Wall Street Breakfast: Annual Apple Extravaganza

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Apple’s annual fall event takes place today in Cupertino, California, where the tech giant is expected to unveil three new iPhone models, an updated Apple Watch and more details on its new streaming service, Apple TV+. Names and sizes? Analysts and industry watchers are expecting a 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro, 6.5-inch 11 Pro Max and a low-priced 6.1-inch 11R. The Phones are rumored to have improved battery life with better charging power, faster processors and an enhanced camera with three lenses on the Pro models. For the first time ever, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will stream the event on YouTube at 10:00 a.m. PT.

Futures slightly lower

After Wall Street ended yesterday’s session on a flat note, U.S. stock index futures are pointing to losses of 0.3% ahead of the open. Chinese trade data released over the weekend already worsened sentiment and that was compounded overnight by weak factory prices, threatening to add to the deflationary pressures facing the global economy. Investors also appear to be moderating their expectations about how much central banks are likely to cut interest rates in the coming days.

To extend or not to extend

Boris Johnson will “press on with negotiating a deal, while preparing to leave without one,” hours after a law came into force demanding that he delay Britain’s departure from the EU unless he can strike a divorce agreement. “This government will not delay Brexit any further,” he added, as lawmakers rejected another request to try to break the deadlock through an early national election. More uncertainty? Parliament is now suspended until Oct. 14.

State AGs launch Google probe

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has officially announced the long-rumored antitrust probe into Google (GOOG, GOOGL), which will initially start with a focus on web advertising. All fifty U.S. states have signed on to the investigation. “The big picture here is that states can serve as a backstop if the federal government decides not to go after these companies,” Rutgers Law professor Michael Carrier said. While the state probes can add heat, ultimately their resources pale in comparison to those of the FTC and DOJ.
Go deeper: Underlying metrics of Google shares.

WeWork urged to shelve IPO

SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY), the biggest outside shareholder in WeWork, is urging the lossmaking property group to shelve its IPO, FT reports. Advisors for the We Company (WE) were said to still be testing investor appetite at a valuation of between $15B-$20B, far below the $47B valuation given to WeWork when SoftBank invested $2B in the business this year. If the company cancels the IPO, it stands to miss out on nearly $10B of capital, likely halting an aggressive expansion that has seen WeWork open 528 locations in more than 110 cities.

Farewell to Jack Ma

While the move had been planned for more than a year, Jack Ma has officially stepped down as the chairman of Alibaba’s (NYSE:BABA) board. Daniel Zhang will take up the role and continue as the Chinese e-commerce giant’s CEO. 2019 is a big year for Alibaba. The company is celebrating its twentieth anniversary as it looks back at milestones that include Taobao, Alipay, Tmall and Ant Financial, as well as its cloud business, Singles Day extravaganza and New York IPO.
Go deeper: Current ratings on Alibaba.

AT&T targeted by activist action

Elliott Management on Monday unveiled a $3.2B stake in AT&T (NYSE:T), urging the telecom and media conglomerate to end its acquisition spree and focus on improving its business. Shares climbed over 5%, before ending the day up 1.5%, as AT&T said it’s already working on issues that the activist investor outlined and reportedly hired Goldman Sachs for its defense. Elliott says its four-part plan will bring the stock to $60 or more by the end of 2021 (65%+ upside).
Go deeper: AT&T’s dividend yield is above five percent.

Prime comes to Brazil

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will launch its Prime subscription service in Brazil today as it seeks to broaden its footprint in Latin America’s largest economy. The service will offer unlimited nationwide free shipping and a maximum 48-hour delivery time in over 90 cities in a bid to dislodge established local rivals like Magazine Luiza and Mercado Livre. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is also watching… Subscribers will have access to movies, music, digital books and magazines on the new Prime platform.
Go deeper: The European View discusses a new reason to buy AMZN.

Details on Aramco IPO

“The primary listing is to list locally but we are ready also for listing outside in other districts,” Saudi Aramco (ARMCO) CEO Amin Nasser confirmed to reporters in Abu Dhabi. When asked whether he would prefer to see Aramco list in Tokyo, Japan, he replied: “We are ready to list wherever shareholders decide. And as you heard from His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz yesterday, it is going to be very soon. So, we are ready – that is the bottom line.”

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