WFC - Wells Fargo & Company

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
53.80
+0.31 (+0.58%)
At close: 4:03PM EST
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close53.49
Open53.78
Bid53.75 x 1200
Ask53.73 x 1100
Day's range53.43 - 53.94
52-week range43.02 - 55.04
Volume14,883,055
Avg. volume20,030,582
Market cap227.54B
Beta (3Y monthly)1.10
PE ratio (TTM)11.57
EPS (TTM)4.65
Earnings date14 Jan 2020
Forward dividend & yield2.04 (3.81%)
Ex-dividend date2019-11-07
1y target est50.92
  • EnLink's 20% Yield Is Everything Wrong With America's Pipelines
    Bloomberg

    EnLink's 20% Yield Is Everything Wrong With America's Pipelines

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- When a stock goes into free fall, one hope is that some acquirer out there will catch it. Sometimes, though, suitors come with their own complications. That brings us to EnLink Midstream LLC.EnLink operates gathering and processing pipelines and other oil and gas infrastructure across several onshore U.S. basins. In the summer of 2018, Devon Energy Corp., an exploration and production company, sold its stakes in various EnLink entities to Global Infrastructure Partners for just over $3.1 billion. After a subsequent simplification of EnLink, GIP owns 46% of the common units, now worth $1.2 billion.EnLink has been undone by weaker commodity prices. Earlier this month, Devon announced it had dropped the number of rigs operating in one of Oklahoma’s shale basins to precisely zero (how’s that for a coda to last year’s deal?). This confirmed a trend evident already in permitting and drilling data for the Anadarko basin, where just four companies account for the majority of activity; and, crucially, they have operations in other basins that are more competitive in terms of breakeven costs.The distribution yield on EnLink’s stock now scrapes 20% — on a par with the current yield on long-dated bonds of Chesapeake Energy Corp., which just issued a going-concern notice. There’s being paid to wait, as they say, and then there’s being paid to wait in that trash compactor from Star Wars.EnLink’s cash flow math is tight. Consensus forecasts — which have now had time to digest cost savings pledged on the latest earnings call — put Ebitda at $1.1 billion in 2020. Take off around $500-$550 million for cash interest and (much-reduced) capital expenditure, and that leaves about $550-$600 million versus current distributions of about $550 million. With Ebitda forecast to grow at just 1% a year through 2022, that tight squeeze won’t ease up. Wells Fargo & Co.’s analysts estimated in a recent report that, absent a change in distribution policy, current leverage of 4.2 times adjusted Ebitda could reach almost 6 times by 2025. By any rational measure, the distribution should be cut.The complicating issue is that EnLink’s leverage is compounded by more leverage at the GIP level in the form of a $1 billion term loan. Technically, it is separate from EnLink’s own finances. But as the company acknowledges in its own 10K filing, debt owed by an entity owning almost half the company plus its managing partner, and which is serviced by EnLink’s own distributions, is very much a risk factor. By my calculations, the loan requires roughly $80 million a year of EnLink distributions (GIP didn’t respond to requests for comment)(1). As of now, distributions amount to about $255 million. So, in theory, EnLink could slash its payout by about two-thirds and GIP could still service the loan.In practice, that would be a bitter pill to swallow. As it is, GIP’s common units in EnLink are now worth not much more than the value of the loan and way below the original investment. Cutting distributions would certainly help EnLink’s balance sheet; all else equal, a 67% cut would save enough cash to take leverage below 4 times adjusted Ebitda, in line with long-term targets. But this would almost certainly push the value of GIP’s stake even lower, at least in the near term. As Ethan Bellamy, analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., put it to me:Does GIP leverage prevent EnLink from cutting the distribution and right sizing the ship? It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen parental leverage from a private equity sponsor lead to sub-optimal outcomes for the subsidiary public entity.On the other hand, if EnLink cuts and its price falls further, then GIP might be tempted to make an offer for the rest of the company in an effort to salvage things out of the public eye. Needless to say, a takeover premium on an even lower EnLink price would do very little to make up for the losses suffered to date. We are seeing this play out with Blackstone Group Inc.’s offer for another midstream company, Tallgrass Energy LP, although the pain there is compounded by an agreement between the buyer and Tallgrass’s executives that effectively shields the latter from losses (see this).EnLink captures so much of what has gone wrong in America’s pipelines business. There’s the misalignment of interest between ordinary investors and the sponsors steering the company’s destiny. There’s the exposure to commodity markets from which, in theory, midstream companies were supposed to be insulated. Above all, there’s the overcapitalization of this sector, with obligations piled onto assets (largely to fund outsize payouts to controlling sponsors) that ultimately couldn’t generate the profits to service them (largely because too much stuff got built).Almost exactly four years ago, Kinder Morgan Inc. presaged the midstream reckoning to come by slashing its dividend. The stock has been listless for much of the period since then; even with the cut, chipping away at debts in a post-boom environment is a laborious process. As this decade of nominal success for America’s shale boom draws to a close, EnLink’s predicament shows the hangover remains very much a work in progress.(1) This assumes the full $1 billion remains outstanding. Interest is charged at Libor plus 4.25%, equating to 6.15%, or about $62 million. A debt-service covenant ratio of 1.1 times takes this to $68 million. Mandatory annual amortization of 1% of the loan plus assumed G&A costs results in an estimated minimum requirement of about $80 million to service the debt. Details derived from Moody's Corp.'s initial rating report from July 2018.To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at ldenning1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at mgongloff1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bank Stock Roundup: Ambiguity Over Trade War Remains, SunTrust & Citi in Focus
    Zacks

