Morning Brief: US moves to block AT&T-Time Warner deal

Friday, July 13, 2018

What to watch today

On Friday, investors will turn their attention to second-quarter earnings season, which unofficially gets underway with JPMorgan (JPM), Citi (C), Wells Fargo (WFC), and PNC Financial (PNC) all set to report before the bell.

Results out of JPMorgan, the country’s biggest bank by assets, and Wells Fargo will likely be the most closely watched, as commentary from JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon tends to grab headlines and Wells Fargo remains under scrutiny from regulators.

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Top news

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

US to appeal approval of AT&T acquisition of Time WarnerThe U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it would appeal a federal judge’s approval of AT&T Inc.’s (T) $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, raising the prospect barely a month after the deal closed that it could be undone. [Reuters]

Trump says May’s Brexit plan kills hope of a U.S. trade deal: President Donald Trump directly criticized Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy, saying it had probably killed off hope of a U.S.-British trade deal and that she had failed to take his advice on how to negotiate with the European Union. In an interview published just hours before he was due to have lunch with May and tea with Queen Elizabeth on Friday, Trump chided the “very unfortunate” results of the prime minister’s Brexit negotiation. [Reuters]

China’s trade surplus with US hits record: China’s trade surplus with the United States swelled to a record in June as its overall exports grew at a solid pace, a result that could further inflame a bitter trade dispute with Washington. China’s trade surplus with the U.S., which is at the center of the tariff tussle, widened to a record monthly high of $28.97 billion, up from $24.58 billion in May, according to Reuters calculations. [Reuters]

Fast-food chains agree to end ‘no-poaching’ policies: Seven national fast-food chains have agreed to end policies that block workers from changing branches — limiting their wages and job opportunities — under the threat of legal action from the state of Washington. [AP]

J&J to pay $4.7B in Missouri asbestos cancer case: A Missouri jury on Thursday ordered Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to pay a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who alleged the company’s talc-based products, including its baby powder, contain asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer. The verdict is the largest J&J has faced to date over allegations that its talc-based products cause cancer. [Reuters]

Bezos plans to charge at least $200,000 for space rides: Jeff Bezos’s rocket company plans to charge passengers about $200,000 to $300,000 for its first trips into space next year, two people familiar with its plans said. Potential customers and the aerospace industry have been eager to learn the cost of a ticket on Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle, to find out if it is affordable and whether the company can generate enough demand to make a profit on space tourism. [Reuters]

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