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North American Morning Briefing : Dow on Track for -2-

06/18/2021 | 06:06am EDT

Glynn's Take: RBA Gov. Increasingly Likely to Raise Rates Before Stepping Out the Door

A career devoted to the understanding and implementation of monetary policy has left the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe, a tad unfulfilled.

He hasn't had to raise interest rates while in the top job, and if current policy guidance plays out, his term will expire before he gets a chance.


Bipartisan $1 Trillion Infrastructure Package Gains Steam

WASHINGTON-A growing bipartisan group of lawmakers and the White House haggled over how to finance a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, awaiting feedback from President Biden as Democrats began discussions on a separate economic package that could cost up to $6 trillion.

Since negotiations between Mr. Biden and a group of Senate Republicans collapsed last week, an alternative set of Republican and Democratic senators have held talks on a infrastructure plan that would spend $973 billion over five years, with $579 billion of that funding above expected baseline levels. Initially a group of five Democrats and five Republicans, the group expanded to include 11 Republicans and 10 members of the Democratic caucus on Wednesday.


Yellen Declines to Offer Position on State-Tax Deduction Cap

WASHINGTON-Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen repeatedly declined to offer a clear administration position on the deduction for state and local taxes during a House hearing, leaving vagueness on an issue that will be the subject of tense negotiations among Democrats considering President Biden's fiscal agenda.

Under pressure from House Democrats and Republicans on Thursday to take a position, Ms. Yellen wouldn't say whether the Biden administration favors repealing the $10,000 cap on the deduction. Eliminating that limit would cut taxes for high-income households and disproportionately benefit residents of high-tax Democratic-leaning states such as New York, New Jersey and California.


Lawmakers Urge Private Sector to Do More on Cybersecurity

The private sector in the U.S. must do more to defend against cyberattacks, lawmakers from both major parties stressed Thursday as several senators introduced legislation designed to target hackers.

The ransomware incident that brought operations at Colonial Pipeline Co. to a standstill for six days starting May 7, and resulted in fuel shortages across Southeastern states, shows that cybersecurity efforts must improve, said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.).


Supreme Court Ruling on Affordable Care Act Emboldens Democrats

Republicans said their effort to rein in the Affordable Care Act would be more difficult following the Supreme Court's rejection of the latest challenge to the 2010 healthcare law, as Democrats sought to expand it further.

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to the law from Texas and GOP-led states, which had argued that a decision by Congress to reduce to $0 the penalty for not having insurance meant the law was invalid. The justices found that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the case because they experienced no injury from the $0 penalty.


China Considers Lifting All Childbirth Restrictions by 2025

SINGAPORE-Chinese officials are drawing up plans to further loosen birth restrictions and transition toward policies that explicitly encourage childbirth, according to people familiar with the matter, reflecting increased urgency in Beijing as economic growth slows and China's population mix skews older.

Policy makers are discussing the possibility of fully doing away with birth restrictions by 2025, the end of the ruling Chinese Communist Party's current five-year economic plan, according to one of the people. According to that person, China will likely begin by eliminating birth restrictions in provinces where the birthrate is the lowest before enacting nationwide changes.


Israel Strikes Militant Targets in Gaza After More Arson Attacks

JERUSALEM-The Israeli military hit the Gaza Strip with a series of airstrikes Thursday night, rattling a shaky month-old cease-fire between the two sides that mediators are trying to keep from falling apart.

Soon after, for the first time in nearly a month, air raid sirens sounded the alarm in southern Israel when Gaza militants used heavy machine guns to fire across the border, the Israeli military said.


Turkey Commits to Securing Afghan Airport After Americans Leave, U.S. Says

WASHINGTON-The U.S. and Turkey have agreed to a plan for the Turks to continue providing security at the airport in Kabul, U.S. officials said, ensuring the U.S. and other nations can maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of troops, expected by next month.

Jake Sullivan, President Biden's national security adviser, told reporters Thursday that both sides had made a "clear commitment" on the security of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.


