British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is urging MPs to back whatever deal he secures from Brussels within 24 hours of a planned summit this week between European leaders. The burning issue at this late stage appears to be where the final borders of an independent Ireland and British Northern Ireland will be drawn. On Friday, the EU agreed to enter intense talks with Britain in an effort to break the impasse. An extension beyond October 31 is a possibility.
Lacking enthusiasm for its policy of no fact-checking in political ads, Presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has challenged Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) with ads from her campaign containing the false claim that chief Mark Zuckerberg is backing President Trump’s re-election bid. She is no friend to Big Tech, advocating antitrust action to quell their market dominance. In recently leaked transcripts from a July meeting, Mr. Zuckerberg told employees that he expects a legal challenge if Warren prevails in the election, adding that he expects to win that challenge.
Go deeper: See Facebook’s ratings.
Following Uber’s (NYSE:UBER) lead, rival Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) has filed a lawsuit against the city of New York seeking to deep-six its new rule limiting the time its drivers are allowed to cruise Manhattan without passengers. Ride-hailing service providers are battling cabbies (and their supporters in City Hall) over the lucrative market. Uber has also contested another rule banning the issuance of new licenses to for-hire vehicles through August 2020.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) has increased its weekly payout to General Motors (NYSE:GM) strikers by $25 to $275 as the walkout nears its fourth week with no apparent agreement in sight. The union has also lifted a restriction on members seeking part-time temporary work.
Go deeper: Bill Maurer discusses the implication of strikes on General Motors.
Citing risks in its non-bank financial sector and a cyclical downturn, the World Bank has trimmed its 2020 economic growth forecast for India to 6% from 7.5%. The Indian economy grew at a 5% annual rate in Q2 despite a liquidity crunch, but private consumption dipped to an 18-month low of 3.1%. Industrial output contracted 1.1% in August, the worst month in almost seven years. Growth is expected to rebound to 6.9% in 2021 and 7.2% in 2022.
Research conducted by the Brookings Institution and Financial Times points to anemic global economic growth for the foreseeable future, a situation called “synchronized stagnation” by Brookings’ Eswar Prasad. The IMF plans to cut its forecasts, expecting slower growth in 90% of the world this year. Policymakers’ efforts to stoke growth have been ineffective thus far.
President Trump announced a “substantial phase one deal” with China that, he says, includes a commitment to buy $40B-50B per year of U.S. agricultural products as well as agreements on intellectual property and financial services. Prices of soybeans, hogs and cotton rallied prior to the announcement. China is the world’s top consumer of the three commodities.
SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) – already owner of a third of WeWork (WE) – has a financing package to ease the start-up’s cash crunch that would also get SoftBank control of the company, according to reports. The Japanese firm would invest billions more in new equity and debt, and would take a greater role in a potential turnaround – moves that would also further sideline WeWork’s founder and ex-CEO, Adam Neumann.
Construction/engineering firm AECOM (NYSE:ACM) is closing in on a $2.4B deal to sell its management services business to a group of private equity firms, including Lindsay Goldberg and American Securities, Bloomberg reports. The company has been pressed by activist Starboard Value since June to undertake a strategic review of assets.
Natural gas futures broke a five-day losing streak as snowstorms blanket the Rockies and Northern Plains. Forecasts call for colder-than-normal temps across the western U.S. The November contract is up 3.2% after dropping 5.9% last week.
In Asia, Japan Closed. Hong Kong +0.81%. China +1.15%. India +0.24%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.60%. Paris -1.05%. Frankfurt -0.89%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.50%. S&P -0.55%. Nasdaq -0.65%. Crude -2% to $53.59. Gold +0.71% to $1,499.20. Bitcoin -0.49% to $8,333.
Ten-year Treasury Yield 1.734% (Bond market closed today).
Today’s Economic Calendar
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