    Bank Stock Roundup: Ambiguity Over Trade War Remains, SunTrust & Citi in Focus

    Banking stocks depreciate on uncertainty over trade conflict along with other global concerns.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walt Disney, Wells Fargo, Vale, Shopify and TELUS
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walt Disney, Wells Fargo, Vale, Shopify and TELUS

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walt Disney, Wells Fargo, Vale, Shopify and TELUS

  • Bonds Aren’t Believers in a Synchronized Upswing
    Bloomberg

    Bonds Aren’t Believers in a Synchronized Upswing

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The global bond market rallied for a second consecutive day on Thursday in an awkward development for the growing chorus of voices that have cropped up the last few weeks contending that the synchronized global slowdown was over. From China to Germany, and from Cisco Systems Inc. to freight shipments, the latest data show  it’s too soon to turn optimistic.In China, industrial output rose 4.7% in October from a year earlier, below the median estimate of 5.4%. Germany did post a surprise expansion in its gross domestic product for the third quarter, but that came with plenty of caveats. For one, the increase was only 0.1%, and the contraction for the second quarter was deeper than initially reported — negative 0.2% versus negative 0.1%. In the U.S., economists were passing around the latest Cass Freight Index for October, which fell 5.9% to mark its 11th consecutive year-over-year decline. This gauge has been around since 1995 and tracks freight volumes and expenditures by hundreds of companies in North America conducting $28 billion of transactions annually. More important, the compilers of the index noted in the latest survey that the index “has gone from ‘warning of a potential slowdown’ to ‘signaling an economic contraction.’” Cisco is not in the freight business, but comments by Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins late Wednesday after the computer company released fiscal second-quarter results echoed the sentiment in the freight industry. “Just go around the world and you see what’s happening in Hong Kong, you look at China, what’s happening in D.C., you’ve got Brexit, uncertainty in Latin America,” he said on a conference call with investors and analysts. “Business confidence suffers when there’s a lack of clarity, and there’s been a lack of clarity for so long that it’s finally come into play.”Maybe the global economy isn’t worsening, but it’s too soon to say an upswing is underway. Despite the sell-off in the bond market since September, yields are still showing caution. Yields on bonds worldwide as measured by the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index stand at 1.45%, which is closer to its all-time low of 1.07% in 2016 than last year’s high of 2.27% in November.AWASH IN MORE DEBTThe Institute of International Finance came out with its quarterly look at the mountain of global debt, concluding that it rose by about $7 trillion in the first half of the year to a record of just more than $250 trillion. That increase is more double the $3.3 trillion expansion for all of last year. It pegs global debt, which it sees expanding to $255 trillion by the end of the year, at a lofty 320% of global GDP. It’s no surprise that the world is awash in debt, but yields show there seems to be a dearth of it for the public because of massive purchases by central banks. As of October, the collective balance-sheet assets of the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan and Bank of England stood at 35.7% of their countries’ total GDP, up from about 10% in 2008. Still, this is no time to be complacent. The IIF points out that much of the growth in debt has come in emerging markets, which is generally considered riskier than that of developed economies and where central banks are not doing things like quantitative easing. This could become an issue relatively quickly; the IIF pointed out that $9.4 trillion of bonds and syndicated loans from emerging markets come due by the end of 2021.CORPORATE CASH SHRINKSThe latest doubts about the strength of the economy kept the S&P 500 Index little changed for a second consecutive day. Perhaps that’s for the better because falling interest rates and bond yields are perhaps the single-biggest reason equities are up 23.4% this year in the absence of earnings growth. The second is probably share repurchases. But a new report from Societe General SA raises concern that the cash companies use to fund those buybacks is being depleted. “A boon for U.S. share buybacks” has left companies with less cash in their coffers, Societe Generale strategists Sophie Huynh and Alain Bokobza wrote in