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No-deal Brexit would cost Ford up to $1 billion

DETROIT ( ) – Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Thursday it faces a bill of up to $1 billion (£767 million) if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, comprising World Trade Organization tariffs and the impact of a weaker pound.

The impact of Brexit on Ford, based on internal calculations, would be in the range of $500 million to $1 billion depending on a varie,上海夜生活去哪玩Fabi,ty of factors, Ford said in a statement.

Sky News earlier on Thursday reported the hit could be $800 million.

Car makers and other manufacturers, including Airbus earlier on Thursday, have warned about the tol,上海夜生活网交流Earl,l a no-deal Brexit could impose, including higher tariffs, disruption to supply chains and threats to jobs.

Britain is due to leave the European Union in 64 days, and with Prime Minister T上海夜网heresa May failing to win support for her negotiated deal, companies are increasingly worried about the possibility of a chaotic Brexit.

Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks on Wednesday declined to say what the financial impact of a no-deal exit could be, but said Ford was already planning for it.

“We clearly have already started to work on the eventuality of there being a hard Brexit,” he told reporters at the No. 2 U.S. automaker’s headquarters outside Detroit. “We’re certainly hoping that does not happen, but we c,夜上海论坛Landon,an’t wait.”

“We’re actually incurring costs, doing things now to prepare for that, so there will be an impact. It’s a material impact,” he added.

Last week, Shanks said a no-deal exit was unlikely, but if it occurred it would be “catastrophic.”

Ford estimated last March that a hard Brexit, which would see WTO tariffs of 10 percent on imports and exports and lower levels on components, would cost it up to $1 billion per year.

Ford, the top-selling automotive brand in Britain, operates two engine plants in Britain, its third-largest market, and the destination for roughly one in three cars made at its German Cologne plant.

On Jan. 10, Ford, which employs 53,000 people in Europe, said it would cut thousands of jobs and look at plant closures in Europe as part of its plan to return to profit in the region. The automaker employs about 13,000 people in Britain.

FBI deputy director to sit for closed interview with House panels

WASHINGTON ( ) – The FBI’S deputy director, Andrew McCabe, will appear for a closed-door interview on Thursday with two key U.S.,上海夜网官方网站Dallas, congressional committees, after Republicans asked him to discuss the bureau’s handling of its Hillary Clinton email probe.

The Justice Department confirmed in a letter on Wednesday to the chairmen of the House of Representatives Judiciary and Oversight committees that McCabe will sit for a transcribed interview, but said McCabe will not be permitted to discuss anything related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

It said the interview must be conducted in a classified setting and that the transcript should not be publicly released.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is part of the Justice Department.

The Republican-led House Judiciary and Oversight committees announced in October they were launching fresh probes into a number of long-standing political grievances, including concerns over the FBI’s handling of the investigation of Clinton,上海新夜网龙凤Dalton,’s use of a private ema,上海凤楼夜网Macey,il server when she was secretary of state.

Republicans have said they want to get to the bottom of why former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump, publicly discussed the Clinton investigation and announced that the bureau would not seek to bring charges.

Comey also publicly revealed, just 11 days before the 2016 presidential election, that he was reopening the matter after the FBI discovered a new batch of Clinton emails. The case was closed shortly after the emails were reviewed, and no new information was uncovered.

Critics say the Republicans’ focus on Clinton is merely a tactic to distract from Mueller’s investigation and whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

Since the new Clinton probe was announced, Republicans have also turned up the pressure on Mueller and attacked the FBI’s integrity, after anti-Trump text messages surfaced between two FBI employees who worked on Mueller’s team.

One of the employees, agent Peter Strzok, was reassigned after the te上海夜生活论坛xts were discovered. The other, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, completed her temporary 45-day detail assignment with Mueller in mid-July.

Republican have also asked the Justice Department to make Page, who works in the FBI’s general counsel’s office, available for interviews.

Trump has openly attacked the FBI, saying its reputation is in “tatters.”

Russia has denied meddling in the election, and Trump has said there was no collusion.

U.S. start-up CommonGrounds raises $100 million, unveils ‘hackable’…

NEW YORK ( ) – CommonGrounds, a California start-up trying to carve out a niche in the crowded flexible workspace sector with movable office walls, has raised $100 million from three investors, including the Emirati developer of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest sk,上海夜网推油Barbara,yscraper.

CommonGrounds plans to build 2 million square feet of flexible office space in two years with the Series A funding, one of the largest capital-raising rounds for a commercial real estate venture at such a stage, the San Diego-based firm said.

A build-out of about 50 sites would vault CommonGrounds, which has three locations in California and one in Denver, into a select grouping of U.S. coworking firms. Th,上海夜网官方网站Octava,e company declined to say what its valuation was after the fundraising.

Still, it would lag WeWork with its more than $10 billion in backing from Japan’s SoftBank Gr上海夜生活论坛oup Corp (9984.T).

WeWork raised just $17 million in its Series A funding in early 2012 and did not top $100 million in a single round until late 2013, according to website Crunchbase.

Workspaces with movable office walls have been the Holy Grail in office construction. They boost the flexibility that shared work space operators tout, allowing shorter-term leases, immediate occupancy and minimal planning by management.

However, these systems have not been cost effective and have been plagued by poor quality, lousy acoustics and difficulty in wiring the walls with electricity, said Dan Doyon of Workplace Hospitality Management, a San Francisco coworking consultancy.

“If you can get the price right and solve all the fundamental issues, it obviously makes a ton of sense,” he said.

CommonGrounds recently reconfigured about 11,000 square foot of workspace used by 130 people in 14 days for $40,000 using a system designed and manufactured by Tecno Spa of M,上海夜网邀请码Gabrielle,ilan, Italy, said Chief Executive Jacob Bates of CommonGrounds.

“Without this building technology it would have taken a minimum 90 days and hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he told , highlighting the “hackable” environment of its workspace, a phrase it plans to trademark.

CommonGrounds has entered an exclusive contract for the flexible space industry with Tecno Spa, he said.

Investors in the fundraising were Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) in the United Arab Emirates; Bob Davidson, an early developer of educational software and Pacifica Enterprises Inc, which also provided the seed money.

Landlords have sought to partner with coworking firms as it can be 50 percent more profitable than leasing directly to a company, Green Street Advisors said.

U.S. flexible workspace has grown 23 percent annually since 2010, JLL research shows.

Senate votes to pursue tax bill negotiations with House

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Senate Republicans agreed to talks with the House of Representatives on sweeping tax legislation on Wednesday, amid early signs that lawmakers could bridge their differences and agree on a final bill ahead of a self-imposed Dec. 22 deadline.

The Republican-led Senate voted 51-47, along party lines with Democrats opposed, to begin formal conference negotiations to reconcile rival House and Senate tax bills passed last week.

The move, which follows similar House action this week, brings Congress a step closer to sending President Donald Trump a tax overhaul that he can sign into law.

