusetts senator proposes for the very top tier of investors. She wants to return the top income-tax rate to 39.6% from 37%, impose a new 14.8% tax for Social Security, add an annual tax of up to 6% on accumulated wealth and require rich investors to pay capital-gains taxes at the same rates as other income even if they don’t sell their assets.

    Consider a billionaire with a $1,000 investment who earns a 6% return, or $60, received as a capital gain, dividend or interest. If all of Ms. Warren’s taxes are implemented, he could owe 58.2% of that, or $35 in federal tax. Plus, his entire investment would incur a 6% wealth...

  • The Trump administration released a far-reaching plan to force hospitals and insurers to disclose their secret negotiated rates Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 17:41

    The administration proposed extending the disclosure requirement to the $670 billion health-insurance industry. Insurance companies and group health plans that cover employees would have to disclose negotiated rates, as well as previously paid rates for out-of-network treatment, in file formats that are computer-searchable, officials said.

    The insurers, including Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp. , would have to provide a transparency tool to give cost information to consumers in advance, senior administration officials said.

    The requirements are more far-reaching than many industry leaders had expected and could upend commercial health-care markets, which are rife with complex systems of hidden charges and secret discounts. The price-disclosure initiative has become a cornerstone of the president’s 2020 re-election health strategy, despite threats of legal action from industry.

    “Right now there is too much arbitrage in the system,” a senior administration...

  • Brazil hopes to boost sales to China, already the country's largest export market Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 17:11

    BRASÍLIA—As a fiery conservative candidate last year, President Jair Bolsonaro warned that China was a rapacious predator out to exploit Brazil and he pledged loyalty to a leader he called his American idol, Donald Trump.

    Less than a year into his presidency and unable to revive a flat economy, an ebullient Mr. Bolsonaro hosted China’s President Xi Jinping in this capital for a two-day summit of the world’s leading emerging nations that ended Thursday.

    Though he sharply criticizes communist regimes, Mr. Bolsonaro now openly expresses interest in getting Chinese capital to finance a large pipeline of roads, railways, ports, power plants and other infrastructure his administration considers vital to unleash a subpar economy projected to grow 1% this year.

  • The European Investment Bank will end financing for fossil-fuel energy and invest €1.5 billion in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 16:46

    The European Investment Bank said late Thursday that it would end financing for fossil-fuel energy projects from the end of 2021 onward, marking the latest blow to oil-and-gas companies as the European Union readies for its version of the Green New Deal.

  • The Boardroom Sage Who Was Into Good Governance Before It Was Cool Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 16:16

    Corporate-governance guru Ira Millstein has long argued that corporations have larger obligations to society that go beyond profits. Now some of America’s most influential CEOs are giving this opinion a fresh look.

    Consider the philosophical shift under way at the Business Roundtable, a corporate lobbying outfit that counts among its members the chief executives of dozens of the biggest U.S. companies.

  • The funds lent the Japanese tech investor’s imprimatur to Wirecard, but it turns out that SoftBank Group never invested its own money in the deal Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 15:56

    The funds, in the shape of convertible bonds, lent the Japanese tech investor’s imprimatur to Wirecard, but SoftBank Group itself put no money into the deal. Instead, the money came from the personal accounts of a set of SoftBank employees and one outside investor, according to SoftBank employees with knowledge of the deal.

    The money went into a fund created for the deal and managed by SoftBank Investment Advisers, the technology group’s London-based subsidiary that manages SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, an influential technology investment vehicle.

    A spokesman for SoftBank said its Vision Fund didn’t invest in the Wirecard deal because publicly listed companies aren’t part of its core strategy. SoftBank declined to comment on why the broader SoftBank Group didn’t invest in the deal. Wirecard says it made the necessary disclosures to shareholders about the deal.

    SoftBank Group will benefit from any fees earned from managing the fund, the SoftBank...

  • Heard on the Street: Tariffs aren’t the only driver of auto stocks Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 15:41

    Trade-deal hopes have given investors a useful opportunity to bail out of European auto stocks. Daimler’s latest profit warning shows why they should seize it.

    Europe’s auto sector has had a strong few weeks on the stock market as fears about a global trade war have eased. Not only have the U.S. and China edged toward a deal, but the White House has also quietly backed away from its threat to slap a 25% tariff on imported cars, which would have been devastating for German brands popular among American consumers. The Euro Stoxx...

  • RT @PreetaTweets: Your weekend's long, thought-provoking and troubling read about how Google tinkers with search results: Blacklisting web…
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 15:16
  • Marianne Harrison, chief executive of John Hancock, discusses her career path and more Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 15:11

    Employers sometimes assume that once women have children, they no longer want to move up the career ladder.