a report. Cash and money-market investments held by companies in the S&P 500 peaked in 2018’s first quarter on a per-share basis before falling 5.3% through the third quarter of this year, according to Bloomberg News’s David Wilson. S&P 500 companies have bought back the equivalent of 22% of their market value since 2010, the Societe Generale strategists noted in their report.CHILEAN CRISIS ENTERS NEW PHASEThe chaos in Chile, long known as the safest bet in Latin America, has become so bad that not even direct intervention by the nation’s central bank was able to reverse the slide in the peso. The currency fell about 1% Thursday, bringing its slide to 11.4% since mid-October. That’s the worst of the 31 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg and more than five times the next biggest loser, the Hungarian forint. What should have investors worried is that the peso depreciated even after the central bank announced a $4 billion currency swap program to ease liquidity in the market amid the worst civil unrest in a generation. “I don’t think it will help stop the sell-off in any way,” Brendan McKenna, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo, told Bloomberg News in reference to the swaps program. “There has to be some breakthrough on the political front for the currency to stabilize.” Foreign investors have been especially rattled since the government said Sunday that it backed plans to rewrite the constitution in response to four weeks of riots and protests in support of better pensions, wages, education and health care. If that were to happen, it’s possible the government would swing too far to the populist left to the detriment of the economy. FOLLOW THE CLIMATE CHANGE MONEYDespite the overwhelming evidence about climate change, there is still an alarming number of deniers. But if it was really all a big hoax or overblown, then why are the world’s biggest, most influential investment firms steering away from areas that are likely to be hit the hardest, such as the coasts? Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is considering real estate markets including Denver; Austin, Texas; and Nashville, Jeffrey Fine, a managing director at the firm’s merchant-banking division, said Thursday at a conference hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies. Fine may not have specifically cited climate change, but according to Bloomberg News’s Gillian Tan, he did note that more companies and young people are moving away from the coasts. The Fed held its first conference on climate change last week in San Francisco, with one central bank official saying it has the potential to “displace people permanently” amid damaging wildfires in California and storms punishing the Eastern Seaboard. About 3 billion people — or some 40 percent of the world’s population — live within 200 kilometers (124 miles) of a coastline, according to Bloomberg News. It’s projected that by 2050 more than 1 billion will live directly at the water’s edge.TEA LEAVESThe idea that the U.S. consumer was strong and carrying the economy took a hit a month ago when Commerce Department data showed that retail sales in September fell unexpectedly. The 0.3% decline from August was directly opposite the 0.3% advance expected based on the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. That’s why Friday’s update from the government on October retail sales is so critical, especially heading into the holiday sales season. Economists are calling for a 0.2% rebound. Bloomberg Economics isn’t so optimistic, saying that decelerating wage growth suggests household demand will moderate. It is forecasting no change in spending. Although the headline number will get the attention, the smart money will be looking at sales among a control group that are used to calculate GDP and exclude food services, auto dealers, building-material stores and gas stations. By that measure, sales are seen rising 0.3% from no change in September.DON’T MISS Stock Investors Could Use a Refresher on the Basics: Nir Kaissar You Care About Earnings? The Stock Market Doesn’t: John Authers Too Many Young American Men Still Aren’t Working: Justin Fox Brazil’s Politics and Economics Are Growing Apart: Mac Margolis Matt Levine's Money Stuff: You Can Buy Almost All the StocksTo contact the author of this story: Robert Burgess at bburgess@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Robert Burgess is an editor for Bloomberg Opinion. He is the former global executive editor in charge of financial markets for Bloomberg News. As managing editor, he led the company’s news coverage of credit markets during the global financial crisis.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Warren Buffett trims Wells Fargo stake, adds RH
    Yahoo Finance

