S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,033.75
Brent futures up 0.2% to $61.68/bbl
Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,490.27
US Dollar Index little changed at 97.65
Earnings season: Airbus, Total, GlaxoSmithKline, Volkswagen, Iberdrola, Deutsche Bank, EssilorLuxottica, Apple and Facebook are among companies reporting earnings today.
Menage a trois. Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler are discussing a merger, after the breakdown of the marriage between the Italian-American and Renault. An operation that would create a group worth more than €40 billion, with PSA as the dominant player. The French group supervisory board is expected to meet today to review the project. Fiat Chrysler and PSA confirmed the discussions. Both stocks are up sharply. Renault is depressed.
The results are pouring down. A brief assessment:
L'Oréal (+6.5%) shines after some very fine quarters. "Another high-flying quarter suggests that the slowdown in the second quarter was a snag, not a trend," Bernstein writes. Airbus (-1.7%) remains robust despite the revision of some of its objectives due to deliveries that will be lower than expected this year. Sony is meeting expectations and raising its annual objectives. The results of Mattel and Standard Chartered are surprisingly positive, as are those of Credit Suisse and Banco Santander. Volkswagen has reduced its sales targets but its quarterly results are higher than expected.
Streaming war. AT&T will launch a new streaming service, HBOmax, in May at USD 15 per month, promising in particular a new series from the Game of Thrones universe. The ambition is to reach 75 to 90 million customers worldwide by 2025. In doing so, it comes up against Netflix, Walt Disney and Apple. The subscription price is lower than analysts expected.
Thoughts in China. Nestlé is wondering about the future of its Chinese brands Hsu Fu Chi and Yinlu, which could be sold, Bloomberg said, citing a value in excess of $1 billion. Both brands were acquired in 2011: one for drinks and porridge and the other for confectionery.
Saudi Aramco: still as profitable as ever. The company told the bankers who will be handling its IPO that it had made a net profit of $68 billion in the first nine months of the year. As a reminder, the profit made in 2018 was 111 billion dollars. The shares will be listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange from December 11, 2019 and the company has announced that it will distribute at least 75 billion in dividends next year.
Macquarie is no exception to the rule. The financial institution announced that it would cut 100 jobs in London and New York (sales and equity research). Macquarie is seeking to focus its equity division on the Asia-Pacific region and intends to maintain sales businesses in London and New York. An agreement with Kepler Cheuvreux will be signed so that the two institutions can distribute their action research to each other. As for coverage, the Sydney-based bank will stop covering individual companies (hence the job cuts), but will continue to publish research on certain topics.
Airbus has an order for $30 billion. Confirmation after rumors, the Indian low-cost airline IndiGo has placed an order for more than 300 A320neo family aircraft. This is the largest transaction for an airline since the early 2000s. In response, IndiGo stock gained up to 8% on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
In other news. WhatsApp (Facebook) is suing the Israeli company NSO Group, which has hacked into the application by promoting the espionage of opponents and journalists by weak regimes. Stadler and Austrian Train Finance will supply 15 trains to the Austrian railways for around €300 million. Skymark Airlines could apply again for the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In Australia, Woolworths Group has admitted that it has underpaid its employees for years because of the failure to take into account overtime legislation, which will cost the company around MAUD 300 (about USD 200 million). Bayer reports that the number of complainants has more than doubled in the glyphosate case.