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DJ FTSE 100 Closes Higher, Boosted by Energy Sector Rally
 
Market News: 
 
FTSE 100          7523.07 +63.19 +0.85% 
FTSE 250         19908.02 +72.09 +0.36% 
FTSE AIM All-Share 958.56  +3.41 +0.36% 

The FTSE 100 closed up after a rally in the oil and gas sector pushed the index higher.

 
Companies News: 

Aberdeen Standard European's Pascal Duval to Step Down as Director and Chairman

Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income PLC (ASLI.LN) said on Tuesday that Pascal Duval will step down as director and chairman on June 11 following the company's annual general meeting, and that Tony Roper will be taking over the chairman's role.

Angling Direct Had a Record Start to Year

Angling Direct PLC (ANG.LN) said Tuesday that it has had a record start to the year, with both stores and e-commerce generating robust sales growth.

British Land to Sell 12 Superstores From Sainsbury's JV

British Land Co. PLC (BLND.LN) said Tuesday that it has exchanged contracts on the sale of 12 superstores from its joint venture with J Sainsbury PLC (SBRY.LN) for 429 million pounds ($557.1 million).

FastJet Expects Wider 2018 Loss; 1Q 2019 Revenue Fell

Africa-focused airline FastJet PLC (FJET.LN) said Tuesday that it expects its 2018 operating loss for continuing operations to widen and that revenue in the first quarter of 2019 fell.

Ferrexpo Pretax Profit Falls as Costs Rise

Ferrexpo PLC (FXPO.LN) said Tuesday that pretax profit fell 13% in 2018 despite higher revenue as costs increased.

Franchise Brands Reports Record First Quarter

Franchise Brands PLC (FRAN.LN) said on Tuesday that its franchise Metro Rod has seen forward momentum in the first quarter of 2019, leading to a record quarter, and that its franchise support strategy is bearing fruit.

IronRidge Resources: Zaranou Gold Project Granted Exploration License

IronRidge Resources Ltd. (IRR.LN) said Tuesday that the Zaranou gold project in Ivory Coast--for which the company secured an acquisition right in February--has been granted an exploration license.

Trans-Siberian Gold Gets License for Rodnikova Gold Deposit

Trans-Siberian Gold PLC (TSG.LN) said Tuesday that it has received a license for the development and exploration of the Rodnikova deposit--one of the largest gold fields in South Kamchatka in Russia--for a tenure of 20 years.

Tau Capital Hasn't Agreed Reverse Takeover Within Timeframe; Trading Halted

Tau Capital PLC (TAU.LN) said Tuesday that trading in its shares will be suspended from 0630 GMT as it hasn't been able to complete a reverse takeover within the required timeframe.

STV Group Sees Five-Month Advertising Revenue Growth of Up to 2%

Scottish broadcaster STV Group PLC (STVG.LN) said Tuesday that it expects advertising revenue for the first five months of 2019 to grow by 1% to 2%, supported by a stronger-than-anticipated national advertising market.

 
Other News: 

Trump to Visit U.K., France in June

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will travel to the United Kingdom and France in June, the White House said Tuesday.

Mr. Trump, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, will make a state visit to the U.K. on June 3-5 and will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Investigators Link BT Senior Executives to Italian Accounting Scandal -Reuters

An investigation into an accounting scandal at BT Group PLC's Italian arm has found evidence of involvement of senior executives in inflating the unit's results, Reuters reports, citing emails seized by the police.

 
Market Talk: 

Investors Sell Back Sterling Options, Nomura Says

1227 GMT - With the U.K. being granted a six-month Brexit extension to Oct. 31, corporations and other foreign exchange market participants are getting rid of their sterling protection trades, says Julian Weiss, Nomura's head of forex flow options. Weiss says he had a busy week the week before last as his clients sold back sterling options to Nomura. Options are usually used by market participants to hedge against unexpected risks in the market.

For STV, Brexit May Now Be a Fall Issue: Peel Hunt

1112 GMT - Scottish broadcaster STV Group is benefiting from the Brexit delay, although uncertainty around the U.K.'s planned departure from the EU and advertiser behavior is now potentially an issue for the fall, Peel Hunt says. The company says total advertising revenue for the first five months of fiscal 2019 is expected to grow 1%-2%, mainly thanks to better-than-anticipated national advertising. "The deferral of Brexit may account for the near-term improved advertising behaviors but suggests upgrading full-year numbers might be premature," Peel Hunt says. Nevertheless, the more robust national advertising market in recent months is a pleasing development for STV, the brokerage says.

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-9319

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:52 ET (15:52 GMT)

DJ Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 11:50 EST / 1550 GMT
 
                           Latest       Previous   %Chg    Daily    Daily   %Chg 
Dollar Rates                               Close            High      Low  12/31 
 
USD/JPY Japan           111.90-91      111.93-94  -0.03   112.03   111.66  +2.11 
EUR/USD Euro            1.1206-09      1.1256-59  -0.44   1.1263   1.1193  -2.28 
GBP/USD U.K.            1.2936-38      1.2979-81  -0.33   1.3018   1.2927  +1.40 
USD/CHF Switzerland     1.0219-23      1.0156-60  +0.62   1.0231   1.0150  +4.13 
USD/CAD Canada          1.3423-28      1.3347-52  +0.57   1.3430   1.3343  -1.58 
AUD/USD Australia       0.7090-94      0.7133-37  -0.60   0.7140   0.7080  +0.57 
NZD/USD New Zealand     0.6639-45      0.6676-82  -0.55   0.6688   0.6629  -1.16 
 
Euro Rates 
 
EUR/JPY Japan           125.39-43      125.98-06  -0.47   126.07   125.28  -0.23 
EUR/GBP U.K.            0.8661-64      0.8671-74  -0.12   0.8677   0.8636  -3.65 
EUR/CHF Switzerland     1.1454-57      1.1433-36  +0.18   1.1478   1.1426  +1.77 
EUR/CAD Canada          1.5041-51      1.5018-28  +0.15   1.5075   1.5015  -3.80 
EUR/AUD Australia       1.5802-12      1.5771-81  +0.20   1.5830   1.5771  -2.81 
EUR/DKK Denmark         7.4662-69      7.4663-70   0.00   7.4669   7.4649  +0.00 
EUR/NOK Norway         9.5871-921     9.5652-702  +0.23   9.6235   9.5593  -3.22 
EUR/SEK Sweden       10.4998-5098    10.4725-825  +0.26  10.5190  10.4671  +3.47 
EUR/CZK Czech Rep.      25.719-49      25.701-31  +0.07   25.752   25.692  +0.09 
EUR/HUF Hungary         320.44-84      320.17-57  +0.08   321.13   319.99  -0.12 
EUR/PLN Poland          4.2838-56      4.2814-32  +0.06   4.2909   4.2817  -0.11 
 
Yen Rates 
 
AUD/JPY Australia        79.31-35       79.84-88  -0.66    79.92    79.25  +2.64 
GBP/JPY U.K.            144.74-80      145.27-33  -0.36   145.62   144.71  +3.49 
CAD/JPY Canada           83.32-36       83.84-88  -0.62    83.91    83.31  +3.71 
NZD/JPY New Zealand      74.29-33       74.75-79  -0.62    74.86    74.20  +0.91 
 
Other Dollar Rates 
 
USD/CZK Czech Rep.      22.936-86      22.818-68  +0.51   22.996   22.814  +2.41 
USD/HUF Hungary       285.88-6.28      284.38-78  +0.53   286.76   284.26  +2.18 
USD/DKK Denmark         6.6613-23      6.6322-32  +0.44   6.6707   6.6298  +2.31 
USD/NOK Norway          8.5530-90    8.4957-5017  +0.67   8.5760   8.4898  -0.99 
USD/PLN Poland          3.8225-30      3.8037-42  +0.49   3.8326   3.8033  +2.20 
USD/RUB Russia         63.760-830     63.751-821  +0.01   63.887   63.690  -7.87 
USD/SEK Sweden         9.3677-767     9.3027-117  +0.70   9.3933   9.2970  +5.87 
USD/ZAR S. Africa     14.3077-377    14.1420-720  +1.17  14.3353  14.1210  -0.27 
 
USD/CNY China           6.7249-69     6.7082-102  +0.25   6.7277   6.7084  -2.22 
USD/HKD Hong Kong       7.8435-40      7.8443-48  -0.01   7.8470   7.8435  +0.16 
USD/MYR Malaysia       4.1251-301      4.1300-50  -0.12   4.1350   4.1243  -0.12 
USD/INR India           69.808-28     69.690-710  +0.17   69.831   69.565  +0.36 
USD/IDR Indonesia        14108-22       14068-82  +0.28    14137    14068  -1.84 
USD/PHP Philippines    52.090-110      52.010-30  +0.15   52.135   52.020  -0.76 
USD/SGD Singapore       1.3572-82      1.3555-65  +0.13   1.3586   1.3553  -0.38 
USD/KRW S. Korea     1143.10-5.10  1139.99-41.99  +0.27  1145.23  1139.25  +2.67 
USD/TWD Taiwan          30.858-88      30.837-67  +0.07   30.879   30.839  +0.95 
USD/THB Thailand        32.000-20      31.900-20  +0.31   32.020   31.790  -0.96 
USD/VND Vietnam         23183-253      23184-254  -0.01    23222    23210  +0.10 
 
USD/BRL Brazil          3.9439-69      3.9350-80  +0.23   3.9638   3.9280  +1.65 
USD/MXN Mexico        18.9474-774    18.8099-399  +0.73  18.9827  18.8207  -3.49 
USD/ARS Argentina     42.5163-263    42.4820-920  +0.08  42.6800  42.1237 +12.95 
 
Source: Tullett Prebon 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:50 ET (15:50 GMT)

DJ Fund Manager Roundup: Yuan Bonds Appeal, Upswing in Capital Markets Artificial

BlackRock aims to buy more yuan-denominated bonds to benefit from the inclusion of these bonds into a key index. Lazard Asset Management meanwhile warns that the current upswing in capital markets is an artificial extension of bull markets by central banks. The following is a selection of asset manager comments.

0952 GMT - BlackRock's chief investment strategist Richard Turnill says the asset manager is preparing to buy more yuan-denominated bonds and favors maintaining passive index exposure. The securities will begin to be included into the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index and will make up around 6% of the global benchmark when the phase-in is complete. "Those passively invested in that index will, by default, add Chinese bond exposure to their holdings, which we view as a positive," he says. Local-currency Chinese bond yields this decade have been materially higher than the average yields of the developed market bonds that make up the majority of the global bond index, he says.(lorena.ruibal@wsj.com; @lorena_rbal)

1057 GMT - Chinese local-currency bond prices could drop further in the second half of the year, offering a tactical opportunity to add additional exposure to this emerging market debt, according to Christian Carrillo of BlackRock's Asia Pacific fixed income team. Positive economic data surprises and stabilizing inflation could trigger a tepid selloff in the 10-year government bond, pushing yields higher. Despite the drop in price, "investors maintaining exposure stand to benefit from both relatively high income and potential currency gains", they say. But hedging remains expensive and liquidity a concern. They advise investors who hedge their currency exposure to take a patient approach towards Chinese bonds as affordable hedging instruments become available over time, and trading between onshore and offshore players boosts liquidity. (lorena.ruibal@wsj.com; @lorena_rbal)

1118 GMT - A still-growing U.S. economy, reduced macro volatility and a decline in new bond issuance support U.S. credit markets, says BlackRock. The asset manager favors dollar-denominated BBB-rated corporate bonds, the lowest investment-grade rung, over the next three months. In high-yield, it prefers bonds over loans. Conservative corporate behavior in the U.S. has also contributed to BlackRock's neutral asset allocation stance on the asset class over the coming three months. This is as companies embark on fewer merger and acquisition deals and keep focus on balance sheet strength. (lorena.ruibal@wsj.com; @lorena_rbal)

1305 GMT - The current upswing in the capital markets is an artificial extension by central banks of the last 10 years' bull market, says Werner Kraemer, chief macro economist at Lazard Asset Management. Central banks have had to give up their efforts to normalize monetary policy, Kraemer says, adding that a self-sustaining upturn without central bank money no longer seems possible. He recommends investors use the current bull market in many asset classes to shift to less risky assets such as global or Scandinavian fixed income. (emese.bartha@wsj.com; @EmeseBartha)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:43 ET (15:43 GMT)

DJ Iran Sanctions Likely to Hurt US Refiners -- Market Talk

11:34 ET - The Trump administration's decision to end waivers allowing countries to import Iranian oil is likely to weigh on US refiners, analysts say. That's because refiners rely on a mix of crudes to run at optimal capacity, and taking Iranian crude out of the market likely will reduce the price discount for sour oil, which has a higher sulfur content, Tudor Pickering says. More expensive sour crude likely will translate into more expensive gasoline, possibly hurting consumer demand, the energy investment bank says. (rebecca.elliott@wsj.com; @rfelliott)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:34 ET (15:34 GMT)

DJ Coca-Cola Expands Rollout of Coffee-Infused and Energy-Drink Versions of Coke--Update
By Jennifer Maloney 

Coca-Cola Co. is expanding its namesake brand, pushing forward with overseas rollouts of a coffee-infused variant and an energy-drink version of Coke.

After testing Coca-Cola Plus Coffee last year in Asia, the soda giant now plans to launch it in 25 markets by the end of this year, Chief Executive James Quincey said on a call with analysts. Meanwhile, he said, the company will forge ahead in Europe with Coca-Cola Energy, despite objections from its partner Monster Beverage Corp.

As Coca-Cola diversifies beyond soda into water, coffee, juice and other drinks, it is also looking to offer new variants of its flagship brand, Mr. Quincey said. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, a reformulated diet version, grew by double digits in the latest quarter. And in the U.S., where price increases and a late Easter holiday contributed to a 1% drop in case unit volume, the company said the launch in February of Orange Vanilla Coke, its first new flavor in a decade, helped drive 6% retail sales growth for the Coca-Cola brand.

Rival PepsiCo Inc. also is experimenting with new versions of its namesake brand. The company in June will launch three new Pepsi flavors in the U.S. made with real juice: berry, lime and mango. At the same time, the snacks-and-soda giant is revamping package designs for two existing flavors, Pepsi Wild Cherry and Pepsi Vanilla.

Mr. Quincey said the coffee version of Coke is designed to appeal to people who need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up at work. Coca-Cola Energy offers a stronger caffeine boost than regular Coke and has a new taste, he said.

Coca-Cola owns an 18.5% stake in Monster, the leading energy drink in the U.S., and distributes the brand through its bottling network. Monster has said the launch of Coca-Cola Energy is a violation of an agreement the companies struck in 2015. The complaint is now in arbitration.

Brands such as Monster and Red Bull have propelled energy drinks in North America and Europe. But the category is still nascent in emerging markets, presenting an opportunity to introduce a drink that blurs the boundary between an energy drink and a cola, Mr. Quincey said. "We think it will help complement the other brands that sell successfully in this category," he said.

Coca-Cola Co. said sales grew in the latest quarter, helped by bottlers in the U.K. and Europe stocking up on concentrate ahead of a potentially disruptive Brexit. Organic revenue, which excludes currency swings, acquisitions and divestitures, increased 6% in the first quarter from a year earlier. Unit case volume grew 2%, helped by 6% growth in bottled water, enhanced water and sports drinks.

The deadline for the U.K.'s planned exit from the European Union was earlier set for March 29. Bottlers built up their inventory in advance of that date in case Dover and other U.K. ports were disrupted and delayed transport of beverage concentrate from Ireland through the U.K. to Western Europe, Mr. Quincey said in an interview. The Brexit deadline has been rescheduled for October.

Coca-Cola in the first quarter completed its $5.1 billion acquisition of British coffee-shop chain Costa and plans to launch its first ready-to-drink Costa products this spring, Mr. Quincey said. Costa serves its red-and-white cups of coffee in its roughly 3,800 cafes, including about 2,500 in the U.K. and a growing presence in China. The launch of new bottled Costa drinks will be concentrated in markets where the chain already has a presence, Mr. Quincey said.

Coca-Cola shares rose 2% in morning trading.

Kimberly Chin contributed to this article.

Write to Jennifer Maloney at jennifer.maloney@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:21 ET (15:21 GMT)

DJ Walgreens to Raise Tobacco Buying Age to 21 and Older

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. will raise the minimum age required for customers to buy tobacco products in its stores to 21, up from 18 in most states, as the drugstore chain faces pressure over its cigarette sales from federal regulators, activists and some investors.

The new chainwide policy will start Sept. 1, the company said Tuesday. Walgreens’ move is its most recent step in its effort to further prevent youth access to tobacco products, including a policy implemented last October that requires verification regardless of age, the company said.

“We’ve seen positive results from other recent efforts to strengthen our policies related to tobacco sales, and believe this next step can be even more impactful to reduce its use among teens and young adults,” Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations, said in a statement.

Walgreens’ new policy comes as the company has been publicly supportive of efforts in a number of states to raise the legal age to use tobacco to 21. Currently, about a dozen states have raised the tobacco buying age to 21, along with at least 450 localities, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an antitobacco nonprofit.

While Walgreens continues to sell cigarettes in the vast majority of its 9,600 U.S. stores, the chain has been testing some tobacco-free stores and is encouraging employees in others to offer aids to quit smoking to customers buying cigarettes. The pharmacy chain has also reduced the visibility of tobacco products in some stores.

Unlike CVS Health Corp., which stopped selling tobacco products in 2014, Walgreens has continued to sell cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products in most of its stores, drawing criticism from federal regulators, lawmakers as well as activists who say that tobacco products don’t belong in a health store.

In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called out the company out for being a top violator among pharmacies illegally selling tobacco products to minors. In response, Walgreens said that it has a zero-tolerance policy on selling tobacco to minors and any employee violating its policy is subject to termination.

Walgreens doesn’t sell tobacco products at a test store in Deerfield, Ill., near its headquarters, as well as 17 stores in Gainesville, Fla., as part of a 12- to 18-month pilot program it started last year. It also doesn’t sell cigarettes in Massachusetts, New York City and San Francisco, which have banned pharmacies from selling them. Outside North America, the company’s Boots pharmacies don’t sell tobacco products.

Write to Aisha Al-Muslim at aisha.al-muslim@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:20 ET (15:20 GMT)

DJ Verizon May Offer Tiered 5G Residential Service -- Market Talk

11:11 ET - Verizon may offer varying speed tiers for its in-home 5G broadband service akin to the different levels of unlimited wireless service it sells, CFO Matt Ellis tells WSJ. Verizon Chief Hans Vestberg said on an analyst call that offering speeds of 100 megabits per second rather than the 300 megabits per second that the company initially advertised for the service could allow it to serve a broader footprint of homes. It may opt to charge customers a premium for the fastest speeds. Later this year, Verizon will upgrade the equipment its small pool of early 5G home customers have to equipment compliant with global standards. (sarah.krouse@wsj.com; @bysarahkrouse)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:11 ET (15:11 GMT)

DJ Verizon CFO Thinks 5G Phones May Spur More Smartphone Upgrades -- Market Talk

11:06 ET - Customers who hold onto their smartphones longer have changed the nature of many wireless industry promotions, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis says in an interview. Many carriers now offer deals if customers bring their own devices, rather than buying them directly from a wireless company. In recent years carriers have separated phone payments that were once tied into service contracts, ending a long-running practice of upgrading consumers' device and service plans simultaneously. Carriers have benefited from not having to subsidize the cost of new devices. Ellis adds that devices compatible with faster 5G networks could spur a new wave of upgrades. "We think that will give consumers a reason to think about upgrading their devices," he says. (sarah.krouse@wsj.com; @bysarahkrouse)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:06 ET (15:06 GMT)

DJ Hasbro Sales Jump With Help From ‘Magic’ Card Game

Hasbro Inc. shares rallied after the toy maker reported higher first-quarter sales, helped by a new digital gaming version of is “Magic: The Gathering” card game and boosts from longtime brands like Monopoly, Play-Doh and Transformers.

The company’s profit and revenue growth came after executives had projected a loss in the period due to various factors, including the lingering aftereffects of last year’s liquidation of Toys “R” Us Inc. But Hasbro’s fortunes improved since it provided those projectionsin February.

“It’s a bit more revenue than we would have expected,” Chief Executive Brian Goldner said on Tuesday’s earnings call.

Hasbro shares rose more than 15% in recent trading to $101.66. Shares of Mattel Inc., which reports earnings on Thursday, climbed 4.4%.

Mr. Goldner highlighted the success of moving Magic, a strategy-based game using cards, into the digital platform called Arena that Hasbro is using to expand into the growing world of e-sports. The brand recently held a digital gaming tournament that paid out $1 million in prize money. While the digital sales are growing, the efforts are also helping to spur card sales too.

Monopoly continues to grow as it releases editions tied to popular culture, such as the Fortnite videogame and “Game of Thrones” television series. And Transformers toys continue to get a boost from last year’s “Bumblebee” movie, which was released for home viewing recently.

One brand that continues to struggle is Nerf, whose high-end blastershave been undercut by rivalsthat have entered the category with lower-priced toys. Hasbro plans to respond later this year with more blasters priced under $20.

“We have talked about covering multiple price points and providing innovation and high quality product at every price point, and you’ll see that,” Mr. Goldner said.

For the period, Hasbro posted a profit of $26.7 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with a loss of $112.5 million, or 90 cents a share, a year earlier, which was affected by Toys “R” Us’s bankruptcy.

Hasbro’s revenue for the period rose 2% to $732.5 million, with sales up 1% in the U.S. and Canada and down 2% in other markets before factoring the impact of currency.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a net loss of $14 million, or 6 cents a share, in the latest quarter.

Write to Paul Ziobro at Paul.Ziobro@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:00 ET (15:00 GMT)

DJ News Highlights: Top Energy News of the Day
 
Oil Climbs After Monday Surge 
 

West Texas oil-futures prices edged above $66 a barrel as the recent rally in crude prices continued.

 
Energy & Utilities Roundup: Market Talk 
 

The latest Market Talks covering Energy and Utilities

 
Syrian Fuel Shortage Squeezes Assad's Loyalists 
 

Syria is experiencing a worsening fuel shortage as a result of Western sanctions, bringing some major cities to a near standstill and causing some of the war's worst economic circumstances for President Bashar al-Assad's loyalists.

 
PG&E Shuffles Board to End Investor Challenge 
 

PG&E Corp. on Monday settled a dispute with an activist investor by restructuring its board to include another director with utility experience, and adding a safety specialist to advise its chief executive.

 
Emerge Energy Strikes Debt Restructuring Settlement 
 

Emerge Energy Services LP reached a potential restructuring deal to turn creditors into owners, either with or without filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

 
Trump Is Placing Too Much Faith in the Shale Patch 
 

President Trump's decision to end all waivers on sanctions of Iranian oil means other large producers have to fill the gap. It adds fresh urgency to U.S. energy independence.

 
Oil Prices Surge as Trump Ends Waivers for Iran's Crude 
 

Oil prices surged to a nearly six-month high after the Trump administration said it would end waivers that allow countries to import Iranian oil, part of a U.S. campaign to deprive Iran of a major source of revenue.

 
Halliburton Profit More Than Triples Despite Flat Sales 
 

Halliburton said profit more than tripled in the first quarter as the oilfield services company recorded lower impairment charges and had a smaller provision for taxes in this quarter compared with a year earlier.

 
Aethon Energy Seeks $425 Million to Drill Gas Wells in Louisiana 
 

Aethon Energy Management is seeking to raise $425 million to acquire and develop natural-gas fields in Louisiana, said a person familiar with the matter.

 
Energy & Utilities Roundup: Market Talk 
 

The latest Market Talks covering Energy and Utilities

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:00 ET (15:00 GMT)

DJ News Highlights: Top Company News of the Day
 
Twitter's Tweaks Boost Results 
 

Twitter reported record daily users and rising profit, driving shares up as the results signaled recent product tweaks are stabilizing the business.

 
Verizon Loses Wireless Customers 
 

Verizon's core wireless business lost lucrative phone customers in the first quarter, as it offered fewer promotions and focused on upgrading to a faster 5G network.

 
P&G Posts Strongest Sales Growth in Eight Years 
 

Procter & Gamble reported its strongest quarterly sales growth in eight years as the consumer-products giant got a boost from developing markets and increased prices, the third quarter of solid sales for the company.

 
Hasbro Sales Jump With Help From 'Magic' Card Game 
 

Hasbro shares rallied after the toy maker reported higher first-quarter sales, helped by a new digital gaming version of is "Magic: The Gathering" card game and boosts from longtime brands like Monopoly, Play-Doh and Transformers.

 
Sports Drinks Boost Coca-Cola Sales 
 

Coca-Cola's sales grew in the latest quarter, bolstered by beverages such as enhanced water and sports drinks.

 
United Technologies Raises Guidance for 2019 
 

United Technologies's profit rose 3.7% in the first quarter and the conglomerate boosted its earnings projections for 2019, citing better-than-expected results from its recent acquisition of Rockwell Collins.

 
Lockheed Martin Boosts Profit Guidance 
 

Defense company raised its full-year financial guidance to reflect booming sales of missiles and F-35 combat jets.

 
Volkswagen Payments to Suspended Manager Probed 
 

German prosecutors are investigating bonus payments to a suspended Volkswagen manager.

 
Credit Cards Boost Spending on Social-Media Ads 
 

In an effort to attract new customers, American Express and Capital One have significantly increased ad spending on Facebook.