    Warren Buffett trims Wells Fargo stake, adds RH

    The Oracle of Omaha's latest stock moves are out.

  • Top Research Reports for Disney, Wells Fargo & Vale
    Zacks

    Top Research Reports for Disney, Wells Fargo & Vale

    Top Research Reports for Disney, Wells Fargo & Vale

  • Apollo Global (APO) to Acquire Tech Data for $5.4 Billion
    Zacks

    Apollo Global (APO) to Acquire Tech Data for $5.4 Billion

    Continuing with strategic moves, Apollo Global (APO) signs deal to acquire Tech Data (TECD), with the aim to boost the latter's position in the market.

  • Why Is Wells Fargo (WFC) Up 7.5% Since Last Earnings Report?
    Zacks

    Why Is Wells Fargo (WFC) Up 7.5% Since Last Earnings Report?

    Wells Fargo (WFC) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Why Bank ETFs May Soar in 2020
    Zacks

    Why Bank ETFs May Soar in 2020

    Rising deposits, solid dividend payments, solid GDP growth and compelling valuations can fuel bank ETFs in 2020.

  • Fed May Defy History With Rates Steady Through 2020 Election
    Bloomberg

    Fed May Defy History With Rates Steady Through 2020 Election

    (Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is likely to signal again this week that monetary policy is on hold, buttressing the belief that he may steer clear of action through 2020.Surprisingly, that would be an historic anomaly for a U.S. presidential election year. Rather than keeping its head down, the Fed has changed policy in one direction or another in each of the last 10 presidential polling years -- though in 2016 it didn’t act to raise interest rates until after the November election.In 2012 the Fed didn’t move its benchmark rate, which was already at zero, but did announce its third round of large-scale asset purchases in September.“If you look back in history and see what the Fed did in election years, the Fed did everything they had to do,’’ said Roberto Perli, a partner at Cornerstone Macro in Washington. The best way for them to preserve their independence and credibility “is to do what they think is right.’’That hasn’t always shielded them from criticism. President George H.W. Bush famously blamed then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan for costing him re-election in 1992 by failing to cut interest rates more aggressively. But it’s particularly vital now for the Fed to make the case that its policies are warranted by the economic outlook because of the relentless public assault on the institution by President Donald Trump.Click here for the World Interest Rate Probability toolBreaking with more than a quarter century of precedent, Trump has repeatedly lambasted the Fed and accused it of keeping credit too tight.“We are actively competing with nations who openly cut interest rates so that now many are actually getting paid when they pay off their loan, known as negative interest,” Trump told the Economic Club of New York Tuesday.“Give me some of that money. I want some of that money. Our Federal Reserve doesn’t let us do it,” Trump said, drawing a laugh from the audience. “It puts us at a competitive disadvantage to other countries.”Powell will have a chance to make his case twice this week, on Wednesday before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and on Thursday to the House Budget Committee. He’s likely to echo the message he delivered after the latest Fed rate cut on Oct. 30: The economy and monetary policy are in good place in the 11th year of America’s longest expansion.Investors seem to agree. Stock and bond prices have risen in recent days on signs that the U.S. economy is weathering a slowdown abroad and on hopes of a phase-one deal in the U.S.