House and Senate negotiators will need to work out differences on issues ranging from business taxes to the repeal of the Obamacare mandate that Americans obtain health insurance or face a penalty before lawmakers can pass a final version.

上海夜生活论坛But John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said he was optimistic House and Senate tax negotiators would be able to work out an agreement within the next two weeks.

“Given the similarities between the House and the Senate bills, I think there are some obvious targets where they need to focus their attention but obviously they won’t be rewriting the bills,” Cornyn said.

Republican negotiators must be careful not to agree to changes that could diminish support in the Senate, where they can afford to lose support from no more than two party members.

There has been no major tax overhaul since 1986, when Republican Ronald Reagan was president.

While there are significant differences between the House and Senate bills, both would cut the U.S. corporate tax rate to 20 percent f,上海高端夜生活在那里Radley,rom 35 percent, provide tax relief for “pass-through” enterprises including small businesses where earnings are taxed at individual rates, and both benefit the wealthiest Americans and reduce the tax burden for most middle-class taxpayers.

Republicans claim the legislation will spur enough economic growth to pay for the tax cuts with new revenue, but the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that Senate bill would still add $1 trillion to the federal budget deficit over a decade, even with an economic upswing.

U.S. stock prices have rallied on growing optimism that tax legislation will become law.

Related CoverageFactbox: Corporate alternative minimum tax threat hits pharma, techCorporate AMT likely will not be in final U.S. tax bill: HatchDEFICIT WARNING

But on Wednesday, the head of sove,上海夜生活群Earl,reign credit ratings at S&P Global told that the rising deficit and looser fiscal policy could prompt negative action on U.S. credit ratings unless Washington addressed long-term budgetary issues.

“If U.S. tax reform is approved, it seems certain to increase the federal budget deficit,” Moritz Kraemer, S&P’s sovereign global chief rating officer, said in an interview.

“A meaningful relaxation of fiscal policy without countervailing measures to address the longer-term fiscal challenges of the U.S. could lead to a n,上海夜生活男人好去处Caitlin,egative rating action.”

Senate Republicans later voted down a Democratic motion instructing tax negotiators to produce a deficit-neutral bill.

Passage of the tax bill would provide a badly needed legislative victory for Trump and Republicans after their failure earlier this year to enact legislation repealing President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

Trump and his Republican allies see enacting the tax overhaul that they promised voters as crucial to their strategy for the 2018 U.S. congressional elections, when all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 seats in the 100-member Senate will be up for election.

Democrats have been united against the bill, calling it a handout to corporations and the rich that would drive up the federal deficit.

In an early sign of progress on reconciling the House and Senate versions, Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee, said he did not think that the final bill would retain a corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT).

The House bill calls for a repeal of the corporate AMT, which is designed to limit the ability of corporations to reduce their payments through tax breaks and credits. Corporate AMT repeal is not part of the Senate version.

Getting rid of the corporate AMT would be popular with many businesses and would also be a concession toward the House bill.

But repeal would also require lawmakers to replace the $40 billion in revenues that retaining the corporate AMT would raise over a decade. Increasing the corporate income tax target from 20 percent is seen as one way to pay for the AMT repeal and other potential changes.

“I’ll keep it at 20 if I can, but there’s a drive to get it to 22. They want more money, that’s why,” Hatch told reporters.

Trump targets book, threatens ex-ally Bannon with legal action

WASHINGTON ( ) – President Donald Trump’s lawyer said on Thursday he would try to stop publication of a book that portrays an inept president in a fumbling White House and threatened legal action against former top aide Steve Bannon over “defamatory” comments in the book.

“Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White H上海夜生活ouse” by author Michael Wolff set off a political firestorm with its portrayal of Trump as not particularly wanting to win the U.S. presidency in 2016 and unprepared for the job.

Some of the harshest commentary came from Bannon, the right-wing firebrand who headed the final stage of Trump’s campaign and became chief strategist at the White House before being fired in August.

Charles Harder, Trump’s personal lawyer, in a legal notice provided to , warned of possible claims including libel against Wolff and publisher Henry Holt & Co and threatened to try to block publication of the book. Harder also told that “legal action is imminent” against Bannon.

Henry Holt said in a statement it had,上海夜生活网交流Quay, received a cease-and-desist letter from Trump’s attorney but would go ahead with publishing the book.

Earlier, the publishing house said that “due to unprecedented demand,” it would release the book on Friday morning, rushing it to print after previously planning to put it out next Tuesday.

Wolff did not respond to a request for comment.

Related CoverageAfter attacks by Trump, Bannon finds himself with few friendsTrump lawsuit over White House book ‘nonstarter,’ legal experts saySee more stories

Trump tweeted on Thursday night: “I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!”

Trump cut ties with Bannon on Wednesday, saying his former adviser had “lost his mind,” in a blistering statement issued after comments attributed to Bannon in the book were made public.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders heaped scorn on Bannon and the book at her briefing on Thursday. She said Breitbart News should consider firing Bannon and attempted to cast doubt on Wolff’s accuracy.

She called the book “some trash” that came from “an author that no one had ever heard of until today.”

“This book is mistake after mistake after mistake,” she said.

Trump lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bannon on Wednesday asking him not to disclose any confidential information. They said Bannon had breached an agreement by communicating with Wolff about Trump, his family and the campaign and made “disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements” about them.

In the book, Bannon was quoted as describing a June 2016 meeting with a group of Russians at Trump Tower in New York as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” The meeting, held after the Russians promised damaging information on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, was attended by Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager at the time.

Trump’s statement also diminished Bannon’s role in the election victory and accused him of leaking to the media. Before joining the campaign, Bannon headed the conservative Breitbart News website and proved to be a divisive figure in the White House. He returned to Breitbart after being fired, although he is reported to have continued to talk with Trump.


Bannon’s reaction to the book controversy has been muted. In interviews with Breitbart News after the news broke, he called Trump a “great man” and pledged continued support for the president’s agenda.

The president took note. “He called me a great man last night so he obviously changed his tune pretty quick,” Trump told reporters on Thursday. “I don’t talk to him. That’s a misnomer.”

Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer specializing in national security law, said any non-disclosure agreement would not apply to Bannon once he became a government employee. The government has far less power to limit speech by employees than private companies, Moss said.

A lawsuit could hurt Trump because Bannon’s lawyers would be entitled to interview White House officials and collect potentially damaging documents from them in his defense, Moss said.

“I assume the cease-and-desist letter is aimed primarily at the public,” added Michael Dorf, a professor at Cornell Law School. “The idea that he could block publication is absurd.”

On Thursday, the White House also said no personal devices, including cellphones, would be,上海夜生活男人好去处Macauly, allowed in the White House West Wing beginning next week for security purposes. The moves followed the Bannon split but had been considered for some time, White House officials said.

Bannon helped Trump shape a populist, anti-establishment message and had been the president’s link to his hard-line conservative base of support, which is often at odds with the Republican Party establishment.