 
Didi Dominates Ride-Hailing in China but Loses Money on Many of Its Trips 
 

Didi Chuxing Technology beat out Uber in China, but nearly three years later the startup, whose investors include its former rival and SoftBank, still struggles with profitability in its core ride-hailing business.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:00 ET (15:00 GMT)

DJ News Highlights: Top Global Markets News of the Day
 
U.S. New Home Sales Rose in March 
 

Purchases of new homes in the U.S. increased in March, driven by sales gains in most parts of the nation.

 
U.S. Stocks Tick Higher on Earnings 
 

Major U.S. indexes edged higher after some companies reported better-than-expected earnings, encouraging investors that corporate profits remain healthy.

 
Oil Climbs After Monday Surge 
 

West Texas oil-futures prices edged above $66 a barrel as the recent rally in crude prices continued.

 
Trading Lull Engulfs Stocks and Commodities 
 

An unusual period of calm has blanketed trading of stocks and commodities in recent days, befuddling some analysts who had expected activity in riskier assets to pick up at the start of first-quarter earnings season.

 
Electric Vehicles Hit a Speed Bump 
 

Umicore, a big player in the electric-vehicle supply chain, is feeling the knock-on effect of the Chinese government's subsidies cuts for electric vehicles.

 
U.S. Retail Sales Fall 1.4% on Week 
 

U.S. retail sales last week fell 1.4% from the prior week, dragged down by wet weather, according to the Retail Economist-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index.

 
A Slow Rise for Cloud Gaming 
 

Console makers are unlikely to fully drop discs anytime soon.

 
China's Banks Are Running Out of Dollars 
 

The major Chinese commercial banks once had more dollar assets than liabilities. No longer.

 
Eurozone Governments Cut Borrowing, Debt 
 

Eurozone governments cut borrowing and their total debt for the fourth straight year in 2018, a process that is becoming more widely questioned following a slowdown in economic growth.

 
Yield Hunt Renews Appetite for European Banks' Riskiest Debt 
 

Investors are piling up on a complex form of European bank debt in a scramble for positive returns because eurozone interest rates look set to remain negative for a prolonged period.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:00 ET (15:00 GMT)

DJ Late Spot Sterling Rates In London
 
                       Current Bid-Ask             Previous 
                       ---------------             -------- 
 
  U.S.A.                 1.2979-1.2981        1.2988-1.2990 
  Euro                   1.1531-1.1529        1.1553-1.1552 
  Switzerland            1.3181-1.3189        1.3166-1.3173 
  Japan                  145.28-145.31        145.33-145.36 
  Canada                 1.7323-1.7332        1.7390-1.7399 
  Norway               11.0266-11.0361      11.0488-11.0583 
  Sweden               12.0740-12.0875      12.0749-12.0885 
  Denmark                8.6079-8.6106        8.6238-8.6264 
 
Source: Tullett Prebon 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 11:00 ET (15:00 GMT)

DJ Lockheed Martin Up Nearly 6% After Upbeat 1Q Earnings Report -- Data Talk

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) is currently at $334.00, up $18.74 or 5.94%

-- Would be highest close since Oct. 16, 2018, when it closed at $337.13

-- On pace for largest percent increase since Nov. 9, 2016, when it rose 5.97%

-- Earlier Tuesday, Lockheed Martin said first-quarter profit rose to $1.7 billion from $1.16 billion a year earlier, with per-share earnings climbing to $5.99 from $4.02, well above analysts expectations.

-- The company added another $1 billion to its 2019 sales guidance, boosting the midpoint to $56.75 billion, and lifted profit guidance by 5% to a range of $20.05 to $20.35

-- Up 11.27% month-to-date; on pace for best month since July 2015 when it rose 11.4%

-- Up 27.56% year-to-date

-- Down 7.48% from its all-time closing high of $361.00 on Feb. 15, 2018

-- Down 0.74% from 52 weeks ago (April 24, 2018), when it closed at $336.49

-- Down 4.55% from its 52 week closing high of $349.93 on Oct. 8, 2018

-- Up 36.2% from its 52 week closing low of $245.22 on Dec. 24, 2018

-- Sixth best performer in the S&P 500 today

All data as of 10:47:13 AM

Source: Dow Jones Market Data, FactSet

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:55 ET (14:55 GMT)

DJ Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 10:50 EST / 1450 GMT
 
                           Latest       Previous   %Chg    Daily    Daily   %Chg 
Dollar Rates                               Close            High      Low  12/31 
 
USD/JPY Japan           111.96-97      111.93-94  +0.03   112.03   111.66  +2.17 
EUR/USD Euro            1.1200-03      1.1256-59  -0.50   1.1263   1.1193  -2.34 
GBP/USD U.K.            1.2939-41      1.2979-81  -0.31   1.3018   1.2927  +1.42 
USD/CHF Switzerland     1.0215-19      1.0156-60  +0.58   1.0231   1.0150  +4.09 
USD/CAD Canada          1.3406-11      1.3347-52  +0.44   1.3424   1.3343  -1.70 
AUD/USD Australia       0.7086-90      0.7133-37  -0.66   0.7140   0.7080  +0.51 
NZD/USD New Zealand     0.6632-38      0.6676-82  -0.66   0.6688   0.6629  -1.26 
 
Euro Rates 
 
EUR/JPY Japan           125.39-43      125.98-06  -0.47   126.07   125.28  -0.23 
EUR/GBP U.K.            0.8654-57      0.8671-74  -0.20   0.8677   0.8636  -3.73 
EUR/CHF Switzerland     1.1444-47      1.1433-36  +0.10   1.1478   1.1426  +1.68 
EUR/CAD Canada          1.5015-25      1.5018-28  -0.02   1.5075   1.5015  -3.96 
EUR/AUD Australia       1.5800-10      1.5771-81  +0.18   1.5830   1.5771  -2.82 
EUR/DKK Denmark         7.4657-64      7.4663-70  -0.01   7.4669   7.4649  -0.01 
EUR/NOK Norway        9.5987-6037     9.5652-702  +0.35   9.6235   9.5593  -3.10 
EUR/SEK Sweden        10.5068-168    10.4725-825  +0.33  10.5190  10.4671  +3.54 
EUR/CZK Czech Rep.      25.726-56      25.701-31  +0.10   25.752   25.692  +0.12 
EUR/HUF Hungary       320.77-1.17      320.17-57  +0.19   321.13   319.99  -0.02 
EUR/PLN Poland          4.2877-95      4.2814-32  +0.15   4.2909   4.2817  -0.02 
 
Yen Rates 
 
AUD/JPY Australia        79.32-36       79.84-88  -0.65    79.92    79.25  +2.65 
GBP/JPY U.K.            144.86-92      145.27-33  -0.28   145.62   144.72  +3.57 
CAD/JPY Canada           83.47-51       83.84-88  -0.44    83.91    83.39  +3.89 
NZD/JPY New Zealand      74.25-29       74.75-79  -0.67    74.86    74.20  +0.86 
 
Other Dollar Rates 
 
USD/CZK Czech Rep.   22.955-3.005      22.818-68  +0.60   22.996   22.814  +2.50 
USD/HUF Hungary         286.35-75      284.38-78  +0.69   286.76   284.26  +2.34 
USD/DKK Denmark         6.6647-57      6.6322-32  +0.49   6.6707   6.6298  +2.36 
USD/NOK Norway         8.5683-743    8.4957-5017  +0.85   8.5760   8.4898  -0.81 
USD/PLN Poland          3.8283-88      3.8037-42  +0.65   3.8326   3.8033  +2.35 
USD/RUB Russia         63.781-851     63.751-821  +0.05   63.887   63.690  -7.84 
USD/SEK Sweden         9.3798-888     9.3027-117  +0.83   9.3933   9.2970  +6.00 
USD/ZAR S. Africa     14.3110-410    14.1420-720  +1.19  14.3353  14.1210  -0.25 
 
USD/CNY China           6.7254-74     6.7082-102  +0.26   6.7277   6.7084  -2.21 
USD/HKD Hong Kong       7.8438-43      7.8443-48  -0.01   7.8470   7.8436  +0.16 
USD/MYR Malaysia       4.1250-300      4.1300-50  -0.12   4.1350   4.1243  -0.12 
USD/INR India           69.803-23     69.690-710  +0.16   69.831   69.565  +0.35 
USD/IDR Indonesia        14112-26       14068-82  +0.31    14137    14068  -1.82 
USD/PHP Philippines     52.110-30      52.010-30  +0.19   52.135   52.020  -0.72 
USD/SGD Singapore       1.3576-86      1.3555-65  +0.15   1.3586   1.3553  -0.35 
USD/KRW S. Korea     1144.15-6.15  1139.99-41.99  +0.36  1145.23  1139.25  +2.77 
USD/TWD Taiwan          30.857-87      30.837-67  +0.06   30.879   30.839  +0.95 
USD/THB Thailand        32.000-20      31.900-20  +0.31   32.020   31.790  -0.96 
USD/VND Vietnam         23183-253      23184-254  -0.01    23222    23210  +0.10 
 
USD/BRL Brazil         3.9582-612      3.9350-80  +0.59   3.9638   3.9280  +2.02 
USD/MXN Mexico        18.9480-780    18.8099-399  +0.73  18.9827  18.8207  -3.49 
USD/ARS Argentina     42.4550-650    42.4820-920  -0.06  42.5500  42.1237 +12.79 
 
Source: Tullett Prebon 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:50 ET (14:50 GMT)

DJ Hasbro Swings to 1Q Gain on Higher Revenue

Hasbro Inc. (HAS) on Tuesday swung to a first-quarter gain, while analysts were looking for a loss.

The Pawtucket, R.I.-based toy company posted quarterly earnings of $26.7 million, or 21 cents a share, versus a net loss of $112.5 million, or 90 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a net loss of $14 million, or 6 cents a share, in the latest quarter.

On an adjusted basis, Hasbro registered earnings of 10 cents a share. Analysts targeted a loss of 10 cents an adjusted share, per FactSet.

Revenue was $732.5 million, Hasbro said, topping the year-ago quarter’s $716.3 million and the $663 million analysts were expecting for the latest quarter.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:20 ET (14:20 GMT)

DJ U.S. Stocks Tick Higher on Earnings
By Donato Paolo Mancini 

The S&P 500 edged higher Tuesday after Twitter and other companies reported better-than-expected earnings, encouraging investors that corporate profits remain healthy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27 points, or 0.1%, to 26536 in early-morning trading, while the S&P 500 added 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite also rose, gaining 0.5%.

Upbeat profits reports from social-networking platform Twitter, aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and United Technologies helped send the S&P 500 higher a third consecutive trading session. All three companies posted gains in revenue and profits, so much so that Lockheed and United Technologies boosted their earnings forecasts for the year.

The reports add to a brightening picture for corporate profits. With more than 100 S&P 500 companies having reported results, nearly 79% have beaten analysts' profit estimates, outpacing the 69% of companies that did so in the previous quarter, according to FactSet.

And many of those reports are translating into higher share prices. About 60% of S&P 500 companies have seen share prices rise in subsequent trading sessions since releasing their results, FactSet added.

Shares of Twitter added 13% in recent trading, while Lockheed Martin rose 5.9%. United Technologies also rose, gaining 2.9%.

But moves within the market remain muted, as investors await reports from some of the biggest publicly traded companies this week, including Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.com.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 shed 0.1% in midmorning trade, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed flat and Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.2%.

U.K. investors remained focused on Brexit, with little more than a month left before European Parliament elections take place. If the U.K finds a way to leave the bloc before then, it won't be required to hold the vote. The British pound gained 0.2% against the dollar at $1.3004.

Oil markets were also jolted by a U.S. move to ban countries from importing Iranian oil, with waivers granted to countries including China, India and Turkey slated to end May 2. The tightened restrictions could remove over 1 million barrels of Iranian supplies from the market a day.

Shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 fell 0.2% in recent trading.

-- Michael Wursthorn contributed to this article.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:16 ET (14:16 GMT)

DJ Oil Climbs After Monday Surge

—Oil prices moved higher Tuesday, extending a sharp rally from a day earlier as analysts weighed the Trump administration’s decision to end waivers allowing imports of Iranian oil.

—West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, added 1.1% to $66.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices closed at their highest level since late October Monday and are up about 45% for the year but still 14% below their multiyear highs hit last fall.

—Brent crude, the global price gauge, inched up 0.4% to $74.33 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange.

HIGHLIGHTS

End of Sanctions Waivers: Investors were still parsing Monday’s move by the Trump administration to stop allowing some buyers of Iranian crude to continue importing from the Islamic Republic. The decision caught some oil market participants off guard, as the waivers granted last fall contributed to the late 2018 oil price rout by increasing the supply available to the market.

Although the end of the waivers could push down Iranian exports more quickly than some analysts had anticipated, many expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or the U.S. to fill any production voids.

That possibility is a major reason analysts said Monday’s market moves were relatively contained, with U.S. crude climbing 2.7%. Even with London market participants back at work Tuesday following a holiday for Easter Monday, trading was quiet once again as investors weighed the possibility that OPEC could end production cuts.

The cartel and allies including Russia have curbed output through June to lift prices, but some analysts now expect them to increase supply to make up for lost Iranian production.

Inventories: Analysts were looking ahead to Wednesday government data on U.S. stockpiles, as some expect record U.S. production to limit price gains moving forward. Stockpiles have climbed in three of the four previous weeks through April 12, after falling in three of the four previous weeks through March 15.

While steady production could keep inventories adequately supplied moving forward, the summer travel season that usually coincides with an increase in fuel demand could cause stockpile declines and help buoy prices, analysts say.

INSIGHTS

Risk Appetite: Oil investors have also been keeping an eye on stocks and other commodities with risk assets broadly trading similarly in recent days. U.S. stocks opened slightly higher Tuesday but have wobbled near record levels lately as investors weigh the latest earnings and economic data.

While optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal and the Federal Reserve’s cautious stance on interest rates have pushed investors toward risk, some analysts are questioning what catalyst could drive markets even higher after a furious rally early in 2019.

AHEAD

—The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, will release its weekly data on oil inventories on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. ET, followed by official data Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration.

Write to Amrith Ramkumar at amrith.ramkumar@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:10 ET (14:10 GMT)

DJ Nucor Profit Rises, Helped by Higher Prices

Nucor Corp. (NUE) posted a stronger first-quarter profit as the steelmaker benefited from higher prices from a year earlier.

The Charlotte, N.C., company said Tuesday its profit in the period ended March 30 rose to $501.8 million, or $1.63 a share, from $354.2 million, or $1.10 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Nucor earned $1.55 a share.

Nucor last month guided a first-quarter profit in the range of $1.45 to $1.50 a share.

Nucor sales rose 10% to $6.1 billion. Analysts expected sales of $6.11 billion.

Average sales price per ton in the first quarter rose 13% from a year earlier, but it was down 4% from the fourth quarter. Steel mill shipments fell 4% from a year earlier.

The company said in March it dealt with weaker selling prices for sheet steel in the quarter, but was encouraged by recent price increases. The company also said shipments had been hurt by unusually wet weather.

Nucor on Tuesday guided stronger profits from steel products in the current quarter from the first three months of the year as customers typically increase purchases in the spring and better weather conditions help nonresidential construction. However, Nucor said the performance of its raw materials segment will likely decline from the prior period on declining margins from its direct reduced iron business.

           Write to Bowdeya Tweh   at Bowdeya.Tweh@wsj.com 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:10 ET (14:10 GMT)

DJ U.S. New Home Sales Rose in March

WASHINGTON—Purchases of new homes in the U.S. increased in March, driven by sales gains in most parts of the nation.

Purchases of newly built single-family homes—a relatively narrow slice of all U.S. home sales—rose 4.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 in March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 2.5% decline.

Sales were up 3.0% in March from the prior year. The pace of new-home sales remains well below the elevated levels seen before the 2007-09 financial crisis and recession.

All U.S. regions but the Northeast saw new-home sales gains last month, with purchases in the South reaching the highest level in more than a decade.

In the broader housing market, inventory has been tight, driving a run-up in home prices and keeping some potential buyers out of the market. Meantime, construction-labor shortages and rising input costs are pushing up the overall cost of buying new homes, though prices fell last month.

The months’ supply of new homes for sale on the market was 6.0 in March, up from 5.3 a year ago. With more homes on the market, the median sales price of a new home declined to $302,700, the lowest level in more than two years.

A report that tracks U.S. home building and approvals for new projects showed both dropped in March, continuing a recent weak stretch for new housing construction. Still, a gauge of U.S. home-builder confidence rose in April, the third increase in four months.

Purchases of previously owned homes, which make up the bulk of U.S. homebuying,faltered in Marchdespite lower mortgage rates and a strong job market.

Write to Sharon Nunn at sharon.nunn@wsj.com and Eric Morath at eric.morath@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:10 ET (14:10 GMT)

DJ CME Currencies Volume and Open Interest
For the previous business day. Open Interest subject to revision. 
Source: CME Group 
NOTE: The total volume includes Globex and RTH. 
 
           Total       Open 
          Volume   Interest     Change 
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR FUTURES 
MAY19        275        204        -11 
JUN19     31,425    135,695      1,212 
JUL19         28         95          7 
AUG19        215         13         -5 
SEP19          5        744         -2 
DEC19          1        206          1 
MAR20          0         75          0 
JUN20          0         47          0 
DEC20          0          7          0 
TOTAL     31,949    137,086      1,202 
 
BRAZILIAN REAL FUTURES 
MAY19      1,826     31,014         18 
JUN19         15      2,468          8 
JUL19          0         66          0 
TOTAL      1,841     33,548         26 
 
BRITISH POUND FUTURES 
MAY19         69      1,287         -5 
JUN19     27,178    148,679      1,341 
JUL19      1,074        205       -863 
AUG19         80         41          9 
SEP19          8        739          8 
DEC19          0        391          0 
MAR20          0         89          0 
JUN20          0         97          0 
TOTAL     28,409    151,528        490 
 
CANADIAN DOLLAR FUTURES 
MAY19        225        325         54 
JUN19     39,604    136,496     -1,411 
JUL19        168         83          9 
AUG19        160          0          0 
SEP19         27      3,641         -7 
DEC19          4      2,212          1 
MAR20          5        342          2 
JUN20          0         82          0 
DEC20          0          2          0 
TOTAL     40,193    143,183     -1,352 
 
E-MINI EURO FX FUTURES 
JUN19      1,746     15,030        -52 
SEP19          3         20         -2 
TOTAL      1,749     15,050        -54 
 
EURO FX FUTURES 
MAY19        826      1,319          1 
JUN19     70,476    487,543        509 
JUL19        684        238          0 
AUG19        604         25          0 
SEP19         67     10,237        -21 
DEC19          9      2,515          6 
MAR20          0        820          0 
JUN20          0        239          0 
SEP20          0         23          0 
DEC20          0         55          0 
TOTAL     72,666    503,014        495 
 
JAPANESE YEN FUTURES 
MAY19         36      1,605         -1 
JUN19     50,471    202,783      4,809 
JUL19        417        460        164 
AUG19          0         21          0 
SEP19          1        609         -1 
DEC19          0        287          0 
MAR20          0        118          0 
JUN20          0          1          0 
SEP20          0          2          0 
TOTAL     50,925    205,886      4,971 
 
MEXICAN PESO FUTURES 
JUN19     27,656    250,608     -2,011 
SEP19          0         24          0 
TOTAL     27,656    250,632     -2,011 
 
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR FUTURES 
JUN19     10,974     41,971      1,338 
SEP19          0        319          0 
TOTAL     10,974     42,290      1,338 
 
RUSSIAN RUBLE FUTURES 
MAY19          0        500          0 
JUN19        588     59,266        271 
TOTAL        588     59,766        271 
 
SOUTH AFRICAN RAND FUTURES 
MAY19          5          5          5 
JUN19        444     10,971        -34 
SEP19          0      1,502          0 
DEC19          0      1,500          0 
TOTAL        449     13,978        -29 
 
SWISS FRANC FUTURES 
JUN19     14,229     91,852      2,441 
SEP19         26         97          9 
DEC19          0         19          0 
MAR20          0         15          0 
JUN20          0          1          0 
TOTAL     14,255     91,984      2,450 
 
Write to Rose Ridinger at csstat@dowjones.com 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:10 ET (14:10 GMT)

DJ CME Financials Volume and Open Interest
For previous business day. Open Interest subject to revision. 
Source: CME Group 
NOTE: Total volume includes Globex and RTH. 
 
                 Total             Open 
                Volume         Interest         Change 
EURODOLLAR FUTURES 
MAY19           50,753          221,862           -172 
JUN19          260,460        1,327,990         -5,183 
JUL19           24,228          152,329          5,217 
AUG19              444           12,228             26 
SEP19          355,816        1,435,867         36,333 
OCT19                0              552              0 
DEC19          169,350        1,727,283         17,668 
MAR20          134,730        1,100,011         -2,280 
JUN20          121,507        1,133,912         -1,260 
SEP20           95,428          953,430          1,876 
DEC20           88,469        1,050,243         -9,504 
MAR21           63,962          645,820         -8,176 
JUN21           50,051          556,530            344 
SEP21           33,350          461,795            777 
DEC21           34,744          524,410            733 
MAR22           38,268          363,682          2,640 
JUN22           20,559          295,144          1,321 
SEP22           14,810          202,431           -523 
DEC22           16,010          176,835         -1,368 
MAR23           10,335          100,972          1,196 
JUN23           10,683           75,130            461 
SEP23           13,583           84,761          3,787 
DEC23           13,173           61,486          3,004 
MAR24            7,449           20,975           -285 
JUN24              247           10,583            103 
SEP24              202            7,105            -58 
DEC24              352            5,046           -100 
MAR25              293            1,480            -73 
JUN25               14            1,223             11 
SEP25                7              445             -2 
DEC25                1              592              1 
MAR26                1              387              1 
JUN26                0              262              0 
SEP26                0               44              0 
DEC26                0              137              0 
MAR27                0               78              0 
JUN27                0               14              0 
SEP27                0              109              0 
DEC27                0               33              0 
DEC28                0                1              0 
TOTAL        1,629,279       12,713,217         46,515 
 
Write to Linda Rice at csstat@dowjones.com 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:10 ET (14:10 GMT)

DJ Verizon Loses Pay TV Customers, Touts Streaming Partnership -- Market Talk

10:08 ET - Verizon has opted not to make heavy investments in video content and is now partnering with YouTube TV, offering free live TV to its mobile wireless, Fios broadband and 5G home customers. It also continues to sell its own Fios pay-TV service, which has lost customers over the last two years. It lost a net 53,000 Fios video connections in the first quarter as consumers continued to cut the cord in favor of over-the-top streaming services. "I think that what's most important is that we are committed to support our customers with the optionality," CEO Hans Vestberg tells analysts. (sarah.krouse@wsj.com; @bysarahkrouse)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:08 ET (14:08 GMT)

DJ 1Q GDP Seen +2.5% -- Data Week Ahead

The following are forecasts for this week's remaining U.S. data from a survey compiled by The Wall Street Journal.

Forecasts were last updated on Monday afternoon.

 
DATE      TIME  RELEASE                    PERIOD     CONSENSUS    PREVIOUS 
          (ET) 
Thursday  0830  Jobless Claims              Apr 20    200K   (15)   192K 
          0830  Durable Goods Orders        Mar      +0.8%   (22)  -1.6% 
          1100  Kansas City Fed Mfg Svy     Apr       6      (3)    10 
                  Composite Index 
Friday    0830  Real GDP (1st Reading)      1Q       +2.5%   (24)  +2.2%* 
          0830  GDP Prices (1st Reading)    1Q       +1.4%   (7)   +1.7%* 
          1000  Consumer Sentiment          Apr       97.0   (15)   96.9** 
                  (Final) 
 
*4Q Final Reading 
**April Prelim Reading 
 
(Figures in parentheses refer to number of economists surveyed.) 
 

Write to Donna Huneke at dataweekahead@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 10:00 ET (14:00 GMT)

DJ ECB Foreign Exchange Reference Rates - Apr 23

Following are European Central Bank foreign exchange reference rates. All currencies are quoted against the euro.

 
 
US Dollar               USD       1.1245 
Japanese Yen            JPY       125.82 
Bulgarian Lev           BGN       1.9558 
Czech Koruna            CZK       25.743 
Danish Krone            DKK       7.4659 
British Pound           GBP       0.86450 
Hungarian Forint        HUF       320.85 
Polish Zloty            PLN       4.2864 
Romanian Leu            RON       4.7611 
Swedish Krona           SEK       10.5070 
Swiss Franc             CHF       1.1470 
Norwegian Kroner        NOK       9.5845 
Croatian Kuna           HRK       7.4245 
Russian Rouble          RUB       71.6763 
Turkish Lira            TRY       6.5390 
Australian Dollar       AUD       1.5814 
Brazilian Real          BRL       4.4201 
Canadian Dollar         CAD       1.5057 
Chinese Yuan Renminbi   CNY       7.5557 
Hong Kong Dollar        HKD       8.8211 
Indonesian Rupiah       IDR       15827.34 
Israeli Shekel          ILS       4.0479 
Indian Rupee            INR       78.3125 
Korean Won              KRW       1284.26 
Mexican Peso            MXN       21.2357 
Malaysian Ringgit       MYR       4.6431 
New Zealand Dollar      NZD       1.6889 
Philippine Peso         PHP       58.541 
Singapore Dollar        SGD       1.5259 
Thai Baht               THB       35.945 
South African Rand      ZAR       15.9686 
 

The reference rates are based on the regular daily procedure between central banks within and outside the European System of Central Banks, which normally takes place at 1415 CET (1215 GMT)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:55 ET (13:55 GMT)

DJ Verizon Sees More Room To Run With Unlimited Plans -- Market Talk

09:55 ET - The first three months of 2019 were competitive for wireless carriers and Verizon was less promotional than some of its rivals. The largest US carrier by subscribers says Tuesday it lost a net 44,000 postpaid phone connections during the period. Still, Verizon executives tell analysts on a call that they continue to increase the number of connections per account, see customers embrace higher-cost tiers of unlimited plans, and expect to sell more so-called unlimited wireless plans. Unlimited plans currently comprise less than half of the carrier's total connections. Shares fall 2.8%. (sarah.krouse@wsj.com; @bysarahkrouse)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:55 ET (13:55 GMT)

DJ Volkswagen Payments to Suspended Manager Probed

German prosecutors are investigating bonus payments to a suspended Volkswagen AG (VOW.XE) manager, a spokeswoman for the Braunschweig public prosecutors’ office said Tuesday.

