For Wade Packard and his family, 2019 won’t include any visits to Disneyland DIS, -0.40%
The International Monetary Fund has cut its estimates for global growth in 2019, citing concerns about weakness in Europe. China just had its slowest GDP growth since 1990, and President Xi Jinping reportedly has held secret meetings warning Communist Party leaders to prepare for “black swan” events that could derail China’s economy.
The economic costs of last year’s 394 natural catastrophe events came to US$225 billion with insurance covering US$90 billion of the overall total, creating the fourth costliest year on record of insured losses, according to an Aon report titled “Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight – 2018 Insight Report.”
Sony Corp. engages in the development, design, manufacture, and sale of electronic equipment, instruments, devices, game consoles, and software for consumers, professionals and industrial markets. Its operations are carried out through the following segments: Mobile Communications, Game & Network Services, Imaging Products & Solutions, Home Entertainment & Sound, Semiconductors, Components, Pictures, Music, Financial Services and Others. The Mobile Communications and Game & Network Services segment provides the production, acquisition and distribution of motion pictures and television programming, and the operation of television and digital networks. The Imaging Products & Solutions, Home Entertainment & Sound, Semiconductors, Components, Pictures and Music segment provides the development, production, manufacture and distribution of recorded music, and the management and licensing of the words and music of songs. The Financial Services and Others segment is engaged in the various financial services businesses which includes life and non-life insurance operations, through its Japanese insurance subsidiaries and banking operations through a Japanese Internet-based banking subsidiary. The company was founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka on May 7, 1946 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. (See Full Profile)
Burberry sales stable, bucking China worries
Burberry Group PLC (BRBY.LN) said Wednesday that third-quarter revenue fell slightly but backed its full-year outlook, rebutting concerns of a slowdown in Chinese sales. Retail revenue came to 711 million pounds ($918.3 million) for the 13 weeks to Dec. 29, down 2% at constant exchange rates. Comparable store sales rose 1%, it said.
Merck KGaA and Pfizer say drug failed to meet primary endpoints in late-stage ovarian cancer trial
Merck KGaA and Pfizer Inc. said early Monday that the cancer immunotherapy avelumab did not meet the primary endpoints of a phase 3 ovarian cancer trial. The trial, JAVELIN Ovarian 200, tested avelumab both alone and in combination with chemotherapy. It specifically focused on individuals with platinum-resistant or -refractory ovarian cancer, or cancers that did not respond to prior chemotherapy treatment, “a population known to have disease that is challenging to treat; as such, this group of patients in typically not included in Phase 3 ovarian cancer trials,” Dr. Chris Boshoff, Pfizer’s senior vice president and head of immuno-Oncology, early development and translational oncology, said. “The results speak to the significant challenges these women face.” Another Merck and Pfizer trial of avelumab, in a type of lung cancer, also did not meet its primary endpoint earlier this year. The drug is being tested in several other types of cancer, with roughly 17 total clinical trials ongoing, according to Pfizer’s drug pipeline. Both U.S.-listed Merck KGaA and Pfizer shares were inactive in Monday premarket trade. Merck KGaA shares have surged 8.8% over the last three months and Pfizer shares have risen 3.4%, compared with a nearly 4% drop in the S&P 500 and a 1% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .
Tencent Music sets terms for IPO, which could be valued at up to $1.23 billion
Tencent Music Entertainment Group has revived its plan to go public, and set terms for its initial public offering that is expected to raise up to $1.23 billion. The Wall Street Journal had reported in October that the China-based music streaming service had put off its IPO plans, citing market conditions. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the China-based streaming music company said it is offering 82 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs), representing 164 million Class A ordinary shares, to the public, with the company offering 41.03 million ADS and selling shareholders offering 40.97 million ADS. The IPO is expected to price between $13 and $15 a share, with the ADSs approved to list on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “TME.” After the IPO, the company will have 84.28 million ADS outstanding and 3.27 billion ordinary shares outstanding. The company said its controlling shareholder, Tencent Holdings Ltd. has agreed to buy Class A ordinary shares valued at $32 million at the IPO price. The company is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF has shed 14% over the past three months and the S&P 500 has lost 4.9%.
Deutsche Boerse to beat 2018 adjusted guidance
Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1.XE) said late Tuesday that its 2018 adjusted net profit will significantly exceed guidance, after consolidating preliminary results for the year. The company now expects adjusted net profit growth of about 17% in 2018, compared with guidance of 10%. Full-year results will be presented on Feb.
