U.S. stock futures rise ahead of Trump-Putin summit


Amazon is the stock of the decade: Charles Payne

FBN’s Charles Payne on what sectors rallied despite trade concerns and how Amazon surged to a new high.

Stock futures are rising,  indicating a possible third straight day of gains as President Trump and Russian President Putin meet in Helsinki, Finland.

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Dow Jones futures were rising by 0.21%. The SP 500 added 0.12% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.21%.

The latest indictments of Russian intelligence officers in Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election will put extra tension on this meeting between the two most powerful leaders in the world.

Asian shares were lower on Monday after data from China showed the world’s second-largest economy slowed slightly in the second quarter, and as investors remain cautious over the impact of the heated Sino-U.S. trade war.

China’s economy grew 6.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018, in line with market expectations, and cooling a bit from the 6.8 percent growth registered in each of the previous three quarters.

Shanghai Composite closed own 0.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished the day little changed.

Japan’s markets were closed for a holiday.

In Europe, London’s FTSE is little changed, Germany’s DAX is up 0.10% and France’s CAC is 0.46% higher.

U.S. stocks wrapped a winning week on Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above the psychologically significant 25,000-point milestone, a one-month high. The SP 500, the broadest measure of stocks, reached a 5-month high and the Nasdaq Composite even better, sitting at a record. A string of new records for some big tech names helped drive the momentum as  Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Google each hit all-time highs Friday.

Earnings season for the banks  started on Friday.

JPMorgan Chase’s second-quarter earnings and revenue topped analysts’ expectations, Citigroup beat on earnings but missed on revenue while Wells Fargo missed on both earnings and revenue.

Bank earnings continue on Monday with results from Bank of America before the bell. After the bell results will be released from Netflix.

On the economic front, reports are due on retail sales and empire manufacturing.

FOX Business’ Leia Klingel contributed to this article.

China files WTO challenge to US $200B tariff plan

China announced it filled a World Trade Organization challenge Monday to U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal for a tariff hike on $200 billion of Chinese goods, reacting swiftly amid deepening concern about the economic impact of their spiraling technology dispute.

The one-sentence Commerce Ministry statement gave no legal grounds for the challenge or other details. It is an unusually rapid move for a trade case, coming less than one week after the U.S. Trade Representative announced the tariff plan, which wouldn’t take effect until at least September.

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The USTR said last week that it proposed the levy in response to Beijing’s decision to retaliate for U.S. tariff hikes over complaints China is hurting American companies by stealing or pressuring foreign enterprises to hand over technology.

China criticized the move but has yet to say whether it would retaliate for the second round of tariffs. Its lopsided trade balance with the United States means it has only $80 billion of annual imports of American goods left for retaliation following its earlier measures.

Beijing has stepped up diplomatic efforts to recruit support from Europe, South Korea and other trading partners but so far without success.

World shares mixed ahead of Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki


Shares edged higher in early European trading on Monday after Asian benchmarks slipped on news that China’s economy grew at a lackluster 6.7 percent pace in the last quarter. Attention was focused on the latest back-and-forth between China and the U.S. in a tariffs dispute, and on President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, planned for later in the day.

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KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX gained 0.1 percent to 12,555.65 and the CAC 40 in France was almost flat at 5,430.60. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.1 percent lower to 7,652.97. The Dow future contract added 0.2 percent to 25,055.00 while the future for the SP 500 picked up 0.1 percent to 2,806.50.

ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.6 percent to 2,814.04, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged 0.1 percent higher to 28,539.66. The Kospi in South Korea fell 0.4 percent to 2,301.99 and Australia’s SP ASX 200 gave up 0.4 percent to 6,241.50. Shares fell in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Japan’s market was closed for a holiday.