The investigation is still at an early stage, she said, without providing further information on the probe.

The investigators are looking into 866,000 euros ($974,224) in bonus payments made between 2016 and 2018, which Volkswagen paid to a suspended manager on top of a monthly salary of EUR14,600, newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported, citing investigative documents.

Volkswagen didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

According to the newspaper, the manager was suspended in December 2015, shortly after Volkswagen admitted to having rigged some 11 million of its diesel vehicles world-wide with software that allowed them to manipulate emissions tests.

Last week, the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office charged Martin Winterkorn, the former chief executive of Volkswagen, and four other managers in the diesel-emissions scandal, alleging several offenses, including one case of serious fraud and a breach of competition laws.

Write to Max Bernhard at Max.Bernhard@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:50 ET (13:50 GMT)

DJ Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 09:50 EST / 1350 GMT
 
                           Latest       Previous   %Chg    Daily    Daily   %Chg 
Dollar Rates                               Close            High      Low  12/31 
 
USD/JPY Japan           111.95-96      111.93-94  +0.01   112.03   111.66  +2.15 
EUR/USD Euro            1.1211-14      1.1256-59  -0.40   1.1263   1.1205  -2.24 
GBP/USD U.K.            1.2956-58      1.2979-81  -0.18   1.3018   1.2946  +1.55 
USD/CHF Switzerland     1.0216-20      1.0156-60  +0.59   1.0231   1.0150  +4.10 
USD/CAD Canada         1.3397-402      1.3347-52  +0.37   1.3414   1.3343  -1.77 
AUD/USD Australia      0.7097-101      0.7133-37  -0.50   0.7140   0.7096  +0.67 
NZD/USD New Zealand     0.6643-49      0.6676-82  -0.49   0.6688   0.6643  -1.10 
 
Euro Rates 
 
EUR/JPY Japan           125.48-52      125.98-06  -0.40   126.07   125.49  -0.16 
EUR/GBP U.K.            0.8651-54      0.8671-74  -0.23   0.8677   0.8636  -3.76 
EUR/CHF Switzerland     1.1455-58      1.1433-36  +0.19   1.1478   1.1426  +1.78 
EUR/CAD Canada          1.5018-28      1.5018-28   0.00   1.5075   1.5020  -3.95 
EUR/AUD Australia      1.5790-800      1.5771-81  +0.12   1.5830   1.5771  -2.88 
EUR/DKK Denmark         7.4661-68      7.4663-70   0.00   7.4669   7.4649   0.00 
EUR/NOK Norway        9.5992-6042     9.5652-702  +0.36   9.6235   9.5593  -3.10 
EUR/SEK Sweden        10.5106-206    10.4725-825  +0.36  10.5190  10.4671  +3.58 
EUR/CZK Czech Rep.      25.722-52      25.701-31  +0.08   25.752   25.692  +0.10 
EUR/HUF Hungary       320.80-1.20      320.17-57  +0.20   321.13   319.99  -0.01 
EUR/PLN Poland         4.2886-904      4.2814-32  +0.17   4.2909   4.2817   0.00 
 
Yen Rates 
 
AUD/JPY Australia        79.46-50       79.84-88  -0.48    79.92    79.46  +2.83 
GBP/JPY U.K.            145.01-07      145.27-33  -0.18   145.62   144.97  +3.68 
CAD/JPY Canada           83.54-58       83.84-88  -0.36    83.91    83.42  +3.98 
NZD/JPY New Zealand      74.39-43       74.75-79  -0.48    74.86    74.38  +1.05 
 
Other Dollar Rates 
 
USD/CZK Czech Rep.      22.931-81      22.818-68  +0.50   22.974   22.814  +2.39 
USD/HUF Hungary         286.11-51      284.38-78  +0.61   286.48   284.26  +2.26 
USD/DKK Denmark        6.6592-602      6.6322-32  +0.41   6.6638   6.6298  +2.28 
USD/NOK Norway          8.5614-74    8.4957-5017  +0.77   8.5736   8.4898  -0.89 
USD/PLN Poland          3.8259-64      3.8037-42  +0.58   3.8270   3.8033  +2.29 
USD/RUB Russia          63.728-98     63.751-821  -0.04   63.856   63.690  -7.91 
USD/SEK Sweden         9.3750-840     9.3027-117  +0.78   9.3854   9.2970  +5.95 
USD/ZAR S. Africa     14.2556-856    14.1420-720  +0.80  14.2776  14.1210  -0.63 
 
USD/CNY China           6.7225-45     6.7082-102  +0.21   6.7240   6.7084  -2.25 
USD/HKD Hong Kong       7.8443-48      7.8443-48   0.00   7.8470   7.8436  +0.17 
USD/MYR Malaysia        4.1235-85      4.1300-50  -0.16   4.1350   4.1243  -0.16 
USD/INR India          69.695-715     69.690-710  +0.01   69.805   69.565  +0.19 
USD/IDR Indonesia       14096-110       14068-82  +0.20    14126    14068  -1.93 
USD/PHP Philippines     52.040-60      52.010-30  +0.06   52.080   52.020  -0.86 
USD/SGD Singapore       1.3575-85      1.3555-65  +0.15   1.3585   1.3553  -0.36 
USD/KRW S. Korea     1142.71-4.71  1139.99-41.99  +0.24  1144.70  1139.25  +2.64 
USD/TWD Taiwan          30.845-75      30.837-67  +0.03   30.871   30.839  +0.91 
USD/THB Thailand        31.970-90      31.900-20  +0.22   32.010   31.790  -1.05 
USD/VND Vietnam         23183-253      23184-254  -0.01    23222    23210  +0.10 
 
USD/BRL Brazil          3.9425-55      3.9350-80  +0.19   3.9482   3.9280  +1.61 
USD/MXN Mexico        18.9005-305    18.8099-399  +0.48  18.9417  18.8207  -3.73 
USD/ARS Argentina    42.2943-3043    42.4820-920  -0.44  42.5500  42.1237 +12.36 
 
Source: Tullett Prebon 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:50 ET (13:50 GMT)

DJ P&G Sticking with Gillette Despite Challenges -- Market Talk

09:30 ET - Gillette has been a headache for Procter & Gamble, but a breakup isn't on the horizon between the consumer-products company and its struggling razor brand. Asked on an earnings call whether P&G still needs to be in the razor business, given intensifying competition and years of stagnating sales, CFO Jon Moeller said P&G values the business. "This is a business that we not only want to keep but that we like and want to win in the long term." P&G shares slip 2.7% in early trading. (sharon.terlep@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:34 ET (13:34 GMT)

DJ Stocks Open Modestly Higher As Dow Earnings Stay In Focus -- MarketWatch

Stocks rose slightly at the opening bell on Tuesday as investors sift through a raft of corporate earnings from blue-chip firms, including four Dow constituents. The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% to 2,910. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 16 points, or or less than 0.1%, to 26,527. The Nasdaq Composite was up more than 0.1% to 8,027. Investors will closely watch if the first-quarter's corporate results will lift equities back to record highs. The S&P 500 remains less than 1% away from its all-time closing high. Shares of Coca-Cola Co. (KO) rose 1.5% in pre-market trading after it beat analysts' revenue and earnings expectations.

-Sunny Oh

 For more from MarketWatch: http://www.marketwatch.com/newsviewer 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:32 ET (13:32 GMT)

DJ Kohl's Corp. (KSS) Ind: 70.00-73.00 Last 67.45

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:28 ET (13:28 GMT)

DJ Kohl's Corp. (KSS) Ind: 69.00-72.00 Last 67.45

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:26 ET (13:26 GMT)

DJ Teck Resources Ltd. Cl B (TECK) Ind: 24.60-26.60 Last 24.60

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:22 ET (13:22 GMT)

DJ Hermes 1Q Growth Likely Spurred by Leather: DB -- Market Talk

1321 GMT - Hermes should post growth of just over 10% in 1Q sales at constant currencies, Deutsche Bank analysts say ahead of the luxury goods company's results, due Wednesday. Hermes's leather goods division should have grown 13% at constant currencies, outperforming its full-year targeted growth rate of 10% due to the contribution of product price increases in January, the German bank says. Silks, on the other hand, should be hit by weaker demand in France, Deutsche says. France's yellow-vest protests likely affected 1Q sales more than in the previous quarter, when Hermes compensated for store closures with Sunday openings, Deutsche Bank says. (cristina.roca@dowjones.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:21 ET (13:21 GMT)

DJ U.S. Retail Sales Fall 1.4% on Week

U.S. retail sales last week fell 1.4% from the prior week, dragged down by wet weather, according to the Retail Economist-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index.

The weekly index showed a 1.4% year-over-year sales advance for the week ended April 20.

Unsettled weather, especially in the East and Midwest, produced the wettest week for the U.S. in more than 28 years, according to the report.

The report also noted that with the past week leading up to the Easter holiday, sales were softer than expected, adding that “it appears that the Easter-sales lift was largely captured in the prior week,” when chain-store sales rose 2% on the week and 3.3% on the year.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:20 ET (13:20 GMT)

DJ IMF Listing Of SDR Values-Apr 23
 
    Values of national currencies in terms of Special Drawing Rights. 
Source: International Monetary Fund. 
 
One SDR Equals: 
                       Apr 22      Apr 19      Apr 18      Apr 17      Apr 16 
Chinese yuan          9.31177     9.30051     9.29757     9.30302     9.32271 
Euro                       NA          NA     1.23347     1.23035     1.22952 
Japanese yen          155.303     155.274      155.39     155.727     155.635 
U.K. pound                 NA          NA     1.06665     1.06574      1.0621 
U.S. dollar           1.38713     1.38724     1.38765     1.39042     1.38997 
Algerian dinar             NA     165.493     165.594     165.601     165.526 
Australian dollar          NA          NA     1.93186     1.93114     1.94483 
Botswana pula              NA          NA     14.6842     14.6979     14.7243 
Brazilian real             NA          NA     5.46236      5.4531     5.40795 
Brunei dollar              NA          NA     1.87847     1.88277     1.88118 
Canadian dollar            NA          NA     1.85696     1.85371     1.85714 
Chilean peso               NA     916.246     916.515     923.208     921.353 
Colombian peso             NA     4384.35     4385.66     4394.93      4359.9 
Czech koruna               NA          NA     31.6745     31.5654     31.5537 
Danish krone               NA          NA          NA     9.18485     9.17743 
Indian rupee               NA          NA     96.3298          NA     96.7099 
Israeli New Sheke          NA          NA     4.98028     4.97075     4.94553 
Korean won                 NA     1576.18     1576.51      1579.1     1576.09 
Kuwaiti dinar              NA     0.42172    0.421847    0.422549    0.422411 
Malaysian ringgit          NA         5.7         5.8         5.8     5.72043 
Mauritian rupee            NA        48.2     48.0614     48.1591     48.1793 
Mexican peso               NA          NA          NA     26.2066     26.3421 
New Zealand dolla          NA          NA      2.0665     2.06939     2.05952 
Norwegian krone            NA          NA          NA     11.7841     11.7872 
Omani rial                 NA    0.533393    0.533552    0.534616    0.534442 
Peruvian sol               NA          NA          NA     4.58005     4.57857 
Philippine peso            NA          NA          NA     71.9181     71.8324 
Polish zloty               NA     5.27858     5.27337     5.25274     5.25436 
Qatari riyal               NA     5.04956     5.05107     5.06114      5.0595 
Russian ruble              NA      88.728     88.9055     88.9102     89.2945 
Saudi Arabian riy          NA     5.20216      5.2037     5.21406     5.21238 
Singapore dollar           NA          NA     1.87847     1.88277     1.88118 
South African ran          NA          NA     19.5479     19.4174     19.5408 
Swedish krona              NA          NA     12.8674     12.8268     12.8797 
Swiss franc                NA          NA     1.40313     1.40259      1.3981 
Thai baht                  NA     44.1308     44.1509     44.2126          NA 
Trinidadian dolla          NA          NA     9.39664     9.40177      9.4023 
U.A.E. dirham              NA     5.09463     5.09616     5.10631     5.10467 
Uruguayan peso             NA          NA          NA     47.6136     47.5647 
Write to Rodney Christian at csstat@dowjones.com 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:19 ET (13:19 GMT)

DJ Supplier Has 'Full Confidence' In Boeing Recovery -- Market Talk

09:09 ET - Titanium specialist Allegheny Technologies says it has "full confidence" that Boeing will resolve issues with the 737 MAX, unsurprising since, like other suppliers, it's keeping its supplies at a monthly rate of 52 jets, even though the plane maker cut its production by 10. Boeing is paying Spirit AeroSystems for its "excess" production, and the expectation is other suppliers are being compensated to keep assembly lines hot. Another upside for Allegheny Technologies is booming sales for the defense sector, notably General Dynamics' tanks and armored cars. Still, Allegheny Technologies' shares down nearly 3% despite having preannounced a 1Q miss. (doug.cameron@wsj.com; @dougcameron)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:09 ET (13:09 GMT)

DJ P&G Shifts to High End of Sales Guidance -- Market Talk

09:08 ET - Call it CFO humor. P&G's reliably no-nonsense finance chief allowed himself a little giddiness while discussing the company's strongest sales quarter in eight years and expectations of a stronger-than-expected fiscal year. "I know you'll miss it," he said. "We must regretfully abandon the low-two end of our sales performance," he said, laying out the company's move to increase its sales growth target to 4%, up from 2% to 4%. It's been many quarters since the company has predicted growth solidly above 2%. P&G shares slip 1.5% premarket. (sharon.terlep@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:08 ET (13:08 GMT)

DJ Whirlpool Stock, Cigna Gain and 3 More Tuesday Morning Movers -- Barrons.com
By Teresa Rivas 

Moving Up. Stocks are making another run at gains: Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were 0.2% higher in early trading, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were up 0.1% ahead of the open. Earnings reports are the main source of optimism, while oil prices are on the rise again as well.

Here are five stocks making moves this morning:

Cadence Systems (ticker: CDNS) was up 5.9% to $68 after reporting first-quarter earnings. The maker of semiconductor design tools earned 54 cents a share from revenue of $577 million. Analysts were looking for EPS of 49 cents and revenue of $569.34 million. For the full year, the company raised its guidance, calling for EPS of $2.04 to $2.12, compared with the $2.03 consensus estimate.

Cigna (CI) was up 1.2% to $149.75 after UBS initiated coverage with a Buy rating.

HCA Healthcare (HCA) rose 1% to $116.16 after Raymond James upgraded it to Outperform.

Murphy Oil (MUR) rallied 3.5% to $29.63 after announcing it will acquire deep-water assets from LLOG Exploration Offshore and LLOG Bluewater Holdings for $1.375 billion.

Whirlpool (WHR) was up 5.4% to $146.93 after reporting first-quarter earnings. The appliance maker earned $3.11 a share and reported revenue of $4.76 billion. Analysts were looking for EPS of $2.85 and revenue of $4.83 billion. For the full year, the company expects EPS between $14 and $15, compared with the $14.53 consensus estimate.

Write to Teresa Rivas at teresa.rivas@barrons.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:06 ET (13:06 GMT)

DJ London Shares Gain, Pound Edges Higher
 
Market News: 
 
FTSE 100          7492.09 +32.21 +0.43% 
FTSE 250         19857.49 +21.56 +0.11% 
FTSE AIM All-Share 958.95  +3.80 +0.40% 

As UK Borrows More, Pound Looks 'Worrying': SocGen

1144 GMT - Looking at the rising pound "it's a bit worrying" given that a closer look at the U.K.'s sectoral borrowing, broken down between households, companies and the government shows "all three sectors borrowing furiously," says Kit Juckes, macro strategist at Societe Generale. This "makes for depressing reading when I observe GBP/USD running out of stem even as CFTC data show sterling short-covering continuing," Juckes says. GBP/USD last up 0.2% at 1.3005.

 
Companies News: 

Aberdeen Standard European's Pascal Duval to Step Down as Director and Chairman

Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income PLC (ASLI.LN) said on Tuesday that Pascal Duval will step down as director and chairman on June 11 following the company's annual general meeting, and that Tony Roper will be taking over the chairman's role.

Angling Direct Had a Record Start to Year

Angling Direct PLC (ANG.LN) said Tuesday that it has had a record start to the year, with both stores and e-commerce generating robust sales growth.

British Land to Sell 12 Superstores From Sainsbury's JV

British Land Co. PLC (BLND.LN) said Tuesday that it has exchanged contracts on the sale of 12 superstores from its joint venture with J Sainsbury PLC (SBRY.LN) for 429 million pounds ($557.1 million).

FastJet Expects Wider 2018 Loss; 1Q 2019 Revenue Fell

Africa-focused airline FastJet PLC (FJET.LN) said Tuesday that it expects its 2018 operating loss for continuing operations to widen and that revenue in the first quarter of 2019 fell.

Ferrexpo Pretax Profit Falls as Costs Rise

Ferrexpo PLC (FXPO.LN) said Tuesday that pretax profit fell 13% in 2018 despite higher revenue as costs increased.

Franchise Brands Reports Record First Quarter

Franchise Brands PLC (FRAN.LN) said on Tuesday that its franchise Metro Rod has seen forward momentum in the first quarter of 2019, leading to a record quarter, and that its franchise support strategy is bearing fruit.

IronRidge Resources: Zaranou Gold Project Granted Exploration License

IronRidge Resources Ltd. (IRR.LN) said Tuesday that the Zaranou gold project in Ivory Coast--for which the company secured an acquisition right in February--has been granted an exploration license.

Trans-Siberian Gold Gets License for Rodnikova Gold Deposit

Trans-Siberian Gold PLC (TSG.LN) said Tuesday that it has received a license for the development and exploration of the Rodnikova deposit--one of the largest gold fields in South Kamchatka in Russia--for a tenure of 20 years.

Tau Capital Hasn't Agreed Reverse Takeover Within Timeframe; Trading Halted

Tau Capital PLC (TAU.LN) said Tuesday that trading in its shares will be suspended from 0630 GMT as it hasn't been able to complete a reverse takeover within the required timeframe.

STV Group Sees Five-Month Advertising Revenue Growth of Up to 2%

Scottish broadcaster STV Group PLC (STVG.LN) said Tuesday that it expects advertising revenue for the first five months of 2019 to grow by 1% to 2%, supported by a stronger-than-anticipated national advertising market.

 
Other News: 

Trump to Visit U.K., France in June

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will travel to the United Kingdom and France in June, the White House said Tuesday.

Mr. Trump, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, will make a state visit to the U.K. on June 3-5 and will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Investigators Link BT Senior Executives to Italian Accounting Scandal -Reuters

An investigation into an accounting scandal at BT Group PLC's Italian arm has found evidence of involvement of senior executives in inflating the unit's results, Reuters reports, citing emails seized by the police.

 
Market Talk: 

Investors Sell Back Sterling Options, Nomura Says

1227 GMT - With the U.K. being granted a six-month Brexit extension to Oct. 31, corporations and other foreign exchange market participants are getting rid of their sterling protection trades, says Julian Weiss, Nomura's head of forex flow options. Weiss says he had a busy week the week before last as his clients sold back sterling options to Nomura. Options are usually used by market participants to hedge against unexpected risks in the market.

For STV, Brexit May Now Be a Fall Issue: Peel Hunt

1112 GMT - Scottish broadcaster STV Group is benefiting from the Brexit delay, although uncertainty around the U.K.'s planned departure from the EU and advertiser behavior is now potentially an issue for the fall, Peel Hunt says. The company says total advertising revenue for the first five months of fiscal 2019 is expected to grow 1%-2%, mainly thanks to better-than-anticipated national advertising. "The deferral of Brexit may account for the near-term improved advertising behaviors but suggests upgrading full-year numbers might be premature," Peel Hunt says. Nevertheless, the more robust national advertising market in recent months is a pleasing development for STV, the brokerage says.

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-9319

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:02 ET (13:02 GMT)

DJ News Highlights: Top Company News of the Day
 
Verizon Loses Wireless Customers 
 

Verizon's core wireless business lost lucrative phone customers in the first quarter, as it offered fewer promotions and focused on upgrading to a faster 5G network.

 
Procter & Gamble's Sales Rise on Strength in Beauty Products 
 

Procter & Gamble reported its strongest quarterly sales growth in eight years, with a boost from developing markets and increased prices.

 
Sports Drinks Boost Coca-Cola Sales 
 

Coca-Cola's sales grew in the latest quarter, bolstered by beverages such as enhanced water and sports drinks.

 
United Technologies Raises Guidance for 2019 
 

United Technologies's profit rose 3.7% in the first quarter and the industrial conglomerate boosted its earnings projections for 2019, citing better-than-expected results from its recent acquisition of airline-parts maker Rockwell Collins

 
Lockheed Martin Boosts Profit Guidance 
 

Defense company raised its full-year financial guidance to reflect booming sales of missiles and F-35 combat jets.

 
Twitter's Tweaks Boost Results 
 

Twitter posted its sixth consecutive quarter of profitability and its number of daily users rose to a record 134 million, signaling the company's product tweaks are stabilizing the business.

 
Credit Cards Boost Spending on Social-Media Ads 
 

In an effort to attract new customers, American Express and Capital One have significantly increased ad spending on Facebook.

 
Didi Dominates Ride-Hailing in China but Loses Money on Many of Its Trips 
 

Didi Chuxing Technology beat out Uber in China, but nearly three years later the startup, whose investors include its former rival and SoftBank, still struggles with profitability in its core ride-hailing business.

 
Quest Diagnostics 1Q Earnings Beat Estimates 
 

The Secaucus, N.J.-based diagnostic laboratory company posted net income of $164 million, or $1.20 a share, on revenue of $1.89 billion.

 
SoftBank Founder Lost $130 Million on Bitcoin 
 

Masayoshi Son made a huge personal bet on bitcoin just as prices for the digital currency peaked, losing more than $130 million when he sold out.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:00 ET (13:00 GMT)

DJ News Highlights: Top Global Markets News of the Day
 
Global Stocks Mixed as Oil Prices Climb 
 

Global stocks were mixed, as oil prices jumped after a surprise move from the U.S. to curb Iranian oil imports and investors awaited a new batch of earnings for clues on the health of the world economy.

 
Trading Lull Engulfs Stocks and Commodities 
 

An unusual period of calm has blanketed trading of stocks and commodities in recent days, befuddling some analysts who had expected activity in riskier assets to pick up at the start of first-quarter earnings season.

 
A Slow Rise for Cloud Gaming 
 

Console makers are unlikely to fully drop discs anytime soon.

 
China's Banks Are Running Out of Dollars 
 

The major Chinese commercial banks once had more dollar assets than liabilities. No longer.

 
Eurozone Governments Cut Borrowing, Debt 
 

Eurozone governments cut borrowing and their total debt for the fourth straight year in 2018, a process that is becoming more widely questioned following a slowdown in economic growth.

 
Yield Hunt Renews Appetite for European Banks' Riskiest Debt 
 

Investors are piling up on a complex form of European bank debt in a scramble for positive returns because eurozone interest rates look set to remain negative for a prolonged period.

 
Cain Withdraws From Fed Board Nomination Process 
 

Herman Cain withdrew from consideration for the Federal Reserve board, saying he did so primarily because of the salary, not the Senate opposition he faced, in a setback for President Trump's efforts to place a political ally on the central bank.

 
Tightened U.S. Ban on Iran Rattles Oil World 
 

The Trump administration's tightened ban on Iranian oil shook leading oil-producing nations as well as the biggest buyers of crude, many of whom had been expecting a renewal of U.S. exemptions to the ban.