-China trade war.“Things feel a lot less threatening than they did two months ago,’’ said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist with Northern Trust Corp. in Chicago. “The data for the U.S. has suggested that we’re not on the edge of falling off a cliff.”Front and center in that regard was the October employment report, which showed payrolls rising by 128,000 despite the loss of 41,600 jobs due to the since-ended General Motors Co. strike.Solid PayrollsThe solid jobs report allayed fears that companies spooked by the worldwide slowdown would chop payrolls just as they have done to capital outlays.It also bolstered the Fed’s hopes that the consumer will continue to have the staying power to keep the expansion on track in the face of cutbacks by businesses.Coupled with the policy message coming from Powell, the improved economic data prompted such Fed watchers as Michael Feroli of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Matthew Luzzetti of Deutsche Bank Securities to rescind their forecasts of further rate cuts.‘Material Reassessment’Powell told reporters on Oct. 30 that it would take a “material reassessment’’ of the economic outlook for the Fed to change its current 1.5% to 1.75% interest rate target range.In their September forecasts, policy makers saw the economy growing by 2% in 2020, inflation rising to near their 2% target and unemployment ending the year at 3.7%, according to their median projection. They’ll update predictions at their Dec. 10-11 meeting.Speaking to Bloomberg Television on Nov. 1, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said if the central bank saw “accumulating evidence” that it was missing on its mandate for maximum employment or stable prices, or the growth needed to sustain both goals, “we would have to factor that in.”Never BetterWhile saying that he still saw downside risks to the outlook, Clarida also highlighted the financial strength of U.S. households. “In the aggregate, the U.S. consumer’s never been in better shape,” he said.Deutsche’s Luzzetti said it would take a real crack in the labor market and the consumer for the Fed to resume reducing rates. He expects policy to remain on hold next year even though he sees slowing growth pushing unemployment to 3.9%. It was 3.6% in October.The bar to a rate hike seems even higher. Powell said that any decision to raise rates would be tied to the behavior of inflation, which remains stuck below the Fed’s 2% target.“We would need to see a really significant move up in inflation that’s persistent before we would consider raising rates to address inflation concerns,’’ Powell said.In describing the Fed’s current strategy, Powell has referred to the mid-cycle policy adjustment in 1995 and 1996, when Greenspan lowered rates three times after raising them previously.The final cut back then came in January 1996, the start of a presidential election year. The central bank then kept rates unchanged for the rest of 1996.“The Fed is probably on hold for a very long period of time,’’ Northern Trust’s Tannenbaum said.(Adds Trump comments in seventh and eighth paragraphs.)To contact the reporters on this story: Christopher Condon in Washington at ccondon4@bloomberg.net;Rich Miller in Washington at rmiller28@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Margaret Collins at mcollins45@bloomberg.net, Alister Bull, Scott LanmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Warren Pledges Corporate Perjury Law to Fight Misinformation

