Saturday, 7 Dec 2019

British PM Johnson says opponents of Brexit are 'collaborating' with EU

2-year vs. 10-year measure of U.S. yield curve inverts

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, -4.70% fell below the yield on the 2-year note TMUBMUSD02Y, -2.43% early Wednesday, marking an inversion of the most widely followed measure of the yield curve for the first time since 2007. The 10-year yield was down 5.9 basis points at 1.6174%, while the 2-year yield fell 4.1 basis points to 1.6278%. A yield-curve inversion is viewed as a reliable recession precursor. Stock-index futures extended losses after the curve inversion, with S&P 500 futures ESU19, -0.88% down 0.9% at 2,905.75.

Gold Holds Steady After Weak China Data

Gold prices held steady on Wednesday to consolidate around the key $1,500 level as weak data from China and Germany stoked fears of slowing global growth.

Easing in trade tensions and geopolitical risks boosted equities, keeping a lid on gold prices.

Spot gold held steady at $1,501.64 per ounce while U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,512.35 an ounce.

China’s industrial production and retail sales grew at weaker pace in July, suggesting a further loss of momentum in the world’s second-largest economy.

China’s industrial output growth eased to 4.8 percent in July from 6.3 percent in June. Output was forecast to expand 6 percent.

Likewise, growth in retail sales slowed to 7.6 percent from 9.8 percent a month ago. This was the weakest growth in three months.

Elsewhere, German GDP shrank 0.1 percent sequentially in the second quarter and Eurozone economic growth halved in the second quarter, as initially estimated, raising concerns about the state of the global economy.

Sterling Construction To Buy Plateau Excavation – Quick Facts

Sterling Construction Company, Inc. (STRL) has agreed to buy Plateau Excavation, Inc. The deal is valued at $400 million with $375 million in cash and $25 million in Sterling stock and seller notes.

Plateau Excavation is a provider of large-scale site infrastructure improvement contracting services. Its 2018 revenues were approximately $290 million. Excluding costs, Sterling expects the deal to be accretive to earnings in the fourth quarter of 2019.

In connection with the deal, Sterling will enter into a credit agreement for a five-year term loan facility.

Twitter To Add New Feature To Follow Specific Topics

Twitter is testing a new feature that will allow users to easily follow specific topics more easily.

At present, people who try to follow certain topics are filled with all irrelevant posts along with the required content. Twitter is working to fix the issue, and is using machine learning technology to filter out the extra content.

Once a topic is chosen, Twitter will show them a feed of relevant tweets from various accounts curated by the company’s algorithms. The initial focus will be on sports.

The company has already tested the new feature with some users of Twitter’s Android app. Release of the feature is expected by the end of the year.

Sriram Krishnan, Twitter’s senior director of product management, while talking at an event at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, said, “The key thing here is to make it as easy to follow an interest as it is to follow an account.”

The micro blogging service, which is putting efforts to attract new users, recently introduced a redesigned homepage that would create an accessible way to join the conversations people care about.

While announcing strong second-quarter results in July, Twitter said it continued to leverage machine learning to deliver more relevant content, resulting in a 14 percent year-over-year increase in average monetizable daily active usage to 139 million.

Macy’s shares plummet 12% after earnings miss, weak guidance

Macy’s Inc. M, +0.41% shares plummeted 12.7% in Wednesday premarket trading after the department store retailer reported second-quarter earnings that missed expectations and lowered its guidance below the FactSet outlook. Net income totaled $86 million, or 28 cents per share, nearly halved from $166 million, or 53 cents per share. Sales totaled $5.55 billion, down slightly from $5.57 billion last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 46 cents and sales of $5.55 billion. Same-store sales growth on an owned basis was 0.2%, and on an owned-plus-licensed basis, growth was 0.3%. FactSet was guiding for flat same-store sales. "Rising inventory levels became a challenge based on a combination of factors: a fashion miss in our key women’s sportswear private brands, slow sell-through of warm weather apparel and the accelerated decline in international tourism," said Jeff Gennette, chief executive of Macy’s, said in a statement. After clearing spring merchandise with markdowns, Gennette said the company has the "right inventory" for fall. Macy’s now expects full-year adjusted EPS of $2.85 to $3.05, down from $3.05 to $3.25 on flat sales and same-store sales on both an owned and owned-plus-licensed basis that’s flat to up 1%. The FactSet guidance is for EPS of $3.05. Macy’s stock has taken a 35% tumble for the year to date while the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.48% is up 16.7%.

British PM Johnson says opponents of Brexit are 'collaborating' with EU

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that some British lawmakers who thought they could bloc Brexit were engaging in a"terrible" collaboration with the EU.

"There is a terrible kind of collaboration as it were going on between those who think they can block Brexit in parliament and our European friends," Johnson said in a "People's PMQs" question-and-answer session on Facebook.

"Our European friends … are not compromising at all," Johnson said. He added that the longer the impasse continued, the more likely a no-deal Brexit became.

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