TRADE UPDATE: China announced it filled a World Trade Organization challenge Monday to U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal for a tariff hike on $200 billion of Chinese goods, reacting swiftly amid deepening concern about the economic impact of their spiraling technology dispute. Earlier Monday, European Council President Donald Tusk, while on a visit to Beijing, urged President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and China to work with Europe to avoid trade wars and prevent conflict and chaos. He said Europe, China, the U.S. and Russia had a “common duty” not to destroy the global order but to improve it by reforming international trade rules.

CHINA ECONOMY GROWS: China’s economic growth slowed in the quarter ending in June, adding to challenges for Beijing amid a mounting tariff battle with Washington. The 6.7 percent pace of growth for the world’s second-largest economy compared with 6.8 percent in the previous quarter. Even before the trade dispute with Washington erupted, forecasters expected growth to cool after Beijing started tightening controls on bank lending last year to rein in surging debt.

ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: “The upshot is that the statistics bureau is now starting to more publicly acknowledge that the economy is losing steam. This should make it easier for officials to justify shifting to a more supportive policy stance,” Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary. “The People’s Bank has already been nudging down market interest rates since the beginning of the year but is likely to take the more high-profile step of cutting benchmark lending rates in the coming months.”

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 112.44 yen from 112.39 yen late Friday while the euro rose to $1.1701 from $1.1688.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 37 cents to $70.64 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1 percent on Friday to $71.01 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 10 cents to $74.23 per barrel.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank sees higher-than-expected Q2 profit

Germany’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, says it foresees considerably higher-than-expected earnings for the second quarter — results that it says underline the company’s “resilience.”

The Frankfurt-based bank said Monday it expects net profit of about 400 million euros ($467 million) for the April-June period. The company said its brief preliminary earnings statement, ahead of a full earnings report July 25, was triggered under German regulatory rules by the fact the results are far above analysts’ average forecast. For net income, that was 159 million euros.

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The bank has struggled to cut costs and return to profit after three straight full-year losses. The latest figures appear to be good news for new CEO Christian Sewing, and the company said “management believes that these results demonstrate the resilience of the franchise.”

Vermont forest reserve to offset California carbon emissions

Land surrounding Burnt Mountain in Vermont will now be a forest reserve and store carbon to help California meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The Nature Conservancy announced on Thursday that 5,400 acres (2,185 hectares) of forested land around Burnt Mountain will be the first Vermont site eligible for California’s regulatory compliance market. Under the program, California businesses are required to reduce most carbon emissions but also can buy credits to offset their remaining emissions.

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The organization estimates that the credits will have an approximate value of $2 million over a 10-year period.

“We are thinking innovatively about how we can grow our investments in nature,” said Jim Shallow, director of strategic conservation initiatives for The Nature Conservancy in Vermont. “The carbon offset program will allow us to put the power of the market to work to protect forests and fight climate change.”

The forest is located across five northern Vermont towns. Previously the forest was part of a 26,000-acre (10,500-hectare) holding by the Vermont Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy. In 2016 the two groups began separating the holding into 12 parcels, the majority of which will be working forestland for logging and maple syrup production.

The Nature Conservancy bought the Vermont Land Trust’s half-interest for the Burnt Mountain forest.

The Burnt Mountain forest is located near state parks, privately owned conserved lands and Vermont’s Long Trail, creating an 11,000-acre (4,450-hectare) parcel on preserved land. The Nature Conservancy plans to keep the site open for non-motorized recreation activities.

Texas man gets prison, must repay $2.4M in pay phone scam

A Houston-area man must serve 18 months in federal prison and repay $2.4 million for what prosecutors call a pay phone scam since 2005.

David Grudzinski of Friendswood was sentenced Friday in Houston. The 61-year-old Grudzinski in April pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud, plus money laundering.

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Investigators say Grudzinski owned about 450 pay phones in the Houston area. Grudzinski acknowledged a scheme to unlawfully obtain payments from the owners of toll-free numbers for calls to his pay phones.

Prosecutors say Grudzinski used special software to make his phones robotically dial toll-free telephone numbers assigned to various federal and state government agencies, plus private groups. Grudzinski was then fraudulently paid about 49 cents per call from 2005 through mid-2015.