    (Bloomberg) -- Elizabeth Warren unveiled a new policy proposal Tuesday to prosecute large corporations for perjury if they mislead the public and government regulators.The Democratic presidential candidate’s proposal takes aim at companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp., which she said had spent millions of dollars to spread misinformation about the effects of fossil fuels on climate change.If Warren’s idea becomes law, companies would be subject to as much as $250,000 in fines, and executives could face jail time if regulators determined they knowingly submitted false or misleading information to regulatory agencies. Her latest policy roll-out is part of a larger anti-corruption plan that she has made a centerpiece of her campaign.“If bad actors like Exxon break the rules and deliberately lie to government agencies, my plan will treat them the same way the law treats someone who lies in court – by subjecting them to potential prosecution for perjury,” Warren wrote in a Medium post on Tuesday.Exxon’s scientists work “in an open and transparent way,” the oil producer said in a statement. The Irving, Texas-based company “has supported climate science in partnership with government and academic institutions for nearly 40 years,” it said, citing dozens of peer-reviewed publications and work with Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the U.S. government and the United Nations.A New York judge is currently presiding over a case in which the state’s attorney general’s office is accusing Exxon of making misleading statements about the financial effects of climate change policies. Last week, the state dropped two claims that formed part of the original case.Warren would also ban federal agencies and courts from considering research that has been financed by a specific industry and has not been peer-reviewed. Corporations would be required to disclose how their research was funded and make clear any financial relationships between the researchers and their corporate backers before being considered by federal agencies. Any conflicts of interest would exclude that research from the rulemaking process, she said.She also assailed tobacco companies for backing what she called misleading information on the health risks of smoking.Warren’s proposal comes a few weeks after she stepped up her criticism of major U.S. corporations, including Facebook Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., BP Plc and Walmart Inc. and singled out senior-level government officials who accepted jobs with them after working for the federal government.The Massachusetts senator has vowed to increase oversight of lobbying and to impose hiring restrictions for people who have worked in top government posts.(Updates with Exxon comment in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Kevin Crowley.To contact the reporter on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Carlos Caminada, Joe CarrollFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Stocks Fall as Trade Concerns Weigh; Dollar Drops: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    Stocks Fall as Trade Concerns Weigh; Dollar Drops: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks fell amid concern that the U.S. and China are struggling to get an initial trade deal done. The dollar declined.The S&P 500 headed for its first fall in four sessions in trading more than 20% below its average of the last 100 days. President Donald Trump’s tariff comments over the weekend sparked the decline after trade optimism sent stocks to multiple records last week.In company news, Qualcomm Inc. slid after a downgrade, while Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. surged following a Bloomberg News report that said KKR & Co. formally approached the company about a deal to take it private. Boeing Co. jumped after saying it may resume 737 Max deliveries next month, which helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher.The greenback fell for the first time in six days. The pound rallied as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s efforts to leave the European Union got a boost from the Brexit Party. The Treasury market is closed for the Veterans Day holiday.“I think markets have been skittish waiting for any concrete information about the trade talks,” said Matt Forester, chief investment officer at BNY Mellon’s Lockwood Advisors. “We will need more concrete information about the structure and timing of any kind of final trade arrangement, but in the meantime we are operating on scraps of information."Investors are on watch for any headlines that could point to a first-phase trade deal between the U.S. and China after mixed messages from the White House and delayed meetings have heightened concerns that negotiations are stumbling. At the same time, data showed Chinese factory-gate prices dropping for a fourth month, increasing worries about the effect of the trade war on the world’s second-biggest economy.Elsewhere, emerging market shares fell the most in more than two months as stocks tumbled in Hong Kong amid violent clashes after a protester was shot by police. Crude oil edged lower.Here are some key events coming up this week:Earnings include Tencent, Nissan Motor, Japan Post Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ.New Zealand’s policy decision is due Wednesday, with market pricing tilting in favor of an interest-rate cut.Fed Chairman Jerome Powell addresses the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, in Washington Wednesday. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks in La Crosse, Wisconsin.Thursday brings China retail sales and industrial production data.U.S. retail sales on Friday are forecast to rebound in October after unexpectedly falling the prior month.These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index fell 0.2% as of 2:24 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed.The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 1.1%, the most since Aug. 26.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.1%.The euro advanced 0.2% to $1.1038.The British pound jumped 0.6% to $1.2853.The Japanese yen increased 0.2% to 109.02 per dollar.BondsGermany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.26%.Britain’s 10-year yield was steady at 0.789%.Japan’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to -0.063%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.2% at $57.10 a barrel.Gold fell 0.2% to $1,456.79 an ounce.\--With assistance from Yakob Peterseil.To contact the reporters on this story: Randall Jensen in New York at rjensen18@bloomberg.net;Claire Ballentine in New York at cballentine@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Robert BrandFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Wells Fargo names ex-Obama chief of staff as public affairs boss

    Wells Fargo has appointed former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley to leads its dealings with politicians and the public, as the embattled bank battles to recover from a mis- selling scandal. The bank, which has been led by new chief executive Charlie Scharf since October 21, said Mr Daley would take over as vice-chairman of Public Affairs on Nov 13.