 
Trump Is Placing Too Much Faith in the Shale Patch 
 

President Trump's decision to end all waivers on sanctions of Iranian oil means other large producers have to fill the gap. It adds fresh urgency to U.S. energy independence.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 09:00 ET (13:00 GMT)

DJ Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 08:50 EST / 1250 GMT
 
                           Latest       Previous   %Chg    Daily    Daily   %Chg 
Dollar Rates                               Close            High      Low  12/31 
 
USD/JPY Japan           111.91-92      111.93-94  -0.02   111.98   111.66  +2.13 
EUR/USD Euro            1.1222-25      1.1256-59  -0.30   1.1263   1.1222  -2.14 
GBP/USD U.K.            1.2994-96      1.2979-81  +0.12   1.3018   1.2974  +1.85 
USD/CHF Switzerland     1.0212-16      1.0156-60  +0.55   1.0214   1.0150  +4.05 
USD/CAD Canada          1.3408-13      1.3347-52  +0.46   1.3414   1.3343  -1.69 
AUD/USD Australia       0.7100-04      0.7133-37  -0.46   0.7140   0.7101  +0.71 
NZD/USD New Zealand     0.6650-56      0.6676-82  -0.39   0.6688   0.6652  -1.00 
 
Euro Rates 
 
EUR/JPY Japan           125.59-63      125.98-06  -0.31   126.07   125.58  -0.07 
EUR/GBP U.K.            0.8636-39      0.8671-74  -0.40   0.8677   0.8636  -3.93 
EUR/CHF Switzerland     1.1462-65      1.1433-36  +0.25   1.1478   1.1426  +1.84 
EUR/CAD Canada          1.5045-55      1.5018-28  +0.18   1.5075   1.5020  -3.77 
EUR/AUD Australia      1.5799-809      1.5771-81  +0.18   1.5830   1.5771  -2.83 
EUR/DKK Denmark         7.4661-68      7.4663-70   0.00   7.4669   7.4649   0.00 
EUR/NOK Norway         9.6192-242     9.5652-702  +0.56   9.6235   9.5593  -2.89 
EUR/SEK Sweden        10.5106-206    10.4725-825  +0.36  10.5163  10.4671  +3.58 
EUR/CZK Czech Rep.      25.729-59      25.701-31  +0.11   25.752   25.692  +0.13 
EUR/HUF Hungary       320.86-1.26      320.17-57  +0.22   321.13   319.99  +0.01 
EUR/PLN Poland          4.2873-91      4.2814-32  +0.14   4.2909   4.2817  -0.03 
 
Yen Rates 
 
AUD/JPY Australia        79.47-51       79.84-88  -0.46    79.92    79.47  +2.85 
GBP/JPY U.K.            145.41-47      145.27-33  +0.10   145.62   144.99  +3.97 
CAD/JPY Canada           83.45-49       83.84-88  -0.47    83.91    83.42  +3.87 
NZD/JPY New Zealand      74.42-46       74.75-79  -0.44    74.86    74.44  +1.09 
 
Other Dollar Rates 
 
USD/CZK Czech Rep.      22.915-65      22.818-68  +0.42   22.942   22.814  +2.32 
USD/HUF Hungary       285.88-6.28      284.38-78  +0.53   286.20   284.26  +2.18 
USD/DKK Denmark         6.6527-37      6.6322-32  +0.31   6.6535   6.6298  +2.18 
USD/NOK Norway          8.5706-66    8.4957-5017  +0.88   8.5736   8.4898  -0.79 
USD/PLN Poland          3.8205-10      3.8037-42  +0.44   3.8211   3.8033  +2.14 
USD/RUB Russia         63.767-837     63.751-821  +0.02   63.856   63.690  -7.86 
USD/SEK Sweden         9.3657-747     9.3027-117  +0.68   9.3702   9.2970  +5.85 
USD/ZAR S. Africa     14.2270-570    14.1420-720  +0.60  14.2421  14.1210  -0.83 
 
USD/CNY China          6.7198-218     6.7082-102  +0.17   6.7210   6.7084  -2.29 
USD/HKD Hong Kong       7.8440-45      7.8443-48   0.00   7.8470   7.8436  +0.16 
USD/MYR Malaysia       4.1261-311      4.1300-50  -0.09   4.1350   4.1243  -0.09 
USD/INR India           69.708-28     69.690-710  +0.03   69.805   69.565  +0.21 
USD/IDR Indonesia        14081-95       14068-82  +0.09    14113    14068  -2.03 
USD/PHP Philippines     52.040-60      52.010-30  +0.06   52.060   52.020  -0.86 
USD/SGD Singapore       1.3576-86      1.3555-65  +0.15   1.3581   1.3553  -0.35 
USD/KRW S. Korea     1142.78-4.78  1139.99-41.99  +0.24  1143.78  1139.25  +2.65 
USD/TWD Taiwan          30.841-71      30.837-67  +0.01   30.862   30.839  +0.90 
USD/THB Thailand        31.970-90      31.900-20  +0.22   32.000   31.790  -1.05 
USD/VND Vietnam         23183-253      23184-254  -0.01    23222    23210  +0.10 
 
USD/BRL Brazil          3.9366-96      3.9350-80  +0.04   3.9400   3.9280  +1.46 
USD/MXN Mexico        18.9079-379    18.8099-399  +0.52  18.9323  18.8207  -3.70 
USD/ARS Argentina     42.4223-323    42.4820-920  -0.14  42.4975  42.4273 +12.70 
 
Source: Tullett Prebon 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:50 ET (12:50 GMT)

DJ NextEra Energy Beats Adjusted Profit Forecast >NEE
 
   By Micah Maidenberg 
 

Adjusted profit rose at utility and energy company NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE) in the first quarter.

Overall, earnings dropped to $680 million, or $1.41 a share, from $4.43 billion, or $9.32 a share, the year earlier, when the company reported a major gain related to its deconsolidation of a limited partnership it formerly owned.

Excluding one-time gains and after other adjustments, the company reported a profit of $1.06 billion, or $2.20 a share, compared with $929 million, or $1.96 a share, a year earlier. Analysts predicted $2.05 a share, according to FactSet.

Revenue increased to $4.08 billion, up 6% compared with the first quarter of 2018.

Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:44 ET (12:44 GMT)

DJ Intel Earnings Are Coming. Here's What to Expect. -- Barrons.com
By Tae Kim 

Intel is due to report fiscal first-quarter earnings on Thursday evening after the market closes.

The chip maker's stock (ticker: INTC) is up about 25% this year, topping the S&P 500 index, which has gained almost 16%, and the Nasdaq Composite, which has risen roughly 21%.

Here's a snapshot of Wall Street's expectations and some recent history.

-- Intel is expected to generate adjusted earnings per share of 87 cents for the first quarter, about the same as the 87 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts also estimate sales of $16.03 billion for the March quarter.

-- Intel's fourth-quarter earnings of $1.28, reported in January, topped expectations of $1.22. But the company gave weaker-than-expected sales guidance of $16 billion for the March quarter, short of the $17.3 billion consensus estimate at the time.

-- Intel stock rose last week as investors cheered the company's retreat from the 5G modem business. Intel announced on April 16 that it will exit the 5G smartphone-modem business, moving aside for Qualcomm to potentially take the Apple business. Some analysts commended the move because Intel can focus more on its higher profit margin server and PC processor businesses.

Intel's earnings conference call is scheduled for 5 p.m. E.T. on Thursday.

Write to Tae Kim at tae.kim@barrons.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:29 ET (12:29 GMT)

DJ Investors Sell Back Sterling Options, Nomura Says -- Market Talk

1227 GMT - With the U.K. being granted a six-month Brexit extension to Oct. 31, corporations and other foreign exchange market participants are getting rid of their sterling protection trades, says Julian Weiss, Nomura's head of forex flow options. Weiss says he had a busy week the week before last as his clients sold back sterling options to Nomura. Options are usually used by market participants to hedge against unexpected risks in the market. (olga.cotaga@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:27 ET (12:27 GMT)

DJ United Technologies Smashes Earnings Forecast as Aerospace Industry Soars -- Barrons.com
By Al Root 

United Technologies is having a good year. Shares are up almost 29% year to date, better than the 14% gain of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the 21% gain in the Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF.

That strong performance should continue Tuesday after United Technologies (UTX) reported first-quarter numbers. The company earned $1.91 in adjusted earnings per share, far better than the $1.71 Wall Street predicted. What's more, the company raised its full-year earnings guidance. Share were up 3% in premarket trading.

United Technologies' earnings report continues the trend of strong aerospace earnings. Honeywell (HON) and Textron (TXT) both beat Wall Street estimates and the stocks of both companies rose after reporting results. All three results indicate aerospace is just about the best industrial end market out there right now.

The back story: Management at United Tech has been busy. After all, it is splitting into three companies: one dedicated to air-conditioning, another to elevators and one to aerospace. The aerospace franchise is also integrating the $30 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins.

What's new: Aerospace sales were up 9% organically. Results in elevators and air-conditioning weren't as strong, though. Sales at Otis, the elevator division, were pinched by currency translation. Sales at Carrier, the air-conditioning division, fell 2%. Management blamed last year's strong first quarter for the weak air conditioning comparison. Still, the overall results look good.

"United Technologies is off to a strong start in 2019," said CEO Gregory Hayes. "We made significant progress this quarter on the integration of Rockwell Collins and saw excellent performance from the combined Collins Aerospace business. Preparations for our portfolio separation are progressing well, and we remain on track to establish Otis and Carrier as independent companies in the first half of 2020."

Looking ahead: The report is good news for the aerospace and industrial sectors, although it is a little better for aerospace than for the industrial sector.

In its news release, the company was quiet on Boeing (BA) and the 737 MAX situation. That topic will likely come up on the earnings conference call this morning at 8:30 because Rockwell Collins supplies the avionics for the 737 MAX jets and 5% of United Technologies' sales are generated from Boeing. Boeing reports earnings on Wednesday.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:25 ET (12:25 GMT)

DJ HCA Stock Upgraded To Outperform From Market Perform By Raymond James -- MarketWatch

Shares of HCA Healthcare Inc. (HCA) were up 1.4% in premarket trade Tuesday after being upgraded to outperform from market perform by Raymond James. The firm also set a target price of $135 on the stock, which is currently trading at $115. "The sell-off is based on legislation that has almost no chance of passing," analysts wrote in a note to clients, referring to the recent decline in HCA shares, whose 8% fall in the year to date has been attributed by analysts to investor jitters around U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' proposal of a single-payer health system (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bernie-sanders-unveils-new-version-of-his-medicare-for-all-plan-2019-04-10). Analysts at Raymond James think the stock will recover, saying: "Medicare for all, in our opinion, has less than a 1% chance of passing." Health-care stocks have declined overall in recent weeks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/health-care-stocks-keep-getting-hammered-wall-street-says-this-is-why-2019-04-17) -- the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) has fallen 0.6% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

-Sarah Toy

 For more from MarketWatch: http://www.marketwatch.com/newsviewer 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:21 ET (12:21 GMT)

DJ Dow's Earnings Reporters Would Give A 34-point Boost To Dow's Price -- MarketWatch

Earnings reports are giving a healthy boost to the Dow Jones Industrial Average , as the premarket share price moves in components that reported first-quarter results were adding a combined net of about 34 points to the Dow's price. And Dow futures were up 74 points ahead of the open. Shares of Procter & Gamble Co (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/procter-gamble-tops-estimates-but-offers-soft-outlook-2019-04-23). (PG) fell 1%, with the implied price decline shaving about 7 points off the Dow; Coca-Cola Co (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/coca-cola-shares-rise-after-earnings-and-revenue-beat-expectations-2019-04-23). rallied 3.1%, and would add about 10 points to the Dow; United Technologies Corp (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/united-technologies-stock-up-28-after-earnings-and-revenue-beat-2019-04-23). (UTX) climbed 3.4% and would add about 31 points to the Dow; and Verizon Communications Inc (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/verizons-stock-rallies-after-profit-beat-raised-guidance-2019-04-23). (VZ) was little changed, and would virtually no affect on the Dow.

-Tomi Kilgore

 For more from MarketWatch: http://www.marketwatch.com/newsviewer 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:17 ET (12:17 GMT)

DJ Biogen Reports Earnings Tomorrow. Here's What to Expect. -- Barrons.com
By Teresa Rivas 

Biogen (ticker: BIIB) is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, ahead of the market open.

Biogen stock is down 24% year to date, and has slipped nearly 13% in the last 12 months. That comes even as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) and SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) have risen this year.

Here's a snapshot of Wall Street's expectations and some recent history.

   -- Biotechs had it tough in 2018, but Biogen's fortunes haven't changed much 
      with the new year. In February, Biogen shares slid on a setback related 
      to its patent dispute with Mylan (MYL), although companies it has 
      invested in have done better. 
 
   -- The worst pain came in March, when Biogen said its Alzheimer's treatment 
      had failed, leading to a 30% plunge that gave it access to an exclusive 
      but undesirable club of big companies taking even bigger hits. Not 
      surprisingly, given the huge market and commensurate hopes for 
      Alzheimer's drugs, analysts weren't eager to jump back into the stock, 
      which may not get much of a boost from share buybacks either. 
 
   -- Analysts are expecting Biogen to earn $6.81 a share on revenue of $3.38 
      billion for the first quarter. That compares to per-share of $6.99 on 
      revenue of $3.53 billion in the previous quarter. 
 
   -- One analyst has a Sell rating on the shares, while a quarter have a Buy 
      rating or the equivalent on Biogen. The rest rate it at Hold, and the 
      average analyst price target is $260.96, about 14% above where the shares 
      trade currently. 
 
   -- Biogen hasn't missed consensus earnings expectations since it reported 
      its December 2017 quarter. 
 
   -- Biogen will hold a conference call at 8 AM Eastern time on Wednesday. 

Write to Teresa Rivas at teresa.rivas@barrons.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:14 ET (12:14 GMT)

DJ Didi Dominates Ride-Hailing in China but Still Loses Money on Each Trip

Didi Chuxing Technology Co. beat out Uber Technologies Inc. in China, but nearly three years later the startup, whose investors include its former rival and SoftBank, still struggles with profitability in its core ride-hailing business.

In an essay published this week, Didi executive Chen Xi said for every ride it facilitated in China in the three months to December, Didi lost on average 2% of the fare paid.

While Didi took 19% in commissions on average, its costs—including tax payments and driver incentives—surpassed that at 21% of the fare, said Mr. Chen, who oversees Didi’s ride-hailing business. It was the first time Didi disclosed such figures. Driver incentives include subsidies to encourage drivers to use Didi’s app.

“This situation is not sustainable in the long run. Otherwise one day we wouldn’t be able to continue normal operations because we will have run out of funding,” he said. However, he added: “In the current reality, these losses are a normal phenomenon for all in the ride-hailing industry.”

According to Mr. Chen’s breakdown, which was provided to respond to public curiosity, a Didi spokeswoman said, a sum equivalent to 10% of the fare is used for operational costs, which includes technology research, safety and services. Another 7% goes to the driver as incentives, while 4% is used to pay taxes and online payment-associated fees.

Didi didn’t give any comparable earlier figures, making it hard to gauge whether its average cost ratio has been shrinking.

While Didi dominates China’s ride-hailing market, it is still investing to attract new users and drivers. Didi has also spent heavily on new safety measures after two female passengers were murdered in the space of three months last year.

In a prospectus published this month for an initial public offering, Uber said its commission rate for ride-sharing was 22% in 2018. Smaller rival Lyft said in its IPO filing that its commission rate was 26.8% in 2018. Lyft went public at the end of March, the first in what could be a wave of listings from money-losing, highly funded startups.

Last year, Uber’s loss from operations totaled $3.03 billion, while Lyft booked a net loss of $911 million, according to the companies’ IPO papers. Didi, one of China’s most valuable startups, hasn’t disclosed its financial details.

Will Tao, an independent consultant focused on internet companies, said that potential investors in Didi could view the 2% loss as a signal that the company’s ride-hailing business isn’t so far away from break-even. However, it is difficult to judge when Didi could possibly achieve that without further financial details, he said.

Mr. Chen said Didi has been working to improve management efficiency from the end of last year. He referred to Didi’s plan to optimize workers and its move to cut back on operational spending. Didi plans to lay off about 2,000 employees this year.

Uber’s IPO documents implied that Didi was valued at $51.6 billion as of end-December. Uber owns 15.4% in Didi, a stake it acquired after it gave up its costly battle in China. Didi also counts SoftBank, Apple Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. among its backers.

Last year, it held discussions about an initial public offering but those talks went quiet after the passenger deaths.

Write to Yoko Kubota at yoko.kubota@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:10 ET (12:10 GMT)

DJ Trading Lull Engulfs Stocks and Commodities

An unusual period of calm has blanketed trading of stocks and commodities in recent days, befuddling some analysts who had expected activity in riskier assets to pick up at the start of first-quarter earnings season.

The differences between daily highs and lows for stocks and commodities have slumped to their lowest levels in months as many risky investments have wobbled in April. The lull during trading sessions is the latest sign many investors are cautious after the almost uninterrupted rise in those markets since the start of the year, analysts say.

A decline in trading volumes and outflows from stock funds have also painted a mixed picture of investors’ risk appetite, even with the S&P 500 up 16% in 2019 and the S&P GSCI commodity gauge up 22%. In another sign some are still embracing risk assets, investors have increased bearish bets against the Cboe Volatility Index.

Although the early round of first-quarter earnings reports hasn’t been as bad as some analysts had feared, those reports also haven’t sparked a fresh round of buying. And some investors say they are skeptical the recent rally will continue to new peaks.

“We’re not rushing for the exits here in terms of stocks, but we don’t expect much more,” said Jeff Garden, chief investment officer at Lido Advisors. “We expect things to take a step back in the coming months.”

The gap between the S&P 500’s daily highs and lows shrank to 12.6 index points on average during the week ended April 12, the smallest such range since mid-August, according to Dow Jones Market Data. It stayed low at 16.9 points last week and was at 13.2 Monday. In late December, during the height of the fourth-quarter market turbulence, the S&P 500 averaged a swing of more than 75 points a day.

The trend has been similar for commodities, which have rocketed higheralongside stocks as some analysts project an uptick in economic growth and steady demand for materials. The early-year rally in metals such as copper has petered out in recent days, with prices falling after hitting their highest level in nine months last week.

Oil prices are up 45% for the year but, like equities, had stalled near their early-year peaks entering the week. Monday’s decision by the Trump administration to end sanctions waivers for countries to continue buying Iranian crude pushed prices up 2.7% to their highest level since late October.

Still, the average daily range for the S&P GSCI commodity index, heavily weighted toward oil and other energy products, had dropped below 4.5 points in recent weeks for the first time since January 2018 before surging Monday. The gauge’s range was more than 10 points late last year.

Even though some analysts have grown cautious on stocks and commodities, the Federal Reserve’s signaling that it is unlikely to raise interest rates this year has pushed investors to take on greater risk. At the same time, some analysts expect a U.S.-China trade agreement and stimulus measures by the Chinese government to spur growth overseas, easing fears of an economic slowdown.

Still, some analysts say the recent stretch of quiet trading could reflect that financial markets are set up for more volatility.

S&P 500 companies are expected to report their first year-over-year drop in quarterly earnings since 2016, with market-leading technology companies expected to be among the biggest laggards. Investors will be monitoring earnings from Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc. Wednesday, as well as results from Amazon.com Inc. Thursday, for the latest update on growth at the market’s most popular internet firms.

Shares of all three companies are up 22% or more for the year.

Investors are also struggling to put together a clear picture of economic data following a mixed stretch showing a slump in global manufacturing but strong U.S. consumer activity.

The result, analysts say, is that many riskier assets are trading similarly until investors feel confident about the direction of global growth. The rolling correlation between the S&P 500 and S&P GSCI index rose to 0.96 last week for the first time since 2011, according to a Dow Jones Market Data analysis of 50-day periods.

Correlation is measured on a scale of minus-1 to 1. A reading of minus-1 means two assets are moving in opposite directions, while a correlation of 1 means they are moving in tandem.

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Write to Amrith Ramkumar at amrith.ramkumar@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:10 ET (12:10 GMT)

DJ Lockheed Martin Boosts Profit Guidance

Lockheed Martin Corp. on Tuesday raised its full-year financial guidance to reflect booming sales of missiles and F-35 combat jets.

The world’s largest defense company by revenue said its backlog climbed to a record $133.5 billion as it reported forecast-beating quarterly profits and threw off more cash to fund stock buybacks and dividends.

Lockheed Martin opened a defense reporting season expected to be dominated by concerns that the U.S. military budget is set to flatten over the next several years after a brief surge in spending on new equipment.

The company said profits in the March quarter rose to $1.7 billion from $1.16 billion a year earlier, with per-share earnings climbing to $5.99 from $4.02, well above analysts expectations. Its shares rose more than 6% in pre-open trade.

Sales in the quarter rose to $14.3 billion from $11.6 billion, with new contracts for the F-35, missiles and missile-defense systems, and hypersonic weapons helping boost its order backlog to record levels.

Lockheed Martin added another $1 billion to its 2019 sales guidance, boosting the midpoint to $56.75 billion, and lifted profit guidance by 5% to a range of $20.05 to $20.35.

Write to Doug Cameron at doug.cameron@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:10 ET (12:10 GMT)

DJ European Investors Prop Up Hedges of USD-Denominated Assets: Nomura -- Market Talk

1209 GMT - European investors with assets in the U.S. have become increasingly interested in hedging their positions as uncertainties surrounding the long-term prospects of the U.S. economy rise, says Julian Weiss, Nomura's head of forex flow options. Buying protection against unexpected swings in the dollar has become expensive for European investors, which led to un-hedged investments in U.S. equities earlier this year and last year. U.S. Treasury investments are usually more protected, Weiss says. (olga.cotaga@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:09 ET (12:09 GMT)

DJ Sherwin-Williams Shares Fall As Earnings Fall Short Of Estimates -- MarketWatch

Shares of paint maker Sherwin-Williams Co. (SHW) fell 2.6% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the company's first-quarter earnings fell short of estimates. The company said it had net income of $245.2 millin, or $2.62 a share, down from $250.1 million, or $2.62 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings, excluding acquisition-related costs and pension settlement costs, came to $3.60, below the $3.66 FactSet consensus. Sales rose to $4.04 billion from $3.97 billion, also below the FactSet consensus of $4.09 billion. "We made good progress on our pricing initiatives across all segments during the quarter and effectively managed SG&A spending, but volumes fell short of expectations due to a slower start to the architectural painting season in North America and continued challenging conditions in many end markets outside North America," Chief Executive John Morikis said in a statement. The company is expecting volume growth to improve in the second half, particularly in the back half of the year, he said. For the second quarter, the company is expecting sales to grow 2% to 5%. "As a reminder, second quarter revenue comparisons to 2018 in The Americas Group and the Performance Coatings Group are the most challenging of the year, and Consumer Brands Group faces comparisons to early load in volume from the Lowes program and the divested Guardsman business," said Morikis. For the full year, the company expects sales to grow 4% to 7%. It expects full-year EPS of $16.93 to $17.39 and adjusted EPS of $20.40 to $21.40. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of 21.09. Shares have gained 16.6% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.9%.

-Ciara Linnane

 For more from MarketWatch: http://www.marketwatch.com/newsviewer 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:09 ET (12:09 GMT)

DJ Munitions Fire Defense Stocks -- Market Talk

08:02 ET - US defense companies continue to churn out missiles and munitions, whatever the state of any military draw down in the Middle East. Sales at Lockheed Martin's missiles unit soared 40% in 1Q, and with output at peak levels, scale efficiencies helped operating profits in the business jump 60%. That bodes well for upcoming earnings from Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics, all of whose shares rose in pre-open trade. Lockheed Martin shares now up 6.2% after its forecast beating 1Q. (doug.cameron@wsj.com; @dougcameron)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:02 ET (12:02 GMT)

DJ Quest Diagnostics 1Q Earnings Beat Estimates

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates.

The Secaucus, N.J.-based company posted net income of $164 million, or $1.20 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $163 million of profit, or $1.16 a share.

On an adjusted basis, Quest Diagnostics registered earnings per share of $1.40. Analysts were looking for $1.36 an adjusted share, per FactSet.

Revenue was $1.89 billion, the company said, topping the $1.87 billion analysts were targeting.

Write to Chris Wack at chris.wack@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:00 ET (12:00 GMT)

DJ Sports Drinks Boost Coca-Cola Sales

Coca-Cola Co. said sales grew in the latest quarter, bolstered by beverages such as enhanced water and sports drinks.

Organic revenue, which excludes currency swings, acquisitions and divestitures, increased 6% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the company said Tuesday.

Sales of water, enhanced water and sports drinks grew 6% in the quarter. The company said it saw higher sales in smaller, immediate consumption packages in the category as the company focuses on value over volume.

In its other categories, concentrate sales grew 1% while sparkling soft drinks sales rose 1% as well.

Meanwhile, tea and coffee sales volume were flat, as were sales volume in its juice, dairy and plant-based beverages category. Overall sales volume rose 2% from a year earlier.

Coca-Cola shares rose 3.4% in premarket trading. Shares have gained 11% so far this year.

The beverage company has looked beyond soda for sales growth. Over the last quarter, Coca-Cola completed its acquisition of coffee chain Costa Ltd., seen as a global entryway into hot beverages and coffee.

Net revenue for the beverage company rose 5% to $8.02 billion for the quarter, largely due to the refranchising of company-owned bottling operations and foreign-currency headwinds. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected sales of $7.88 billion.

The Atlanta-based company posted a profit of $1.68 billion, or 39 cents a share, up from $1.37 billion, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of 46 cents a share.

Write to Kimberly Chin at kimberly.chin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:00 ET (12:00 GMT)

DJ Verizon Loses Wireless Phone Customers

Verizon Communications Inc.’s core wireless business lost lucrative phone customers in the first quarter, as it offered fewer promotions and focused on upgrading to a faster 5G network.

The carrier said it lost a net 44,000 postpaid phone connections during the period. Those losses were worse than some analysts expected and more severe than the same time last year, when it lost 24,000 postpaid phone connections. Verizon added a net 653,000 new postpaid phone connections during the fourth quarter of 2018.

Wells Fargo analysts said last week that they expected Verizon to lose 15,000 postpaid phone connections during the period because it had been less generous with promotions than some of its rivals.

The largest U.S. carrier by subscribers said it continued to build out its 5G network and earlier this month began offering 5G service in Chicago and Minneapolis. It has said it plans to roll out the service in 30 cities before the end of the year.

