Tuesday, August 28, 2018
What to watch today
On Tuesday, investors will get a key piece of economic sentiment data when The Conference Board releases its August update on consumer confidence. This report will be closely tracked as the University of Michigan’s read on consumers’ economic outlook revealed consumers could be more sensitive to price changes if tariffs lead to inflation across consumer goods. The June report on home prices from S&P/Case-Shiller is also due out in the morning as is the Richmond Fed’s reading on manufacturing activity in August.
And on the earnings side, the retail sector will be in focus Tuesday morning with Best Buy (BBY) and Tiffany (TIF) set to report earnings. Best Buy has been one of the big success stories in retail over the last couple years, with the stock up 30% over the last 12 months and more than doubling over the last 24. Wall Street expects the company to report same-store sales rose 4.2% in the second quarter. Other members of the S&P 500 reporting results Tuesday are expected to include HP Enterprise (HPE) and H&R Block (HRB).
Preliminary US-Mexico trade deal leaves trail of uncertainty: President Donald Trump’s declaration of victory Monday in reaching a preliminary deal with Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) raised at least as many questions as it answered. Trump suggested that he might leave Canada out of a new agreement, but was quick to proclaim the agreement a triumph, pointing to Monday’s surge in the stock market, which was fueled in part by the apparent breakthrough with Mexico. [Reuters]
US to pay $4.7B in tariff-related aid to farmers: The U.S. Department of Agriculture said its farm aid package would include $4.7 billion in direct payments to farmers to help offset losses from retaliatory tariffs on American exports this season. The bulk of the payments, $3.6 billion, would be made to soybean farmers. [Reuters]
Toyota raises bet on self-driving cars by lifting Uber stake: Toyota Motor Corp. is investing $500 million more in Uber Technologies Inc., underscoring the Japanese automaker’s efforts to catch up on self-driving technology as General Motors Co. (GM) and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo lead the race to upend the industry. [Bloomberg]
FCC report found no ‘favoritism’ on proposed Sinclair deal: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s inspector general said there was no evidence of impropriety relating to the proposed, and now defunct, merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) and Tribune Media Co (TRCO), concluding FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had not shown bias in favor of the deal. [Reuters]
Google teams with banks to launch digital lending in India: Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is partnering with four Indian banks to grant consumer loans online, as the fight for a $1 trillion digital finance market intensifies. [Bloomberg]
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