FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is pictured at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition fair (LABACE) at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Aug. 14, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo
May 24, 2019
(Reuters) – Shares of Boeing Co rose as much as 3% to more than a two-week high on Friday after Reuters reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects to approve 737 MAX jets to return to service as soon as late June.
Shares of the world’s biggest planemaker have fallen nearly 15% since the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX jet in March, erasing about $40 billion in market value.
The stock has also been among the worst performers on the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The benchmark index is up about 3% during the same period, while the Dow has risen by a marginal 0.2%.
“The dialogue is shifting more towards when the aircraft can get back into service as opposed to if,” Morgan Stanley analyst Rajeev Lalwani wrote in a note.
“With shares down about 20% from their recent highs … and the risk-reward skewing more favorably, we are comfortable with our “overweight” rating and price target of $500.”
If the aircraft is cleared to fly by June, its operators, including Southwest Airlines Co, American Airlines Group Inc and United Continental Holdings Inc, would likely not have to extend costly cancellations that they have already put in place for the peak summer flying season.
(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)
FILE PHOTO: Gas flares from an oil production platform at the Soroush oil fields in the Persian Gulf, south of the capital Tehran, July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo
May 18, 2019
(Reuters) – Iran has adopted new tactics and new destinations in shipping its oil exports following the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, a senior Iranian maritime official was quoted as saying on Saturday by the semi-official ILNA news agency.
“The Oil Ministry’s tactics in exporting oil and petroleum products have changed, … and perhaps the destinations of oil cargoes from our ports have changed,” Hadi Haqshenas, maritime affairs deputy director at Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, told ILNA.
Haqshenas gave no details of the new tactics or destinations.
Iranian crude oil exports have fallen in May to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) or lower, tanker data showed and industry sources said, after the United States tightened the screws on Tehran’s main source of income, deepening global supply losses.
Iranian exports have become more opaque since U.S. re-imposed sanctions in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six world powers.
Tehran no longer reports its production figures to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and there is no definitive information on exports.
“Of course, it cannot be denied that the loading of oil and products has fallen compared to the past, but the shipping of oil cargoes from out ports has definitely not stopped,” Haqshenas said, without giving figures.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom. Editing by Jane Merriman)
Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid al-Falih speaks during financial sector conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer.
May 18, 2019
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Saturday that OPEC will be responsive to the oil market’s needs, but that he was not sure there is an oil shortage with data, particularly from the United States, still showing inventories building.
Speaking in Jeddah ahead of a ministerial panel gathering on Sunday by top OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, Falih told Reuters OPEC will not decide on output until late June when the group is due to meet.
“We will be flexible, we are going to do the right thing as we always do,” he said.
Falih said OPEC is guided by two main principles: “One to keep the market in its direction towards balancing and inventories back to normal level. And two to be responsive to market needs. We will strike the right balance I am sure.”
(Reporting by Rania El Gamal and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Tom Hogue)
A Huawei logo is seen at an exhibition during the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
May 17, 2019
(Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department may soon scale back restrictions on Huawei Technologies after a recent blacklisting made it nearly impossible for the Chinese company to purchase goods made in the United States, a department spokesperson said on Friday.
The Commerce Department may issue a temporary general license to allow time for companies and people who have Huawei equipment to maintain reliability of their communications networks and equipment, the spokesperson said.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Leslie Adler)
FILE PHOTO: The Encore Casino, built by Wynn Resorts in Everett, Massachusetts, U.S., April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo
May 17, 2019
(Reuters) – Wynn Resorts Ltd is in talks to sell its nearly finished $2.6 billion casino outside of Boston to rival MGM Resorts International, the two companies said on Friday.
Las Vegas-based Wynn received its Massachusetts license in 2013, allowing it to go ahead with building the 671-room Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Massachusetts. It is expected to open in June.
The talks over a possible sale has been on for the past several weeks and were in the “very” preliminary stages, but that would not delay the opening of the casino, the companies said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
A deal would be complicated for MGM, which has a casino in Springfield, as according to the state’s gaming commission Massachusetts forbids companies from holding more than one casino license in the state.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission had in April fined Wynn Resorts $35 million for not disclosing sexual misconduct allegations against founder and former chief executive officer Steve Wynn, but allowed the casino operator to keep its license.
(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)
A container is carried onto a truck in a logistics center near Tianjin Port, in northern China, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee
May 17, 2019
By Ben Blanchard and David Shepardson
WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – China struck a more aggressive tone in its trade war with the United States on Friday, suggesting a resumption of talks between the world’s two largest economies would be meaningless unless Washington changed course.
