• Fed 'prepared to adjust' balance sheet to prevent repo market flare-up
    Yahoo Finance

    Fed 'prepared to adjust' balance sheet to prevent repo market flare-up

    Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the Fed could "adjust the details" of its balance sheet policies and repo operations to prevent another flare-up in money markets.

  • Behind the Big Tech antitrust backlash: A turning point for America
    Yahoo Finance

    Behind the Big Tech antitrust backlash: A turning point for America

    There's a dramatic sea-change within the specialized biosphere of antitrust experts.

  • Apple: Use only our special cloth to clean the $1,000 coating on our $5,000 Pro Display

    Apple: Use only our special cloth to clean the $1,000 coating on our $5,000 Pro Display

    If you thought the saga of the $7,000 Apple Pro Display XDR couldn't get any more ridiculous, prepare yourself for the proverbial cherry on top: The company insists that you only use the single special cleaning cloth that comes with the monitor. Apple, already under fire from longtime users for the ever-increasing price of its products, attracted considerable ire and ridicule when it announced the high-end monitor in June. Of course, there are many expensive displays out there — it was more the fact that Apple was selling the display for $5,000, the stand separately for $999 and an optional "nano-texture" coating for an additional grand.

  • Is There An Opportunity With DaVita Inc.'s (NYSE:DVA) 29% Undervaluation?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is There An Opportunity With DaVita Inc.'s (NYSE:DVA) 29% Undervaluation?

    Today we will run through one way of estimating the intrinsic value of DaVita Inc. (NYSE:DVA) by estimating the...

  • Aramco Reaches Prince’s $2 Trillion Goal in Second-Day Surge

    Aramco Reaches Prince’s $2 Trillion Goal in Second-Day Surge

    (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Aramco shares jumped for a second day, with the oil giant's value hitting the $2 trillion mark that alienated global investors and potentially making further share sales abroad more difficult.The stock climbed by the daily 10% limit to 38.7 riyals at the open in Riyadh before trimming gains. It was up 5.8% at 37.20 riyals at 1:54 p.m. local time in trading of 381 million shares, compared with 31.6 million for all of Wednesday.The surge reflects the kingdom’s efforts to engineer a successful start to trading after international investors balked at the price: Saudia Arabia encouraged local individuals to buy and hold the stock through cheap loans and a bonus-share plan, while pushing wealthy families and regional allies to buy as well. The offering consisted of only 1.5% of Aramco’s stock, so that investors who didn’t get allocated shares in the IPO had to buy in the secondary market.Aramco raised $25.6 billion in the deal, selling shares at 32 riyals each and overtaking Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. as the most valuable listed company.The IPO has become synonymous with Saudi Arabia’s controversial Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his efforts to reshape the economy of the world’s biggest oil exporter. But his insistence on the $2 trillion valuation deterred international investors, many of whom said the stock was too expensive given governance and geopolitical concerns.Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. said after the first trading day it’s already time to cash out. In a Bloomberg survey last month, global money managers put Aramco’s fair value at between $1.2 trillion and $1.5 trillion.While hitting the target may vindicate Saudi officials, it could complicate any plans to sell part of Aramco’s shares abroad as originally envisaged by Prince Mohammed in 2016, when he said a dual listing could raise as much as $100 billion. Saudi officials met in recent weeks with international investors to sound them out on a possible listing of Aramco’s shares in Asia, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.Still, the IPO, touted as part of a blueprint for life after oil for the kingdom is a watershed moment for a business that’s bankrolled Saudi Arabia and its rulers for decades.The debut was cheered by Saudi and Gulf investors, who see the stock price supported by Aramco’s guaranteed dividends, buying by index-tracking funds and the fact that the region doesn’t have any other listed major oil companies.Read: The Wall Street Bankers Who Burst Aramco’s $2 Trillion BubbleAramco’s “$2 trillion valuation is justified due to secured dividend streams,” Arqaam Capital analysts including Rita Guindy and Jaap Meijer wrote in a report on Wednesday in which they initiated coverage with a buy recommendation and price target of 39.20 riyals.Arqaam expects a gradual increase of 2% annually in the dividend, potentially being topped up by a special payout of $20 billion in the next three years.(Updates price in second paragraph.)\--With assistance from Paul Wallace.To contact the reporter on this story: Filipe Pacheco in Dubai at fpacheco4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net, Phil SerafinoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Apple supplier Japan Display agrees to $829m cash injection