Apple’s stock falls to lead Dow losers; analyst sees need for aggressive iPhone price cuts and ‘significant’ M&A
Shares of Apple Inc. dropped 1.9% in morning trade Monday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s decliners. Wedbush Morgan analyst Dan Ives reiterated his outperform rating and $200 stock price target, which is about 34% above current levels, but said Apple has to “aggressively” cut prices in China on its iPhone XR to boost lagging sales and that a “significant” video content acquisition is needed soon. He said the XR price cuts are needed to pull forward roughly 15 million to 20 million iPhones that would otherwise sit idle, waiting for the next release, or worst case, move to lower-priced competition. And while Apple is counting on its services business for future growth, it is currently “playing behind the eight ball in this content arms race” with competitors including Netflix Inc. , Walt Disney Co. and AT&T Inc. . “While acquisitions have not been in Apple’s core DNA, the clock has struck midnight for Cupertino in our opinion and building content organically is a slow and arduous path, which highlights the clear need for Apple to do larger, strategic M&A around content over the coming year to ‘double down’ and drive the services flywheel,” Ives wrote in a note to clients. Apple’s stock has tumbled 32.7% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones industrial Average has slipped 5.8%.
“Tumultuous news cycles have made an impact on global opinions regarding media,” according to the “2019 Best Countries U.S. News & World Report.” Some 63% of people agree that there are no more objective news sources, and 66% say internet news and content is dividing people rather than uniting them. What’s more, more than 50% agree the world has worsened in the last year.
Appliance maker Dyson will move its headquarters from the U.K. to Singapore, the company said Tuesday. The move is likely to be seen as a major loss for Britain. While Dyson founder James Dyson, who owns 100% of the company, has been a vocal supporter of the U.K. exiting the EU, Chief Executive Jim Rowen said in a statement that the move has "nothing to do with Brexit." "It's to make us future-proof for where we see the biggest opportunities," Rowen said. "We have been talking about our pivot to Asia for some time." Dyson employs about 4,500 people in the U.K., and the company said no British jobs would be lost by the move.
Stock market ends wild week in negative territory, as Dow, S&P 500 set for worst December since 1931
The Dow on Friday retreated in a holiday-shortened week, colored by erratic and powerful price swings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down by about 77 points, or 0.3%, at 23,062, the S&P 500 index declined 0.1% to end at 2,486, while the Nasdaq Composite Index finished the session virtually unchanged at 6,585, on a preliminary basis. However, for the week, the Dow rose 2.8%, the S&P 500 climbed 2.9%, while the Nasdaq registered a weekly gain of 4%, with all three indexes marking their first weekly gains after three straight weekly declines. Despite the upbeat moves, the indexes are all poised for annual losses for the first time since 2008, with Dow and S&P 500 on pace for their worst December since 1931, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The market’s swing come against a backdrop of anxieties about the global economy, Federal Reserve interest-rate increases and trade-war jitters that have created a cocktail of concerns that have undercut investors’ confidence. On top of that, a partial government shutdown appeared set to head into 2019, as President Donald Trump fights to secure finance for a U.S.-Mexico border wall–a demand that has been a sticking point in negotiations for an extension of government financing. Market’s were closed on Tuesday for Christmas and will be shut again next Tuesday for New Year’s Day. Outsize moves have been the pattern of the week. The Dow’s biggest-ever one-day point rise came Wednesday, when it ended with a gain of 1,086.25 points, or 5%, to 22,878.45. The S&P 500 soared 5% to end at 2,467.70, and the Nasdaq rose 5.8% to 6,554.36. That rally came after a brutal selloff in a shortened Christmas Eve session on Monday. On Thursday, the Dow rose 260.37 points, or 1.1%, to end at 23,138.82, after dropping as much as 611 points intraday. In corporate news, shares of Tesla surged by more than 5% after the company announced Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellision and Walgreens Boots Alliance ) executive Kathleen Wilson-Thompson had been named to its board.
Airline stocks suffer broad selloff as economic growth, oil price concerns prompt sector downgrade
Airline stocks were knocked lower Friday, with the sector on track to suffer the biggest one-day loss in nearly 3 years, as the recent drop in oil prices and concerns over a slowing economy acted as a one-two punch for the group. The NYSE Arca Airline Index slid 5.1% toward a fourth-straight decline. Friday’s loss was headed for the biggest one-day loss since Feb. 26, 2016. Crude futures surged 2.4% Friday, as OPEC and its allies reached a deal to cut production, but has declined 22% over the past three months. Lower oil prices lowers fuel costs for air carriers, but it also leads to undisciplined capacity growth that could hurt unit revenue performance. Analyst Hunter Keay at Wolfe Research downgraded the airline sector, saying that while a recession and lower oil are both “toxic” for air carriers, “we trust airlines to react better to a recession that we trust them NOT to behave poorly with lower oil prices.” Among the sector’s more active components, shares of American Airlines Group Inc. plunged 9.1%, Delta Air Lines Inc. dropped 4.3%, JetBlue Airways Corp. tumbled 5.8% Southwest Airlines Co. lost 4.1% and United Continental Holdings Inc. shed 5.4%. The airline index has lost 6.0% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined 5.8%.