The tough talk capped a week that saw Beijing unveil fresh retaliatory tariffs, U.S. officials accuse China of backtracking on promises made during months of talks and the Trump administration level a potentially crippling blow against one of China’s biggest and most successful companies.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang, asked about state media reports suggesting there would be no more trade negotiations, said China always encouraged resolving disputes with the United States through dialogue and consultations.
“But because of certain things the U.S. side has done during the previous China-U.S. trade consultations, we believe if there is meaning for these talks, there must be a show of sincerity,” he told a daily news briefing.
CNBC, citing sources, said the trade talks had stalled and the next round of discussions was “in flux.”
The United States raised Beijing’s ire this week when it announced it was putting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker, on a blacklist that could make it extremely hard to do business with U.S. companies.
China has yet to say whether or how it will retaliate, although its state media is sounding an increasingly strident note. The ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily published on Friday a front-page commentary that evoked the patriotic spirit of the country’s past wars.
“The trade war can’t bring China down. It will only harden us to grow stronger,” it said.
Global stocks, which rebounded this week on the prospect of another round of U.S.-China talks, suffered a fresh bout of selling and China’s yuan slid to its weakest against the U.S. dollar in almost five months. Prices of U.S. government debt were trading higher.[MKTS/GLOB]
“What’s driving the market on a day-to-day basis is the 24-hour news cycle of headlines primarily around U.S.-China trade relations,” said Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates in Greenwood, South Carolina.
The increasingly acrimonious trade dispute has rattled investors who fear that the countries are careening dangerously down a track that will badly damage global supply lines and put the brakes on an already slowing world economy.
The South China Morning Post, citing an unidentified source, reported that a senior member of China’s Communist Party said the trade war could reduce China’s 2019 economic growth by 1 percentage point in the worst-case scenario.
(Graphic: Trickle down tariffs – https://tmsnrt.rs/2WIu31i)
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has embraced protectionism as part of an “America First” agenda aimed at rebalancing global trade, has accused China of backing out of a deal earlier this month that would have ended the 10-month dispute.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported China had backtracked on commitments to change its laws to resolve core U.S. complaints about theft of intellectual property, forced technology transfers and other practices.
Trump punctuated two days of talks in Washington last week with a decision to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent. The negotiations ended in a stalemate.
On Monday, Beijing said it would raise its tariffs on a revised list of $60 billion in U.S. goods effective June 1. Trump, in turn, said he is considering slapping tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports to the United States.
The U.S. president also continues to dangle the possibility of imposing tariffs of up to 25% on imported cars and parts, a move that could be devastating for a number of U.S. trading partners, including Japan and Germany.
The White House said on Friday that Trump’s decision on auto tariffs would be delayed by up to six months to allow more time for trade talks with the European Union and Japan. Trump faced a Saturday deadline to make a decision.
It added, however, that the U.S. president agreed with findings by the U.S. Commerce Department that imported vehicles and parts can threaten U.S. national security, a designation likely to anger some U.S. allies.
Automakers have strongly opposed the tariffs, saying they would hike prices and threaten thousands of U.S. jobs. There is also strong opposition in the U.S. Congress, with many prominent members of Trump’s Republican Party rejecting the idea.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, praised the administration’s decision to delay the auto tariffs.
“Positive step. The pressure must be strong on China, not on our allies who we should encourage to join us in confronting China,” Schumer tweeted.
The United States and Canada also announced on Friday a deal to remove tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum in exchange for new curbs to keep dumped metals from China and other nations out of the U.S. market. The Mexican president’s office later said Mexico had reached a similar deal with the United States.
The metals tariffs were an aggravation for the Canadian and Mexican governments and had been a major hurdle to enacting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the deal that would replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Gao Liangping in Beijing and David Shepardson in Washington; Additional reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa, Anthony Esposito in Mexico City, Lewis Krauskopf in New York and David Lawder and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Susan Thomas and James Dalgleish)
FILE PHOTO: Visitors walk past Huawei’s booth during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo
May 17, 2019
By Stephen Nellis and Sijia Jiang
SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chip experts are calling out Huawei for its claims that it could ensure a steady supply chain without U.S. help, saying the technology the Chinese telecoms network gear maker buys from American companies would be “hard to replace”.
The Trump administration officially added Huawei to a trade blacklist on Thursday, enacting restrictions that will make it difficult for the tech giant to do business with American firms, in its latest broadside against the company that U.S. officials have labeled a threat to national security.