The story that triggered the Trump-Bannon split was an offshoot of the investigation into whether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russia to sway the election to Trump, allegations Trump and Moscow deny.

Manafort and business associate Rick Gates, another campaign aide, pleaded not guilty in November to federal charges ,上海夜生活乌托邦Easton,brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller including conspiracy to launder money. Manafort sued Mueller on Wednesday, alleging that his investigation exceeded its legal authority.

Hitachi debacle strengthens Franco-Chinese hand in UK nuclear

PARIS ( ) – Hitachi’s decision上海夜生活 to freeze its $28 billion nuclear power project in Britain strengthens the hand of France’s EDF and its Chinese partner in talks with the g,夜上海论坛Macey,overnment on how to finance new reactors.

Funding new nuclear plants has become critical as Hitachi became the second Japanese firm to say its British nuclear power project had hit the buffers over financing. The two projects would have covered about 13 percent of Britain’s power needs.

EDF and its partner China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) want to use a financing model under which investors in their nuclear projects receive payment from the moment they start construction, reducing their risk.

But to proceed with this approach, the government must first win over lawmakers and consumers, already frustrated by hefty energy bills and costly nuclear projects that often face delays.

“The question is whether it is sellable to parliament that all the risks go to the public. But if that is not the case, they will get no investors,” said Stephen Thomas, emeritus professor of energy policy at Greenwich University.

EDF is negotiating with the government on funding the Sizewell C project using the so-called regulated asset base model in which investors earn a government-set fixed return from the start, instead of waiting years until construction is completed before receiving a return.

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has a 20 percent stake in Sizewell C, while EDF has a 33.5 percent stake in CGN’s project to build a reactor at Bradwell, Essex.

“If new nuclear is to be successful in a more competitive energy market – which I very much believe it can be – we need to consider a new approach to financing future projects,” Energy Secretary Greg Clark told parliament, saying this included Sizewell and Bradwell.

He addressed lawmakers after Hitachi said it had failed to find private equity investors, even though the government had considered partly funding it with taxpayer’s money.

That announcement followed Toshiba’s decision in November to scrap its NuGen project in Britain after its U.S. reactor unit Westinghouse went bankrupt and it failed to find a buyer for the plan.


Specialists say both projects were doomed from the start.

Only utilities have the steady cash flows to fund such long-term projects, but most European utilities pulled out of Britain’s nuclear plans after the 2011 Fukushima disaster led to rising safety costs and as renewable energy became a more competitive investment prospect.

The regulated asset base model may now be one of the few remaining options to fund new nuclear plants in Europe. It is commonly used to fund construction of electricity transmission lines and, in Britain, has been us,上海夜网后花园Idaline,ed to fund the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a “super sewer” for London.

“Dialogue about a regulated asset base financing model for Sizewell C is progressing,” an EDF official said.

But the model has not be used in the nuclear industry, so talks are likely to be tough as the government seeks a clear outline of how much it would have to spend over a specified period and works to avoid writing a bl,上海021夜网Paisley,ank cheque to cover cost overruns.

The government intends to publish its assessment by the summer at the latest.

For now, the only nuclear plant under construction in Britain is EDF’s Hinkley Point C project, in which CGN also has a 33.5 percent stake.

The deal to fund that plant involved EDF taking on the financing and bearing the full risk for construction delays or cost overruns. In return, it was guaranteed a power price of up to 92.50 pounds per megawatt-hour for 35 years, more than twice the market rate when signed.

That drew fierce criticism from lawmakers and the public for being too generous and there are no plans to repeat it.

After the Hitachi and Toshiba announcements, the government is now depending on just EDF and CGN to deliver on its plans for a fleet of new reactors to meet energy demand as it phases out old nuclear facilities and coal-fired plants.

“Britain’s energy security and decarbonisation strategy are hanging by a thread,” said French consultant Thibault Laconde.

Trump expects medical exam to go well Friday

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he expects a medical examination he is to undergo on Friday will go well and that he would be surprised if it did not.

Answering questions from reporters after an event on prison reform at the White House, Trump said with a smile, “It better go well, otherwise the stock market will not be happy.”

“I think it’s going to go very well. I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t,” he said.

The medical checkup at Walter Re,上海夜生活Hadleigh,ed Medical Center in nearby Bethesda, Maryland, will be the first for Trump since he took office nearly a year ago.

Trump’s medical exam was announced early last month after he slurred part of a speech in which he ,上海夜哪里艳遇Daisy,declared the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Michael Wolff, author of “Fire and Fury: Inside ,上海夜生活乌托邦Lake,the Trump White House,” has charged in promoting the book that Trump lacked the mental fitness to serve as president, drawing fire from Trump, his aides and supporters.

Trump’s physical exam is not expected to include a mental acuity test.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters the exam will be conducted by presidential physician Ronny Jackson.

A statement about the results will be released on Friday. At the White House on Tuesday, Jackson will give details on Trump’s health and take questions.

(The story was refiled to correct the spelling of the doctor’s first name to “Ronny” instead上海夜生活论坛 of “Ronnie” in the penultimate paragraph)

Gulfport pledges share buybacks after hedge fund demand

BOSTON ( ) – Natural gas and oil firm Gulfport Energy Corp said it would buy back $400 million of shares on Thursday, just hours after a public demand to that effect from hedge fund investor Firefly Value Partners.

After the close of trad,上海夜生活乌托邦Radley,ing, Oklahoma City-based Gulfport announced plans to buy back $400 million worth of shares in the next two years and said it bought $90 million worth of shares in the last weeks of 2018.

“I want to underscore our commitment to further enhancing shareholder value with a newly authorized $400 million stock repurchase program to be executed within the next 24 months,” David Wood, who was named chief executive officer late last year, said in a statement.

On Thursday morning, New York-based hedge fund Firefly had said it wanted Gulfport, which has a market capitalization of $1.5 billion, to buy back $500 million ,上海新夜网龙凤Fabiana,of shares.

Firefly, which owns 8.1 percent of Gulfport, said in a public letter that such a large share buyback could translate to a doubling of Gulfport’s share price.

It criticized how Gulfport had allocated capital and complained that current board members might not be committed to pushing for improvements.

In its statement announcing the share buyback, Gulfport did not refer to Firefly or address its complaints.

But by the afternoon, when the eight member Gulfport board ended its meeting, management and the directors ,上海夜生活网419Nadia,laid out a plan that some analysts said could neutralize the hedge fund’s requests.

Firefly declined to comment on the Gulfport statement.

Gulfport also forecast free cash flow of more than $100 million this year and said this year’s capital expenditures would be between $565 million and $600 million and be paid with cash flow.

Last year, Gulfport had authorized $200 million worth of buybacks.

In its critique of the company and its board, Firefly said directors do “not seem up to the task of fixing the company’s capital allocation strategy and regaining investors’ trust.” It added that it may be time to add a shareholder to the board who could energize the group to push for these changes.