    Japan Display has agreed to an injection of up to ¥90bn ($829m) from Ichigo Asset Management in a deal that would allow the cash-strapped company to continue supplying displays for Apple’s iPhone 11. Following a board meeting on Thursday, Japan Display said it would sign a deal with Ichigo if the few remaining members of the Taiwanese-Chinese consortium failed to provide an alternative package by the end of this month. The agreement came after months of uncertainty that also involved intense talks with Apple, which has agreed to make an equity investment of $200m in Japan Display, according to people involved in the deal.

  • Warren’s 2020 Test: Curbing Her Taste for Combat Over Compromise

    Warren’s 2020 Test: Curbing Her Taste for Combat Over Compromise

    (Bloomberg) -- Bashing Wall Street propelled Elizabeth Warren to the Senate, where she has continued to battle bankers, administration officials, Republicans and at times, fellow Democrats.Yet while her zeal for combat over compromise has made Warren a hero to progressives and raised her profile as a 2020 presidential contender, it hasn’t yielded substantial legislative wins -- suggesting it could be difficult for her as president to deliver on her big proposals that need bipartisan support.Since she was first sworn in as a senator from Massachusetts in 2013, she has had a significant impact on shaping policy toward Wall Street; for example, setting a test for regulatory agency nominees that they must back a requirement for companies to disclose political donations. Yet that often meant blocking legislation and taking on members of her party, including President Barack Obama, over appointments she said weren’t ideologically sound.And she frequently lost, something that never really mattered according to people who know her.“Warren came to Washington to be an outside voice critiquing Washington and Wall Street. That is how she viewed her position in the Senate,” said Isaac Boltansky, who worked for Warren before she was elected and is now a financial policy analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading. “There were bills that she introduced that she never intended to become law, they were meant to challenge the presumption of the status quo.”Warren is seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency promising to enact “big structural change”: Government-run health care, free college tuition, universal child care, the Green New Deal and more, all paid for with steep new taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Congress would have to pass all of it. And Warren would have to earn the support of skeptical Democrats, let alone Republicans who will likely still control the Senate.Warren says that a White House victory would be statement enough to Congress that America wants to see her policies enacted. She’s also vowed to end Congress’s use of the filibuster rules that require three-fifths of the Senate to support the end of debate.“When I win, I will turn around to all my Democratic colleagues and say this is what I ran on,” she told reporters in Iowa in November. “It’s there and that’s what the majority of the people in the United States of America said they wanted.”She chalked up some significant wins before she came to Congress, a time when people in the financial industry said she was far less confrontational.As an expert appointed to a congressional panel set up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, she played a key role in crafting the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, and she is credited with creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency established by the new law to protect people from predatory lending and other abuses.But while she wanted to run the agency, Obama didn’t nominate her.Warren had a reputation as an academic who was willing to work with those who disagreed with her. Observers say that changed once she entered politics.“She turned a different color when she was elected to the Senate,” said Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association, whose members include the biggest American banks. “Before, she would meet with us regularly. I believe we had an admiration and respect for each other even though we disagreed. Not anymore. She is dug in and not changing her mind.”Campaign spokeswoman Saloni Sharma pointed to her success in fomenting such public anger at two Wells Fargo & Co executives that they were fired. She said a bill Warren sponsored with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa to make it easier to buy over-the-counter hearing aids was an example of a significant bipartisan legislation. Sharma said Warren also changed the conversation on Social Security and the student loan crisis.‘Wall Street Is Scared’“Billionaires are upset and Wall Street is scared of her because they know she will be effective at making them pay their fair share and at holding them accountable,” Sharma said.But Warren’s effectiveness would depend on compromise.“Senator Warren’s high-profile plans will not move forward absent significant compromise,” said Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The senator has demonstrated the capacity to engage in the kind of legislative process on a lot of issues that are below the fold, but has not yet demonstrated the ability to create the kind of coalition necessary to pass significant structural changes like many of the ideas driving her campaign.“Whether she can or not is uncertain,” he added. “The absolutism in Senator Warren’s campaign will not be effective in a divided Congress.”