The head of Huawei’s HiSilicon chip division on Friday shrugged off concerns about disruptions to supply, saying it has long been preparing for this kind of “extreme scenario”.
Huawei will aim to be technologically “self-reliant” going forward, He Tingbo said in a letter to staff.
But that is easier said than done, industry experts say.
“I would be surprised if HiSilicon can make it without any U.S. suppliers,” said Linda Sui, a Strategy Analytics analyst.
A China-based source at a U.S. tech company previously told Reuters that none of Huawei’s U.S. suppliers “can be replaced by Chinese ones, not within a few years, at least”.
As an example of Huawei’s reliance on U.S. firms, an expert pointed to the high probability that the tech giant uses chip design software from market leaders Cadence Design Systems Inc and Synopsys Inc.
Huawei designs its microprocessors and other chips for products including the Mate series flagship smartphones.
The U.S firms’ software is considered gold standard, used by manufacturers globally to perfect chip blueprints and test them before committing them to physical silicon, where a single mistake can set back a chip for months.
“It’s hard to replace,” said Mike Demler, a senior analyst with The Linley Group. “Cadence and Synopsys pretty much have all the ground covered for anything you would need,” he said.
“I’m sure there’s some equivalent that tries to fill the same roles from Chinese companies, but the Chinese just do not have a presence we’re aware of outside of the country.”
Cadence and Synopsys did not respond to requests for comment. Huawei said it cannot comment.
SPECIALIZED CHIPS, LASERS
Huawei also has exposure to U.S. suppliers of specialty lasers and modules such as NeoPhotonics, Lumentum and Finisar.
The lasers, which are used to send information in the form of light signals through fiber-optic cables, are critical to Huawei’s world-leading telecom network equipment business.
Firms like Finisar, which is being bought by II-VI Inc, and Lumentum have put decades of work into being able to make large quantities of lasers, said Philip Gadd, a retired chip executive who once ran Intel’s silicon photonics division.
“Even if the Chinese could do it, I don’t think they could come up to scale,” he said.
Finisar is trying to determine the impact of the Huawei ban, according to a person briefed on the matter.
Finisar and Lumentum did not return requests for comment. NeoPhotonics, which gets most of its revenues from four firms including Huawei, declined to comment.
Huawei has sought to develop its own capabilities in the field, in part by purchasing a former British Telecom research center in 2012 and startup Caliopa in 2012.
“The Chinese have been on an acquisition path,” said one silicon photonics executive. “They’ve been buying up bits and pieces wherever they could. A lot of the (U.S. government) restrictions have come too late.”
But Huawei relies on so-called chip “foundries”, especially Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), for the complex task of physically producing the chips that it designs. That is a common practice in the chip industry.
By contrast, many silicon photonics firms such as Finisar, still make their own chips.
MARCH TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY
Huawei has been under pressure since early in the decade over U.S. allegations its gear could be a conduit for Chinese spying, a concern the company says is unfounded.
The United States has ratcheted up the rhetoric in the past year, calling on allies to bar the firm from next-generation 5G mobile networks while locking horns with China in a trade war.
Against this backdrop, Huawei has been a key part of China’s campaign to develop its own capabilities in chips and reduce reliance on imports from companies such as Qualcomm, Intel and Samsung Electronics .
Huawei’s chip division produced more than $7.5 billion worth of chips last year, its rotating chairman Eric Xu had told Reuters. That compares with an estimated $21 billon worth of chips that Huawei acquired from outside vendors.
A Huawei spokesman said the company will use HiSilicon products to substitute banned American components where possible, but declined to provide more details.
HiSilicon’s He has described the self-sufficiency efforts as a “long march in the history of technology” that would pay off with the United State’s “crazy decision”. “All the spare tires we have been making, now is the time to use them!”
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco, Sijia Jiang in Hong Kong, Josh Horwitz in Shanghai, Yimou Lee in Taipei; Writing by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
A trader passes by the post where Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 25, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
May 17, 2019
(Reuters) – Supercomputer manufacturer Cray Inc said on Friday it would be bought by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co in a deal valued at about $1.30 billion, net of cash.
The $35 per share value represents a premium of 17.4% to Cray’s last close.
HPE said it expects the deal to increase its footprint in federal business and academia, and sell supercomputing products to its commercial clients.
The deal, expected to close by the first quarter of HPE’s fiscal year 2020, will add to its adjusted operating profit in the first full year after closing.