Write to Sarah Krouse at sarah.krouse@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 08:00 ET (12:00 GMT)

DJ Paring Back of Short Euro Positions Unlikely to Boost Currency: SocGen -- Market Talk

1157 GMT - Speculators cut their net euro short positions in the week to April 16, according to CFTC data, but that's unlikely to be sufficient to boost the euro, says Kit Juckes, macro strategist at Societe Generale. A bounce the euro "is dependent on better European news and higher Bund yields" and last week investors suffered "a disappointment on both counts." he says. "We are likely to stay here for a while longer." EUR/USD is last down 0.1% at 1.1248. (olga.cotaga@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:57 ET (11:57 GMT)

DJ Amazon 1Q Gross Margin to Get Advertising Boost -- Market Talk

1155 GMT - Amazon.com Inc's advertising business is expected to give the retail giant's gross margin a boost in first-quarter numbers after the market close on Thursday. Wedbush expects gross margin in the period to have risen by 180 basis points while market consensus is more optimistic at 210 bps, given continuing positive momentum for the ads business. "We expect 1Q revenue of $60.3 billion, operating income of $3.4 billion, and earnings per share of $5.56, versus consensus of $59.7 billion, $3.1 billion, and $4.72," Wedbush analysts say. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:55 ET (11:55 GMT)

DJ Sports Drinks Boost Coca-Cola Sales
By Kimberly Chin 

Coca-Cola Co. said sales grew in the latest quarter, bolstered by beverages such as enhanced water and sports drinks.

Organic revenue, which excludes currency swings, acquisitions and divestitures, increased 6% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the company said Tuesday.

Sales of water, enhanced water and sports drinks grew 6% in the quarter. The company said it saw higher sales in smaller, immediate consumption packages in the category as the company focuses on value over volume.

In its other categories, concentrate sales grew 1% while sparkling soft drinks sales rose 1% as well.

Meanwhile, tea and coffee sales volume were flat, as were sales volume in its juice, dairy and plant-based beverages category. Overall sales volume rose 2% from a year earlier.

Coca-Cola shares rose 3.4% in premarket trading. Shares have gained 11% so far this year.

The beverage company has looked beyond soda for sales growth. Over the last quarter, Coca-Cola completed its acquisition of coffee chain Costa Ltd., seen as a global entryway into hot beverages and coffee.

Net revenue for the beverage company rose 5% to $8.02 billion for the quarter, largely due to the refranchising of company-owned bottling operations and foreign-currency headwinds. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected sales of $7.88 billion.

The Atlanta-based company posted a profit of $1.68 billion, or 39 cents a share, up from $1.37 billion, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of 46 cents a share.

Write to Kimberly Chin at kimberly.chin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:54 ET (11:54 GMT)

DJ Investors Currently Favoring NOK, CNY Trades: Nomura -- Market Talk

1151 GMT - Investors have two favorite trades at the moment--Norwegian krone in major markets and Chinese yuan in emerging markets, according to Nomura. These trades are very crowded, says Nomura's Julian Weiss, head of forex options flow. Weiss says that the bank itself is long Norwegian krone and that it is part of this crowded trade via options and cash. It is also long the yen versus the dollar. (olga.cotaga@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:51 ET (11:51 GMT)

DJ Procter & Gamble’s Sales Rise on Strength in Beauty Products

Procter & Gamble Co. reported strong quarterly sales growth in the latest period as the consumer-products giant got a boost from developing markets and increased prices.

The maker of Tide detergent and Gillette razors said Tuesday organic sales—a closely watched metric that strips out currency moves, acquisitions and divestitures—rose 5% in the fiscal third quarter.

Organic sales were boosted by 2% due to higher pricing and 2% due to organic shipment volumes compared to a year ago. The mix of products also helped organic sales by 1%.

Beauty products fueled the gains, with organic sales rising 9%, but the company reported growth across a number of categories including fabric and home care, health care, and baby, feminine and family care.

Only its grooming business, which includes the Gillette brand, posted a decline in organic sales of 1% in the period.

The shaving brand has faced competition from upstarts and has resorted to lowering prices to maintain its leading market share. In January, Gillette released—to mixed consumer reactions—a campaign invoking the #MeToo movement.

During the quarter, ended March 31, P&G said net sales were up 1% to $16.46 billion, as unfavorable foreign-exchange fluctuations cut into the total. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting $16.37 billion.

The company recorded a profit of $2.75 billion, or $1.04 a share, up from $2.51 billion, or 95 cents a share, a year earlier. Core earnings per share were $1.06, above analysts’ expectations of $1.03 a share.

P&G raised its organic-sales guidance for the full year. It now expects organic sales to be up a solid 4%, compared with its previous forecast in January of between 2% and 4%.

Write to Aisha Al-Muslim at aisha.al-muslim@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:50 ET (11:50 GMT)

DJ State Street `1Q Profit Shrinks as Fee Revenue Drops

State Street Corp. (STT) reported a lower profit as fee income fell.

State Street said its first-quarter earnings were $508 million, which was a 23% decrease from the comparable quarter a year prior. The company reported earnings of $1.18 a share, down from $1.62 a share. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting $1.17 a share.

The company said adjusted earnings were $1.24 a share. Analysts were expecting $1.19 a share.

Revenue fell 4.1%, to $2.93 billion, as fee revenue declined 6.4%. Analysts were expecting $2.92 billion in revenue.

Total assets under custody and total assets under custody and/or administration fell 1.9%. Total assets under management rose 2.8%.

Write to Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:50 ET (11:50 GMT)

DJ Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 07:50 EST / 1150 GMT
 
                           Latest       Previous   %Chg    Daily    Daily   %Chg 
Dollar Rates                               Close            High      Low  12/31 
 
USD/JPY Japan           111.90-91      111.93-94  -0.03   111.98   111.66  +2.11 
EUR/USD Euro            1.1248-51      1.1256-59  -0.07   1.1263   1.1242  -1.92 
GBP/USD U.K.            1.3004-06      1.2979-81  +0.19   1.3018   1.2974  +1.93 
USD/CHF Switzerland    1.0197-201      1.0156-60  +0.40   1.0202   1.0150  +3.90 
USD/CAD Canada          1.3369-74      1.3347-52  +0.16   1.3379   1.3343  -1.97 
AUD/USD Australia       0.7112-16      0.7133-37  -0.29   0.7140   0.7106  +0.88 
NZD/USD New Zealand     0.6657-63      0.6676-82  -0.28   0.6688   0.6656  -0.89 
 
Euro Rates 
 
EUR/JPY Japan           125.86-90      125.98-06  -0.10   126.07   125.58  +0.14 
EUR/GBP U.K.            0.8649-52      0.8671-74  -0.25   0.8677   0.8644  -3.78 
EUR/CHF Switzerland     1.1473-76      1.1433-36  +0.35   1.1478   1.1426  +1.94 
EUR/CAD Canada          1.5038-48      1.5018-28  +0.13   1.5053   1.5020  -3.82 
EUR/AUD Australia       1.5813-23      1.5771-81  +0.27   1.5830   1.5771  -2.74 
EUR/DKK Denmark         7.4655-62      7.4663-70  -0.01   7.4669   7.4649  -0.01 
EUR/NOK Norway          9.5810-60     9.5652-702  +0.17   9.5929   9.5593  -3.28 
EUR/SEK Sweden       10.4993-5093    10.4725-825  +0.26  10.5085  10.4671  +3.46 
EUR/CZK Czech Rep.      25.727-57      25.701-31  +0.10   25.752   25.692  +0.12 
EUR/HUF Hungary       320.81-1.21      320.17-57  +0.20   321.13   319.99  -0.01 
EUR/PLN Poland         4.2887-905      4.2814-32  +0.17   4.2909   4.2817  +0.00 
 
Yen Rates 
 
AUD/JPY Australia        79.58-62       79.84-88  -0.33    79.92    79.50  +2.99 
GBP/JPY U.K.            145.50-56      145.27-33  +0.16   145.62   144.99  +4.03 
CAD/JPY Canada           83.66-70       83.84-88  -0.21    83.91    83.53  +4.13 
NZD/JPY New Zealand      74.48-52       74.75-79  -0.36    74.86    74.44  +1.17 
 
Other Dollar Rates 
 
USD/CZK Czech Rep.     22.859-909      22.818-68  +0.18   22.889   22.814  +2.07 
USD/HUF Hungary         285.05-45      284.38-78  +0.24   285.53   284.26  +1.88 
USD/DKK Denmark         6.6363-73      6.6322-32  +0.06   6.6408   6.6298  +1.92 
USD/NOK Norway         8.5164-224    8.4957-5017  +0.24   8.5278   8.4898  -1.41 
USD/PLN Poland          3.8126-31      3.8037-42  +0.23   3.8146   3.8033  +1.93 
USD/RUB Russia          63.708-78     63.751-821  -0.07   63.856   63.690  -7.94 
USD/SEK Sweden         9.3334-424     9.3027-117  +0.33   9.3443   9.2970  +5.48 
USD/ZAR S. Africa    14.1816-2116    14.1420-720  +0.28  14.2313  14.1210  -1.15 
 
USD/CNY China          6.7182-202     6.7082-102  +0.15   6.7206   6.7084  -2.32 
USD/HKD Hong Kong       7.8439-44      7.8443-48  -0.01   7.8470   7.8436  +0.16 
USD/MYR Malaysia       4.1252-302      4.1300-50  -0.12   4.1350   4.1243  -0.12 
USD/INR India           69.650-70     69.690-710  -0.06   69.805   69.565  +0.13 
USD/IDR Indonesia        14083-97       14068-82  +0.11    14113    14068  -2.02 
USD/PHP Philippines     52.050-70      52.010-30  +0.08   52.060   52.020  -0.84 
USD/SGD Singapore       1.3565-75      1.3555-65  +0.07   1.3576   1.3553  -0.43 
USD/KRW S. Korea     1141.03-3.03  1139.99-41.99  +0.09  1143.02  1139.25  +2.49 
USD/TWD Taiwan          30.834-64      30.837-67  -0.01   30.860   30.839  +0.88 
USD/THB Thailand        31.950-70      31.900-20  +0.16   31.990   31.790  -1.11 
USD/VND Vietnam         23183-253      23184-254  -0.01    23222    23210  +0.10 
 
USD/BRL Brazil          3.9342-72      3.9350-80  -0.02   3.9364   3.9314  +1.40 
USD/MXN Mexico        18.8553-853    18.8099-399  +0.24  18.8947  18.8207  -3.96 
USD/ARS Argentina     42.4657-757    42.4820-920  -0.04  42.4975  42.4600 +12.81 
 
Source: Tullett Prebon 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:50 ET (11:50 GMT)

DJ United Tech 1Q Shows Why It Is Focusing On Aerospace -- Market Talk

07:45 ET - United Technologies 1Q results beat expectations and demonstrate why the conglomerate is jettisoning the less attractive businesses in its breakup to focus on aerospace. Sales at Otis elevator rose 1.9%, while they fell 1.2% at the Carrier building-systems business -- profit fell at both units. Top and bottom line results at engine maker Pratt & Whitney and the newly formed Collins Aerospace divisions all showed strong increases. Commercial aftermarket sales at Collins Aerospace rose 64% and were still up 12% on a pro forma basis for the Rockwell Collins deal. Profit margins fell across the conglomerate to 12% from 13.1%, while adjusted margins inched up to 13.7% from 13.6%. Shares rise 3.7% premarket. (thomas.gryta@wsj.com; @tgryta)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:45 ET (11:45 GMT)

DJ As UK Borrows More, Pound Looks 'Worrying': SocGen -- Market Talk

1144 GMT - Looking at the rising pound "it's a bit worrying" given that a closer look at the U.K.'s sectoral borrowing, broken down between households, companies and the government shows "all three sectors borrowing furiously," says Kit Juckes, macro strategist at Societe Generale. This "makes for depressing reading when I observe GBP/USD running out of steam even as CFTC data show sterling short-covering continuing," Juckes says. GBP/USD last up 0.2% at 1.3005.(olga.cotaga@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:44 ET (11:44 GMT)

DJ Northern Trust's Profit Falls as Revenue Stays About Flat, Costs Increase

By Allison Prang

Northern Trust Corp.'s (NTRS) earnings fell in the first quarter as revenue was about flat and the company's expenses and income tax provision rose.

Northern Trust's net income fell 9% to $347.1 million. It said earnings were $1.48 a share, down from $1.58 a share. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting $1.47 a share.

Revenue rose 0.3% to $1.48 billion, which met analysts' consensus estimate.

Noninterest expenses rose 3.4% and the provision for income taxes rose 2.9%.

Write to Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:41 ET (11:41 GMT)

DJ United Technologies Raises Guidance for 2019

United Technologies Corp. said its profit rose 3.7% in the first quarter and the industrial conglomerate boosted its earnings projections for 2019, citing better-than-expected results from its recent acquisitionof airline-parts maker Rockwell Collins Inc.

The Farmington, Conn.-based company reiterated its revenue and cash-flow guidance for the year and said it remains on track to split into three companiesby mid-2020.

In the first quarter, the company reported net income of $1.35 billion, or $1.56 a share, up from $1.3 billion, or $1.62 a year ago. Adjusted earnings of $1.91 a share were above the $1.71 a share projected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Revenue of $18.37 billion in the quarter also exceeded analysts’ average estimate of $17.99 billion.

United Technologies said it now expect 2019 adjusted earnings of $7.80 to $8 a share, up from a previous range of $7.70 to $8. Analysts had already expected the results to be near the top end of the company’s projection with an average estimate of $7.91 a share.

Under the breakup plan, disclosed in November, UTC will combine its Pratt & Whitney jet engine unit, aviation services business and Rockwell Collins, which it purchased for $23 billion late last year. The Otis elevator and Carrier building-systems businesses will each become separate companies.

Write to Thomas Gryta at thomas.gryta@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:40 ET (11:40 GMT)

DJ Harley-Davidson’s Sales Weaken as Motorcycle Shipments Fall

Sales weakened at Harley-Davidson Inc. in the first quarter, but the company shipped more motorcycles than it had previously forecast.

The Milwaukee-based company on Tuesday reported first-quarter sales of motorcycles and related products $1.19 billion, down from $1.36 billion a year earlier but in line with what analysts had predicted, according to FactSet.

Harley reported motorcycle shipments fell 8% to nearly 59,000. The manufacturer previously said it expected no more than 58,000 shipments for the quarter.

Harley is pushing to revive sales by releasing 16 new models over the coming years, including electric motorcycles and racing-style sport bikes. Last month, the company purchased a company that makes electric bikes designed for children, a signal of how it is targeting younger customers.

Harley said first-quarter profit dropped to $127.9 million, or 80 cents a share, from $174.8 million, or $1.03 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring expenses and the impact of tariffs, the company reported earnings of 98 cents a share, more than the 82 cents a share analysts predicted.

Retail motorcycle sales, meanwhile, dropped 4% in the U.S., the company’s largest market. Those sales were off 0.6% in the region that includes Europe and the Middle East

Harley also reiterated that it expects to ship between 217,000 and 222,000 motorcycles this year.

Shares in Harley are up 16% so far this year and gained 2% in premarket trading Tuesday.

Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:40 ET (11:40 GMT)

DJ Sherwin-Williams 1Q Earnings Miss Expectations >SHW

By Chris Wack

Sherwin-Williams Co. (SHW) on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts' estimates.

The Cleveland paint company posted quarterly net income of $245.2 million, or $2.62 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $300 million of net income, or $3.13 a share.

On an adjusted basis, Sherwin-Williams reported earnings per share of $3.60. Analysts were looking for $3.68 an adjusted share, per FactSet.

Sales came to $4.04 billion, up from $3.97 billion a year ago, the company said, while analysts targeted $4.09 billion.

Write to Chris Wack at chris.wack@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:32 ET (11:32 GMT)

DJ US Stock Futures Little Changed as Earnings Roll In -- Market Talk

07:30 ET - US stock futures are narrowly mixed as 1Q earnings season hits high gear. Coca-Cola shares rise 3.8% premarket on better-than-expected earnings and Twitter jumps 8% premarket after blowing past estimates. Hasbro jumps 9% after a surprise 1Q profit for the toy maker. Procter & Gamble shares edge lower before the bell despite its 1Q earnings beat. Whirlpool shares climb 7.6% in early trading after its quarterly report shows it was able to successfully raise prices to drive profits. Oil prices continue to rise, topping $66, on US plans to end waivers allowing countries to import crude from Iran. S&P futures slip 2 points. (patrick.sullivan@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:30 ET (11:30 GMT)

DJ Global Equities Roundup: Market Talk

The latest Market Talks covering Equities. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires throughout the day.

1130 GMT - US stock futures are narrowly mixed as 1Q earnings season hits high gear. Coca-Cola shares rise 3.8% premarket on better-than-expected earnings and Twitter jumps 8% premarket after blowing past estimates. Hasbro jumps 9% after a surprise 1Q profit for the toy maker. Procter & Gamble shares edge lower before the bell despite its 1Q earnings beat. Whirlpool shares climb 7.6% in early trading after its quarterly report shows it was able to successfully raise prices to drive profits. Oil prices continue to rise, topping $66, on US plans to end waivers allowing countries to import crude from Iran. S&P futures slip 2 points. (patrick.sullivan@wsj.com)

1121 GMT - Hasbro swings to a surprise profit in the first quarter, with help from its Magic: The Gathering card game that has now rolled out into digital form. The new online platform is being used as a way to enter the growing e-sports space and CEO Brian Goldner says that initiative provided meaningful growth in the quarter. Monopoly, Play-Doh and Transformers also helped prop up sales growth in a period where analysts projected sales to fall and a profit loss. With the Toys ""R" Us bankruptcy filing more than a year in the rearview mirror, Hasbro and other toy companies will be relieved that the impact from that event will continue to dissipate on their financial results. Shares jump 15% premarket. (paul.ziobro@wsj.com; @pziobro)

1119 GMT - Facebook is tipped to top expectations with first-quarter numbers after the market close Wednesday, Wedbush says. The brokerage expects the social-media giant to report revenue of $15.13 billion and earnings per share of $1.92 versus consensus of $14.97 billion and $1.63, respectively. "We anticipate that overall ad impressions growth will again drive results this quarter," Wedbush analysts say. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

1117 GMT - As currencies aren't moving, "the lack of volatility is a pretty constant theme now," says Kit Juckes, Societe Generale's macro strategist. Forex volatility is at its lowest in years, "while equity volatility and credit spreads have pretty much reversed the spikes we saw at the back end of last year." Juckes says the "lack of volatility is going to keep investors looking for yield, and will do nothing to help the euro or the Japanese yen," which offer very low yields given the negative interest rates in both the eurozone and Japan. Both currencies "are helped by valuation but that leaves them stuck in tight ranges," Juckes says. (olga.cotaga@wsj.com)

1112 GMT - Scottish broadcaster STV Group is benefiting from the Brexit delay, although uncertainty around the U.K.'s planned departure from the EU and advertiser behavior is now potentially an issue for the fall, Peel Hunt says. The company says total advertising revenue for the first five months of fiscal 2019 is expected to grow 1%-2%, mainly thanks to better-than-anticipated national advertising. "The deferral of Brexit may account for the near-term improved advertising behaviors but suggests upgrading full-year numbers might be premature," Peel Hunt says. Nevertheless, the more robust national advertising market in recent months is a pleasing development for STV, the brokerage says. (adria.calatayudvaello@dowjones.com)

1106 GMT - SAP is expected to post an "overall solid" set of first-quarter results and confirm its full-year targets Wednesday despite a recent surprise management shakeup, analysts at Baader Helvea Equity Research say. That's partly because recent earnings of fellow software companies suggest that an "overall favorable spending environment" is compensating for difficulties thrown up by a more volatile macro environment, Baader Helvea says. SAP's full-year targets include an increase in cloud subscriptions & support revenues of between 33% and 39% to up to EUR7 billion, it says. Baader Helvea maintains its buy rating and EUR112 target price. SAP trades up 0.3% at EUR111.40. (patrick.costello@dowjones.com)

1101 GMT - Heineken's total organic consolidated beer volume growth should fall compared with the same quarter last year when it releases its first-quarter trading update on Wednesday morning, according to a company-issued analyst consensus. Heineken's growth is seen slowing to 3.3% compared with 4.3%, although the company is expected to swing to growth in Europe compared with the first quarter last year. Heineken shares trade 0.2% higher at EUR94.40. (anthony.shevlin@dowjones.com; @anthony_shevlin)

1056 GMT - Scottish broadcaster STV Group's guidance for a 1% to 2% rise in total advertising revenue for the first five months of 2019 likely means that it will outperform London-based peer ITV by a significant margin, Shore Capital says. STV now expects national advertising revenue to decline by up to 2%, better than its previous guidance for a 5% drop, while the regional category is forecast to perform strongly with a 20% to 25% revenue rise partly driven by new partners attracted by the STV Growth Fund, Shore says. In February, ITV said it expected total advertising revenue to be down 3% to 4% for the first four months of 2019. (adria.calatayudvaello@dowjones.com)

1053 GMT - The $4.9 trillion that is expected to be spent over the next decade on new oil-and-gas fields is incompatible with the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, says a report from Global Witness, a nonprofit focused on human rights and natural resources. "Investors will rightly be concerned that despite industry rhetoric to the contrary, the oil and gas sector's spending plans are so drastically incompatible with limiting climate change," says Murray Worthy, senior campaigner at Global Witness. In theory new oil-and-gas fields could work with the Paris Agreement, but only if there were massive carbon capture and removal programs, Global Witness says. (dieter.holger@dowjones.com; @dieterholger)

1048 GMT - Thomas Cook needs a cash boost, says Barclays, following weekend media speculation that the tour operator has had takeover approaches from its largest shareholder and private-equity firms. Barclays says the rumors suggest that Fosun International and private-equity groups KKR and EQT are interested. The chairman of Fosun, Guo Guangchang, already owns 17% of Thomas Cook. "We think an injection of capital, ideally, is required to shore up Thomas Cook's balance sheet," Barclays analysts say. "The group has been assessing various options, and the sale of the airline is a possibility. Thomas Cook is cheap and this news is likely to boost the (already volatile) share price in the short term," they say. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

1042 GMT- Pernod Ricard's key markets should remain difficult in 4Q, Bryan Garnier says after the spirits maker posted 3Q sales figures. The French company's third-quarter sales in the U.S. were hit by destocking and are set to keep suffering from this in 4Q, while in China sales should continue to be negatively affected by inventory management for its Martell cognac after slowing down in 3Q following the early Lunar New Year, Bryan Garnier notes. In Europe, a new law in France leading to product price increases should result in volume losses in 4Q after the country, along with Spain and Grance, dragged on Pernod's performance, the brokerage notes. (cristina.roca@dowjones.com)

1041 GMT - JD Sports' rising value is thanks to its international growth prospects, Shore Capital says, adding that it sees the U.S. as an important region for the business. "There is a clear plan to trade the U.S. business harder, implying a significant margin opportunity, as the product mix is tailored with more clothing introduced alongside the existing footwear ranges," the U.K. investment group says. Shore capital adds that despite the 22% share price appreciation, it retains its buy rating on the stock. Shares are down 0.1% at 599.80 pence. (adriano.marchese@dowjones.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:30 ET (11:30 GMT)

DJ Hermès Can Only Show Its Worth in a Luxury Downturn--Heard on the Street
By Carol Ryan 

Hermès International, maker of the world's most exclusive handbags, is also Europe's most exclusive consumer stock. Only the next downturn will show whether it is worth the money.

The luxury boom continues for now. Gucci-owner Kering said last week that first-quarter sales increased by 18% compared to the same period of 2018. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton also had a strong start to the year, with sales growth of 11%. The two companies' owners are feeling so flush they donated EUR300 million ($337 million) between them to the reconstruction of Notre Dame, including EUR100 million from LVMH itself.

Double-digit sales growth from peers makes it harder to justify Hermès's plush valuation. Shares in the maker of $10,000 Birkin handbags fetch 41 times projected earnings, more than any other big European consumer stock. They have always been more expensive than other listed luxury brands, but the premium has widened to roughly 80% in the recent luxury boom.

Hermès's annual shareholder returns have averaged 20% since 2014, comfortably beating the S&P 500 and French CAC 40 indexes but lagging the returns from less highly valued names such as Adidas and Italian liquor company Davide Campari-Milano. Kering and LVMH have returned 32% and 24% respectively.

Investors are willing to stump up for Hermès, despite slower growth, because the company is considered a safe place to park money in a cyclical industry. Its shares bounced back quickly from the 2008 financial crisis and a Chinese slowdown five years later. The brand's annual sales growth has dipped below 8% just once since 2010. Competitors have had a spikier time of it.

The next luxury slump will test Hermès's resilience again. Few expect the moment to come in 2019, but maintaining steady growth will be tougher for the company to achieve when the downturn does arrive. At nearly $7 billion, its annual revenues are three times what they were in 2009. The 10% clip that investors have grown accustomed to is harder to hit at that kind of scale.

Hermès also generates more money today from ready-to-wear, silk scarves and other categories that can be volatile. The company cannot starve the market of these items in the same way it does its famous Kelly and Birkin handbags to keep a well of growth in reserve.

The establishment of reputable online second-hand handbag sellers like The RealReal is also double-edged. It is reassuring that Hermès is the only luxury brand whose bags cost more to buy second hand than new -- the Birkin is 43% more expensive in the resale market than in a Hermès store, according to Berenberg research. But easier access to the bags, whatever the premium, undercuts their scarcity value.

Hermès's reputation as a haven will be harder to defend in the next downturn than it was in the last ones.

Write to Carol Ryan at carol.ryan@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:29 ET (11:29 GMT)

DJ Volvo's Truck Demand and Guidance in Focus -- Earnings Preview

By Dominic Chopping

Sweden's Volvo AB (VOLV-B.SK) is scheduled to report results for the first quarter on Wednesday. Here's what you need to know:

SALES FORECAST: Analysts polled by FactSet expect sales to rise 11% to 98.71 billion Swedish kronor ($10.61 billion) from SEK89.14 billion a year earlier.