  • Troubled Times in Latin America Fail to Dull Brazil's Sheen
    Bloomberg

    Troubled Times in Latin America Fail to Dull Brazil's Sheen

    (Bloomberg) -- For all its political woes and still-stale economy, Brazil is standing out to investors as an unlikely island of stability as trouble brews across Latin America.Money managers from Pacific Investment Management Co. and BlackRock Inc. are among those bullish on the nation’s assets. The main reason is the extensive reform agenda of the government, which after successfully overhauling a burdensome pension system now plans to tackle everything from a notoriously complicated tax system to a bloated state structure. The central bank has added to the optimism by slashing interest rates to a record as inflation runs below the target.Listen to the Speaking of EM podcast on Brazil here.It’s a very different picture elsewhere in the region, which has been engulfed by growing political turmoil. Over the past few weeks, Chile and Ecuador declared states of emergency amid violent protests, Argentina tightened capital controls after the election of Alberto Fernandez, Peru’s President shut the congress, and clashes erupted in Bolivia after Evo Morales was elected for a fourth term as president.“Brazil is certainly standing out,” said Axel Christensen, the chief strategist for Latin America at BlackRock in New York. The prospect of tax, federal and administrative reforms, combined with low rates, are all boosting investor appetite for the country, he said.The upbeat mood is clear in asset moves, which have mostly shrugged off the infighting in the ruling party and controversies surrounding President Jair Bolsonaro. The Brazilian real was the best performer in the region last month and stocks are trading at an all-time high. The main exchange-traded fund dedicated to the country’s stocks, the $9.4 billion iShares MSCI Brazil ETF, just had its biggest monthly inflow this year, and country’s risk as measured by five-year credit default swaps is at the lowest level since 2013 -- a time when Brazil’s debt was still rated investment grade.“While Brazil is no stranger to political turmoil, its political class has started to understand the need to shield the economic agenda from political noise,” said Ismael Orenstein, a money manager at Pimco in Newport Beach who’s overweight Brazil’s local assets. “We are also starting to see some green shoots on the activity and credit side that make us more positive on the outlook for economic growth and assets such as the currency and corporate credit.”This week, Brazil’s government announced a series of economic measures, with officials outlining plans to halt minimum wage increases, decentralize the budget and resume privatization of the utility Eletrobras. The country is also holding what may be the world’s priciest-ever sale of oil prospects.After years of growth disappointments, some analysts are becoming more bullish on Brazil’s economy, saying 2020 is the year the country will finally deliver a positive surprise. They are betting record low borrowing costs will boost lending and consumer spending, and the conclusion of the pension reform after years of debate will give foreign investors more confidence to put money in the country.Progress in the reform agenda, low inflation and monetary easing are already lifting confidence levels and this could indicate a sustained recovery in economic activity, Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists led by David Beker wrote in a Wednesday report. They recently revised up their growth forecast for next year to 2.4% from 1.9%, above the market median of 2%.“Getting pension reform passed is going to be big in the short and long term, and the government still seems serious and optimistic about plans to privatize more assets,” said Brendan McKenna, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in New York.His optimism doesn’t spread to all the rest of the region. McKenna says he has become more worried about Chile, as the cancellation of the Apec Summit in Santiago “admits some type of defeat,” while Argentina is “still a mess.” He’s more bullish on Colombia, where he says the economy is doing relatively well and inflation is low and somewhat stable.In Mexico, meanwhile, bearish views are mounting. Morgan Stanley on Wednesday recommended taking profit in the country’s assets as the risk of a fiscal slippage, unlikelihood of a growth pick up, heavy positioning and stretched valuations mean the returns are no longer compensating the risk. They said at current prices they prefer to hold Brazil’s sovereign bonds over Mexico’s, especially in the 10 to 30 year space.“Brazilian assets have further upside, mainly due to the impact of lower rates, privatization and micro economic reforms,” said Gustavo Medeiros, the deputy head of research at Ashmore Group Plc in London. “It won’t be a straight line, but the case for a sustainable rebound on earnings and subsequently investment and GDP growth is there.”(Adds economic measures and oil auction in seventh paragraph, analysts comments in ninth and 12th paragrahs.)To contact the reporter on this story: Aline Oyamada in Sao Paulo at aoyamada3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Carolina Wilson at cwilson166@bloomberg.net, Julia Leite, Philip SandersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Are There Any Cheerful Democrats Left? Yes, in Iowa.
