Market Snapshot

Asia: Japan closed. Hong Kong +0.2% to 21797. China +0.9% to 3186. India -2.1% to 25651.
Europe: London -2.1%. Paris -3.1%. Frankfurt -2.8%.
Futures: Dow -1.5%. S&P -1.6%. Nasdaq -2%. Crude -2.6% to $45.74. Gold -0.2% to $1130.30.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -5 bps to 2.16%

Economic News

8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
9:00 FHFA House Price Index
10:00 Richmond Fed Mfg


U.S. futures are deep in the red following a rally on Monday, continuing the series of sharp equity swings since the Fed announced it wouldn’t raise interest rates in September. A number of central bank officials have spoken in recent days saying an increase this year remains in the cards, leaving investors second-guessing when the first rate hike will come. European shares are also getting hammered, led lower by miners on demand worries from China, although the latter’s bourses remained unscathed during the session.

China’s President Xi Jinping touches down in Seattle today to meet American business leaders before heading to Washington on Thursday to speak with President Obama. The two will discuss several thorny issues, including cybersecurity, the South China Sea, North Korea’s nuclear threat, human rights and a widening trade deficit. Meanwhile, in his first interview with foreign media since Chinese stocks skidded this summer, Xi told The Wall Street Journal that government intervention to arrest the plunge was necessary to “defuse systemic risks” and was akin to acts taken by governments in “some mature foreign markets.”

China’s economy is poised to grow less than 7% this year, the Asian Development Bank predicted on Tuesday, warning of widening fallout from the country’s economic slowdown. In revisions to its annual Asian Development Outlook, published in March, the U.S. and Japan-led bank lowered its growth forecast for China to 6.8% from 7.2%. The Chinese government has targeted economic growth of “about 7%” in 2015.

France has opened a trade office in Tehran, leading the charge of European countries seeking to renew economic ties with Iran after July’s nuclear accord. Although several European and Asian business delegations have been visiting the Islamic Republic since the signing of the agreement, the U.S. still seems to be a political outcast in the country at the order of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Greece’s new coalition government will have 100 critical days to pass a mountain of legislation, including many measures previous parliaments found too politically difficult to tackle. Aspects of the country’s adjustment program include a 2016 state budget, a three-year fiscal strategy, bank recapitalization, pension and tax reforms, and boosting a plan to sell government assets. Reportedly, PM Alexis Tsipras intends to create a ministry with former Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos at its helm to coordinate the country’s bailout.

Just two years after a government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers are again heading toward a funding impasse – this time over federal money for Planned Parenthood. In January 2014, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated the direct impact of the last closure lopped about three-tenths of a percent off real GDP growth in the 2013 fourth quarter, and experts now estimate a three-in-four chance the government shuts down at the end of September (up from 67% last week).


The emissions scandal engulfing Volkswagen is spreading across the globe, after Germany, France and South Korea declared they would kick off investigations and the automaker confessed the issue affected 11M vehicles worldwide. It is unclear what will be the ultimate cost of VW (VLKAY), which also faces a class-action lawsuit from buyers, but the company has issued a profit warning and a €6.5B provision for Q3. Overnight, Volkswagen’s U.S. head Michael Horn admitted the company had “totally screwed up” and vowed to make amends.

Apple has set a 2019 target launch date for its first electric car, and declared it to be a “committed project,” WSJ reports. Leaders of the project, code-named Titan, have been given permission to triple the program’s 600-person team. Although Apple (AAPL) has hired self-driving car experts and reportedly wants to produce a driverless vehicle over the long term, its first car isn’t expected to be fully autonomous.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is scheduled to outline a plan to rein in prescription drug costs later today, after vowing on Twitter to go after “price-gouging” by drug companies. The tweet brought down the biotech sector yesterday, with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) plunging 4.5%. Several details of the new plan have been provided by the Clinton campaign ahead of the speech: A $250 monthly cap on the amount chronic pain patients would have to pay for prescription medications, approving more generic/imported drugs, forcing pharmaceutical companies to reinvest their profits into R&D, and ending their ability to write off consumer advertising as a business expense.

General Electric is moving closer toward lowering overall debt, offering to exchange up to $30B in notes for new ones with shorter maturities. The exchange will be capped at $30B, but more than $100B in notes from more than 100 different tranches qualify to be exchanged. The move comes as GE (GE) restructures and shrinks its large financial services arm.

Time Warner Cable shareholders have approved the company’s $56.7B takeover by Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), with more than 99% of the votes cast at its special shareholder meeting in favor of the deal. Comcast (CMCSA) dropped its $45B bid for Time Warner Cable (TWC) in April, after U.S. regulators raised concerns that the deal would give it unfair market advantages. The closing is now subject to regulatory approval.

Music streaming service Deezer is planning a flotation on the Paris stock exchange by the end of the year, as it looks to step up its fight against larger rivals. Deezer boasts 6.3M subscribers and over 35M tracks, but this still puts it behind some of its peers – Spotify has over 75M active users, while Apple (AAPL) Music has signed up 11M trial members. Analysts expect the French startup founded in 2007 to achieve a stock market valuation of about €1B.

London Stock Exchange’s $1.8B plan to sell Russell Investments to Citic Securities (CIIHY) – China’s largest listed brokerage – is faltering and may soon collapse, Bloomberg reports. The sell-off in the Chinese equity market since mid-June, as well as investigations into some Citic executives, have derailed the discussions. LSE (LDNXF) has now begun speaking with other bidders for the business.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan faces one of the toughest tests of his career today when shareholders decide whether to strip him of his role as chairman of the board. The bank argues that it needs the flexibility to grant him one or both titles, but opponents say the two roles should be separated to allow for greater oversight. The vote is expected to be close and BofA (BAC) says it will honor the outcome.

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