“There’s a big difference between a hearing-aid bill and Medicare for All,” said Elaine Kamarck, senior fellow at the non-partisan Brookings Institution. “Members of Congress are not going to get on board easily.”The Senate Banking Committee proved to be an ideal perch for her fights.Her confrontations with people like Wells Fargo’s John Stumpf over the bank’s opening of millions of bogus customer accounts became instant sensations. Stumpf was later ousted. His successor, Tim Sloan, who also went head-to-head with Warren, eventually stepped down as well.Warren would follow her attacks from the dais with letters to the companies and their regulators, calling for additional changes and the executives’ heads. She pressed the Federal Reserve to replace Wells Fargo’s board members, she called for multiple agencies to strengthen their rules and repeatedly called on the company to answer more questions about the scandal.Wins and LossesShe also stymied bipartisan attempts to change the structure of the CFPB, according to congressional staffers and lobbyists. And she had sway with financial regulators on matters about implementing the 2010 law.But she lost a string of fights when she started to block fellow Democrats from making any changes to Dodd-Frank, which created sweeping regulations aimed at preventing another financial crisis.In late 2014, Democrats who controlled the Senate wanted to ease Dodd-Frank rules over trading derivatives for big banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. Warren opposed the change. The provision was part of a year-end spending bill and her stance at one point threatened to shut down the government.“Mr. President, I’m back on the floor to talk about a dangerous provision that was slipped into a must-pass spending bill at the last minute to benefit Wall Street,” she said on the Senate floor.Congress passed the spending bill with the provision Warren opposed.She opposed efforts by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who wanted to relieve small and regional banks from Dodd-Frank’s strictest rules in 2018. On the Senate floor, she railed against more than a dozen moderate Democrats, including several facing tough re-elections in Republican-leaning states. She called them out personally in emails, and nicknamed the bill “The Bank Lobbyist Act.”Riling DemocratsSome Democrats argued Warren was wrong about whom the bill targeted.In an unusual intraparty public dispute, Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota argued that “a lot of the things that have been said about this bill have been reckless. This is not a giveaway to Wall Street.”The legislation passed and was signed into law by President Trump in May 2018.Warren also opposed Democratic nominees for financial regulation jobs, often clashing with the Obama administration. It was a big part of her strategy that “personnel is policy.”In 2014, she lashed out against Antonio Weiss, Obama’s pick for Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance. She argued Weiss’ work at Lazard Ltd, a financial advisory firm, made him too cozy with Wall Street to police the industry effectively. Tapping into her base of progressive grassroots supporters, she created so much noise that Weiss asked Obama to remove him from consideration.An End RunBut the Obama administration found a way around her. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew tapped Weiss to be a special adviser at Treasury, a job that didn’t require Senate confirmation.“Weiss was able to do much of what he would have done as undersecretary,” said Capital Alpha financial regulation analyst Ian Katz. “In terms of policy making, it didn’t make a big difference.”In 2016, Warren took on Mary Jo White, Obama’s choice to run the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, for refusing to require companies to disclose their political contributions in financial statements that are scrutinized by investors.White refused, saying she didn’t have the legal authority to do so. Warren publicly scolded her in hearings, and followed with equally scathing letters telling her that “your leadership of the commission has been extremely disappointing.” Escalating the clash, Warren demanded that Obama demote White.“The only way to return the SEC to its intended purpose is to change its leadership,” she wrote the White House in October 2016.Obama didn’t remove White, and the SEC has yet to take up the issue of corporate political spending disclosures.Yet it had an impact. The issue of corporate political disclosures has become a test for any Democrat seeking a Senate-confirmed job at the SEC. Lisa Fairfax, a securities lawyer chosen for an SEC commission vacancy in 2016, never got a vote after she stumbled answering questions on the topic.Warren also had significant sway in shaping financial regulation outside the legislative process, and regulators adopted many issues she raised. As president, she could continue to shape policy with appointments. But that would fall far short of adopting the “big, structural change” she promises in the campaign.Warren uses her political skills to bolster Democrats who agree with her and has openly criticized Democratic candidates who disagreed with her. She has used her presidential campaign resources to help fellow Democrats, hiring organizers in states that hold key gubernatorial and state legislature races.Many voters say they’re looking for a candidate who will begin to unify the Democratic Party. As her poll numbers have slipped, Warren has begun to signal a willingness to compromise, at least for the time being.“Look, I will sign anything that helps and I’ll keep fighting for more ways to help because I think that’s the right way to do it,” Warren said.(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)To contact the reporters on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.net;Elizabeth Dexheimer in Washington at edexheimer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, ;Jesse Westbrook at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net, ;Craig Gordon at cgordon39@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Apple to Dodge $150-Per-IPhone Levy If Trump Delays Tariffs