Nurses at Vermont hospital back at work after 2-day strike

Nurses at Vermont’s largest hospital are back on the job after a two-day strike.

The strike of 1,800 nurses from the University of Vermont Medical Center ended at 7 a.m. Saturday after 48 hours.

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Hospital administrators brought in outside nurses during the strike and say most hospital operations were unaffected by it.

The union is seeking about a 22 percent pay increase over three years. The Medical Center offered about a 14 percent pay increase over three years.

The union maintains higher wages are necessary to recruit and retain nurses and support staff and “address a crisis of understaffing.”

Medical Center president Eileen Whalen says the strike had a cost of roughly $3 million.

Global Fixed Income Views: Q3 2018

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

By Robert Michele via Iris.xyz The disconnect between the financial markets and the real economy continued in the second quarter. The U.S. dollar rose, emerging market debt and currencies plummeted, Italy and peripheral Europe came under pressure, and equity markets saw intraday downdrafts of more than 3%. Yet relative stability prevailed in the broader economy. While […]

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Read more at ETFTrends.com

The stock-market bull is still on its feet


The factors driving the US markets

Charles Schwab and Co. Senior Vice President Liz Ann Sonders on the state of the markets.

The story of Juan José Padilla must be legend within the Spanish bullfighting community. Blinded by a bull in one eye in late 2011 after badly losing his footing in a bullring, the matador made a stunning comeback to the arena about six months later, much to the utter shock of fans.

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Similarly, Wall Street investors find themselves facing off with a bull of their own, one that is in its ninth year and, despite being beset by a cavalcade of concerns, appears on the verge of resuming the second-longest run since WWII.

That is perhaps much to the consternation of bears and the confusion of nervous optimist alike.

On Friday, the 13th no less, the SP 500 index finished above 2,800 for the first time since Feb. 1, piercing a psychological, round-number level that had proven a source of key resistance for the market since it stumbled badly into correction territory on Feb. 8.

Indeed, the SP 500 finished Friday’s session 0.1% higher at 2,801.31, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.4% at 25,019.41, while the Nasdaq Composite Index mustered sufficient momentum to eke out back-to-back finishes at an all-time closing high at 7,825.98, up less than 0.1%.

The SP 500 sits just 2.5% from its Jan. 26, record, while the Dow stands 6% short of its closing peak from earlier in the year.

The recent uptrend has come in fits and starts, but come it has, amid the aforementioned headwinds. Those factors include:

“The market has been able to grind higher and it’s been able to do so even with these headwinds,” Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors told MarketWatch in an interview.

The State Street strategist views trade conflagration as a concern that may have fallen to the wayside even if it continues to be a situation that unspools over weeks and months.

“The trade discussion has been a bit longer than folks had been anticipating and it might be longer still — and a bit messier,” Arone said.

He added: “This week there seems to be a changing sentiment that much of the trade threat in terms of the escalation of the tariffs is being used as a tool to bring the sides together.”

In the end, sentiment may be improving as reflected by the stock market’s recent action; but there are many who have cautioned against being too complacent. Scott Minerd of Guggenheim (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-rally-in-stocks-is-a-last-hurrah-warns-guggenheims-minerd-2018-07-09) and Ray Dalio, the founder of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, appear to be warning (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/founder-of-worlds-largest-hedge-fund-says-first-day-of-the-war-with-china-has-begun-2018-07-06) that escalating trade disputes could still be a major problem for the market.

With the admonishment of those high-profile investors in mind, it is worth reflecting on the one-eyed Padilla’s comeback. Just a few days ago, the flamboyant picador suffered an even more horrific injury at the horns of another bull after once again losing his footing. This episode came about a year after being gored back in March 2017.

Observers can say what they will about bullfighting, or investing for that matter, but the lesson here may be that over long periods, the bull eventually wins.