As part of the deal, HPE expects to incur one-time integration costs that will be absorbed within its fiscal year 2020 free cash flow outlook of $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion that remains unchanged.
Seattle-headquartered Cray has U.S.-based manufacturing operations and about 1,300 employees worldwide. It earned $456 million in revenue in its last fiscal year.
Cray’s supercomputing systems can handle massive data sets, converged modeling, simulation, artificial intelligence, and analytics workloads.
(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
May 17, 2019
By Amy Caren Daniel
(Reuters) – U.S. stocks slipped on Friday, after three straight sessions of gains, as trade tensions were renewed after Chinese media took a hardline approach to the tariff dispute between the United States and China.
The trade war will only make China stronger and will never bring the country to its knees, the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily wrote in a front-page commentary.
Beijing’s higher tariffs on U.S. products on a $60 billion target list will take effect on June 1, which could prompt Washington to go ahead with tariffs on a further $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The two sides are expected to meet in China to resume talks soon.
“Mounting trade worries and geopolitical tensions are weighing on investors nerves,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
“The trade war tensions are overcoming the positive in markets so investors are skeptical and markets are caught in a trading range.”
The escalating tensions between the world’s two largest economies led farm equipment maker Deere & Co to cut its full-year forecast, sending its shares down 4.3%.
The drop in shares of Deere, as well as Caterpillar Inc and 3M Co pressured the tariff-sensitive industrial sector, which was trading 0.7% lower.
Technology companies including iPhone maker Apple Inc and chipmakers, which rely on China for a large portion of their revenue, were also hit by trade fears.
Apple Inc fell nearly 1.2% also weighed down by Nomura Instinet’s price target cut on its stock, citing headwinds from the tariff war.
The Philadelphia chip index slipped 0.2%, while the broader technology sector fell 0.4%, weighing the most on the S&P 500.
All three major indexes have posted gains three days in a row this week as upbeat quarterly results and a batch of strong economic data helped ease worries of a global economic slowdown.
The S&P 500 index is now about 3% away from its record high hit earlier this month.
At 9:42 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 90.51 points, or 0.35%, at 25,772.17, the S&P 500 was down 11.56 points, or 0.40%, at 2,864.76 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 36.74 points, or 0.47%, at 7,861.31.
Among stocks, Applied Materials Inc gained 4.9%, the most among S&P companies, after the chip gear maker’s upbeat third-quarter profit eased concerns about waning chip demand.
Under Armour Inc rose 4.6% after JP Morgan upgraded the sports wear maker to “overweight” from “neutral”.
Online scrapbook company Pinterest Inc slumped 13.7% after the recent Wall Street debutant forecast 2019 revenue broadly in line with Wall Street targets.
Also on investors radar is the debut of Luckin Coffee Inc, the Chinese challenger to Starbucks Corp.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 3.56-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.63-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 39 new lows.
(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
Overstock.com Inc Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne. Courtesy Overstock.com/via REUTERS
May 17, 2019
(Reuters) – Overstock.com Inc Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne on Friday hit out at shareholders who questioned the sale of a portion of his stake in the company, after the online retailer’s shares plunged on Thursday following the disclosure of his move.
Shares of the company, which offers a range of lower-priced luxury goods, fell about 16% on Thursday after a filing revealed that Byrne, Overstock’s largest shareholder, had sold about 500,000 of his shares, or 9% of his stake.
Byrne revealed on Friday that he had sold a total of about 900,000 of his shares, or 15.5%, which had created “an unanticipated stir” among the company’s shareholders.
Byrne, in a letter to shareholders, said people who he had never heard of were demanding answers regarding the timing, reasoning and purpose of the sale.
“Not once have I ever asked a shareholder for his reasons in any decision he made. Yet, given the consternation this has caused, I will give answer, to preclude further recurrence of mass vapors,” Byrne said.
Byrne said that he told shareholders a year ago that he would make “significant sales” of his shares to fund different projects, including blockchain investments and to supplement his nominal salary of $100,000 annually.
“I do not intend to ever give such an explanation again. I owe shareholders staying within the law and not making decisions based on inside information,” Byrne said.
Byrne had previously pledged about 1.9 million of his 5.8 million shares he owned prior to this week’s sale as collateral for credit from banks.
Overstock’s shares, which are up 3% in morning trading on Friday, have fallen about 89% from its record high in January 2018, when the company was benefiting from its plan to launch a digital token and from the hype around cryptocurrencies.
(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)