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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The cheerleading began before dawn. At the corner of 4th and Locust streets in downtown Des Moines, a dozen partisans of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, many wearing scarves and hats with their yellow Pete shirts, held signs aloft. “Honk 4 Pete!”Their cheers were echoed on other corners around town, by knots of supporters of other Democratic candidates dancing, shouting and smiling in the morning cold. A total of 14 presidential hopefuls are on the speaking program Friday night at the Wells Fargo Arena here. This event used to be called the Jefferson-Jackson dinner. It’s now the Liberty and Justice Dinner.Outdoor campaigning before the big event is politics as college-football tailgate — about as goofy and innocent (and generally youthful) as politics gets. While the campaigns are eager to collect names of potential supporters and convey momentum to the large press corps in town for the dinner, some of the public displays are simply enthusiasm for enthusiasm’s sake. Go, Team!There’s something endearing about it. At the same time, it seems wildly incongruous with the sinister state of American politics in 2019. The 2020 presidential campaign is going to be a vicious national battle that sharpens the division between two camps of Americans and highlights their incompatible visions of, and for, the nation. But this weekend in Des Moines, cheerful and high-spirited Democratic activists appear determined to campaign in pre-Trump America. At a party Thursday night, an amiable and intelligent young Democrat spoke to me of his sincere hope for bipartisanship in the next administration and Congress. Still in his 20s, he is living in a past that no candidate, or president, has the power to recall.In Washington, Democrats are well on the way to impeaching a president they believe to be a criminal, and Republicans have taken the position that if a legislative body exercising its constitutional powers is run by Democrats, the exercise is illegitimate.The partisan gulf is often described as cultural. Impeachment will reveal that it is far more than that. After a panel discussion Friday featuring Iowa Democrats and journalists discussing rural America, I asked Robert Leonard, a journalist and author in rural Iowa, whether his neighbors perceive democracy itself to be on the ballot in 2020. His answer was a qualified yes — with the qualification being that there are two irreconcilable versions of what is happening to democracy in America.“My Republican friends think Democrats are pulling the country apart,” Leonard said, “and my Democratic friends think Trump is shredding the Constitution.”In a powerful essay in Politico, Thomas Pepinsky, a professor of government at Cornell University, describes the transformation of typical partisan conflict into an increasingly pitched battle over the shape and meaning of American democracy.It’s called “regime cleavage,” a division within the population marked by conflict about the foundations of the governing system itself — in the American case, our constitutional democracy. In societies facing a regime cleavage, a growing number of citizens and officials believe that norms, institutions and laws may be ignored, subverted or replaced.You can see the cleavage in real time. President Donald Trump shatters norms of fair play and constitutional balance on a regular basis. (When he sought to withhold congressional appropriations for Ukraine until the government there met his demand to smear an opponent, he subverted both fair play and congressional authority.) Yet with each new transgression, one side of the cleavage simply redefines the conduct as acceptable. In a new Washington Post poll, 65 percent of Republicans say Trump has acted in a way that’s “fitting and proper for a president of the United States.” Only 6 percent of Democrats agree.Driving around Des Moines, seeing the activists’ coordinated colors and hearing their syncopated chants is at once heartwarming and a little unnerving. The forms and rituals of our traditional politics are there. In the young faces on the street corners, the optimism is real, and valuable. Yet I can’t help thinking that these energetic young Democrats are completely unready for the battle to come.To contact the author of this story: Francis Wilkinson at fwilkinson1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mary Duenwald at mduenwald@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Francis Wilkinson writes editorials on politics and U.S. domestic policy for Bloomberg Opinion. He was executive editor of the Week. He was previously a writer for Rolling Stone, a communications consultant and a political media strategist.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.