“We propose an action plan that we believe allows Gulfport to create at least $9 per share of value for stockholders (over 100 percent of the current market capitalization) over the next 12 months,” Firefly’s letter said. Rising commodity prices would make the impact of the share buybacks even bigger.

The company’s shares, which closed at $8.82 on Thursday, have tumbled 32 percent in the last year.

This is the time of year investors who are pushing for change traditionally write public letters to companies that detail their complaints. Later they may run a proxy contest to seat newcomers on the board.

Firefly has been invested in Gulfport since 2013 and there have be上海夜网en private discussions, the hedge fund acknowledged.

There was turmoil at the company late last year. In December it appointed Wood as CEO to replace Michael Moore, who resigned after accusations that he had misused the company’s chartered aircraft and a company credit card.

U.S. labor market remains strong, economy slowing

WASHINGTON ( ) – The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to more than a 49-year low last week, but the drop likely overstates the health of the labor market as claims for several states including California were estimated.

Still, labor market conditions remain strong, which for now should help to temper fears of a sharp slowdown in economic growth. Other data on Thursday showed a gauge of future U.S. economic activity fell in December.

The economy is facing several headwinds, including a bitter U.S. trade dispute with China and a month-long partial shutdown of the federal government, which are hurting consumer and business confidence. Higher interest rates, fading fiscal stimulus and cooling global economies are also seen crimping domestic growth.

“If you’re looking for good news on the economy, look no further than the labor market,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan. “Growth may be slowing, but the overall picture for workers and those seeking work remains quite positive.”

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 199,000 for the week ended Jan. 19, the lowest level since mid-November in 1969 when 197,000 applications were recorded, the Labor Department said.

Economists polled by had forecast claims rising to 220,000 in the latest week. The Labor Department said claims for California, Kansas, North Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia and Hawaii were estimated last week because of Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 5,500 to 215,000 last week.

About one-quarter of federal agencies have been shuttered since Dec. 22, impacting 800,000 government employees, with many working without pay and others furloughed. All workers will be paid retroactively 上海夜生活论坛when the shutdown ends.

But economists expect the longest shutdown in history will push the unemployment rate above 4.0 percent in January as the furloughed workers would be considered unemployed.

The jobless rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9 percent in December as strong labo,上海夜网邀请码Idris,r market conditions attracted some unemployed people back into the labor force.

Stocks on Wall Street were trading mixed after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Washington and Beijing were a long way from resolving their trade dispute. The dollar was stronger against a basket of currencies, while prices of U.S. Treasuries rose.


Thursday’s claims report showed the number of people receiving benefits aft,上海夜生活论坛Pablo,er an initial week of aid decreased 24,000 to 1.71 million for the week ended Jan. 12. The so-called continuing claims data covered the week of the household survey from which January’s unemployment rate will be calculated.

Continuing claims rose 5,000 between the December and January survey periods. If there were no government shutdown, the modest gain between the survey weeks would suggest little change in the unemployment rate this month.

The number of federal workers filing for jobless benefits rose 14,965 to 25,419 in the week ending Jan. 12.

President Donald Trump is demanding $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Democratic lawmakers have refused to provide the funding for the wall.

The Commerce Department is one of the agencies whose funding has lapsed as a result of the deadlock in Washington.

The publishing of data produced by the department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and Census Bureau has been suspended, leaving economists, investors, businesses and policymakers in the dark about the economy’s health.

The limited data available from independent institutions, including the Federal Reserve suggests the economy slowed in the fourth quarter and continued to lose momentum in early 2019.

In a separate report on Thursday, the Conference Board said its leading indicator slipped 0.1 percent in December after gaining 0.2 percent in November. It said the moderation suggested “that the economy could decelerate towards 2 percent growth by the end of 2019.”

The report adds to recent data showing home resales plummeting in December ,上海晚上耍女人的地方Sabia,and consumer sentiment tumbling to more than a two-year low in January. Some regional Fed manufacturing surveys have weakened in January.

While a third report on Thursday from data firm IHS Markit showed factory activity firming in early January, growth in the services sector slowed. Economists estimate the government shutdown is subtracting at least two-tenths of a percentage point from quarterly GDP growth every week.

“Although three-quarters of the government is funded for the fiscal year, delays in government contracts for the remaining unfunded agencies could hurt private contractors,” said Maria Cosma, an economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Some Wall Street banks, including JPMorgan and Barclays, have slashed their first-quarter GDP growth forecasts to as low as a 2.0 percent annualized rate from as high as a 3.0 percent pace. Growth estimates for the fourth quarter are around a 2.8 percent rate. The economy grew at a 3.4 percent pace in the July-September quarter.

French regulator orders Google to review ads policies

PARIS/SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – France’s competition regulator on Thursday ordered Alphabet Inc’s Google to review its policies and procedures for blocking certain ads, saying that its actions against French firm Amadeus may have been anti-competitive.

Google said it was reviewing the regulator’s order, made in a preliminary injunction. The dominant search engine in France and most other countries, Google has faced growing regulatory scrutiny about the content it promotes in search results and ads.

The regulator issued the order as a preliminary injunction while it reviews whether Google engaged in anticompetitive behavior.

Amadeus, which runs a direc,上海夜生活桑拿会所Caden,tory service in France, had complained to regulators about suffering a sales decline last year after Google blocked it from running search ads.

Google said in a statement that “Amadeus is a paid phone directory service which charges consumers for services that are available elsewhere for free, or for a nominal charge.” Google’s policies prohibit ads for services that can be obtained for free or at a lower price from the government or another public source.

“Some of Amadeus’ ads violated our terms and conditions for advertisers, which are designed to protect users,” Google said.

The regulator said in a news release that Google must add clarifying details to its policies, provide more warning before blocking advertisers, review Amadeus’ ,上海新夜网龙凤Radley,specific situation and provide more training to its sales staff on the company’s ads policies.

The regulator said it “will ensure the proper implementation of these interim measures and will issue its decision on the merits of the case in the coming months.”

Its decision comes a few weeks after France’s data protection watch上海夜生活网dog fined Google 50 million euros ($57.5 million) for breaching European Union online privacy rules, the biggest such pena,上海仙霞路夜生活Dallas,lty levied against a U.S. tech giant.

U.S. investigating Huawei for alleged trade secret theft: WSJ

WASHINGTON ( ) – Federal prosecutors are investigating Huawei Technologies[HWT.UL], the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, for allegedly stealing trade secrets from U.S. businesses and could soon issue an indictment, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said that one area of investigation is the technology behind a device that T-Mobile U.S. Inc (TMUS.O) used for testing smartphones. could not immediately confirm the report.

The action is the latest in a long list taken to fight what some in the Trump administratio上海夜生活论坛n call China’s cheating through intellectual property theft, illegal corporate subsidies and rules hampering U.S. corporations that want to sell their goods in China.

The investigation arose out of civil lawsuits against Huawei, the Journal said, including one in Seattle where Huawei was found liable for misappropriating robotic technology from T-Mobile (TMUS.O).

