US FINANCIAL MARKET
Stocks Pull Back From July Rally on Weak Earnings: Markets Wrap – Bloomberg, 8/1/2023
- The stock rally that catapulted the S&P 500 to a 16-month high lost momentum after a flurry of companies reported disappointing earnings.
- Traders also waded through mixed data on jobs openings.
- The S&P 500 fell 0.3%. The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed.
- JetBlue Airways sank after slashing its full-year profit forecast and saying it would earn less than analysts expected this quarter.
- Cruise operators fell as Norwegian Cruise Holdings gave an earnings guidance that trailed the average analyst estimate.
- The results highlight growing concern about the durability of corporate earnings and questions about whether stocks can keep gaining.
- With the S&P 500 now less than 5% away from an all-time high, there are signs that investors are taking a pause before US employment figures and earnings from giants Apple and Amazon.com.
- In other individual stock moves Tuesday, Uber Technologies climbed after the ride-hailing company reported better-than-expected net income.
- Caterpillar gained as profit from the maker of yellow bulldozers and excavators beat expectations.
- In China, home sales plunged by the most in a year last month, underscoring why policymakers need to address faltering demand and a liquidity crunch in the sector.
- Caixin PMI figures showed factory activity contracted in July, missing economists’ estimates for a small expansion.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.8%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.4%.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced eight basis points to 4.04%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1% to $80.96 a barrel.
- Gold futures fell 1.3% to $1,982.20 an ounce.
Caterpillar’s Sales Surge as Construction Booms – Wall Street Journal, 8/1/2023
- Caterpillar’s revenue surged 22% in the second quarter as demand for its construction products rose despite higher prices.
- Total revenue increased to $17.32 billion, lifted by higher sales across all three of its major segments, compared with $14.2 billion in the year-ago quarter.
- Analysts polled by FactSet expected total revenue and sales of $16.46 billion.
- In the company’s energy and transportation segment, sales rose 27% as demand rose for engines and turbines.
- Caterpillar reported a second-quarter profit of $2.92 billion, or $5.67 a share, compared with $1.67 billion, or $3.13 a share, in the same period last year. Analysts polled by FactSet expected per-share earnings of $4.50.
Pfizer Misses Revenue Expectations, Bets on Drug Launches to Ease Shortfall – Wall Street Journal, 8/1/2023
- Pfizer reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of analysts’ estimates as record sales from its Covid-19 products dry up.
- Pfizer’s second-quarter sales fell 54% to $12.7 billion, compared with the consensus estimate of $13.3 billion among analysts surveyed by FactSet.
- Pfizer is expecting its Covid-19 vaccine to generate $13.5 billion this year, down roughly two-thirds from last year.
- The company expects Paxlovid to bring in about $8 billion in sales this year, down 58% from last year.
- Excluding the Covid-19 vaccine and treatment Paxlovid, Pfizer sales grew about 5%, by $537 million.
- The growth was partly driven by products recently acquired through deals, including migraine treatment Nurtec and sickle-cell disease drug Oxbryta, Pfizer said.
- Excluding certain items such as litigation, second-quarter earnings were 67 cents a share, compared with 57 cents a share forecast by analysts.
- The company narrowed its sales forecast for full-year 2023, predicting $67 billion to $70 billion, down from $67 billion to $71 billion previously.
- More approvals are expected later this year, helping contribute to Pfizer’s goal of rolling out 19 new products or label indications within 18 months, Bourla said.
Uber Delivers First-Ever Operating Profit in Drive to Curb Losses – Wall Street Journal, 8/1/2023
- Uber Technologies posted its first-ever operating profit in the second quarter, a milestone in its long-term efforts to stem losses in its businesses carrying people and delivering food.
- Uber’s revenue rose 14% to $9.23 billion.
- Its gross bookings, or the total value of transactions on its app, grew 16% to $33.60 billion.
- Uber’s freight division, which transports goods for companies and typically accounts for under a quarter of revenue, didn’t do as well. Bookings and revenue in the unit slid by 30% during the quarter.
- Uber on Tuesday posted a profit of $394 million during the second quarter, compared with a loss of $2.60 billion a year earlier.
- That came in better than the $18 million loss that analysts polled by FactSet had expected and was driven predominantly by its operating profit, which totaled $326 million.
- Uber projected gross bookings between $34 billion and $35 billion in the current quarter.
- Analysts polled by FactSet expect third-quarter bookings of $34.09 billion.