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc.’s most-important product, and the supply chain that underpins its success, may be about to avert a margin-crushing threat. At least for a while.A 20-month trade war between the U.S. and China came to a head this week as a key deadline looms. This Sunday, 15% tariffs are due to kick in on the iPhone. Chinese officials expect U.S. President Donald Trump to delay the import duties, granting Apple a temporary reprieve. But negotiations have been fraught with missed deadlines and surprise about-faces.“Like everyone else in technology, Apple is hoping the tariffs don’t go into effect,” said analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research.Even if the tariffs are delayed, the broader trade war has exposed a weakness at the heart of Apple’s business. The world’s largest technology company is also among the most global, relying on suppliers and manufacturing partners that are mostly based in China. Apple can’t quickly move production to other countries, so it’s relied on a furious White House lobbying campaign this year, led by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, to protect its key products from tariffs.Apple already is paying 30% duties on the Apple Watch, AirPods headphones, iMac desktop computer and HomePod speaker -- and the company hasn’t raised prices to compensate.If the company takes a similar approach with its more-popular products, the impact will be larger. The iPhone, iPad and Mac generate almost three quarters of Apple’s annual revenue.Holding prices steady while swallowing additional tariffs would cut earnings per share by about 4% next year, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives. The 15% hit would add about $150 to the price of each iPhone, he estimated.“Apple continues to be in the crossfire given its flagship iPhone manufacturing footprint in China,” Ives wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. Apple “more than any company out there has the most to lose if this tariff war does not see a truce.”If Apple raises iPhone prices, demand would shrink 6% to 8% next year, Ives estimated.The other option is tariff waivers. That has already worked for Apple’s Mac Pro, but the company had to pledge to have the pricey, niche computer assembled in the U.S. It’s also filed for relief on some iPhone parts, the Apple Watch, and the AirPods with less success.Wall Street is already assuming the tariffs will be either delayed or abandoned in favor of a “Phase 1” trade deal between the U.S. and China. Apple analysts forecast a relatively rosy holiday period and 2020 for the company. Apple shares have surged in recent weeks and keep hitting records.Still, the trade war is such an existential threat to Apple’s supply chain, that maintaining the status quo is considered a victory.“Avoiding tariffs would be a positive, but it would also be business as usual since prices wouldn’t need to be raised,” Cross said. “Nothing would change.”In October, Apple projected holiday quarter revenue between $85.5 billion and $89.5 billion, ahead of Wall Street expectations. On a recent conference call with analysts, Cook said he was “very positive in terms of how things are going, and that positive view is obviously factored in our guidance.”The Dec. 15 tariffs would hit Apple’s fiscal second-quarter results more, but analysts are still expecting sales to grow 7% to $62.2 billion in that period. For the company’s 2020 fiscal year, Wall Street sees revenue climbing 6% to more than $275 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.If Apple manages to avoid this next round of tariffs, Cook’s lobbying efforts will have paid off handsomely. The Apple CEO met frequently with Trump this year, and even took criticism for standing beside the president as he blasted the media and House speaker Nancy Pelosi at a Mac Pro assembly facility in Texas last month.“Cook has solid arguments to get the iPhone and other company products off the list of China-made goods slated for a 15% tariff,“ Bloomberg Intelligence analyst John Butler wrote in a note. “Apple can’t easily relocate its production facilities out of China, which took years to establish.”At the Texas event, Trump seemed swayed, saying the government would look into exempting Apple from the December tariffs.While the president has embraced tariffs, he conceded that these tools create winners and losers, and that Apple could be the loser. It isn’t fair for Apple to be taxed on iPhones built in China given that South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co. wouldn’t have to pay the duties, Trump said.“We have to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as we treat Samsung,” Trump said.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at mgurman1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Paul Volcker: Remembering Softer Side of an Inflation Warrior