U.S. FCC Proposes Fresh Ban on Equipment From Chinese Firms Including Huawei, ZTE

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has proposed new rules that would prevent U.S. communications networks from using equipment made by a handful of Chinese companies deemed as national security threats, including telecom giants Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp.

The proposed regulation also seeks to revoke prior authorizations issued to five Chinese companies that allowed U.S. networks to use their equipment, the telecom regulator said in a statement Thursday.


Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com



Nothing major scheduled

Economic Indicators (ET):

0830 May New Housing Price Index

Stocks to Watch:

Evertz Technologies 4Q Profit Slips as Sales Rise

Evertz Technologies Ltd. said profit fell in the fiscal fourth quarter despite an increase in sales.

The software defined video network technology provider said profit was 9.8 million Canadian dollars ($7.9 million) for the quarter ended April 30, compared with C$16 million in the year-earlier period.

Per-share earnings were C$0.13, compared with C$0.21 a year ago. Revenue rose to C$93.3 million, up from C$92.2 million a year earlier.

Market Talk:

Bet on Iron-Ore Miners Now, Copper Miners Later

For investors wagering on mining, companies that rely on iron ore are still likely to be the best bet in the near term due to expectations of very large capital returns come earnings season this August, Jefferies says. There's also "the fact that China is not selling iron-ore inventories to drive prices lower," it says, which make the likes of Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP a good defensive play in the short run. Looking out six months and beyond, it will be time to bet on copper, Jefferies reckons. "Freeport, First Quantum and Glencore are best for 2022," says the bank.

Expected Major Events for Friday

06:00/GER: May PPI

06:00/UK: May UK monthly retail sales figures

08:30/UK: May Bank of England/Kantar Inflation Attitudes Survey

08:30/UK: 1Q Bank of England statistics on UK banks' external claims

08:59/JPN: Japan Monetary Policy Meeting decision

09:00/ITA: Apr Balance of Payments

12:30/CAN: May New Housing Price Index

17:59/UK: CBI Economic Forecast

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

Expected Earnings for Friday

Camber Energy Inc (CEI) is expected to report for 4Q.

Camber Energy Inc (CEI) is expected to report for 1Q.

Glassbridge Enterprises Inc (GLAE) is expected to report for 4Q.

Medley Management Inc (MDLX,MDLY) is expected to report for 1Q.

Sequential Brands Group Inc (SQBG) is expected to report for 1Q.

Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.


Acorda Therapeutics Raised to Buy From Neutral by HC Wainwright & Co.

Altice USA Inc Raised to Buy From Hold by TD Securities

Altice USA Raised to Buy From Hold by TD Securities

Altria Initiated at Neutral by Redburn Partners

American Express Cut to Hold From Buy by DZ Bank

Broadstone Net Lease Cut to Neutral From Buy by Goldman Sachs

Camping World Holdings Cut to Neutral From Buy by Northcoast Research

Charter Communications Inc. Raised to Buy From Hold by TD Securities

Charter Communications Raised to Buy From Hold by TD Securities

Constellation Pharma Cut to Sector Perform From Outperform by RBC Capital

CyrusOne Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by Cowen & Co.

Honest Co Cut to Neutral From Buy by Guggenheim

Host Hotels & Resorts Raised to Overweight From Equal-Weight by Capital One

Ingersoll Rand Raised to Buy From Hold by Vertical Research

Kindred Biosciences Cut to Hold From Buy by Lake Street

Kindred Biosciences Cut to Neutral From Buy by HC Wainwright & Co.

Moelis & Co. Raised to Peer Perform From Underperform by Wolfe Research

Nike Cut to Mixed From Positive by OTR Global

Omega Healthcare Cut to Sector Perform From Outperform by Scotiabank

Stanley Black & Decker Raised to Buy From Hold by Gabelli & Co.

Thor Industries Cut to Neutral From Buy by Northcoast Research

Voya Financial Cut to Neutral From Buy by Citigroup

Washington REIT Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by Raymond James

Winnebago Cut to Neutral From Buy by Northcoast Research

This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-18-21 0605ET

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