A Huawei spokesman and a spokeswom,上海夜生活群Easton,an for the U.S. attorney in the western district of Washington declined comment.

T-Mobile alleged in a 2014 lawsuit, filed in federal court in Seattle, that Huawei employees stole technology relating to a smartphone-testing robot T-Mobile had in a lab in Bellevue, Washington.

The robot, Tappy, used human-like fingers to simulate tapping on mobile phones.

According to T-Mobile’s lawsuit, Huawei employees photographed the robot and attempted to remove one of its parts.

In May 2017, a jury said,上海夜生活桑拿会所Paisley, Huaw,上海高端夜生活在那里Hallie,ei should pay T-Mobile $4.8 million in damages.

GM’s Washington charm offensive sidelined by Wall Street’s push for…

WASHINGTON ( ) – General Motors code named its November announcement to cut nearly 15,000 jobs in North America and restructure itself “Turbo,” suggesting a leaner approach for the largest U.S. automaker would “accelerate its transformation.”

Wall Street investors cheered the ambition to get smaller and boost profits. But in Washington, the move remains a public relations crisis that threatens to derail a methodical effort by Chief Executive Mary Barra to keep GM in good graces with the White House and other politicians.

President Donald Trump called Barra’s decision “nasty” and said GM had “better” find a product to build at a plant in Ohio, a pivotal state for Trump’s 2020 re-election effort. Representative Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from southeast Michigan and former GM employee, said at the time that GM had become “the most thoroughly disliked company in Washington.”

At the Detroit auto show this week where GM is faces off with politicians from the states most impacted by its job cuts, Dingell told that “GM is going to work hard to improve relationships.”

Despite the angst in Washington, Barra and her deputies are showing no signs of shifting gears.

“We’re not here to make everybody angry,” GM President Mark Reuss told this week at the auto show. He said GM’s restructuring is driven by many factors – including the need to offset tariff costs and finance new electric vehicles and battery technology. That requires GM to stop “investing money in t,上海夜生活Jack,hings that don’t make money.”

It is a message Barra herself hit hard on Friday during a presentation to investors in New York, where she promised stronger profits and outlined plans for上海夜生活论坛 its Cadillac brand to challenge Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O)

“We have demonstrated time and again that we are willing to make tough and strategic decisions to not only meet our commitments but to secure the company’s future,” Barra said.

Barra’s charm offensive had proven successful for most of President Donald Trump’s first two years in office. Atop Barra’s list of accomplishments: shielding GM’s profitable Mexican truck production and its $5 billion investment in its Mexican operations announced in 2014 to double capacity in Mexico from punitive trade measures from the Trump administration.

But the new conflict with Washington comes at a critical time for GM, which wants to sell many more electric vehicles and has been lobbying Congress to expand the $7,500 tax credits. It still needs help from regulators to get self-driving cars without steering wheels on U.S. roads.

And GM stands to benefit from the Trump administration’s plan to weaken fuel efficiency standards

“We’ve done this to help you, and I think his disappointment is it seems like they kind of turned their back on him,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters in November, referring to Trump’s reaction.

Kyle Martin, research analyst with Westwood Management in Dallas, which owns GM shares, said GM needs the cash to develop to electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle technology.

“That money has to come from somewhere,” he said.


Trump’s election win brought a dire warning from GM executives in a presentation in late 2017 and early 2018 to the company’s board: an end to the North American Free Trade Agreement could cost the automaker billions of dollars in tariffs on GM’s Mexican vehicles. They concluded that the costs would still be less than the billions of dollars and years it would tak,上海夜生活去哪玩Caitlin,e to shift production to the United States, people briefed on the matter said.

GM argued that while it was building autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles in the United States, it needed to keep generating profits on Mexican-built trucks to fund those operations, people briefed on the talks said.

So Barra made engaging with the White House after Trump’s election a key focus, three people briefed on the matter said.

She went to dinner at the house of Trump’s daughter Ivanka, and spoke on several occasions with Trump himself. Barra hired a former senior Trump aide who handled trade policy issues, Everett Eissenstat, to run GM’s DC office in August.

And she has had numerous talks with U.S. officials, including conversations with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, about the new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada – including a key call in August to address concerns from GM that the new trade deal could have disadvantaged its Mexican operations.

Barra is now counting on those relationships to help her steer thr,夜上海论坛Hadleigh,ough 2019, and mend fences in Washington.

She invited Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to Michigan to attend a board meeting in June 2017 and take a ride in an self-driving car in Michigan, according to previously unreported government records reviewed by . Barra also had a previously unreported lunch in April 2017 with Chao at the White House with other officials.

She spent two days last month on Capitol Hill meeting with angry lawmakers and explaining the cuts. In a brief interview with in December, Barra said she understands “that there’s a lot of emotion and concerns” but emphasized that the actions were about safeguarding the company’s future.

She has her work cut out for her.

Representative Andy Levin, a Michigan Democrat who took office this month, noted the Detroit-Hamtramck plant – one of the facilities losing production – is on a site that GM won approval in the early 1980s to dislocate more than 4,200 people as the state tore down about 1,500 homes and 140 businesses.

“We as a society made a huge sacrifice for GM so they could have a new plant. And 30 years later they are just going to throw it away?” Levin said. “We’re not going to stop and just say, ‘Oh this is a cost of doing business.’”

Exclusive: Kazakhstan urgently looking for bank to take over…

ALMATY ( ) – The Kazakh authorities are urgently looking for a bank to take over no. 2 lender Tsesnabank as they believe it needs new financing to prevent a collapse, three sources familiar with the discussions told .

Officials from the government and central bank have approached at least three other Kazakh banks and hope to tie up a deal in February, the sources said. They are offering financial incentives for any bank prepared to take it over.

The authorities want to avoid liquidating the bank, which has over $1 billion in retail deposits and received a $1.8 billion state bailout in September, because of the impact on the wider economy, the sources said.

They want to move quickly to prevent a run on deposits. Also, some analysts say a presidential election could be called in the spring. A spokesman for the election commission could not be reached for comment. President Nursultan Nazarbayez would almost certainly be reelected but the authorities would be keen to tie up a takeover before any poll.

The state-owned “bad bank” said on Friday it planned to buy some of Tsesnabank’s assets. One of the sources said this was part of the plan to mak,上海夜生活去哪玩Ebba,e the troubled bank more attractive to another bank.

“The scheme is simple – an investor puts his own money into the bank and the state helps them clean up its loan book,” one of the sources said.

Spokesmen for the central bank, the government, Tsesnabank, and its main shareholder, former Nazarbayev chief of staff Adilbek Zhaksybekov, did not reply to requests for comment.

The “bad bank”, the Non-Performing Loan Fund (NPLF), said in a bourse announcement on Friday it planned to sell 604 billion tenge ($1.59 billion) in domestic bonds next week in order to finance asset purchases from Tsesnabank.

The approach raises more questions about the health of the oil exporter’s banking system after Nazarbayev declared in April that bailouts worth nearly $10 billion for several banks in 2017 would be the last.