    (Bloomberg) -- Subscribe to Stephanomics on Apple PodcastsSubscribe to Stephanomics on Pocket CastsSubscribe to Stephanomics on SpotifyPaul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who died this week at age 92, was an imposing public figure—in height as well as stature.He was best known for his bold moves in the U.S. war against inflation, and for his dedication to public service. But there was more to the man, as Bloomberg Markets editor Christine Harper discovered as she worked with Volcker to co-write his 2018 memoir, “Keeping At It.”Harper joins host Stephanie Flanders to share her memories and observations of Volcker’s humor, hobbies and patience.Also this week, Stephanomics explores what’s ailing India, which this year lost its title as the world’s fastest-growing major economy.Moreover, any chance of regaining that crown looks like it’s slipping away, despite the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One reason: The gem and jewelry industry, which accounts for almost 7% of India’s economy, is suffering thanks to external forces like the U.S.-China trade war as well as a possible setback from the Indian government itself.Anirban Nag reports from Mumbai on the sector, while Flanders digs deeper into the Modi agenda with Bloomberg economist Abhishek Gupta.To contact the authors of this story: Scott Lanman in Washington at slanman@bloomberg.netStephanie Flanders in London at flanders@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Magnus Henriksson at mhenriksso10@bloomberg.net, David RovellaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China’s Unfazed Yuan Traders Bet Tariffs Won’t Be Hiked

