Tuesday, June 12, 2018
What to watch today
Markets will be reacting to the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore. The two signed a “very comprehensive” document, but did not share any details. “We both are going to do something,” Trump said after the meeting.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, a federal judge is expected to rule on whether the government’s appeal to have AT&T’s (T) proposed acquisition of Time Warner (TWX) denied on antitrust grounds. CNBC reported Tuesday that if this deal is approved, Comcast (CMCSA) will formalize its all-cash offer for Twenty-First Century Fox’s (FOXA) assets the company had agreed to sell to Disney (DIS) at the end of last year. Disney’s current agreement to acquire Fox’s studio assets is currently structured as a stock swap.
The economics calendar on Tuesday will also bring investors two pieces of closely-watched data, with the NFIB’s latest reading on small business optimism set for release in the morning as well as the May read on inflation. The inflation data — which is expected to show “core” consumer prices that exclude the cost of food and gas rose 2.2% over the prior year in May — comes just a day ahead of the Federal Reserve’s next policy decision. The Fed is expected to raise its target range for the Federal Funds rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday, its second interest rate increase of the year.
Warren Buffett finally gets closure on one of his rare investing mistakes: USG (USG) agreed to a $7 billion buyout by Germany’s Knauf after Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) threw its support behind a shareholder uprising. Berkshire is USG’s biggest shareholder, with a stake of 31%, and had said earlier this year it would vote against USG’s four director nominees after the company rebuffed an earlier Knauf bid. [CNBC]
Another Alzheimer’s drug fails as Lilly, Astra halt tests: Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) and AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) ended two late-stage trials of an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease after the treatment failed to show any signs of working, adding to a litany of disappointments for the memory-robbing illness. An independent data monitoring committee found that the medicine, lanabecestat, was unlikely to meet the goals of the studies, one for early Alzheimer’s and the other for mild dementia related to the disease, the companies said. [Bloomberg]
Amazon flexes muscles, Seattle backs down on business tax: City leaders said they plan to repeal a tax on large companies such as Amazon (AMZN) and Starbucks (SBUX) as they face mounting pressure from businesses, an about-face just a month after unanimously approving the measure to help pay for efforts to combat a growing homelessness crisis. [AP]
Trump economic adviser suffered heart attack: Larry Kudlow, the prominent economic commentator who joined the Trump administration this year as the president’s top economic adviser, has suffered a “very mild” heart attack, the White House said Monday night. [AP]
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