JetBlue cuts forecast on shift to international travel, end of American Airlines partnership – CNBC, 8/1/2023
- JetBlue Airways slashed its 2023 outlook and warned of a potential loss in the current quarter as travelers opt for destinations abroad and the carrier grapples with the end of its partnership with American Airlines in the Northeast.
- Revenue: $2.61 billion vs. $2.61 billion expected.
- Adjusted earnings per share: 45 cents vs. 44 cents expected.
- JetBlue forecast adjusted earnings per share for the full year ranging from 5 cents to 40 cents, down from an earlier estimate for per-share earnings of as much as $1.
- The New York-based carrier said it could post an adjusted loss of as much as 20 cents for the third quarter with revenue down 4% to 8% from the same period last year.
- About 46% of JetBlue’s flights arrived late from July 1 through July 30, according to FlightAware, with an average delay time of 85 minutes, higher than the national average of 28% of flights delayed at an average of 60 minutes.
Merck beats on revenue boosted by Keytruda sales, but posts quarterly loss due to Prometheus deal – CNBC, 8/1/2023
- Merck on Tuesday reported second-quarter revenue that topped expectations on strong sales of its blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda and HPV vaccine Gardasil.
- Revenue: $15.04 billion vs. $14.45 billion expected
- Merck’s pharmaceutical business, which develops a wide range of drugs for different disease areas, booked $13.46 billion in revenue during the quarter. That’s up 6% from the same period a year ago.
- Excluding Merck’s Covid antiviral treatment molnupiravir, the pharmaceutical division revenue grew 14%.
- Sales of molnupiravir, sold under the brand name Lagevrio, plunged to $203 million during the period, down 83% from the $1.18 billion reported for the second quarter of 2022.
- Analysts had been expecting the drug to rake in $187.6 million in sales, according to FactSet estimates.
- Loss per share: $2.06 adjusted vs. $2.18 expected
- The loss reflects a $10.2 billion, or $4.02 per share, charge related to the company’s acquisition of Prometheus, which specializes in treatments for autoimmune diseases. Merck said it completed the deal in mid-June.
- The New Jersey-based company raised its 2023 sales forecast to a range of $58.6 billion to $59.6 billion, slightly higher than the $57.7 billion to $58.9 billion guidance provided in late April.
- Merck lowered its full-year adjusted earnings outlook to $2.95 to $3.05 per share, from a previous forecast of $6.88 to $7 per share.
Rockwell Earnings Fell Short, but Things Are Getting Better – Barron’s, 8/1/2023
- Rockwell Automation has a lot going right for it these days.
- That raised the bar for the industrial technology firm’s earnings report.
- Tuesday morning, Rockwell reported fiscal third-quarter earnings per share of $3.01 on sales of $2.2 million.
- Wall Street was looking for earnings per share of $3.18 on sales of $2.3 billion.
- With only one quarter left in the fiscal year, that implies about fiscal fourth-quarter sales of about $2.4 billion.
- Wall Street had expected just below $2.4 billion.
- The new fiscal 2023 earnings-per-share guidance range of $11.70 to $12.10 implies fourth-quarter earnings per share of about $3.42; Wall Street had been expecting $3.38.
Altria beats revenue, profit expectations on demand for nicotine pouches – Reuters, 8/1/2023
- Tobacco giant Altria Group on Tuesday edged past Wall Street revenue and profit expectations, buoyed by demand for spitless nicotine pouches and higher pricing.
- Net revenue rose 1.2% to $5.44 billion in the second quarter, compared with the average analyst estimate of $5.43 billion, as per Refinitiv data.
- The company said Marlboro’s share of the premium segment stands at 58.6%.
- Shipment volumes for Altria’s on! nicotine pouches grew 47.8% in the quarter from a year earlier.
- Excluding items, Altria reported quarterly profit of $1.31 per share, compared with Wall Street expectations of $1.30 per share.
- It sees annual adjusted profit between $4.89 and $5.03 per share, compared with an earlier forecast of $4.98 to $5.13.
Arista Networks’ stock jumps 11% on results, revenue guidance – Market Watch, 8/1/2023
- Arista Networks stock popped in extended trading Monday after the company posted quarterly results and revenue guidance that topped analyst revenue and earnings estimates.
- Revenue improved to $1.46 billion from $1.05 billion a year ago.
- Adjusted earnings were $1.58 a share.