NET INCOME FORECAST: Analysts expect net income of SEK8.28 billion in the first quarter, up from SEK5.65 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.

WHAT TO WATCH:

-TRUCK DEMAND: With truck orders continuing to decline in recent quarters, eyes will be on the scale of the falls in the first quarter of the year. UBS noted that truck down-cycles have historically on average lasted more than two years. "We therefore do not see orders recovering until late-2020-21 especially given the backdrop of economic slowdown and weakening freight demand," UBS said.

TRUCK MARGIN: The adjusted operating margin in Volvo's truck unit rose to 10.9% in the fourth quarter of 2018 from 9.2% in the same quarter a year earlier. But UBS said that given an expected decline in build rate into 2020, and therefore an under-utilization of capacity and fixed-cost absorption, "truck margins could decline 200 basis points per annum for 2020-21."

GUIDANCE: In its fourth-quarter report, Volvo guided for North American retail sales of 310,000 heavy-duty trucks in 2019 and 300,000 in Europe. Investors will be looking for any update on the demand picture, particularly in China, as the company has previously warned of a slowing market in the region. Chinese demand for heavy- and medium-duty trucks in 2019 was projected at 1.15 million vehicles in Volvo's last report.

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com; @domchopping @WSJNordics

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:17 ET (11:17 GMT)

DJ FTSE Edges Higher as Global Stocks Weaken
 
Market News: 
 
FTSE 100          7484.82 +24.94 +0.33% 
FTSE 250         19839.14  +3.21 +0.02% 
FTSE AIM All-Share 957.31  +2.16 +0.23% 

Global stocks mostly edged down on Tuesday, as oil prices jumped after a surprise move from the U.S. to curb Iranian oil imports and investors awaited a fresh batch of earnings for clues on the health of the world economy.

The Stoxx Europe 600 shed 0.3% in midmorning trade, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed flat and Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.2%. U.S. futures pointed to opening losses of 0.1% for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.4% to $74.32 a barrel, reaching a high for the year-to-date. Its U.S. counterpart, West Texas Intermediate, rose 0.7% to $65.98 a barrel.

Oil markets were jolted by a U.S. move to ban countries from importing Iranian oil, with waivers granted to countries including China, India and Turkey slated to end May 2. The tightened restrictions could remove over 1 million barrels of Iranian supplies from the market a day, significantly pushing up prices.

 
Companies News: 

Aberdeen Standard European's Pascal Duval to Step Down as Director and Chairman

Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income PLC (ASLI.LN) said on Tuesday that Pascal Duval will step down as director and chairman on June 11 following the company's annual general meeting, and that Tony Roper will be taking over the chairman's role.

Angling Direct Had a Record Start to Year

Angling Direct PLC (ANG.LN) said Tuesday that it has had a record start to the year, with both stores and e-commerce generating robust sales growth.

British Land to Sell 12 Superstores From Sainsbury's JV

British Land Co. PLC (BLND.LN) said Tuesday that it has exchanged contracts on the sale of 12 superstores from its joint venture with J Sainsbury PLC (SBRY.LN) for 429 million pounds ($557.1 million).

FastJet Expects Wider 2018 Loss; 1Q 2019 Revenue Fell

Africa-focused airline FastJet PLC (FJET.LN) said Tuesday that it expects its 2018 operating loss for continuing operations to widen and that revenue in the first quarter of 2019 fell.

Ferrexpo Pretax Profit Falls as Costs Rise

Ferrexpo PLC (FXPO.LN) said Tuesday that pretax profit fell 13% in 2018 despite higher revenue as costs increased.

Franchise Brands Reports Record First Quarter

Franchise Brands PLC (FRAN.LN) said on Tuesday that its franchise Metro Rod has seen forward momentum in the first quarter of 2019, leading to a record quarter, and that its franchise support strategy is bearing fruit.

IronRidge Resources: Zaranou Gold Project Granted Exploration License

IronRidge Resources Ltd. (IRR.LN) said Tuesday that the Zaranou gold project in Ivory Coast--for which the company secured an acquisition right in February--has been granted an exploration license.

Trans-Siberian Gold Gets License for Rodnikova Gold Deposit

Trans-Siberian Gold PLC (TSG.LN) said Tuesday that it has received a license for the development and exploration of the Rodnikova deposit--one of the largest gold fields in South Kamchatka in Russia--for a tenure of 20 years.

Tau Capital Hasn't Agreed Reverse Takeover Within Timeframe; Trading Halted

Tau Capital PLC (TAU.LN) said Tuesday that trading in its shares will be suspended from 0630 GMT as it hasn't been able to complete a reverse takeover within the required timeframe.

STV Group Sees Five-Month Advertising Revenue Growth of Up to 2%

Scottish broadcaster STV Group PLC (STVG.LN) said Tuesday that it expects advertising revenue for the first five months of 2019 to grow by 1% to 2%, supported by a stronger-than-anticipated national advertising market.

 
Other News: 

Investigators Link BT Senior Executives to Italian Accounting Scandal -Reuters

An investigation into an accounting scandal at BT Group PLC's Italian arm has found evidence of involvement of senior executives in inflating the unit's results, Reuters reports, citing emails seized by the police.

 
Market Talk: 

Expect More Range-Trading in Forex: UniCredit

1111 GMT - After the Easter holidays, European markets are resuming activity today, but range-trading in currencies is "likely to stay of reference again," says UniCredit. "Persisting sources of uncertainty - such as Brexit or the U.S. trade rows with Europe and China - have only taken a pause," it says. However, thin market conditions "can still expose foreign exchange majors to some intraday swings should unexpected data or events arise." This week's eurozone consumer confidence survey, German Ifo survey or the U.S. first estimate of first-quarter GDP could be potential triggers for currencies' volatility

Ashtead Gains S&P Investment-Grade Rating

06:49 ET - S&P lifts its rating on UK equipment-rental company Ashtead Group out of junk territory, citing favorable fundamentals in the US. S&P upgrades Ashtead by one notch to BBB-, its lowest investment-grade rating. The ratings agency says Ashtead "is well positioned to benefit from growth prospects in its U.S. market," and that it expects the UK-based group to maintain solid credit metrics over the two to three years. Ashtead shares down less than 1%.

STV Group Likely to Outperform ITV: Shore Capital

1056 GMT - Scottish broadcaster STV Group's guidance for a 1% to 2% rise in total advertising revenue for the first five months of 2019 likely means that it will outperform London-based peer ITV by a significant margin, Shore Capital says. STV now expects national advertising revenue to decline by up to 2%, better than its previous guidance for a 5% drop, while the regional category is forecast to perform strongly with a 20% to 25% revenue rise partly driven by new partners attracted by the STV Growth Fund, Shore says. In February, ITV said it expected total advertising revenue to be down 3% to 4% for the first four months of 2019.

Thomas Cook Needs a Cash Boost, Shares Set to Rise

1048 GMT - Thomas Cook needs a cash boost, says Barclays, following weekend media speculation that the tour operator has had takeover approaches from its largest shareholder and private-equity firms. Barclays says the rumors suggest that Fosun International and private-equity groups KKR and EQT are interested. The chairman of Fosun, Guo Guangchang, already owns 17% of Thomas Cook. "We think an injection of capital, ideally, is required to shore up Thomas Cook's balance sheet," Barclays analysts say. "The group has been assessing various options, and the sale of the airline is a possibility. Thomas Cook is cheap and this news is likely to boost the (already volatile) share price in the short term," they say.

JD Sports Sees International Growth Opportunities

1041 GMT - JD Sports' rising value is thanks to its international growth prospects, Shore Capital says, adding that it sees the U.S. as an important region for the business. "There is a clear plan to trade the U.S. business harder, implying a significant margin opportunity, as the product mix is tailored with more clothing introduced alongside the existing footwear ranges," the U.K. investment group says. Shore capital adds that despite the 22% share price appreciation, it retains its buy rating on the stock. Shares are down 0.1% at 599.80 pence.

UK Bank Investors to Eye Margins, Costs and Bad Loans

1034 GMT - Investors will be focusing on net interest margins, costs and bad loans when U.K. banks start reporting first-quarter numbers this week, beginning with Barclays on Thursday, says A.J. Bell. NIMs have failed to rise as some expected due to banks' higher funding costs and competition, the brokerage notes. "Lloyds Banking Group seems to be doing the best job of countering these headwinds but further progress is needed if banks' earnings are to start powering higher," says Bell's Russ Mould. Meanwhile, restructuring costs have not fallen as much as hoped, while sceptics reckon bad loans could start rising again as the U.K. economy weakens.

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-9319

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:16 ET (11:16 GMT)

DJ National Bank Of Poland Zloty Exchange Rates
 
WARSAW (Dow Jones)--Following are the middle rates for some world currencies 
against the Polish Zloty as quoted by the National Bank of Poland: 
 
  Currency       Today     Previous 
 
  AUD           2.7122       2.7223 
  CZK           0.1667       0.1666 
  DKK           0.5744       0.5732 
  JPY*          3.4077       3.3968 
  CAD           2.8519       2.8429 
  NOK           0.4474       0.4448 
  CHF           3.7427       3.7586 
  SEK           0.4083       0.4081 
  EUR           4.2886       4.2790 
  USD           3.8118       3.8002 
  HUF*          1.3369       1.3361 
  GBP           4.9522       4.9483 
 
 
* per 100 units 
 
 
Source: NBOP via SIX Financial Information 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:15 ET (11:15 GMT)

DJ Coca-Cola Shares Rise After Earnings And Revenue Beat Expectations -- MarketWatch

Coca-Cola Co. (KO) shares rose 3.2% in Tuesday premarket trading after the global beverage company reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Net income totaled $1.68 billion, or 39 cents per share, up from 1.37 billion, or 32 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS of 48 cents beat the 46-cent FactSet consensus. Revenue was $8.02 billion, up from $7.63 billion last year and ahead of the $7.89 billion FactSet expectation. Coca-Cola will host its annual meeting on April 24, at which James Quincey will become chairman, succeeding Muhtar Kent, who started in 1978 and is retiring. The company maintained its full-year organic revenue guidance for 4% growth, and full-year adjusted EPS range from down 1% to up 1%. Coca-Cola stock is up 0.1% for 2019 to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 13.7% for the period.

-Tonya Garcia

 For more from MarketWatch: http://www.marketwatch.com/newsviewer 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:14 ET (11:14 GMT)

DJ Procter & Gamble Tops Estimates, But Offers Soft Outlook -- MarketWatch

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) said Tuesday it had net income of $2.776 billion, or $1.04 a share, in its fiscal third quarter, up from $2.540 billion, or 95 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.06, ahead of the $1.03 FactSet consensus. Sales rose 1% to $16.462 billion from $16.281 billion, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $16.364 billion. The maker of Oral-B, Pampers and Tide products said it now expects full year sales growth of flat to up 1%. It is sticking with its forecast for full-fiscal 2019 GAAP EPS to grow 17% to 24%, and non-GAAP EPS to climb 3% to 8%. Shares fell 1% in premarket trade, but have gained 45.2% in the last 12 months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average , which counts P&G as a member, has gained 8.4% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.9%.

-Ciara Linnane

 For more from MarketWatch: http://www.marketwatch.com/newsviewer 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:13 ET (11:13 GMT)

DJ Dow Futures Are Down, but Oil Prices Are on a Roll -- Barrons.com
By Al Root 

6:35 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average looks set to open lower after closing down 48 points, or less than 0.2%, on Monday.

Dow futures have dropped 17 points, or about 0.1%, while S&P 500 futures have declined 0.1% as well. Nasdaq Composite futures have fallen 0.1%.

The market awaits earnings from Coca-Cola (ticker: KO), United Technologies (UTX), and Procter & Gamble (PG) among others. Check out the Coca-Cola earnings preview here, the United Technologies preview here and the Procter preview here.

Oil prices are up for the third straight day. Benchmark crude prices jumped 2.7% Monday after the U.S. moved to end waivers allowing the purchase of Iranian oil.

Have a good Tuesday.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:13 ET (11:13 GMT)

DJ Expect More Range-Trading in Forex: UniCredit -- Market Talk

1111 GMT - After the Easter holidays, European markets are resuming activity today, but range-trading in currencies is "likely to stay of reference again," says UniCredit. "Persisting sources of uncertainty - such as Brexit or the U.S. trade rows with Europe and China - have only taken a pause," it says. However, thin market conditions "can still expose foreign exchange majors to some intraday swings should unexpected data or events arise." This week's eurozone consumer confidence survey, German Ifo survey or the U.S. first estimate of first-quarter GDP could be potential triggers for currencies' volatility. (olga.cotaga@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:11 ET (11:11 GMT)

DJ KeepTruckin Adds $149 Million in Funding to Build Up Freight Platform

KeepTruckin Inc., whose technology helps carriers manage fleets and track driver behavior, said it has raised $149 million to build out an online freight-matching platform and other new products in an increasingly active market for digital freight services.

The Series D funding round gave the six-year-old San Francisco-based startup a valuation of $1.2 billion, up from a $500 million valuation in its previous round in March 2018 and making it the latest in a handful of freight technology ventures to surpass the $1 billion mark.

The company started in the business making apps, software and electronic logging devices that monitor drivercompliance with federal limits on driving time. Other offerings use data gathered by the ELDs to track vehicles, flag maintenance issues and reduce fuel usage.

More recently, the startup has rolled out dashboard cameras and fleet safety services aimed at reducing risky driving behavior. KeepTruckin is working with insurers including Progressive Corp. and developing artificial intelligence applications to analyze video footage and driving events in real-time and deliver driver feedback.

The funding round was led by Greenoaks Capital, with participation from existing investors IVP, Google parent Alphabet Inc.’s venture-capital arm GV, Index Ventures and Scale Venture Partners. The company has raised a total of $228 million in investor backing.

KeepTruckin now has more than 1,000 employees at seven offices in the U.S., Canada, Taiwan and Pakistan. Its customer base includes operators with more than 250,000 trucks equipped with KeepTruckin ELDs and 50,000-plus for-hire carriers.

The company plans to use ELD data to build an online load board where freight brokers and trucking companies can post available cargo. KeepTruckin would match the loads to carriers based on its information about drivers’ location, preferred routes and remaining driving time; truckers would be able to accept or bid on loads electronically.

That puts the company in a stream of digital freight ventures that have attracted hundreds of millions in investments in recent years as startups seek to automate the transportation booking process. Freight-booking startup Convoy raised $185 million in a funding round last year that valued the company at over $1 billion.

Traditional trucking and logistics firms are responding with their own online marketplaces and other digital services. Freight broker Echo Global Logistics Inc. this month rolled out an app and web portal aimed at streamlining freight-booking operations for carriers.

Uber Technologies Inc.’s Uber Freight business generated more than $125 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the company’s initial public offering filing. It has contracted with a network of 36,000 carriers “that in aggregate have more than 400,000 drivers and have served over 1,000 shippers,” including Anheuser-Busch InBev SA and Colgate-Palmolive Co., according to a securities filing.

KeepTruckin Co-Founder and Chief Executive Shoaib Makani said his company’s open-platform approach to freight-matching would give drivers access to a broader set of loads than digital freight brokerages such as Uber Freight, Transfix and Convoy. Any broker or large carrier can use the platform to connect with KeepTruckin’s fleet and driver customers.

“We can bring to them loads that are a better match than anyone, because of the scale of the network and depth of data,” said Mr. Makani, but “we can’t fill those loads ourselves.” The company is working with both large and small freight brokers, he said, but declined to name specific companies.

The new funding will help KeepTruckin build out a program with information on wait times at facilities and other data to help carriers decide which loads they want to accept. Uber Freightand Convoy have similar offerings.

KeepTruckin is also developing sensors to track the location of truck trailers and detect whether cargo has been tampered with or removed.

Write to Jennifer Smith at jennifer.smith@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:10 ET (11:10 GMT)

DJ The Daily Shot: The Housing Market Weakness Persists

To receive the Daily Shot newsletter in your inbox, please sign up at our Email Center. Previous issues of the Daily Shot are available online at DailyShotWSJ.com.

Have questions, feedback or comments? Contact author Lev.Borodovsky@DowJones.com.

Twitter: @SoberLook

The Daily Shot: 23-Apr-19 • The United States • Europe • Asia - Pacific • China • Emerging Markets • Commodities • Energy • Equities • Credit • Rates • Global Developments • Food for Thought

1. March existing home sales were disappointing, roughly tracking the 2015 levels for this time of the year.

Here are the year-over-year changes in sales.

• Other housing indicators have also been soft in recent months.

Source: The Daily Feather

• However, given the strength in mortgage applications ("MBA purchase index" below), will we see a rebound in home sales over the next few months?

Source: Pantheon Macroeconomics

• Housing inventories remain relatively low.

- The number of homes for sale (red = 2018, blue = 2019):

- Months of supply:

----------------------

2. The Citi Economic Surprise index slipped further as a result of the weak housing data.

3. Leading indicators continue to point to slower GDP growth ahead.

• Markit Composite PMI:

Source: Capital Economics

• The Conference Board Leading Index:

Source: Credit Suisse

• The Chicago Fed National Activity Index:

----------------------

4. The correlation between the US and global leading indicators declined recently but remains highly elevated.

Source: Arbor Research & Trading

5. Has the rate of job gains in the US peaked?

Source: Credit Suisse

(In the chart above, labor differential = "jobs plentiful index" - "jobs hard to get index.")

Here is Deutsche Bank's forecast for payrolls growth.

Source: Deutsche Bank Research

----------------------

6. Economists are concerned that fewer Americans want to participate in government surveys used to determine unemployment and poverty levels.

Source: @jeffsparshott; Read full article

1. Speculative accounts have covered their net short positions in the British pound.

2. Germany's housing market is booming again. The chart below shows housing valuations based on rents, income, and consumer prices.

Source: Commerzbank Research

3. Sweden's unemployment rate unexpectedly rose.

4. European investment banks have experienced extensive revenue declines over the past four quarters.

Source: @FT, @adam_tooze; Read full article

5. European VIX-equivalent indicator (VStoxx) is now below VIX.

Source: @markets; Read full article

1. Taiwan's export orders show no signs of recovery.

2. The Kiwi dollar is having a rough month.

1. Government bond yields keep climbing.

Short term rates are also on the rise as the market prices in less monetary easing. Here is the differential between the CNY and the USD 2-year swap rates.

----------------------

2. China's rural banks are struggling with non-performing loans (NPL).

Source: IIF

3. Economists expect a further rebound in credit growth.

Source: BCA Research

1. Markets are increasingly uneasy with Argentina's sovereign credit.

• Bond spreads:

Source: @economics; Read full article

• USD-denominated 5yr government bond (price):

• Sovereign credit default swap spread:

----------------------

2. Here is the 'misery index' for select EM economies.

Source: @FT, @adam_tooze; Read full article

3. Brazil's industrial confidence declined, but the trend remains positive.

Economists continue to downgrade their GDP growth forecasts for Brazil.

Source: @markets; Read full article

----------------------

4. The spike in oil prices sent the Indian rupee lower (the second chart shows India's stock market USD-denominated ETF).

----------------------

5. In recent years, Ukraine has reoriented its trade toward the West.

Source: @elinaribakova

6. This chart shows the percentage of local-currency bonds held by foreign investors (it also gives the drivers of price movements).

Source: IMF, @adam_tooze; Read full article

1. As discussed yesterday, money managers are betting against US grains.

Source: @kannbwx

And the bet is working.

• Corn:

• Wheat:

• Bloomberg's grains index (5 years):

----------------------

2. The rally in lean hog futures is fading.

3. Lumber futures are tumbling.

4. Shares of gold miners have been under pressure.

1. Oil futures are higher again in Tuesday's trading session.

The next chart shows steep backwardation in the Brent curve.

----------------------

2. Crack spreads rose on Monday. This trend boosts the margins for refinery businesses such as Valero (second chart).

3. US gasoline prices have been increasing for 69 days without a decline.

Source: @bespokeinvest

4. Here is crude oil production by country (IQ = Iraq, IN = Iran).

Source: Wells Fargo, @SamRo

1. Earnings growth expectations for Q1 have improved, but Q2 and Q3 forecasts are still trending lower.

Source: @LizAnnSonders, @biancoresearch

2. Below we have some data on US M&A activity over the past couple of decades.

Source: Moody's Investors Service

3. Markets have been quiet.

Source: @TheTerminal

4. Here is a poll on ESG investing.

Source: Allianz Life; Read full article

5. Next, we have some sector performance updates.

• Energy:

• Metals & mining:

• Materials:

• Retail:

• Real estate operators (REITs):

• Tech/Communication Services:

----------------------

6. Finally, here are a couple of factor performance charts.

• High-dividend shares:

• The low vol factor:

1. CLO liability spreads have been widening (driven in part by Japanese regulatory/demand changes).

Source: Credit Suisse

Nonetheless, CLO issuance remains robust.

Source: Credit Suisse

----------------------

2. Investment-grade bonds perform best in a moderate-growth environment.

Source: Deutsche Bank Research

3. Next, we have some updates on sustainable debt issuance from IIF.

• Growth and products:

Source: IIF

• Green bond issuance (strong Q1):

Source: IIF

• Green bond flows:

Source: IIF

• Outstanding green bonds by currency:

Source: IIF

----------------------

4. US Google search activity shows increased interest in business and consumer credit.

Source: Arbor Research & Trading

1. As banks reserves shrink, the Fed is losing control of the fed funds rate.

2. This chart shows the FOMC rate projections vs. the actual path.

Source: Capital Economics

3. Investors have some appetite for long-term Treasuries. The one-day flows into the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF hit a record.

Source: @lisaabramowicz1

1. These charts show broad money supply trends for the largest economies.

Source: BCA Research

2. How do different asset classes respond to a rally in crude oil?

Source: Jack Ablin, Cresset Wealth Advisors

3. What portion of household financial assets is in equities?

Source: @FT, @adam_tooze; Read full article

----------------------

1. The FICO score distribution over time:

Source: John Burns Real Estate Consulting

2. Government debt (as % of GDP) for the US and Germany:

Source: Deutsche Bank Research

3. Where the IRS audits more frequently:

Source: Pro Publica; Read full article

4. Margin growth for the largest companies vs. the rest:

Source: The Economist, @trevornoren; Read full article

5. Sri Lanka's population distribution by religion:

Source: @ReutersGraphics

6. Aid workers killed or kidnapped:

Source: @Stratfor; Read full article

7. Healthcare spending on chronic conditions:

Source: @WSJ; Read full article

8. The healthiest countries:

Source: @business; Read full article

9. Most quoted witnesses in the Mueller report:

Source: The New York Times; Read full article

10. The New York Mets' performance home and away:

Source: @WSJ; Read full article

----------------------

The Daily Shot provides objective and disinterested analysis and commentary regarding macroeconomic and market trends. Other than indirectly through country or sector specific exchange-traded or mutual funds, the author of the Daily Shot does not have any interest in or own any of the individual securities which may be mentioned. The Daily Shot does not provide investment advice or any recommendations regarding particular securities. Nothing in the Daily Shot should be relied upon in making an investment decision, nor considered to be a solicitation to offer or buy any securities.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:10 ET (11:10 GMT)

DJ Twitter’s Tweaks Boost Results

Twitter Inc. reported record daily users and rising profit on Tuesday, signs that the company’s product tweaks are stabilizing the business.

The number of daily users rose 6% in the first quarter to 134 million from 126 million in the previous three months, driven primarily by strength in international markets.

Revenue rose 18% to $787 million in the first quarter, up from $665 million a year earlier. The result was a sequential decline from the fourth quarter, which is typically the heaviest spending period for advertisers, but topped analyst projections of $774 million, according to FactSet.

Net income in the first quarter increased to $191 million, from $61 million a year earlier, and marked the company’s sixth consecutive quarter of profitability after years of sustained losses.

Central to Twitter’s changes is an effort to promote healthy discourse, after the company has struggled to rein in toxic behavior.

The company is also trying to make the platform more conversational.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said his company is now taking a more proactive approach to addressing abuse and its effects on the platform.

“We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported,” Mr. Dorsey said.

Earlier this month, Twitter announced that it was using technology to proactively surface abusive tweets to its teams for review. Previously, Twitter users had to flag offending tweets before the company would remove them. Now, about 38% of abusive content that Twitter takes down is surfaced by the machine learning algorithms.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has used this technology, but previously it was applied to tracking spam rather than abuse.

Twitter is also now using a new appeals process to better prioritize tweets it should remove that contain private, personal information about its users. Twitter now removes 2.5 times more tweets than previously that share personal information since the launch of this feature.

For Twitter’s business, trying to reduce abuse and negative content can cut both ways. In previous quarters, declines in user accounts were attributed in part to efforts to purge more of the spam and accounts that violated Twitter’s rules.

Still, a platform with less abuse could retain more users and assuage marketers’ fears about advertising alongside offensive tweets.

Twitter is now working to make its platform more conversational. The company is testing a new version of its app, called twttr, that threads message replies in a more intuitive design that makes it easier to follow discussions.

The company also plans to start experimenting with ways to give people more control over their conversations by giving users the option to hide replies to their tweets.

Twitter also made other tweaks to its platform in the quarter that helped drive more people to its app and bolster the effectiveness of ads on the app, including refining its algorithm to show users more personalized tweets and adjusting the size of its video player.

“We’ve never been more confident in our strategy and execution,” Twitter Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal said.

The company expanded its head count in the first quarter to about 4,100, from about 3,900 the previous quarter.

Looking forward, Twitter plans to spend more on promoting healthy discourse on the platform and expects operating expenses to rise by approximately 20% in 2019.

Twitter projects revenue to also increase, to between $770 million and $830 million for the second quarter.