Tsesnabank’s September bailout came in spite of that promise. The authorities said it was a move to support indebted farmers, who are clients of the bank, and would help an otherwise healthy bank bridge a short-term liquidity gap.


But some bankers told that Tsesnabank’s financial reports indicate that it is in distress due to bad loans.

The authorities have also now decided that the balance sheet is so unhealthy that it would be easier for another bank to take it over than to liquidate or bail it out, the sources say.

Chief executive Ulf Wokurka said the balance sheet problems were to do with,上海会所夜网Caitlin, “worsening asset quality”. His deputy, 上海夜生活Dmitry Li, said in a written reply to queries that it reflected “seasonal cash flows of borrowers in the agricultural sector”.

The banking sector was hit hard by a fall in oil prices and subsequent tenge devaluation in 2015 because many banks lent in dollars. Customers then found it hard to repay the debts.

More than half of Tsesnabank’s loan book was denominated in foreign currency, mostly dollars, at the end of 2017.

Although oil prices have recovered, economic growth has slowed and some non-oil sectors are in crisis, such as farming where several large companies have defaulted on their debt.

The central bank also says some banks have been poorly managed and large bailouts have already drained billions of dollars from state coffers.

The IMF said in December “the recent additional financial support for Tsesnabank raises concerns”.

It said state support was justified only for “systemic, viable banks.” The only bank considered by economists to be of systemic importance to the financial system in Kazakhstan is Halyk which is fiv,上海凤楼夜网Nala,e times larger than Tsesnabank and accounts for a third of total banking sector assets.

Nevertheless, economists said a collapse of Tsesnabank could be a headache for the authorities if they were forced to compensate the large number of depositors from the deposit insurance fund.


Tsesnabank showed first signs of distress when it reported a sharp liquidity drop in the second quarter last year. In September, the central bank provided a 150 billion tenge ($407 million) liquidity support loan, later increased to 200 billion tenge.

Shortly afterwards, the central bank and the government said Tsesnabank would sell agricultural loans worth 450 billion tenge ($1.2 billion) to the NPLF. The loans, a quarter of Tsesnabank’s overall loan book, were sold at face value so it did not book a loss, the bank said.

While the bank reported either growing or stable total interest income in its income statements for 2016, 2017 and 2018, interest income in its cash flow report was declining, according to the publicly available accounts.

The discrepancy means that Tsesnabank either extended long-term loans that were not expected to generate cash flow for some time or booked interest income from loans even though that interest had not been paid by the borrower, bankers say.

The gap between Tsesnabank’s accrued and received interest income grew from 12 percent in 2015 to 36 percent in the first half of 2018, the accounts show.

The central bank told in an email in November that “generally, a declining ratio of received interest to accrued interest is being observed at certain banks, which is linked to the worsening financial situation of borrowers whose loans are denominated in foreign currency”.

($1 = 379.3700 tenge)

On the autofarm: China turns to driverless tractors, combines to…

Xinghua, China ( ) – A brand new combine harvester buzzes up and down a field in eastern China without a driver on board, chopping golden rice stalks and offering a glimpse of what authorities say is the automated future of the nation’s mammoth agricultural sector.

The bright green prototype was operating last autumn during a trial of driverless farm equipment as the government pushes firms to develop within 7 years fully-automated machinery capable of planting, fertilizing and harvesting each of Chin,夜上海419龙凤论坛Cade,a’s staple crops – rice, wheat and corn.

That shift to automation is key to the farming sector in the world’s No.2 economy as it grapples with an ageing rural workforce and a dearth of young people willing to endure the hardships many associate with toiling on the land.

Other countries like Australia and the United States are taking similar steps in the face of such demographic pressures, but the sheer scale of China’s farming industry means the stakes are particularly high in its drive to automate agriculture.

“Automated farming is the way ahead and demand for it here is huge,” said Cheng Yue, general manager of tractor maker Changzhou Dongfeng CVT Co Ltd, which provided an autonomous vehicle that was also used at the trial in the rice field in Xinghua, a county in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

However, the road to automation is long and littered with obstacles such as high costs, the nation’s varied terrain and the small size of many of its farms.

“I have heard of driverless tractors. But I don’t think they are practical, especially the really large ones,” said Li Guoyong, a wheat farmer in China’s northern Hebei province.

Most farms in his area are only a few hectares in size, he said by phone.


To try to achieve its ambitious 7-year goal, Beijing is supporting trials of local technology across the country organised by industry group Telematics Industry Application Alliance (TIAA).

Members include state-owned tractor maker YTO Group, navigation systems producer Hwa Create and Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co Ltd, which helped develop the combine harvester used in the Xinghua trial along with Jiangsu University.

The next trials are slated for the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and for the hills around the southwestern city of Chongqing in the first half of this year.

Those come after a string of automated developments in the sector.

YTO developed its first driverless tractor in 2017 and is aiming to start mass production soon, depending on market demand, said Lei Jun, an executive at the firm’s technology center, without giving a more detailed timeline.

Lovol Heavy Industry Co Ltd signed a deal with Baidu in April to apply the tech giant’s Apollo automated driving system to its agricultural machinery.

上海夜生活网China is expected to climb the autonomous technology lad,上海夜生活Tamara,der very quickly, mainly because Chinese companies can access the local navigation satellite system, which gives them an advantage over their international peers,” said Alexious Lee, Head of China Industrial Research at Hong ,上海会所夜网Idaia,Kong brokerage CLSA.

He was referring to China’s ‘Beidou’ homegrown satellite navigation system, a rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).

Beijing has included agricultural machinery in its ‘Made in China 2025’ campaign, meaning the vast majority of its farm equipment should be produced at home by that time.

Semi-automated technology is already fairly common on farms in places such as the United States, but fully-automated tractors and combines have yet to be mass-produced anywhere.


But with many Chinese farms still too small for a regular tractor, driverless ones that could be as high as four times more expensive at around $90,000 will be a long way out of reach for many in the short-term.

More than 90 percent of farms in China are less than 1 hectare, while in the United States nearly 90 percent are larger than 5 hectares.

“It is not about whether you have the product. It is about the entire system. It is about commercializing agriculture,” said Lee.

Although analysts and industry officials said that the underlying trend would be for farms to get larger as ongoing reforms to land rights should allow farmers to lease more space.

Sensors in equipment that help monitor crop conditions also need to be improved so that machines can adjust more quickly to different situations, said Wei Xinhua, deputy director of the school of agriculture equipment engineering at Jiangsu University.

China’s $60 billion farm machinery industry has been burdened by overcapacity and low profit-margins after a years-long subsidy scheme to promote mechanization in farming led to mass production of low-quality tractors. Analysts said it was too early to say how much the automated farming machinery sector could eventually be worth.

Automated farming machines are also useful in recording data on details such as volumes of fertilisers or other materials used in churning out crops, potentially helping farmers target consumers demanding higher-quality produce as some of that information could be included on food labels.