    China’s Unfazed Yuan Traders Bet Tariffs Won’t Be Hiked

    (Bloomberg) -- China yuan traders are undaunted by Sunday’s looming start of fresh U.S. tariffs even as investors elsewhere are piling into protection.As President Donald Trump’s Dec. 15 deadline for more duties on Chinese imports draws closer, one-week risk reversals -- a measure of demand for bearish yuan bets relative to bullish calls in the options market -- have been at their lowest since July. And while volatility gauges for the currency have jumped in the past week, they remain well below levels reached in August, when the yuan weakened through 7 per dollar for the first time since 2008 amid trade worries.An unusual sense of tranquility has descended on China’s financial markets the past month, in part on investors awaiting clearer insight on the state of the U.S.-China trade fight amid a near-daily dose of headlines.While the offshore yuan weakened slightly Wednesday after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said he has “no indication” whether the looming tariffs will be implemented as scheduled, market sentiment was supported by people familiar with the discussions saying that Chinese officials expect the duties to be delayed.Yuan traders anticipate the same, said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore. “Volatility spikes have been nothing out of the ordinary and the spot market is still calm,” he added. “I guess all the headlines about how both sides are really close to a deal have given them some comfort.”Some Chinese banks have chosen to reduce their long and short dollar positions ahead of the tariff deadline, according to three traders. Most firms have reached their year-end performance targets, so there’s no need to take fresh risk at this time, the traders added, asking not to be named as they’re not authorized to speak with the media.Amid the trade uncertainty in recent days, one-week volatility in both the onshore and offshore yuan is back to October levels. But “volatility is rising from a very low place,” said Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader Ltd. “It’s cheap relative to the risks that lie ahead.”Read: JPMorgan’s Dimon Says He Expects U.S.-China Phase-One Trade DealThe yuan has traded in a roughly 1% range the past month, sticking close to the 7 per dollar level. Citigroup Inc. told its clients last week that while it doubted new tariffs will be enacted Dec. 15, the yuan could weaken to 7.2 to 7.35 per dollar in offshore trading if the levies get priced into the market.The currency was around 7.0320 at 3:45 p.m. in Shanghai, the yuan weakening slightly after a Ministry of Commerce spokesman provided no trade-talk update during a regular afternoon briefing beyond saying teams remain in close touch.Meanwhile, the volatility spread between the onshore and offshore yuan has widened to the most since October. That’s largely on dwindling mainland trading momentum ahead of year-end, said Frank Zhang, deputy general manager for global markets at Bank of Hangzhou Co.(Updates yuan level, adds government spokesman in ninth paragraph)\--With assistance from Ran Li.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Livia Yap in Shanghai at lyap14@bloomberg.net;Qizi Sun in Beijing at qsun62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net, Kevin Kingsbury, Fran WangFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on what's moving European markets in your inbox every morning? Sign up here.Good morning. The Fed is on hold, Lagarde speaks, European politics is having a busy end to the year and it’s U.K. election day. Here’s what’s moving markets.No ChangeThe U.S. Federal Reserve left its monetary policy stance unchanged and Chairman Jerome Powell said the economy and Fed policy are in a “good place.” The message is clear: The Fed doesn't plan to make any significant changes to its stance unless there is a big shift in the health of the economy. Powell also focused closely on his belief that the labor market can improve more, despite unemployment standing at a 50-year low, marking himself out as a “job crusader.” Stocks edged up and Treasury yields dipped after the announcement, while Asian stocks were mixed in Thursday’s session and European stock futures are pointing to a slightly positive open.Enter LagardeThe European Central Bank’s first policy meeting under its new president, Christine Lagarde, and particularly the press conference that follows, will be scoured forensically for any hints on her policy priorities and what she may deploy should an already-rocky economy take a turn for the worse. That’s not the only central bank game in town on Thursday. The Swiss National Bank, nearing a half-decade of sub-zero rates, is expected to keep all unchanged as the debate over it keeping rates negative continues. And Turkey’s central bank will announce its latest decision against the backdrop of a lira out of sync with other emerging-market currencies.Trade BetsThe week rumbles on with investors hoping that their initial optimism about a delay to the tariffs the U.S. plans to put on Chinese goods on Sunday will prove well-founded. Yuan traders are betting just that. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boss Jamie Dimon thinks a phase one deal will be reached eventually, but warned about the impact those new tariffs would have if levied. The Europe-U.S. trade picture seems a little more ominous, with Europe moving to seek an upgrade to existing legislation that would allow it to target nations that are undermining global rules, a decision clearly aimed at the U.S.Talks, Protests and ElectionsA little political roundup to keep up to date. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with the new leaders of her coalition partners after they demanded a series of concessions to keep the pact alive. France is set to face intensified protests over pension reforms that President Emmanuel Macron has pushed ahead with, in spite of the opposition. In Spain, acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has been invited by the king to form a government. And Israel faces a third election in less than a year after neither of its major parties managed to form a government.Coming Up…The U.K. votes today. Here’s a guide to how the results will come in. Eyes will also remain trained on Riyadh and Saudi Aramco flirting with a $2 trillion valuation. Elsewhere, euro-area industrial production data and inflation numbers from Germany and France are on the slate, though the ECB decision will supersede all of that. A hot European stock in the shape of grocery delivery firm Ocado Group Plc gives a trading statement, and the updates from U.K. outsourcer Serco Group Plc and electronics retailer Dixons Carphone Plc are likely to attract attention too.What We’ve Been ReadingThis is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours. Silicon Valley is always listening. JPMorgan advises shorting gold, buying stocks in 2020. You can now adopt a piece of Venice. Netflix is making a TV series about Spotify. Carlos Ghosn prepares for trial. CBD-infused tea is coming to Canada, from a beer giant. Bankrupt American brands thriving in Japan.Like Bloomberg's Five Things? Subscribe for unlimited access to trusted, data-based journalism in 120 countries around the world and gain expert analysis from exclusive daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. Find out more about how the Terminal delivers information and analysis that financial professionals can't find anywhere else. Learn more.To contact the author of this story: Sam Unsted in London at sunsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    The best new beauty products of 2019

    Fangirls of Lipstick Queen will be familiar with Medieval, a sheer, universally flattering red. Like the rest of the FT style desk, I’m obsessed with Augustinus Bader face cream, and the body lotion is impressive too. Are Celine’s new fragrances the essence of ‘cool’?

  • Financial Times

    Welcome to the age of the avatar

    The “soul extractor”, as the workers at A-fun Interactive call it, is a small white room. In the centre is a stool surrounded by a metal frame dotted with more than 40 digital cameras. I picked my way ...

  • Financial Times

    Algorithms drive online discrimination, academic warns

    Existing laws are failing to protect the public from discrimination by algorithms that influence decision-making on everything from employment to housing, according to new research from the Oxford Internet Institute. Sandra Wachter, the academic behind the study, found algorithms are drawing inferences about sensitive personal traits such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religious beliefs based on our browsing behaviour.