Write to Georgia Wells at Georgia.Wells@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:10 ET (11:10 GMT)

DJ SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son Lost $130 Million on Bitcoin

Masayoshi Son, the billionaire founder of SoftBank Group Corp., made a huge personal bet on bitcoin just as prices for the digital currency peaked, losing more than $130 million when he sold out, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Son, who launched the world’s biggest venture-capital fund on the strength of his long-term investing acumen, made the investment at the recommendation of a well-known bitcoin booster, whose investment firm SoftBank bought in 2017, the people said.

The investment came at the peak of the bitcoin frenzy in late 2017 after the digital currency had already risen more than 10 fold that year. The exact size of the bet couldn’t be determined, but bitcoin peaked at nearly $20,000 in mid December 2017 and Mr. Son sold in early 2018 after bitcoin had plummeted, the people said.

Bitcoin closed Monday at $5,381.05.

Mr. Son is known for quick investment decisions and big risky bets, most of which have paid off. He decided to back Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. after spending just five minutes with its founder, Jack Ma. He took a half-hour to greenlight a $200 million investment in a startup that grows vegetables indoors.

Mr. Son’s previously unreported loss shows that even some of the world’s most sophisticated and wealthiest investors got caught up in the frenzy. With a net worth estimated by Bloomberg LP at $19 billion, Mr. Son will hardly notice, though it dents his reputation as a patient and prophetic investor.

A SoftBank spokesman declined to comment on Mr. Son’s behalf.

Mr. Son was encouraged to make the investment by Peter Briger, the co-chairman of asset manager Fortress Investment Group, the people said. SoftBank bought Fortress in February 2017, inheriting the asset manager’s bitcoin reserves along with its more traditional investment funds.

Fortress under Mr. Briger first bought bitcoin in 2013, when it was still a fringe technology used mainly in the darker corners of web commerce. By the time the SoftBank deal was completed, its holdings were worth more than $150 million.

Mr. Briger declined to comment through a spokesman.

Mr. Son built SoftBank mostly on long-term technology investments and used his record to launch the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund. The fund, backed by the government investment fund of Saudi Arabia, owns big stakes in Uber Technologies Inc. and WeWork Cos., and has been credited with driving up valuations of some of the biggest private technology companies.

The Vision Fund is facing a test of its success with the coming initial public offering of Uber, which is aiming for a valuation of as much as $100 billion, below previous expectations but still above where the fund invested.

Even as it looks ahead to futuristic technology, SoftBank’s most immediate problem is its controlling stake in U.S. mobile phone company Sprint Corp. The 2013 deal has weighed down the conglomerate with debt, limiting its investing options.

Last week The Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint and T-Mobile’s merger had been challenged by U.S. Justice Department staff lawyers, who expressed concerns that the all-stock deal would threaten competition.

Sprint, hoping for approval, said in a regulatory filing last week: “Sprint is in a very difficult situation that is only getting worse. Sprint is not on a sustainable competitive path.”

Write to Rachael Levy at rachael.levy@wsj.com and Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:10 ET (11:10 GMT)

DJ News Highlights: Top Global Markets News of the Day
 
Global Stocks Weaken as Oil Prices Climb 
 

Global stocks are mostly lower, as oil prices jumped after a surprise move from the U.S. to curb Iranian oil imports and investors awaited a fresh batch of earnings for clues on the health of the world economy.

 
China's Banks Are Running Out of Dollars 
 

The major Chinese commercial banks once had more dollar assets than liabilities. No longer.

 
Eurozone Governments Cut Borrowing, Debt 
 

Eurozone governments cut borrowing and their total debt for the fourth straight year in 2018, a process that is becoming more widely questioned following a slowdown in economic growth.

 
Yield Hunt Renews Appetite for European Banks' Riskiest Debt 
 

Investors are piling up on a complex form of European bank debt in a scramble for positive returns because eurozone interest rates look set to remain negative for a prolonged period.

 
Cain Withdraws From Fed Board Nomination Process 
 

Herman Cain withdrew from consideration for the Federal Reserve board, saying he did so primarily because of the salary, not the Senate opposition he faced, in a setback for President Trump's efforts to place a political ally on the central bank.

 
Tightened U.S. Ban on Iran Rattles Oil World 
 

The Trump administration's tightened ban on Iranian oil shook leading oil-producing nations as well as the biggest buyers of crude, many of whom had been expecting a renewal of U.S. exemptions to the ban.

 
Trump Is Placing Too Much Faith in the Shale Patch 
 

President Trump's decision to end all waivers on sanctions of Iranian oil means other large producers have to fill the gap. It adds fresh urgency to U.S. energy independence.

 
Oil Prices Surge as Trump Ends Waivers for Iran's Crude 
 

Oil prices surged to a nearly six-month high after the Trump administration said it would end waivers that allow countries to import Iranian oil, part of a U.S. campaign to deprive Iran of a major source of revenue.

 
Stocks Waver as Busy Earnings Week Kicks Off 
 

The S&P 500 eked out a small gain, extending a listless streak of trading at the start of a busy week for corporate earnings.

 
Traders Wager on Calm as Volatility Evaporates 
 

Volatility in the stock market has continued to evaporate in 2019, a sign that some investors are embracing riskier assets again.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT)

DJ News Highlights: Top Energy News of the Day
 
Iran Sanction Waivers Won't Cause Big Oil Move 
 

Goldman Sachs has called the 3% jump in oil prices, as the U.S. opted against another round of sanction waivers on Iranian crude purchases, "modest" considering the amount of output in question and reflective of "a much-greater confidence in available spare capacity."

 
PG&E Shuffles Board to End Investor Challenge 
 

PG&E Corp. on Monday settled a dispute with an activist investor by restructuring its board to include another director with utility experience, and adding a safety specialist to advise its chief executive.

 
Emerge Energy Strikes Debt Restructuring Settlement 
 

Emerge Energy Services LP reached a potential restructuring deal to turn creditors into owners, either with or without filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

 
Trump Is Placing Too Much Faith in the Shale Patch 
 

President Trump's decision to end all waivers on sanctions of Iranian oil means other large producers have to fill the gap. It adds fresh urgency to U.S. energy independence.

 
Oil Prices Soar as U.S. Moves to End Iran Waivers 
 

Oil prices hit a near six-month high as the U.S. government moved to halt all Iranian oil exports, eliminating a key revenue source for the Islamic Republic.

 
Oil Prices Surge as Trump Ends Waivers for Iran's Crude 
 

Oil prices surged to a nearly six-month high after the Trump administration said it would end waivers that allow countries to import Iranian oil, part of a U.S. campaign to deprive Iran of a major source of revenue.

 
Halliburton Profit More Than Triples Despite Flat Sales 
 

Halliburton said profit more than tripled in the first quarter as the oilfield services company recorded lower impairment charges and had a smaller provision for taxes in this quarter compared with a year earlier.

 
Aethon Energy Seeks $425 Million to Drill Gas Wells in Louisiana 
 

Aethon Energy Management is seeking to raise $425 million to acquire and develop natural-gas fields in Louisiana, said a person familiar with the matter.

 
Energy & Utilities Roundup: Market Talk 
 

The latest Market Talks covering Energy and Utilities

 
BP, Partners to Invest $6 Billion in Offshore Azerbaijan Project 
 

BP and its partners plan to lead a $6 billion development of the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli oil-field complex offshore Azerbaijan. The project includes facilities designed to process up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT)

DJ News Highlights: Top Company News of the Day
 
Credit Cards Boost Spending on Social-Media Ads 
 

In an effort to attract new customers, American Express and Capital One have significantly increased ad spending on Facebook.

 
PG&E Shuffles Board to End Investor Challenge 
 

PG&E Corp. on Monday settled a dispute with an activist investor by restructuring its board to include another director with utility experience, and adding a safety specialist to advise its chief executive.

 
Tesla's Elon Musk Promises Robot Taxis by Next Year 
 

Chief Executive Elon Musk envisions owners of Tesla vehicles pushing a button on a smartphone app to put their vehicles into commercial service and pick up riders on the company's network.

 
Elizabeth Holmes Gets Delay in Trial-Date Decision 
 

Lawyers for the Theranos founder fought off efforts by the U.S. government to set a trial date as the two sides argued over the enormity of evidence involved in the case.

 
Facebook Hires Top State Department Lawyer and Bill Gates's Former PR Chief 
 

Facebook is bringing on a new top lawyer and a communications boss to handle the mounting regulatory and public-relations crises facing the social-media giant.

 
Writers Union Seeks to Pressure PE Firms in Its Dispute With Talent Agencies 
 

A screenwriters' union aims to involve private-equity firms and their investors in a dispute with Hollywood talent agencies, warning them of the risks of what the union claims are the agencies' illegal actions.

 
Whirlpool Profit Rises, Helped by Higher Prices, Cutting Costs 
 

Price increases and efforts to reduce operating costs helped Whirlpool lift profits in the latest quarter, despite weaker demand in some markets.

 
MDC to Add New Directors in Settlement With Activist Investor 
 

MDC Partners Inc. settled a monthslong spat with hedge fund FrontFour Capital Group LLC on Monday, saying it would nominate two new members to its board of directors.

 
Disney Heiress Criticizes CEO Robert Iger's Pay 
 

Abigail Disney, granddaughter of company co-founder Roy O. Disney, said Robert Iger's $65 million pay package is an example of the bulk of corporate profits going to the wrong employees.

 
As Uber Nears Debut, NYSE Plans IPO Test 
 

The New York Stock Exchange will give trading firms an opportunity to test systems as it gears up for the blockbuster debut of ride-hailing service Uber Technologies as soon as next month.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT)

DJ Petronas to Begin Second Phase of Oil and Gas Exploration in Gabon

By Emmanuel Tumanjong

Malaysian state energy company Petronas said it intends to begin a second phase of oil and gas exploration in Gabon this year, according to a statement from the Gabonese government on Monday.

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., known as Petronas, currently operates the Boudji-1 well offshore Gabon through a unit named PC Gabon Upstream SA. Petronas secured an exploration license in the country five years ago.

"We've planned to start drilling this year in a bid to evaluate the Boudji-1 well, in order to confirm the quality of the reservoir and the amount hydrocarbons in it," Petronas Vice President of Exploration Emeliana Rice-Oxley, said.

The Boudji-1 well is part of a block operated by the Malaysian company and Australian oil and gas firm Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL.AU), which owns a 30% stake in the project.

Petronas added that the new discoveries are capable of stimulating Gabon's oil and gas industry, and mark its latest steps in Africa.

Write to Emmanuel Tumanjong at barcelonaeditors@dowjones.com

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:57 ET (10:57 GMT)

DJ Fifth Third Records Gain on Worldpay Share Sale, Profit Rises
 
   By Allison Prang 
 

In the first quarter, Fifth Third Bancorp's (FITB) profit rose compared with the comparable quarter a year ago as earnings were helped by certain items.

The regional banking company reported $775 million in profit, up 11%. Fifth Third's earnings were $1.12 a share, up from 96 cents a share. Analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting $1.05 a share.

Fifth Third had a $433 million gain on selling Worldpay shares, which helped its earnings in the quarter.

Net interest income rose 8.6% to $1.08 billion. Analysts were expecting $1.11 billion. Noninterest income at the company climbed 21% to $1.1 billion.

Write to Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:51 ET (10:51 GMT)

DJ Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 06:50 EST / 1050 GMT
 
                           Latest       Previous   %Chg    Daily    Daily   %Chg 
Dollar Rates                               Close            High      Low  12/31 
 
USD/JPY Japan           111.86-87      111.93-94  -0.07   111.98   111.66  +2.07 
EUR/USD Euro            1.1251-54      1.1256-59  -0.04   1.1263   1.1242  -1.89 
GBP/USD U.K.            1.3006-08      1.2979-81  +0.21   1.3018   1.2974  +1.94 
USD/CHF Switzerland     1.0192-96      1.0156-60  +0.35   1.0196   1.0150  +3.85 
USD/CAD Canada          1.3373-78      1.3347-52  +0.19   1.3377   1.3343  -1.94 
AUD/USD Australia       0.7108-12      0.7133-37  -0.35   0.7140   0.7109  +0.82 
NZD/USD New Zealand     0.6657-63      0.6676-82  -0.28   0.6688   0.6656  -0.89 
 
Euro Rates 
 
EUR/JPY Japan           125.84-88      125.98-06  -0.11   126.07   125.58  +0.13 
EUR/GBP U.K.            0.8650-53      0.8671-74  -0.24   0.8677   0.8644  -3.77 
EUR/CHF Switzerland     1.1469-72      1.1433-36  +0.31   1.1478   1.1426  +1.90 
EUR/CAD Canada          1.5044-54      1.5018-28  +0.17   1.5053   1.5020  -3.78 
EUR/AUD Australia       1.5822-32      1.5771-81  +0.32   1.5830   1.5771  -2.69 
EUR/DKK Denmark         7.4658-65      7.4663-70  -0.01   7.4669   7.4649   0.00 
EUR/NOK Norway         9.5851-901     9.5652-702  +0.21   9.5929   9.5593  -3.24 
EUR/SEK Sweden       10.4988-5088    10.4725-825  +0.25  10.5085  10.4671  +3.46 
EUR/CZK Czech Rep.      25.729-59      25.701-31  +0.11   25.752   25.692  +0.13 
EUR/HUF Hungary       320.76-1.16      320.17-57  +0.18   321.13   319.99  -0.02 
EUR/PLN Poland          4.2880-98      4.2814-32  +0.15   4.2909   4.2817  -0.01 
 
Yen Rates 
 
AUD/JPY Australia        79.51-55       79.84-88  -0.41    79.92    79.51  +2.90 
GBP/JPY U.K.            145.47-53      145.27-33  +0.14   145.62   144.99  +4.01 
CAD/JPY Canada           83.61-65       83.84-88  -0.27    83.91    83.53  +4.07 
NZD/JPY New Zealand      74.46-50       74.75-79  -0.39    74.86    74.44  +1.14 
 
Other Dollar Rates 
 
USD/CZK Czech Rep.     22.855-905      22.818-68  +0.16   22.887   22.814  +2.05 
USD/HUF Hungary         285.05-45      284.38-78  +0.24   285.47   284.26  +1.88 
USD/DKK Denmark         6.6348-58      6.6322-32  +0.04   6.6408   6.6298  +1.90 
USD/NOK Norway         8.5178-238    8.4957-5017  +0.26   8.5278   8.4898  -1.40 
USD/PLN Poland          3.8112-17      3.8037-42  +0.20   3.8135   3.8033  +1.90 
USD/RUB Russia         63.658-728     63.751-821  -0.15   63.856   63.693  -8.01 
USD/SEK Sweden          9.3305-95     9.3027-117  +0.30   9.3443   9.2970  +5.45 
USD/ZAR S. Africa     14.1628-928    14.1420-720  +0.15  14.2313  14.1210  -1.28 
 
USD/CNY China          6.7181-201     6.7082-102  +0.15   6.7206   6.7084  -2.32 
USD/HKD Hong Kong       7.8439-44      7.8443-48  -0.01   7.8470   7.8436  +0.16 
USD/MYR Malaysia       4.1252-302      4.1300-50  -0.12   4.1350   4.1243  -0.12 
USD/INR India           69.800-10     69.690-710  +0.15   69.805   69.565  +0.34 
USD/IDR Indonesia        14077-91       14068-82  +0.06    14113    14068  -2.06 
USD/PHP Philippines     52.030-50      52.010-30  +0.04   52.060   52.020  -0.88 
USD/SGD Singapore       1.3564-74      1.3555-65  +0.07   1.3576   1.3553  -0.44 
USD/KRW S. Korea     1140.98-2.98  1139.99-41.99  +0.09  1143.02  1139.25  +2.48 
USD/TWD Taiwan          30.837-67      30.837-67   0.00   30.860   30.839  +0.89 
USD/THB Thailand        31.950-70      31.900-20  +0.16   31.990   31.790  -1.11 
USD/VND Vietnam         23183-253      23184-254  -0.01    23222    23210  +0.10 
 
USD/BRL Brazil          3.9337-67      3.9350-80  -0.03   3.9364   3.9348  +1.39 
USD/MXN Mexico        18.8695-995    18.8099-399  +0.32  18.8947  18.8207  -3.89 
USD/ARS Argentina     42.4820-920    42.4820-920   0.00  42.4975  42.4770 +12.86 
 
Source: Tullett Prebon 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:50 ET (10:50 GMT)

DJ Pernod Ricard's Key Markets to Remain in Low Spirits in 4Q: Bryan Garnier -- Market Talk

1042 GMT- Pernod Ricard's key markets should remain difficult in 4Q, Bryan Garnier says after the spirits maker posted 3Q sales figures. The French company's third-quarter sales in the U.S. were hit by destocking and are set to keep suffering from this in 4Q, while in China sales should continue to be negatively affected by inventory management for its Martell cognac after slowing down in 3Q following the early Lunar New Year, Bryan Garnier notes. In Europe, a new law in France leading to product price increases should result in volume losses in 4Q after the country, along with Spain and Grance, dragged on Pernod's performance, the brokerage notes. (cristina.roca@dowjones.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:42 ET (10:42 GMT)

DJ CORRECT: N American Morning Briefing: Oil Rally Continues; Stocks Seen Flat as Earnings Eyed

CORRECTION: This version of the North American Morning Briefing corrects an earlier version which included an incorrect list of company earnings expected Tuesday in the 'Snapshot' section. Earnings expected Tuesday April 23 include Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, Lockheed Martin, Procter & Gamble, Snap, State Street Corp, Twitter, United Technologies, Verizon Communications. The earlier version listed company earnings that were expected on Monday April 22, not Tuesday April 23.

DJIA      26510.50 -2.00 -0.01% 
S&P 500    2907.30 -0.75 -0.03% 
Nasdaq 100 7711.80 -1.50 -0.02% 
As of 5.22am 
 
FTSE 100   7486.12  26.24  0.35% 
Xetra DAX 12197.84 -24.55 -0.20% 
CAC40      5570.45  -9.93 -0.18% 
As of 5.25am 
 
Nikkei    22259.74  41.84  0.19% 
Shanghai   3198.59 -16.45 -0.51% 
Hang Seng 29963.24  -0.02  0.00% 
As of 5.25am 
 
Snapshot: 

-Stock futures flat; EUR/USD 1.1254-57; 10-year Treasury yield 2.585%; Nymex $66.05 ; gold futures $1275.40

-Watch for: The Retail Economist/Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index; Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index; Monthly House Price Index; Richmond Fed Business Activity Survey; New Residential Sales; API Weekly Statistical Bulletin; Federal Reserve Board open meeting; earnings from Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, Lockheed Martin, Procter & Gamble, Snap, State Street Corp, Twitter, United Technologies, Verizon Communications

 
Opening Call: 

Stocks futures pointed to a flat open Tuesday ahead of a fresh batch of earnings.

In Europe, stock indexes were mostly lower in early trading following a market holiday Monday, though London's FTSE 100 gained as the index's oil companies benefited from rising oil prices. Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed.

U.S. energy stocks were also likely to remain in focus as U.S. moves to halt Iranian oil import waivers continued to drive up oil prices.

"Oil prices keep benefiting from the decision of the U.S. administration to end sanction waivers on Iran oil imports," said Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst with UBS in Switzerland.

"Amid seasonally higher oil demand into the summer, the oil market is likely to be very sensitive to any further disruptions in Libya, Venezuela or Nigeria."

 
Equities: 

Casino Guichard-Perrachon said Tuesday that it has it expanded and strengthened its partnership with Amazon.com.

The French retailer said the expansion of the partnership includes the location of Amazon Lockers in 1,000 Casino group stores, the availability of Casino-branded products on Amazon's website and app, as well as the extension of the partnership between its Monoprix banner and Prime Now.

Casino said the Monoprix and Prime Now partnership will be available in new cities outside the Paris area in the next 12 months.

---

MDC Partners settled a monthslong spat with hedge fund FrontFour Capital Group on Monday, saying it would nominate two new members to its board of directors.

The advertising firm said it would include one of FrontFour's nominees, Kristen O'Hara, on its slate of directors for election at an annual meeting in June.

MDC also said it would work with FrontFour to identify the second director, who the company said will have significant industry experience and be a resident of Canada, a country that accounts for about 8% of MDC's annual revenue.

---

PG&E on Monday settled a dispute with an activist investor by restructuring its board to include another director with utility experience, and adding a safety specialist to advise its chief executive.

The company said former utilities executive Fred Buckman will replace former chairman Richard Kelly, who has resigned from the board. Chris Hart, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, will serve as a special adviser to incoming chief executive Bill Johnson.

---

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk made his case for an on-demand robot taxi fleet that he promised would begin next year, an ambitious bet that would thrust the auto maker into the cutthroat business of ride-hailing.

In a presentation on Monday to investors and analysts at company headquarters the billionaire entrepreneur said that by the middle of next year more than a million Tesla vehicles on the road will have the capability of operating without a human driver. He expects regulatory approval in at least one market that would enable a robot taxi service by the end of 2020.

Mr. Musk envisions owners of Tesla vehicles pushing a button on a smartphone app to put their vehicles into commercial service and pick up riders on the company's network.

Tesla would then collect 25% to 30% of the fee charged for riders, much like Uber and Lyft do. Only Tesla vehicles would work on the company's ride-hailing network, he said.

Tesla would be able to turn on the self-driving software feature of most of its vehicles remotely. Mr. Musk said he expected the net present value of a single car in the fleet to be worth around $200,000.

 
Forex: 

The dollar rose in Europe with the WSJ Dollar Index gaining 0.1% to 90.44.

With the European Parliamentary elections coming up in May risks to EUR/USD remained "on the downside," ING said. The euro was down against the dollar and was likely to stay below 1.13 on Tuesday, the bank said.

"The hurdle for EUR/USD to stage any meaningful rebound in the near-term remains rather high," ING said. On the data front this week, April flash eurozone consumer confidence was expected Tuesday, with U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product due Friday also in focus.

According to economists polled by WSJ, eurozone consumer confidence is expected at minus 7, a slight improvement from minus 7.2 in March, though this was unlikely to boost the euro.

At 5.50am, USD/JPY was 111.85-86, EUR/USD was 1.1257-60 and GBP/USD was 1.3003-05.

 
Bonds: 

U.S. government bond yields pulled back slightly in Europe after settling higher at 2.592% Monday.

In recent weeks, Treasury yields have gotten a lift from improved economic data out of the U.S. and China. But they have been kept in check in part by signs of continued economic weakness in the eurozone, where 10-year government-bond yields are scraping zero in many cases.

"Globally, bond yields are not going anywhere, so it's really hard to justify" much higher U.S. yields, said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Société Générale SA.

Investors were also preparing for an influx of new Treasury debt. A series of note auctions is set to kick off Tuesday with a $40 billion sale of two-year notes. That will be followed by a $41 billion auction of five-year notes Wednesday and a $32 billion sale of seven-year notes Thursday.

 
Commodities: 

Oil futures continued to rise Tuesday after the U.S. moved to end Iranian oil waivers. Brent crude rose 0.7% to $74.52 a barrel, reaching a high for the year-to-date, while WTI rose 0.8% to $66.05 a barrel.

With a U.S.-China trade deal looking likely by midyear and tax cuts in China aimed at stimulating consumption, Citi was more upbeat about global oil demand this year.

It now estimates the daily average will increase 1.45 million barrels, versus a call of 1.26 million at the start of the year.

Elsewhere, OCBC economist Howie Lee said that the recent U.S. moves regarding Iranian oil meant the odds of OPEC and its allies extending their oil-production cuts past midyear looks "very slim."

OPEC's daily output is down 8.4% since December, which combined with production declines elsewhere means supply already trails demand by 900,000 barrels, he noted.

Further tightening of Iranian oil exports will only increase that figure. OCBC said Saudi Arabia needs to raise output by 700,000 to 1 million barrels a day and Russia by 600,000 to 1 million.

Gold prices fell to around 2019 lows of $1,272 a troy ounce Tuesday. But bull Citi was still predicting a jump to $1,400 in the next 6-12 months on anticipation of a weakening dollar into 2020.

"We think the risks of an equity-market correction" in the U.S.--"be it due to policy error or geopolitical tail risk materializing--makes gold a good safe-haven hedge."

 
Top Stories Of The Day: 

Kim Prepares for Summit With Putin in Russia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin, according to Pyongyang state media, marking the regime's first public acknowledgment of a planned summit between the two leaders.

---

Supreme Court Case Explores Privacy of Business Data in Food-Stamp Case

The Supreme Court weighed whether government documents that contain private business information should be more broadly protected from release to the public, in a case with ramifications for companies, the press and open-government advocates.

---

Ex-White House Counsel Subpoenaed Over Trump Moves to Blunt Mueller

House Democrats are seeking to compel former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify and turn over documents about what Robert Mueller's report characterized as attempts by President Trump to control the special counsel's investigation.

Write to william.horner@wsj.com

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:37 ET (10:37 GMT)

DJ N American Morning Briefing: Canada Outlook

Earnings scheduled:

- Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP.T) 1Q

- Teck Resources Limited (TECK.A.T) 1Q

- Teck Resources Limited (TECK.B.T) 1Q

- TFI Intl Inc. (TFII.T) 1Q

---

Economic Indicators (ET):

- 0830 Feb Wholesale trade

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:37 ET (10:37 GMT)

DJ N American Morning Briefing: Analyst Ratings Changes

Acceleron Pharma Coverage Assumed by Oppenheimer at Outperform

Alcoa Raised to Buy From Hold by Gabelli & Co.

Caleres Raised to Buy From Hold by Needham

Chemung Financial Cut to Hold From Buy by Sandler O'Neill

Cohen & Steers Cut to Hold From Buy by Gabelli & Co.

