Plus, China’s foreign ministry spokesman just told the world to “stay tuned” for the country’s response to yesterday’s blacklisting of eight Chinese companies.
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Stocks fell sharply this morning, with the down dropping 300 points, or -1.1%. The S&P 500 sank -1.3%, and the Nasdaq plummeted -1.4%.
Hope is fading for a trade deal at this week’s negotiations between the U.S. and China after reports from China that it is toning down its expectations ahead of the meetings. A report from the South China Morning Post said that Vice Premier Liu He, who will lead China’s trade delegation, won’t have the title of “special envoy” when he lands in the U.S., signaling he won’t come with any specific instructions from President Xi Jinping. This comes after the Trump administration blacklisted eight Chinese companies yesterday over alleged human rights violations against Muslim minorities. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters to “stay tuned” when asked if the country would retaliate over the blacklisting. “We urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistake, withdraw the relevant decision and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” Geng said. “China will continue to take firm and forceful measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
In other trade war news, the IMF said this morning that the trade war could mean the loss of roughly $700 billion from the global economy by 2020. “Everyone loses in a trade war,” said IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva. “Even if growth picks up in 2020, the current rifts could lead to changes that last a generation – broken supply chains, siloed trade sectors, a ‘digital Berlin Wall’ that forces countries to choose between technology systems.” The IMF/World Bank annual meetings are scheduled to happen later this month in Washington, and Georgieva called on global finance ministers and central bankers to seek “real change” on trade policies. “The key is to improve the system, not abandon it.”
And in other China news, Chinese state-run television network CCTV said that it is suspending the current broadcast schedule for the NBA’s preseason games in China, and Tencent—which owns the digital streaming rights for the NBA in China—said that it will also “temporarily suspend” the NBA preseason games. This comes in reaction to the tweet made by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey where he expressed support for the anti-government protests in Hong Kong, sparking outrage in China. “It is inevitable that people around the world—including from America and China—will have different viewpoints over different issues,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “However, the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues. We simply could not operate that way.” Silver’s comments put the NBA in direct confrontation with China, which has viewed any support for the Hong Kong protests as a challenge to its sovereignty, and also complicates what was supposed to be a high-profile promotional week in the country. The NBA drew around 800 million total viewers in China last year, and the country represents a multi-billion opportunity for the league. “They could lose their business in China,” said sports consultant Marc Ganis. “I don’t expect that to happen because the NBA has built up a tremendous amount of goodwill, but they’re going to have to call on those reserves.”
A Brexit deal is also looking unlikely after British Prim Minister Boris Johnson told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that a deal with the EU is essentially impossible if the EU continues to demand that Northern Ireland must stay as part of the bloc’s customs union. EU Council President Donald Tusk said Johnson is playing a “stupid blame game” over Brexit, while an official from Johnson’s office said that the British government is preparing for talks to collapse. The Scottish Court is expected to make a ruling on Wednesday on enforcing the anti no-deal law passed by parliament last month.
Boeing shares are down nearly -2% this morning after Southwest Airlines pilots sued the aircraft manufacturer late Monday, accusing Boeing of misleading the airline’s labor union about the infamous 737 Max, which has been grounded for almost 7 months after two fatal crashes. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association says the grounding of the planes has led to more than $100 million in lost income. The pilots union said that it had agreed to fly the 737 Max because Boeing said the plane “was airworthy and essentially the same as the time-tested 737 aircraft that its pilots have flown for years. These representations were false.”
Stocks We’re Watching
Restoration Hardware Holdings (NYSE: RH): Shares of this home furnishings retailer are up 46% so far this year and more than 14% over the last month. Last month, RH delivered surprisingly strong second quarter earnings, reporting a 10% jump in adjusted sales, a 14.7% rise in operating margin, and adjusted earnings per share of $3.20. RH also raised its guidance for the current quarter, and said it expects 2019 revenue will come in between $2.680 billion and $2.694 billion, compared to previous estimates of between $2.658 billion and $2.674 billion, with an adjusted EPS of between $10.53 and $10.67 for the year.
CACI International (NYSE: CACI): Shares of this under-the-radar IT outsourcing stock are up nearly 60% year-to-date. CACI has recently been awarded multiple contracts, including a 5-year contract with the U.S. Navy to assess weapons and integrated combat systems and a 4-year contract with the U.S. Army Fixed Wing Project Office to provide technical training solutions to the office’s special electronic mission aircraft flight operations worldwide. In total, the contracts reported in CACI’s last quarter are worth a total of $3.74 billion – an increase of 142.6% year-over-year.