The owners of Pinterest appear to be taking a cautious approach to their company’s IPO following Lyft’s (NASDAQ:LYFT) bumpy first week as a public company. Launching its investor roadshow today, the online image website priced shares at $15 to $17, significantly below its last funding round, which sold stock at $21.54 and gave Pinterest a valuation of $12B. The firm is set to begin trading on the NYSE next week under symbol “PINS” as part of a wave of high-profile but unprofitable tech startups that are now moving toward the public market.
U.S. stock index futures are pointing to losses of 0.2% as investors take stock of last week’s rally. Analysts have warned that the upcoming earnings season could be the first quarter of contracting corporate results since 2016, with U.S. banks set to get the ball rolling later this week. Meanwhile, oil prices continue to advance, with Brent and WTI hitting fresh 2019 highs overnight ($70.62/bbl and 63.45/bbl, respectively) amid an escalation of violence in Libya, OPEC’s ongoing supply cuts, and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.
The U.K. government is taking a hard line when it comes to online safety, appointing what it claims to be the world’s first independent internet safety regulator. As well as applying to major platforms like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), the requirements will also have to be met by file-hosting sites, online forums, messaging services and search engines. Companies that fail to live up to requirements will face huge fines, but Big Tech industry lobbying bodies say the proposed laws are too vague and may harm competition.
“The choice that lies ahead of us is either leaving the European Union with a deal, or not leaving at all,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in a video posted on Sunday. She’s already under heavy pressure to present a new plan on Wednesday night – when she meets with EU leaders in Brussels – and before then, she needs to make progress in talks with the opposition Labour Party. Brexit is now formally scheduled for April 12, having been postponed once from March 29.
“The United States and China had productive meetings and made progress on numerous key issues” during trade talks from April 3 to April 5, according to a statement from the White House. “Significant work remains, and the principals, deputy ministers, and delegation members will be in continuous contact to resolve outstanding issues.” Chinese state media said on Saturday that the two sides had made “new progress” in the talks and future discussions will be conducted in “various ways.”
Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) has agreed to pay Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) hundreds of millions of euros so the electric carmaker’s vehicles are counted in its fleet in order to avoid large fines for breaking tough new EU emissions rules, FT reports. According to a declaration on the European Commission website, Japanese rivals Mazda (OTCPK:MZDAY) and Toyota (NYSE:TM) would also form an open pool. Toyota owns a 5% stake in Mazda.
Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) shareholders have voted former chairman Carlos Ghosn out as a director, cutting his last ties with the automaker he saved from near-bankruptcy two decades ago and from which he is now accused of siphoning funds. The car titan has denied all charges against him and said he’s the victim of a boardroom coup. Ghosn’s wife also left Japan before the weekend to appeal to the French government for assistance.
American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) is extending cancellations of 90 flights per day from April 24 through June 5 because of the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX (NYSE:BA), suggesting the aircraft is not expected to return to service anytime soon. On Friday, Boeing said it plans to cut its monthly 737 MAX production by nearly 20% and is working to fix software shortcomings on the planes after two fatal crashes and an international probe. BA -2.7% premarket.
Warren Buffett, Wells Fargo’s (NYSE:WFC) largest shareholder, is urging the bank to look outside Wall Street for a new chief executive. “They probably shouldn’t come from JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) or Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS),” he told the FT. “They are automatically going to draw the ire of a significant percentage of the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, and that’s just not smart.” Tim Sloan stepped down as head of Wells Fargo last month, becoming the second CEO to leave the bank in the fallout of wide-ranging sales scandals.
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board will hold an open meeting today to discuss changes to rules for foreign banks and resolution plans submitted by domestic and foreign firms. The modifications would direct the Fed to ease requirements in several areas for lenders with less than $250B in assets and are a follow-up to rules proposed in October on easing capital and liquidity requirements for larger domestic firms.
What else is happening…
‘Are We Near The End Of The Economic Cycle?’ contributor Jeff Miller discusses in his weekend edition.
Venezuela and Cuba in crosshairs for new U.S. sanctions.
In Asia, Japan -0.2%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China -0.1%. India -0.4%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt -0.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq -0.2%. Crude +0.6% to $63.45. Gold +0.4% to $1301.10 Bitcoin +1.7% to $5238.
Ten-year Treasury Yield unchanged at 2.5%
Today’s Economic Calendar