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WALL STREET RISES ON GAINS IN RETAILERS AS CYBER MONDAY BEGINS

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US FINANCIAL MARKET | US ECONOMY & POLITICS
 EUROPE & WORLD | TODAY IN HISTORY

DAILY MARKET REPORTS

  • U.S. stocks gained on Monday, helped by shares of retailers on expectations of blockbuster sales on the largest online shopping day of the year, and as technology shares rose after taking a beating last week.
  • The shopping day is expected to rake in $7.8 billion in sales, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks about 80% of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. retailers.
  • Shares of e-commerce giant Amazon jumped 3.3%, while the largest U.S. consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy, rose 3.3%.
  • Also helping sentiment was oil prices, which rose to pare some its losses from the near-7% fall on Friday and lifted the shares of energy companies up 1.6%.
  • Investors will keep an eye on the G20 Summit this week, where U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to hold trade talks in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

US FINANCIAL MARKET

 

Black Friday pulled in a record $6.22 billion in online sales: Adobe Analytics

  • Black Friday pulled in $6.22 billion in online sales, up 23.6% from a year ago and setting a new high, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions for 80 of the top 100 internet retailers in the U.S. like Walmart and Amazon.
  • The Friday after Thanksgiving this year was also the first day in history to see more than $2 billion in sales stemming from smartphones, said Adobe.
  • Meanwhile, shoppers were seen buying more big-ticket items like appliances, furniture and bulkier electronics from their phones Black Friday, with average order values up 8.5% year over year to reach $146, based on Adobe’s data.

On Black Friday, more U.S. shoppers chose the computer over the mall

  • Preliminary data from analytics firm RetailNext showed net sales at brick-and-mortar stores fell 4 to 7% over the two days, while traffic fell 5 to 9%, continuing the trend of recent years.
  • Data from retail research firm ShopperTrak also showed that visits to stores fell a combined 1% during Thanksgiving and Black Friday compared with the same days in 2017.
  • The National Retail Federation forecast U.S. holiday retail sales in November and December will increase between 4.3 and 4.8% over 2017, for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.

Cyber Monday deals to test limits of retailers’ websites

  • Cyber Monday online shopping frenzy kicked off with retailers offering a slew of discounts and free shipping, testing the limits of their e-commerce operations as they take millions of orders across the country.
  • Drawing an estimated 75 million shoppers, the event will severely test retailers’ online platforms as well as their delivery operations.
  • The much-hyped marketing day is expected to be the largest U.S. online shopping day ever, generating $7.8 billion in sales.

GM to slash jobs and production, cancel some car models: sources

  • General Motors will cut car production, stop building several low-selling car models, and slash its North American workforce, sources said on Monday, marking its biggest restructuring in North America since its bankruptcy a decade ago.
  • GM plans to halt production at three assembly plants in Canada, in Ohio and Michigan in the United States by not allocating new products, putting the future of those plants in doubt, the sources added.
  • The plants, Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Oshawa Assembly, all build slow-selling cars.

U.S. Supreme Court weighs antitrust dispute over Apple App Store

  • U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday will take up Apple’s effort to bury a lawsuit seeking damages from the company for allegedly monopolizing the market for iPhone software applications and forcing consumers to overpay.
  • The lawsuit accused the Cupertino, California-based technology company of violating federal antitrust laws by requiring apps to be sold through the company’s App Store and then taking a 30% commission from the purchases.
  • The case hinges on how the justices will apply one of its past decisions to the claims against Apple.
  • That 1977 ruling limited damages for anti-competitive conduct to those directly overcharged rather than indirect victims who paid an overcharge passed on by others.

UTC gets Chinese nod for Rockwell Collins purchase, deal set to close

  • United Technologies on Friday received Chinese regulatory approval for its $30 billion purchase of aircraft parts maker Rockwell Collins, clearing the final hurdle to complete the largest aerospace deal in history.
  • The dispute between the world’s two largest economies had fanned concerns among UTC shareholders that the merger could fall victim to the growing tensions.
  • UTC said on Friday the transaction should close within three business days. Last month the company had already expressed confidence of securing Chinese approval for the deal.

Qatar expects to receive six F-15 fighter jets from U.S. by March 2021

  • Qatar expects six F-15 war planes will be delivered to its air force by March 2021, a military official said on Monday, the first batch of 36 it agreed to buy from the United States last year in a deal worth $12 billion.
  • Qatar signed agreements to buy war planes from the United States as well as Europe last year after a political dispute broke out between it and neighbors Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain.
  • Boeing was awarded the contract for the F-15s.

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US ECONOMY & POLITICS

Clashing with Trump, U.S. government report says climate change will batter economy

  • Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, hitting everything from health to infrastructure, according to a government report issued on Friday that the White House called inaccurate.
  • The congressionally mandated report, written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, outlined the projected impact of global warming on every corner of American society in a dire warning that is at odds with the Trump administration’s pro-fossil-fuels agenda.
  • Global warming would disproportionately hurt the poor, broadly undermine human health, damage infrastructure, limit the availability of water, alter coastlines, and boost costs in industries from farming, to fisheries and energy production, the report said.
  • Thirteen government departments and agencies, from the Agriculture Department to NASA, were part of the committee that compiled the new report.