    Marianne Harrison, chief executive of life insurance company John Hancock and mother of four, faced these misperceptions earlier in her career.

    After she was almost passed over for a promotion because her manager assumed she wouldn’t...

  • Brazil Dam Collapse Sponsors Potential Rule Shakeup For Miners Link via @macdonaldajm
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 15:01

    A group representing the world’s largest miners published draft proposals for strict new standards to govern how companies build and operate the sort of mine-waste dam that collapsed in Brazil early this year, killing 270 people.

    If adopted by companies and governments, the standards recommended by the International Council of Mining & Metals would require miners to design and monitor their dams to new, tougher benchmarks. They would require greater public disclosure about the dams and specifically prohibit any conflicts of interests between companies and independent safety auditors they hire to inspect such dams, among other measures.

  • RT @KirstenGrind: Google, the gatekeeper of the internet, wants you to believe its algorithms are autonomous and objective. They're not. Re…
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 14:51
  • Recent signals from the global economy don’t offer much hope of a significant world-wide rebound soon Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 14:41

    The global economy is showing few signs of rebounding from its slowdown, as fresh figures indicate that China continues to cool and Germany and Japan are close to stagnation.

    Talks between the U.S. and China on resolving their trade dispute and signs that the U.K. may leave the European Union on agreed terms have eased fears of a further sharp slide in global growth. But recent economic data suggest the diminished risk of a major rupture in the world trade system has yet to lift the outlook for 2020.

    Growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy, slowed further in October, according to government data released Thursday, as the trade war with the U.S. drags on. Industrial output, household consumption and fixed-asset investment all disappointed for the month.

  • Demand for overnight cash loans isn’t subsiding nearly two months after the repo market disruption Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 13:45

    Some investors expect a new surge of volatility in short-term money markets at year-end and are preparing to take advantage, gathering cash to lend overnight in the market for repurchase agreements, or repos.

    While periods of volatility are often difficult to forecast, these investors are making an educated guess. The cost of borrowing overnight using repo has spiked at the end of recent quarters and at the end of 2018, when a scarcity of available cash drove rates as high as 6%. Some analysts blamed the move on banks’ reluctance...

  • Consumer spending on big-ticket items in October was mixed: Vehicle sales were up, while furniture and home-furnishing sales dropped. Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 13:45

    WASHINGTON--Americans spent more on shopping in October, signaling consumer spending remains on solid footing.

    Retail sales-a measure of purchases at stores, at restaurants and online-rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in October from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 0.2% increase. The rise in October follows a drop in September, when sales fell 0.3%, the same as previously estimated.

    ...
  • U.S. stock futures rose after White House adviser Lawrence Kudlow talked about progress in trade talks with China Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 13:30
  • Analysis: The latest fast-food successes like Popeyes chicken sandwich and Impossible Whoppers are small victories in what has become a tough market Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 13:00

    Making a chicken sandwich isn’t hard, but just try making one fly.

    While just about every big chain has a version of the fast-food staple, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen achieved liftoff this summer with its offering, boosting prospects for the unit of Restaurant Brands International. It recently brought the sandwich back to its menu after unexpectedly high demand depleted its inventory in just a couple of weeks.

  • The balance sheets of airlines, which lease gates and ticket counters at airports, are benefiting from new accounting rules for leases Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 12:45

    Airlines lease gates and ticket counters at airports, retailers lease stores in malls and banks lease branches. Under new accounting rules, one of these groups doesn’t need to include the leases on company balance sheets.

    Airlines are the winners, as they don’t have to count many leases at airports as liabilities. Though nothing has changed...

  • PLUS Capital seeks $60 million to invest alongside celebrities Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 12:30

    A Hollywood firm that helps celebrities such as actresses Portia de Rossi and Zoe Saldana line up startup investments is raising up to $60 million for a new fund to invest alongside its famous clients, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    PLUS Capital plans to co-invest in startups alongside its 35 celebrity clients, which also include Tyra Banks and snowboarder Shaun White.

    Marina...

  • Under Armour, Goldman Sachs and Wheaton Precious metals are among the companies whose shares are expected to trade actively on Friday Link
    WSJ Markets Fri 15 Nov 2019 12:20

    Here are some of the companies with shares expected to trade actively in Friday’s session. Stock movements noted by ticker reflect movements during regular trading hours.

    Dolby Laboratories: The company’s earnings report for its most recent quarter, released Thursday after the close, came in below analyst expectations.

    Under Armour: Former...

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