- Arista offered third-quarter revenue guidance of between $1.45 billion and $1.5 billion, surpassing analysts’ forecasts of $1.39 billion.
- Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected on average second-quarter net income of $1.44 a share on revenue of $1.38 billion.
Avis 2Q Earnings Top Estimates While Sales Slip – Market Watch, 8/1/2023
- Avis Budget Group posted a smaller profit and a steeper revenue drop than expected in the second quarter, though its per-share earnings handily topped analyst forecasts.
- Quarterly revenue fell to $3.12 billion from $3.24 billion last year.
- Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting $3.21 billion.
- Earnings were $11.01 a share, down from $15.71 a share but above analyst forecasts for $9.66 a share, according to FactSet.
- Chief Executive Joe Ferraro said the company is benefitting from robust summer travel, an elevated peak period of demand and seasonally improved pricing.
Diamondback Energy 2Q Revenue, Profit Decline – Market Watch, 8/1/2023
- Diamondback Energy posted lower top and bottom line results in the second quarter.
- Revenue declined to $1.92 billion from $2.77 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected about $1.9 billion.
- The Midland, Texas-based company drilled 86 gross wells in the Midland Basin and 12 gross wells in the Delaware Basin in the second quarter.
- Diamondback’s second-quarter production averaged 449,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
- Adjusted earnings were $3.68 a share, below analysts’ estimates of $3.88 a share.
Lattice Semi stock slips after earnings beat, outlook – Market Watch, 8/1/2023
- Lattice Semiconductor shares fell in the extended session Monday after the programmable logic chipmaker topped Wall Street expectations for the quarter but issued a barely in-line outlook.
- Revenue rose to $190.1 million from $161.4 million in the year-ago quarter.
- Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses and other items, were 52 cents a share, compared with 42 cents a share in the year-ago period.
- Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast 51 cents a share on revenue of $188.2 million.
- Lattice forecast third-quarter revenue of $187 million to $197 million, while analysts had estimated $191.9 million.
Howmet Aerospace Raises Full-Year Outlook on Strong Demand For Planes – Market Watch, 8/1/2023
- Howmet Aerospace raised its full-year sales and earnings outlook as Boeing and Airbus churn out new planes.
- “The outlook for Howmet Aerospace continues to be strong and supported by the extraordinary backlog of commercial aircraft orders at Airbus and Boeing,” Chief Executive John Plant said.
- The company is now targeting sales of $6.4 billion to $6.47 billion, up from the outlook provided in May for sales of $6.2 billion to $6.33 billion.
- Howmet, a Pittsburgh-based aerospace supplier, raised its full-year adjusted earnings outlook to a range of $1.69 to $1.71 a share, up from $1.65 to $1.70 a share.
- The company also said it expects to increase its quarterly dividend by one penny to 5 cents a share in the fourth quarter.
DoubleVerify Shares Fall After Company Agrees to Acquire Scibids – Market Watch, 8/1/2023
- Shares of DoubleVerify Holdings were in the red in Monday’s late trading session following news the company agreed to acquire Scibids Technology, a provider of AI-powered digital campaign optimization for advertisers, agencies and media buyers.
- DoubleVerify said it would acquire Scibids in a cash and stock transaction valued at $125 million.
- DoubleVerify said the acquisition will expand its “product leadership in real-time, campaign optimizations.”
- After the bell Monday, DoubleVerify reported second-quarter earnings per share of seven cents on revenue of $133.7 million.
- The company also said it was expecting third-quarter revenue in a range of $135 million to $141 million.
Oshkosh Lifts Full-Year Earnings Guidance After Profit Beat – Market Watch, 8/1/2023
- Oshkosh raised its profit guidance for the year after profit and revenue topped estimates in the second quarter.
- Oshkosh said it sees net sales of $9.5 billion, up from its previous estimate of $8.65 billion and above the $8.75 billion expected by analysts.
- The Wisconsin-based vehicle maker said it now expects earnings per share to be around $7.65, up from a prior estimate of $5.75.
- Analysts polled by FactSet expect full-year earnings of $5.95 a share.
Ford Restarts EV Truck Plant as Price Cuts Spark More Demand – Bloomberg, 8/1/2023
- Ford Motor restarted production of F-150 electric Lightning pickup truck as price cuts stoke higher demand from buyers.
- Customers have had to wait on orders as Ford restocked vehicles after battery issues halted production at the plant this spring.