Senior House Democrats tap brakes on investigating Trump

  • After capturing the U.S. House of Representatives with a campaign that spoke of holding President Donald Trump accountable, some powerful House Democrats are now urging restraint and a focus on policy, at least at the outset.
  • That path will seek to avoid igniting political battles, for now, over matters such as Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign and obstruction of justice.
  • Some Democrats – including key committee leaders – want to focus on immigration, rising student loan debt, high-cost prescription drugs and the federal response to hurricane disasters, especially in Puerto Rico.

FDA to overhaul more than 40-year-old process for approving medical devices that some say puts consumers at risk

  • Since 1976, manufacturers have been able to pursue an expedited approval process if they could prove new products were substantially equivalent to those that were grandfathered in when Congress established the pathway, known as 510(k).
  • That means some new products entering the market are comparing themselves to technology that’s decades old.
  • The announcement comes after a consortium of news outlets over the weekend published scathing investigations into medical device failures and how the FDA’s accelerated review process may have missed problems and put consumers at risk.
  • In modernizing the 510(k) approval process, the FDA wants to nudge companies to base new products on devices that are no older than 10 years old.

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EUROPE & WORLD

Global wage growth slumps to 1.8% in 2017, lowest in a decade: ILO

  • Global wage grew by 1.8% in 2017, down from 2.4% in 2016 and the slowest rate since the global financial crisis in 2008, the International Labor Organization said in its two-yearly Global Wage Report on Monday.
  • “What is now widely recognized is that slow wage growth has become an obstacle to achieving sustainable economic growth,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder wrote in the report.
  • In the past 20 years, average real wages have almost tripled in emerging and developing G20 countries, but they have risen by only 9% in advanced G20 countries, the ILO said.

EU agrees ‘best possible’ Brexit deal, urges Britons to back May

  • European Union leaders finally sealed a Brexit deal on Sunday, saying the package agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May was the best Britain will get in a warning to the British parliament not to reject it.
  • May used a post-summit news conference to make a sales pitch for her plan, telling television viewers at home that it was the “only possible deal”, offering control of UK borders and budgets while maintaining close alignment with EU regulations that was good for business and the security of Britain and Europe.
  • In May’s exchanges at the summit, there was no discussion of what may happen if parliament rejects the deal in a vote likely to take place just before the next EU summit on Dec. 13-14.
  • Parliament’s vote could open the door to a “brighter future” or condemn the country to more division, she said.

China says WTO faces ‘profound crisis’, urges reform

  • China on Friday urged the World Trade Organization (WTO) to close loopholes and correct practices by some member states that damage global trade, warning of a “profound crisis” facing the institution’s existence.
  • Members of the G20 are expected to discuss WTO reform when they meet at a summit in Argentina next week, following a failed attempt to reach agreement on the topic at an APEC forum held last week in Papua New Guinea.
  • Debate on reforming the WTO has been largely driven by U.S. complaints that it has failed to police suspected Chinese rule-breaking, with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening a withdrawal to protect American interests.
  • The United States wants the WTO to crack down on China’s subsidies for state-owned enterprises (SOE), overcapacity in steel and other basic industries, and on the practice of forcing investors to hand over valuable technology.

Airbus to resume deliveries to HNA Group after payments row

  • Airbus is poised to resume stalled deliveries of jets to China’s debt-laden HNA Group, an Airbus schedule showed on Monday, but deliveries of over $1 billion of large jets remain behind schedule after months of wrangling over late payments.
  • Companies belonging to the Chinese aviation-to-finance conglomerate delayed payments earlier this year, leading Airbus to suspend deliveries rather than step in to provide delivery financing itself.
  • Under pressure from Beijing, HNA Group is in the process of selling some $20 billion of assets, according to Reuters calculations and media reports, following a $50 billion acquisition spree.

France drops plan for urban tolls amid fuel price protests

  • The French government has dropped plans that would have eased the introduction of urban tolls amid nationwide protests against rising fuel costs, the transport minister said on Monday.
  • In the past two weeks, France has seen nationwide protests against rising fuel costs, with demonstrators blocking highways and setting up barricades, hoping to force the government to row back on new taxes on petrol and diesel.
  • The unrest came to a head in Paris on Saturday, when police clashed violently with thousands of demonstrators on the Champs-Elysees, with more than 100 protesters detained.

Global chemical weapons agency to investigate alleged Aleppo attack

  • The global chemical weapons agency will investigate an alleged gas attack in Syria’s Aleppo that reportedly wounded up to 100 people on Saturday, the agency’s chief said on Monday.
  • The Syrian government, which accused rebels of firing chlorine in Aleppo, requested that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) send a factfinding mission to the site, said Fernando Arias, the OPCW’s new head.
  • Under new powers granted in June, the OPCW will not only be able to determine whether a chemical weapons attack occurred, but can also assign blame.

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TODAY in HISTORY

  • The first national Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. was proclaimed by President George Washington. (1789)
  • Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon became the first to enter the tomb of King Tutankhamen (Tut) since it was sealed in 1323 B.C. (1922)

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