Wall Street Breakfast: Fed Expected To Cut Rates This Week

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The financial markets have priced in a 50 basis-point rate cut by the Federal Reserve at this week’s FOMC meeting, possibly the third in the last three meetings. Opinions vary on the effectiveness of the cuts since rates are already low, so lowering them further may not have the desired effect and would take away some of its powder for future interventions.

Brexit deadline extended to 31 January

The EU has agreed to extend the Brexit deadline until 31 January 2020, reports the BBC. EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that the bloc is allowing for a “flextension” – which means that the U.K. can leave before the deadline if a deal is approved by Parliament.

Strike to trim $3B from GM bottom line

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) believes that the just-settled 40-day strike will cost GM more than $3B in profits, most of which will show up this quarter. Production at 30 plants will ramp back up as soon as possible in order to recoup the lost production of 300K cars and allow workers to earn back (via overtime) lost wages.
Go deeper: See General Motors’ sell side ratings.

Warner Bros. bad call on “Joker” a costly misjudgement

Thinking that Joker was not going to be a huge winner, Warner Bros. (NYSE:T) sold a substantial share of the movie to outside investors during development. Now that the film is the #1 R-rated movie of all time with a $788M gross and counting, it wishes that it could roll back the clock on the decision.

All that glitters is gold – LVMH bids $14.5B for Tiffany

Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) has received a $120/share offer from LVMH (OTCPK:LVMUY), valuing the company at $14.5B, 22% above Friday’s close. According to informed sources, it will need to sweeten the offer to get the deal done.

U.S. economic growth continues despite manufacturing woes

Weakness in the manufacturing sector, from a weary global economy and the U.S./China trade war, may not be much to worry about, at least in the near term, reports the Wall Street Journal. Domestic unemployment is a minuscule 3.5%, retail sales were up 4% last month, and the economy is projected to have grown ~1.3% last quarter according to a forecasting firm. Manufacturing represents ~11% of domestic output, down from ~16% 20 years ago.

Amazon Pay to support utility bill payments

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) says its Amazon Pay will enable users to pay their utility bills, either online or using the Alexa voice assistant. It discussed the plan during a Sunday keynote at the Money 20/20 conference. The e-commerce giant is partnering with Paymentus, which reached a similar bill-payment deal with Paypal (NASDAQ:PYPL) earlier this year.
Go deeper: Read contributor John Mason’s analysis on Amazon’s Q3.

Air Products/Saudi JV borrowing to buy $11.5B in assets

A joint venture between Air Products (NYSE:APD), ACWA Power and Aramco (ARMCO) is in advanced talks with lenders to help finance the purchase of $11.5B in assets, Reuters reports. The gasification/power JV is looking to buy the assets from Aramco by year-end, and will operate the facility under a 25-year contract for a fixed monthly fee.

China wooing foreign companies as trade war weighs on growth

Senior Chinese government figures are dialing up the charm in an effort to attract U.S. and other foreign companies to invest there. The ongoing tit-for-tat trade war with the Trump administration has created enough headwinds to concern Chinese leaders that, without foreign investment, they may fall short of President Xi’s goal of doubling the economy in the decade from 2010 to 2020. Hence, the charm offensive.

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