“Take a bowl of rice. I want to know exactly how it was planted, and how much fertilizer or pesticide was applied to it,” said Cheng at Changzhou Dongfeng.

($1 = 6.8450 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Written by shyw on January 15, 2019 Categories: koalttsm Tags: , ,

Consumer confidence in focus as shutdown fears fade

NEW YORK ( ) – U.S. fund managers are continuing their retreat from consumer-related stocks and increasing their defensive bets out of concerns that the U.S. economy is slowing even though government leaders had reached agreement to end the longest shutdown ever.

While the S&P 500 index is up more than 5 percent since the start of January, money managers including Federated Investors, Baron Funds and Hodges Capital Management are bracing for a powerful knock-on effect on the consumer. The shutdown left roughly 800,000 federal workers without pay for 35 days, and U.S. consumer confidence fell in December by its largest amount in three years.

President Donald Trump said on Friday afternoon that he had reached a deal with Congress to end the partial shutdown and restore government funding for three weeks while talks continue on funding a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, one of Trump’s signature campaign promises.

Trump said that the government may shut down again on Feb. 15 or he will declare a national emergency if Congress does not appropriate money for a border wall.

“The market right now is treating this like a hurricane, where you know there will be an economic impact but you tend to discount any hit to the data because you know there will be some catch up,” said Steve Chiavarone, a portfolio manager at Federated Investors. “But here’s what’s dangerous about that approach: the sample size is zero for shutdowns this long.”

As a result, Chiavarone said he is becoming more cautious on consumer stocks. He noted that these probably saw revenue declines as government employees cut back and as that affected spending by owners or employees of restaurants, hotels, and retailers that depend on their business.

Shawn Kravetz, Esplanade Capital LLC’s chief investment officer, said he expected consumer stocks like Walmart Inc and dollar-store chains like Dollar Tree Inc to benefit as furloughed workers “trade down” into more value-oriented chains, leaving higher-end department stores and travel companies ripe for a slowdown.

“There’s no question that life is about cash flow. Even if you are h,上海夜网官方网站Barbara,ighly confident that you will eventually get paid, people will pull in their horns and hunker down,” he said.


The benchmark S&P 500 has been little changed during past government shutdowns, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist of U.S. equity strategy at New York-based CFRA.

Each上海夜生活 of the more than 20 government shutdowns since the 1970s has lasted a week on average and left the S&P 500 essentially flat, he said. The longest, a 21-day shutdown from December 1995 to January 1996, saw the S&P 500 rise 0.1 percent during the shutdown itself and gain 4 percent in the month after it finished.

Michael Lippert, a portfolio manager at Baron Funds, said the shutdown is not likely to leave a lasting impact on portfolio holdings such as Amazon.com Inc that are still grabbing market share. Still, it could curtail investor enthusiasm for initial public offerings, he said.

“Sentiment affects stock prices in the short term and my bigger worry is what dysfunction in D.C. will do to market confidence,” he said. “Could we see a pullback on the magnitude of what we saw in December? It’s certainly possible.”

Eric Marshall, a portfolio manager at Dallas-based Hodges Capital Management, said the firm is underweight restaurant stocks in part because of the government shutdown and concerns about slowing economic growth.

Marshall expects to see more companies lowering guidance as they report earnings over the coming weeks. S&P 500 earnings are now expected to grow by 5.9 percent in 2019, ,上海夜网后花园Rae,compared to October estimates that earnings would grow by 10.2 percent, according t,上海021夜网Caden,o data from Refinitiv.

“You’re going to start seeing over the next couple of weeks whether companies factor the shutdown into their guidance, and whether it’s going to start to have some negative momentum in the economy,” he said.

China says Iran nuclear deal not derailed, pledges constructive role

SHANGHAI ( ) – China on Saturday pledged to continue playing a constructive role in maintaining and implementin,上海夜网后花园Lark,g the Iran nuclear deal, after U.S. President Donald Trump set an ultimatum to fix “disastrous flaws” in a deal.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif by phone that implementation of the deal had not been “derailed” but would face “some new complicating factors”, the state news agency Xinhua reported.

Continuing to implement the nuclear deal was the responsibility of all parties concerned and the common wish of the international community, Wang was quoted as saying during the call上海夜生活论坛, which took place on a visit to Rwanda.

The deal would help uphold the international non-proliferation regime, mai,上海凤楼夜网Rae,ntain regional peace and stability and solve “other hot issues” around the world, he said.

He urged Iran to remain calm and continue to fulfill its obligations under the deal.

On Friday, Trump agreed to waive sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the international deal but said it would be the last time unless conditions were met to fix what he called “significant flaws” in the deal.

His ultimatum puts pressure on Europeans – key backers and parties to the 2015 international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program – to satisfy Trump, who wants the pact strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days.

Zarif responded on Twitter that the deal was not renegotiable and that Trump’s stance “amounts to desperate attempts to undermi,上海夜生活乌托邦Caitlin,ne a solid multilateral agreement”.

While Trump approved the sanctions waiver, the Treasury Department announced new, targeted sanctions against 14 entities and people, including the head of Iran’s judiciary, Sadeq Amoli Larijani, a close ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran said on Saturday it would retaliate against the new sanctions, although it did not specify how.

Caterpillar and Nvidia warnings send Wall Street tumbling

( ) – U.S. stocks tumbled on Monday after warnings from Caterpillar Inc and Nvidia Corp added to concerns about a slowing Chinese economy and tariffs taking a bite out of U.S. corporate profits.

Shares of Caterpillar, the world’s largest heavy equipment maker, fell 9.13 percent and had their worst day since 2011 after the company’s quarterly profit widely missed Wall Street estimates, hit by softening demand in China and higher manufacturing and freight costs.

Caterpillar’s drop accounted for nearly a third of the Dow’s fall, and the S&P industrial index dropped 1.0 percent.

Nvidia tumbled 13.82 percent after the chipmaker cut its fourth-quarter revenue estimate by half a billion dollars on weak demand for its gaming chips in China and lower-than-expected data center sales.

The Philadelphia semiconductor index slumped 2.09 percent, while the S&P technology index dropped 1.40 percent.

“People had some optimism last week on earnings when numbers were pretty good, and today it’s clearly gone the other way. China is such a big part of so many companies’ earnings picture,” said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

Also hurting global investor sentiment, China data showed earnings at industrial companies shrank for a second straight month in December, hit by slowing prices and weak factory activity amid a protracted trade war with the United States.

As signs of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy become stark, investors are pinning their hopes for a compromise between Washington and Beijing on trade when officials meet on Wednesday and Thursday.

“With the Chinese economy struggling the way it is and with companies feeling the impact, the U.S. is also starting to realize that there is enough motivation to get a deal done. It’s just a question of when,” said Ryan Nauman, market strategist at Informa Financial Intelligence in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Although earnings have largely surpassed Wall,上海夜生活网交流Hadleigh, Street’s expectations, helping the S&P 500 climb about 12 percent from its December lows, worries about slowing global growth have tempered expectations.