County Bancorp Raised to Buy From Hold by Sandler O'Neill

Dillard's Cut to Underperform From Neutral by Wedbush

Dover Corp Cut to Neutral From Outperform by Baird

DR Horton Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by Keefe Bruyette & Woods

Dunkin Brands Cut to Hold From Buy by Maxim Group

GrafTech International Cut to Sell From Buy by Citigroup

IPG Photonics Raised to Buy From Neutral by Bank of America

KEYW Holding Cut to Hold From Buy by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

Lam Research Raised to Buy From Neutral by B. Riley FBR

Manhattan Associates Raised to Buy From Hold by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

Neurocrine Raised to Overweight From Neutral by JP Morgan

Newmont Goldcorp Corporation Raised to Action List Buy From Hold by TD Securities

NiSource Cut to Neutral From Buy by Bank of America

Occidental Petroleum Cut to Neutral From Buy by Mizuho

Oneok Cut to Neutral From Buy by Seaport Global

People's United Financial Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by Fig Partners

Rent-A-Center Raised to Strong Buy From Outperform by Raymond James

Santander Consumer USA Cut to Neutral From Overweight by PiperJaffray

Schlumberger Cut to Hold From Buy by Tudor Pickering

Tesla Cut to Underperform From In-Line by Evercore ISI Group

Triumph Bancorp Cut to Neutral From Overweight by PiperJaffray

Vail Resorts Cut to Hold From Buy by Jefferies

Viavi Solutions Raised to Neutral From Underweight by JP Morgan

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Coverage Assumed by Canaccord Genuity at Buy

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:37 ET (10:37 GMT)

DJ Novartis Investors to Look for Clues on Future Regulatory Landscape -- Earnings Preview

By Donato Paolo Mancini

Novartis is scheduled to report results for the first quarter on Wednesday. Here's what you need to know:

SALES FORECAST: The Swiss giant is expected to post sales of $10.91 billion, according to a consensus estimate compiled by FactSet.

NET INCOME/OTHER PROFIT FORECAST: The company is expected to post a net profit of $2.61 billion, according to FactSet.

WHAT TO WATCH:

-Investors will want to know whether more deals are in the pipeline, as the company has been on a bolt-on acquisition spree as of late.

-Any updates on gene therapy now that crosstown rival Roche has entered the field would be welcome.

-Updates and visibility into whether potential changes to the U.S. healthcare system will affect the company will also be welcome after a couple of jittery sessions for stocks with exposure to the U.S. sent shares in the sector lower.

-Markets participants will also likely want to know what the latest on the Gilenya intellectual property situation is.

Write to Donato Paolo Mancini at donatopaolo.mancini@dowjones.com; @donatopmancini

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:35 ET (10:35 GMT)

DJ AIG Offshoot Rides Chinese Insurance Boom
By Joanne Chiu 

Once the crown jewel of American International Group Inc., pan-Asian life insurer AIA has eclipsed its former parent thanks to soaring demand from China's middle class.

Hong Kong-listed AIA Group Ltd., whose shares hit fresh records this month, now boasts a market capitalization of around $123 billion, more than three times that of AIG.

AIA's rise highlights the size and promise of Chinese financial services--and what AIG missed out on after it was forced to sell the business to repay a huge government bailout.

"China is the place to be for insurers," said Victoria Mio, chief investment officer for China at Robeco. Ms. Mio said a burgeoning middle class was more aware of insurance and health-care products, and had more money to spend on them.

However, the company has to tread carefully, since a large chunk of its growth is thanks to mainland Chinese looking to build offshore portfolios--a sensitive area for China's government.

AIA says more than half the value of new business it generates in Hong Kong comes from mainland customers. This measure is a key yardstick for AIA, reflecting expected total earnings from new policies, after adjusting for factors such as required capital reserves.

The same demand also benefits rivals operating in the city such as London-listed Prudential PLC, which previously tried to buy AIA.

Hong Kong doesn't use the Chinese yuan but has its own currency, the Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar. Beijing limits personal transfers out of China to roughly $50,000 a year.

In 2016, as China battled a weakening yuan and capital outflows, an increasing number of mainland Chinese residents were traveling to Hong Kong to buy insurance policies, particularly those with investment functions. As using credit cards to buy insurance became a popular loophole to shift more funds abroad, dominant payment-card company China UnionPay Co. began enforcing transaction limits on offshore insurance purchases, and later limited these to accident- and medical-related policies.

Those limits remain in place but the overall amounts spent by mainlanders buying policies in Hong Kong have somewhat recovered after Beijing's capital-flight crackdown, according to the city's insurance regulator. The rebound comes as Chinese consumers seek to protect themselves from rising economic uncertainty. In many cases, buyers can use existing hard-currency holdings to buy policies.

AIA and its peers recruit well-educated mainland Chinese staff, particularly graduates of Hong Kong universities, to sell products to their compatriots, according to analysts and insurance agents. These individuals' connections back home are seen as giving the companies an edge in winning business from mainland Chinese clients.

However, there are legal limits on what agents can say and do. They can talk about the benefits of insurance, but cannot directly promote or solicit Hong Kong business while on the mainland, nor sign contracts with clients there, said Zhu Chao, chief executive at Asset Pro Group Ltd.

Mr. Zhu, whose Hong Kong-based company works with wealth-management and insurance firms in China and abroad, said after seeing friends and relatives buy offshore insurance, "more Chinese customers are jumping on the bandwagon."

He said there was genuine demand for protection, for example, to guard against the cost of treating serious illnesses. And offshore policies, typically in U.S. dollars, were also viewed by many Chinese customers as a way to diversify their investments.

Priscilla Chen, 26, is from Zhejiang province in eastern China, and is studying for a Ph.D. in Hong Kong. In March, she bought a critical-illness policy, with savings elements, from AIA.

"Having U.S. dollar-denominated insurance coverage not only gives me protection but would also help me hedge against any currency risk in the future," said Ms. Chen. "I would also recommend my friends and relatives to buy policies offshore. The insurers are better managed and their products offer better returns."

China's insurance market is already the world's second-largest by premium volume, surpassing Japan in 2017, and the Swiss Re Institute estimates it will overtake the U.S. by the mid-2030s.

AIG spun off AIA in a 2010 listing, valuing the unit at $30.5 billion, after the U.S. government committed up to $182.3 billion of support for AIG during the financial crisis. The U.S. company sold its remaining shares in AIA in several stages in 2012.

Once one of the world's most valuable insurers, AIG now mainly consists of a global property-and-casualty insurance business and a U.S. life insurance and annuity business.

In addition to its large Hong Kong business, AIA is the only foreign insurer working in the mainland without a local partner. AIA has wholly owned operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu, and earlier this year won permission to start up in two more cities.

Even before factoring in the benefits of any expansion, AIA's China business is likely to see further rapid growth. BNP Paribas analyst Dominic Chan said he expects AIA's onshore business to keep growing more than 40% annually, as it recruits more highly educated agents, and undertakes other initiatives such as partnering with WeDoctor, a health care startup backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Further out, CLSA analysts led by Lloyd Xu said Beijing's plans to liberalize life insurance from 2021 could allow AIA to operate nationwide, pending provincial approvals.

Write to Joanne Chiu at joanne.chiu@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:09 ET (10:09 GMT)

DJ PG&E Files 8K - Director, Officer or Compensation Filing >PCG

PG&E Corp. (PCG) filed a Form 8K - Director, Officer or Compensation Filing - with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission on April 22, 2019.

On April 22, 2019, Richard C. Kelly resigned from the Boards. The resignation of Mr. Kelly from the Boards does not involve any disagreement on any matter relating to the Corporation's or the Utility's operations, policies or practices. Also on April 22, 2019, in connection with the execution and delivery of the Settlement Agreement, Frederick W. Buckman was appointed to fill the resulting vacancies on the Boards.

The description of the Settlement Agreement contained herein is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Settlement Agreement, a copy of which is filed as Exhibit 10.1 and is incorporated by reference herein.

The full text of this SEC filing can be retrieved at: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/75488/000119312519113770/d707237d8k.htm

Any exhibits and associated documents for this SEC filing can be retrieved at: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1004980/000119312519113770/0001193125-19-113770-index.htm

Public companies must file a Form 8-K, or current report, with the SEC generally within four days of any event that could materially affect a company's financial position or the value of its shares.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:02 ET (10:02 GMT)

WSJ Wealth Adviser Briefing: Merrill Team Focus, FANG Stocks Rebound, Retirement Mistakes

At Merrill Lynch, the solo financial adviser is quickly becoming a rarity: Some 77% of the firm's nearly 15,000 advisers have now joined forces with others, up from just 48% in 2013. Andy Sieg, president of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, notes that teams grow their business much faster than individuals. No wonder, then, that Merrill Lynch not only talks up the concept of teams, but also has set up financial incentives for advisers to form them.

Below, some of the best analysis and insight from WSJ writers and columnists, the Dow Jones Newswires team and occasionally beyond, on investing, the wealth-management business and more.

PLANNING & INVESTING

FANG Stocks in Sharp Rebound: Big money managers have resumed buying shares of FANG -- which stands for Facebook, Amazon.com, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet -- and others, as the prospect of low interest rates and a still-expanding U.S. economy has pushed investors back into one of the bull market's historically most profitable trades.

MARKET TALK

From Dow Jones Newswires

Last week's sell-off in the health care sector creates an attractive opportunity to revisit the group, JPMorgan analysts say. "Last week's selloff wiped out most of the gains for the year and the Major Pharma names are now significantly trailing the broader markets," they say, adding that Eli Lilly and Merck are most attractive stocks within the group at current levels. JPMorgan says the sector is expected to benefit from a health product cycle driving sector growth over the next six to eight years, and while healthcare will likely remain a key talking point for politicians, the firm says a move to a single-payer system in the US highly unlikely. (francesca.fontana@wsj.com; @francescamarief)

Saudi Arabia likely won't look to immediately fill a possible output hole if the US does scrap sanctions waivers on Iranian oil buyers, says Energy Aspects. It notes the kingdom was taken by surprise last year when last-minute waivers were issued to 8 countries. That move helped fuel 4Q's price plunge. Where Saudi output goes comes as the country has pushed down production this year more than it agreed to under the latest OPEC-led caps. Energy Aspects anticipates average daily output risen some 500,000 barrels by midyear to 10.3 million, its agreed-to quota level. (biman.mukherji@wsj.com)

BUSINESS & PRACTICE

Morgan Stanley Center of Excellence Readies Bank for AI's Data Demands: Companies are looking to supercharge corporate decision making through artificial intelligence, but first they need help preparing the troves of customer and business data they have acquired over the years.

IMPACT INVESTING

Investors See Value in ESG Principles, But Don't Quite Invest That Way: Investors are paying more attention to environmental, social and governance issues, but it isn't yet shaping how they invest.

How Wellington Is Reshaping Its ESG Investing: Wellington Management, the venerated $1 trillion money manager, has increasingly become a behind-the-scenes force in sustainable investing.

TALKING POINTS

The Biggest Financial Mistakes Retirees Make: The No. 1 error, according to financial advisers: investing too conservatively.

TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE

What It's Like to Retire in Southern France: A couple moves from California to Carcassonne. After less than a year, it feels like home.

ABOUT US

The Wealth Adviser Briefing covers topics of interest to wealth managers, financial planners and other advisers. The content is curated by the Dow Jones Newswires team using articles from the Newswires, Barron's, MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal. The briefing is delivered to subscribers by email each workday morning at 6:30 a.m. ET. You can sign up here for email delivery.

For more information about our services for financial professionals, please visit DowJones.com

We welcome feedback. Please email newsletters@dowjones.com or contact Glenn Hall, global chief editor of Dow Jones Newswires at glenn.hall@wsj.com.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:02 ET (10:02 GMT)

DJ Writers Union Seeks to Pressure PE Firms in Its Dispute With Talent Agencies

A screenwriters’ union aims to involve private-equity firms and their investors in a dispute with Hollywood talent agencies, warning them of the risks of what the union claims are the agencies’ illegal actions.

The Writers Guild of America, or WGA, sued four major talent agencies over a practice called “packaging,” which the union claims is illegal and creates a conflict of interest that has reduced its members’ earnings.

The union claims packaging, in which an agency combines actors, directors and writers in a deal it sells to a studio, creates an “unlawful kickback” in the form of a fixed fee paid to the agency. The lawsuit says the practice violates state and federal law and has “depressed the compensation paid to writers, as money that would otherwise be paid to the writers is instead paid to the agencies.”

The union also has contacted more than a dozen public pension funds, calling attention to the agencies’ practices as well as the legal action and urging the pensions to press the firms they have invested in to resolve the dispute, according to a spokesman for the union.

While the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, doesn’t name as defendants the private-equity firms that back the agencies or their limited partner investors, the union subsequently called attention to the lawsuit’s implications for some of those firms and investors.

In letters to Silver Lake and TPG Capital, which are investors in the two largest agencies, and to other backers of the agencies, the union said the conflict exposes the agencies to legal risk.

In its lawsuit, the WGA said packaging arrangements run counter to California’s Unfair Competition Law and its fiduciary requirements for talent agents, since the deals involve direct payments to agencies unrelated to what writers receive. It also said packaging violates the federal Taft-Hartley Act’s anti-kickback provision. It asked the court to force the agencies to disgorge “unlawful profits” and award restitution and damages to the plaintiffs.

The talent agencies say that packaging is a lawful, decades-old practice that benefits writers. The Association of Talent Agents, a group representing the agencies, said the lawsuit “confirms that the WGA’s leadership is on a predetermined path to chaos that never included any intention to negotiate.”

TPG, Silver Lake and WME declined to comment on the suit or the letters, and CAA didn’t immediately respond.

The lawsuit and letter-writing campaign threatens to embroil private-equity and institutional investors in the bitter, monthslong dispute between the agencies and the 15,000-member union. The WGA says thousands of writers are firing their agents over conflicts in how the agents make money.

Unions often try to put pressure on private-equity firms and limited partners as a way of gaining leverage during labor disputes with the companies that private-equity funds back. Government pension funds are often sensitive to public opinion and provide one of the few pressure points on private-equity firms during labor disputes.

In March, the WGA published a report arguing that under private-equity ownership, the agencies’ allegedly conflicted practices have gotten worse. The union claims that, while private-equity and other institutional backers have profited from their agency investments, writers’ earnings have gone down. WME has said that the pay of the writers it represents increased from 2016 to 2018.

Thus far, neither side has shown an inclination to back down. On April 13, the WGA insisted that agents sign a code of conduct prohibiting them from taking packaging fees. Those that refused would be dropped by their clients, the union said. The Association of Talent Agencies has said its members won’t sign the code of conduct.

The union said in its letters to TPG and Silver Lake that WME and CAA each face termination by more than 1,000 writers, and warns of “ongoing legal risk” for agencies that refuse to sign a union code of conduct that bans packaging deals.

Write to Chris Cumming at chris.cumming@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 06:00 ET (10:00 GMT)

DJ Credit Suisse to Post Falls in 1Q Profit, Revenue -- Earnings Preview

By Pietro Lombardi

Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.EB) kicks off the earnings season for major European banks with its first-quarter results on Wednesday. Here's what you need to know:

NET PROFIT FORECAST: The bank's net profit should decline slightly to 682 million Swiss francs ($671.8 million) from CHF694 million, according to a consensus forecast provided by the bank and based on estimates from 17 analysts.

REVENUE FORECAST: CS's topline is expected lower too. Analysts forecast a decline in revenue to CHF5.20 billion from CHF5.64 billion in 1Q a year earlier, according to a consensus estimate given by Credit Suisse.

WHAT TO WATCH:

-DIVISIONAL DECLINE: Credit Suisse faced challenging conditions in the first quarter of the year, Deutsche Bank said, and analysts at both Deutsche and UBS forecast lower revenue at group level.

"The risk-off trend during 1Q19 is likely to have weighed on revenues this time and contrasts in particular with a strong first quarter last year," the German bank said.

CS's quarterly revenue should fall roughly 7% on year, analysts at UBS estimate, predicting double-digit falls in pretax profit at most divisions, with the exception of Swiss Universal Bank.

-IB REVENUE HITS: Fixed-income and equities revenue are both expected to fall by double-digits, UBS said, with the former down roughly 19% and the latter off by 11%.

"After peer guidance, a challenging first quarter in Wealth Management and Investment Banking should not be a surprise anymore, in our view," DB said.

-LOWER COSTS: The Swiss bank should report a decline in costs, DB forecasts. "We estimate another cost reduction [-7% YoY], however, as guided, the cost-mitigating opportunities are becoming more challenging to fully compensate for topline pressure," DB said.

Write to Pietro Lombardi at pietro.lombardi@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 05:59 ET (09:59 GMT)

DJ Microsoft Reports Earnings Tomorrow. Here's What to Expect. -- Barrons.com
By Jon Swartz 

Software giant Microsoft is scheduled to report fiscal third-quarter financial results Wednesday after the market's close.

The report is due with Microsoft stock (ticker: MSFT) up 22% this year through Monday's close at $123.76 per share, compared with a gain of about 16% in the broader S&P 500.

Here's a snapshot of Wall Street's expectations and some recent history.

-- Wall Street analysts are looking for earnings of $1 per share on revenue of $29.89 billion, according to FactSet.

-- Microsoft reported revenue of $26.82 billion during last year's third quarter, leading to earnings of 95 cents per share.

-- Second-quarter revenue was $32.47 billion, with earnings coming in at $1.10 per share.

-- In January, Microsoft reported fiscal second-quarter revenue that fell slightly shy of analysts' estimates, sending its stock down 4% in after-hours trading. Nonetheless, analysts remain bullish on Microsoft's prospects this year.

UBS analyst Jennifer Swanson Lowe named Microsoft as one of her top software picks this year as it continues to make strides in cloud computing and gaming. She predicts Microsoft, Salesforce.com (CRM), and Adobe (ADBE), among others, will outpace the software industry's average of revenue growth of 10% this year.

Her optimism was shared in research notes from Morgan Stanley and KeyBanc Capital Markets last week. Microsoft "represents the best risk/reward in software," wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss in a note Wednesday. He gave Microsoft stock an Overweight rating and price target of $140.

-- Microsoft stock is up 33% over the last 12 months. Wall Street's average price target is $130 per share.

A conference call with investors is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Write to Jon Swartz at jonathan.swartz@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 05:59 ET (09:59 GMT)

DJ Analyst Estimates for U.S. Earnings Tuesday

Standard & Poor's 500 stock index companies scheduled to report quarterly earnings Tuesday, with per-share earnings estimates provided by FactSet Research Systems Inc.:

Company                                   Symbol     Quarter  Mean  Report Time 
 
Centene Corp.                             (CNC)       1Q      1.35   6:00 AM 
Coca-Cola Company                         (KO)        1Q       .46   6:55 AM 
eBay Inc.                                 (EBAY)      1Q       .63   4:15 PM 
Edwards Lifesciences Corp.                (EW)        1Q      1.22   4:15 PM 
Fifth Third Bancorp                       (FITB)      1Q       .57   6:30 AM 
FirstEnergy Corp.                         (FE)        1Q       .66       AMC 
Harley-Davidson Inc.                      (HOG)       1Q       .82       BMO 
Hasbro Inc.                               (HAS)       1Q      (.11)  6:30 AM 
Lockheed Martin Corp.                     (LMT)       1Q      4.34   7:30 AM 
NextEra Energy Inc.                       (NEE)       1Q      2.05   7:30 AM 
Northern Trust Corp.                      (NTRS)      1Q      1.47       BMO 
Nucor Corp.                               (NUE)       1Q      1.50 
Procter & Gamble Company                  (PG)        3Q      1.03   7:00 AM 
PulteGrp Inc.                             (PHM)       1Q       .47       BMO 
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated            (DGX)       1Q      1.36       BMO 
Robert Half Intl Inc.                     (RHI)       1Q       .95   4:15 PM 
Sherwin-Williams Company                  (SHW)       1Q      3.67       BMO 
State Street Corp.                        (STT)       1Q      1.19 
Stryker Corp.                             (SYK)       1Q      1.84   4:05 PM 
Texas Instruments Incorporated            (TXN)       1Q      1.13   4:01 PM 
Total Sys Svcs Inc.                       (TSS)       1Q      1.16   4:15 PM 
Twitter Inc.                              (TWTR)      1Q       .15   7:00 AM 
United Tech Corp.                         (UTX)       1Q      1.71       BMO 
Verizon Commun Inc.                       (VZ)        1Q      1.17   7:30 AM 
Waters Corp.                              (WAT)       1Q      1.72 

(At least three brokerage analysts must be forecasting EPS for the company to be included in this report. The Factset EPS estimate is the mean. Estimates can reflect GAAP or non-GAAP numbers.)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 05:55 ET (09:55 GMT)

DJ FTSE Holds Gains, Buoyed by Oil Majors
 
Market News: 
 
FTSE 100          7487.52 +27.64 +0.37 
FTSE 250         19820.04 -15.89 -0.08 
FTSE AIM All-Share 957.83  +2.68 +0.28 

FTSE 100 Rises as Oil Majors Advance, Airlines Fall

0919 GMT - The FTSE 100 Index rises 0.4%, as investors give a mixed response to rising crude prices. Oil majors are among the blue-chip index's biggest risers as the U.S. signaled plans to end exemptions from sanctions for several countries still buying Iranian oil. Royal Dutch Shell B-shares gain 2.3% and BP is up 2.1% as the price of a barrel of Brent crude gains 0.6% to $74.51. Still, the index's overall gains were limited as easyJet falls 3.9%, with the prospect of higher fuel prices spooking investors, while International Consolidated Airlines Group--owner of British Airways and Iberia--drops nearly 3%. In mining, Mexican silver miner Fresnillo backtracks 2.6% as the price of the precious metal falls 0.2%.

 
Companies News: 

Aberdeen Standard European's Pascal Duval to Step Down as Director and Chairman

Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income PLC (ASLI.LN) said on Tuesday that Pascal Duval will step down as director and chairman on June 11 following the company's annual general meeting, and that Tony Roper will be taking over the chairman's role.

Angling Direct Had a Record Start to Year

Angling Direct PLC (ANG.LN) said Tuesday that it has had a record start to the year, with both stores and e-commerce generating robust sales growth.

British Land to Sell 12 Superstores From Sainsbury's JV

British Land Co. PLC (BLND.LN) said Tuesday that it has exchanged contracts on the sale of 12 superstores from its joint venture with J Sainsbury PLC (SBRY.LN) for 429 million pounds ($557.1 million).

FastJet Expects Wider 2018 Loss; 1Q 2019 Revenue Fell

Africa-focused airline FastJet PLC (FJET.LN) said Tuesday that it expects its 2018 operating loss for continuing operations to widen and that revenue in the first quarter of 2019 fell.

Ferrexpo Pretax Profit Falls as Costs Rise

Ferrexpo PLC (FXPO.LN) said Tuesday that pretax profit fell 13% in 2018 despite higher revenue as costs increased.

Franchise Brands Reports Record First Quarter

Franchise Brands PLC (FRAN.LN) said on Tuesday that its franchise Metro Rod has seen forward momentum in the first quarter of 2019, leading to a record quarter, and that its franchise support strategy is bearing fruit.

IronRidge Resources: Zaranou Gold Project Granted Exploration License

IronRidge Resources Ltd. (IRR.LN) said Tuesday that the Zaranou gold project in Ivory Coast--for which the company secured an acquisition right in February--has been granted an exploration license.

Trans-Siberian Gold Gets License for Rodnikova Gold Deposit

Trans-Siberian Gold PLC (TSG.LN) said Tuesday that it has received a license for the development and exploration of the Rodnikova deposit--one of the largest gold fields in South Kamchatka in Russia--for a tenure of 20 years.

Tau Capital Hasn't Agreed Reverse Takeover Within Timeframe; Trading Halted

Tau Capital PLC (TAU.LN) said Tuesday that trading in its shares will be suspended from 0630 GMT as it hasn't been able to complete a reverse takeover within the required timeframe.

STV Group Sees Five-Month Advertising Revenue Growth of Up to 2%

Scottish broadcaster STV Group PLC (STVG.LN) said Tuesday that it expects advertising revenue for the first five months of 2019 to grow by 1% to 2%, supported by a stronger-than-anticipated national advertising market.

 
Market Talk: 

Petra Diamonds to Improve Sentiment with Deleveraging: Berenberg

0924 GMT - Petra Diamonds is over the worst and an inflection of free cash flow is starting up, Berenberg analysts say. The bank believes Petra Diamonds' shares will start to rerate as its more stable operational and financial performance reassures investors. Berenberg says that the miner's stronger operations and finances will in turn trigger a deleveraging process which should help win the market over. As a result, Berenberg raises its recommendation to buy, from hold, and increases its target price to 25 pence a share, from 23 pence a share previously. Shares up 2.1% at 18.17 pence.

Sterling Faces Volatility After Easter Pause: MUFG

0901 GMT - As the U.K. parliament returns from the Easter recess, the pound braces for volatility, says MUFG. "Prime Minister [Theresa] May will again ramp up Brexit negotiations this week as the House of Commons sits again and pound volatility is set to increase." May is expected to resume cross-party talks with the opposition Labour party to find support for her Brexit deal. A compromise will become more urgent as May 23 approaches, the date scheduled for European Parliament elections if May cannot get her deal approved at home. "It appears unlikely that any breakthrough will result from the talks between PM May and opposition Labour," says MUFG. "In this case it becomes increasingly likely that initiative on Brexit will shift again to the House of Commons." GBP/USD last down 0.1% at 1.2994.

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-9319

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2019 05:55 ET (09:55 GMT)