With Wall Street in the thick of quarterly results this week, 72.6 percent of companies that have already reported have exceeded profit estimates, according t,上海夜网官方网站Sabine,o IBES data from Refinitiv.

Since the reporting season began two weeks ago, analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter profit growth have stayed steady at ,上海021夜网Kailani,about 14 percent, but expectations for 2019 earnings growth have dro上海夜生活网pped to 5.6 percent from 6.3 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.84 percent to end at 24,528.22 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.78 percent to 2,643.85.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.11 percent to 7,085.69.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sector indexes fell. Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp each dropped nearly 2 percent, while Apple shares declined almost 1 percent, dragging down the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. All three are set to report later this week.

The S&P energy index dropped 1.03 percent as oil prices fell after U.S. companies added rigs for the first time this year, a signal that crude output may rise further. [O/R]

Amgen Inc fell 3.43 percent, weighing the most on the Nasdaq Biotech index, after Evercore ISI downgraded its stock, citing heightened competition for its arthritis drug.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.82-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.11-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted seven new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 29 new highs and 29 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.3 billion shares, compared with the 7.7 billion-share average over the last 20 trading days.

L’Oreal hoards cosmetics in Britain as Brexit looms

PARIS ( ) – France’s L’Oreal (OREP.PA), whose beauty brands range from Lancome creams to Maybelline make-up, is stocking up cosmetics in Britain as part its preparations for Britain leaving the European Union, its chief executive said.

The company is processing the paperwork needed to smooth truck deliveries of it,上海仙霞路夜生活Kai,s products between France and Britain in the event the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a negotiated deal, boss Jean-Paul Agon added.

“We’re preparing for all scenarios,” Agon told on the sidelines of a media event late on Thursday.

He said that a no-deal Brexit would not have a major impact on the group, however, with Britain accounting for roughly 3 percent of sales, though it was also bulking up stocks in the United Kingdom, where it no longer has a manufacturing base.

Companies in Britain and elsewhere are ratchetin,上海夜生活服务Radcliff,g up preparations in the event of a chaotic Brexit in March, after a transition deal agreed by Prime Minister Theresa May with Brussels was rejected by UK MPs.

Firms from British fashion brand Bur,上海夜生活去哪玩Hal,berry (BRBY.L) to U.S. automaker Ford (F.N) have this week flagged they could face hefty bills in such a scenario if trade tariffs rose as a result, while supply chains would also be disrupted.

The French government is also preparing for the worst and a possible “no-deal”, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday. A contingency plan involving 50 million euros (43 million pounds) of extra French investment in ports and airports to help them cope with an abrupt UK exit from the EU is already in motion.

L’Oreal makes the bulk of its sales in emerging markets, and particularly Asia, with Chinese demand for its high-end skincare treatments in particular driving growth in recent years.

Agon told analysts in July that the UK market was “not in great shape”, with tourist spending down ver上海夜生活网sus the year before on high-end products, and due to more muted consumer sentiment which he attributed to Brexit.

L’Oreal is due to report full year results on Feb. 7.

Pentagon wants 12 month procurement time for major weapons…

( ) – The Pentagon’s acquisition chief said on Wednesday she wants t,上海仙霞路夜生活Hadleigh,o cut the time for major procurements to 12 months from an average of 2.5 years, speaking during a congressional hearing on the reorganization of the Defense Department’s procurement system.

The Pentagon typically takes months and often years to make procurement decisions, especially for major weapons programs. A more rapid procurement process could accelerate the pace of orders for weapons makers like Lockheed Martin Corp and Northrop Grumman Corp.

During the hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, panel chairman Senator John McCain called the Pentagon’s buying program a “system of organized irresponsibility.”

The Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Ellen Lord, was asked her goal for cutting back time for weapons procurement and she responded “12 months for major programs.”

Lord, who began working at the Pentagon in August, was formerly chief executive of defense contractor Textron Systems, an aerospace and defense company that makes drones and missiles.

If the acquisition process is shortened it would be good for larger weapons makers because time is money, Byron Callan, a defense analyst at Capital Al,上海夜生活乌托邦Qirin,pha Partners, said in an interview. The move could also increase competition from smaller companies that often lack the financial resources to wait out lengthy Pentagon procurements, he said.

The Pentagon’s weapons procurement process generally begins by soliciting proposals from industry, often includes a competitive process to find a vendor, as well as product testing before delivery and final payment. Critics say the decision-makin上海夜生活网g part of the current procurement process takes too long and could be reduced.

Mark Esper, Secretary of the Army, said his office was examining a way to reduce the requirements development process, where the military articulates the concept of what it needs, to 12 months from five years.

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) changed the structure of the Pentagon’s Office of Acquisition by splitting it into two new positions, an undersecretary for research and engineering focusing on innovation, and an undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment focusing on program management.

That process is still unfolding, but during the hearing testimony showed the initial effect was that decision making fo,上海夜玩网论坛Balthazar,r some procurement processes had moved to individual branches of the U.S. military.

Xi keeps China on high alert for ‘black swan’ events: Xinhua

BEIJING ( ) – China must be on guard against “black swan” risks while fending off “gray rhino” events, President Xi Jinping said on Monday, adding that the economy faces deep and complicated changes, state news agency Xinhua reported.

A “black swan” event refers to an unforeseen occurrence that typically has extreme consequences, while a “gray rhino” is a highly obvious yet ignored threat.

Xi’s warning came after the release of data on Monday showed the economy posted the slowest growth in 28 years last year, hurt by faltering domestic demand and bruising U.S. tariffs.

Local governments and state organizations should find a balance between stabilizing grow,上海夜网官方网站Hadleigh,th and fending off risks, controlling the pace and intensity of such policies, Xi said in remarks during a meeting with provincial and department officials.

Sliding growth had pressured the government to roll out more stimulus to avert a sharper slowdown. The central bank has cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks five times in the past year.

Economic operations,上海仙霞路夜生活Barbara, would be maintained within a reasonable range, Xi said, adding financing difficulties of small businesses will be resolved pragmatically while authorities would also step up support for companie,上海夜生活去哪玩Barney,s to stabilize jobs.

Zombie firms – companies with a lot of debt – would be dissolved properly and resettlement of workers would be taken care of accordingly, Xi added.

China would implement long-term mechanisms that support the stable and healthy development of the property market, while making thorough evaluation of the potential impact on financial markets when drafting policies, according to Xi, who did not elaborate.

He emphasized that technology safety was an important part of national security and the country will accelerate legislation in artif上海夜网icial intelligence, gene editing, autonomous vehicles and drones.

Faced with complicated and difficult external environment, China would step up the protection of its overseas interests while making sure of the safety of major overseas projects and their personnel, Xi said.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei HWT.UL was arrested last month in Canada on a U.S. extradition request.

Western intelligence agencies have for years raised concerns about Huawei’s ties to China’s government and the possibility its equipment could be used for espionage.