- The facility has restarted production in Dearborn, Michigan, and Ford is training an additional 1,200 workers to help increase supply, the company said Tuesday.
- “We are expanding capacity right now, we’re going to be filling that capacity, we’ll have to see how the market plays out,” said Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer for Ford’s model-e unit.
- “The demand is there. We now have the supply to match it.”
CVS to slash 5,000 jobs as company deepens costly health care push – CNBC, 8/1/2023
- CVS Health is cutting 5,000 jobs to reduce costs as the retail pharmacy giant furthers its push into health care offerings, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC on Tuesday.
- The pharmacy chain had about 300,000 employees in the U.S. at the end of last year, according to a securities filing.
- A CVS spokesperson confirmed the layoffs and said they are not expected to impact “customer-facing colleagues in our stores, pharmacies, clinics, or customer services centers.”
- The spokesperson added that employees laid off will receive severance pay and benefits, including access to outplacement services.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
US Job Openings Fall to Lowest Level Since 2021, Layoffs Ease – Bloomberg, 8/1/2023
- US job openings fell in June to the lowest level since April 2021, suggesting some softening in demand for workers in an otherwise resilient labor market.
- The number of available positions eased to 9.6 million in June, the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed Tuesday, in line with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
- Hiring fell to the lowest level since February 2021.
- But layoffs also declined to the lowest since the end of last year, suggesting employers are reticent to let go of staff.
- Tuesday’s data precede the government’s jobs report, which is projected to show Friday that employers added some 200,000 positions in July.
- The decline in openings was led by goods-producing sectors such as manufacturing, while several service industries, including health care and arts and entertainment, registered increases.
- The so-called quits rate, which measures how many workers voluntarily left their jobs as a share of total employment, fell to 2.4%, matching the lowest since February 2021.
- The ratio of openings to unemployed people was little changed at 1.6 in June. Prior to the pandemic, it was about 1.2.
US Manufacturing Activity Contracts for a Ninth-Straight Month – Bloomberg, 8/1/2023
- US factory activity contracted in July for a ninth-straight month, reflecting tepid demand for American merchandise at home and abroad.
- The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of factory activity edged up to 46.4 last month, according to data released Tuesday.
- Measures of new orders and production improved in July, with the former rebounding to a nine-month high.
- The group’s gauge of exports, meanwhile, fell to its lowest level this year as outbound shipments of US goods continued to decline.
- Just two manufacturing industries — petroleum products and furniture — registered overall growth in July.
- Apparel, plastics and paper led the 16 industries that reported shrinking activity.
- The group’s gauge of employment tumbled to 44.4, the lowest reading since July 2020.
Fed Says US Banks Tightened Credit Further in Wake of Failures – Bloomberg, 8/1/2023
- The Federal Reserve said that banks reported tighter standards and continued weak demand for loans in the second quarter, extending a trend that began before recent stresses in the banking sector emerged.
- The proportion of US banks tightening terms on commercial and industrial loans for medium and large businesses rose to 50.8%, up from 46% in the first quarter, according to a Fed survey of lending officers released Monday.
- The share of banks reporting weaker demand for commercial and industrial loans among large and mid-sized firms fell to 51.6%, from 55.6% in the first quarter.
- The poll — known as the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey, or SLOOS — showed banks expecting to further tighten standards on all types of loans, citing a less favorable or more uncertain economic outlook and expected deterioration in collateral values and the credit quality of loans as reasons.
- The net percentage of banks reporting tighter standards on construction and land development loans was 71.7%. It was 68.3% on nonfarm, nonresidential loans, according to the survey.
EUROPE & WORLD
China’s Home Sales Drop Most in a Year as Slowdown Worsens – Bloomberg, 8/1/2023
- China’s home sales tumbled the most in a year in July, underscoring why policy makers are seeking to address a property slowdown that’s weighing on the economic recovery.
- The value of new home sales by the 100 biggest real estate developers fell 33.1% from a year earlier to 350.4 billion yuan ($49 billion), according to preliminary data from China Real Estate Information.
- The drop was the second in a row, after four months of gains.
- Sales slid 33.5% month-on-month.
- The slump in transactions is a blow to developers who need cash to alleviate a multiyear credit crisis that is showing no sign of easing.
- Country Garden Holdings, which faces $2.9 billion in debt payments for the rest of the year, canceled a share placement overnight, according to IFR.
BP Profit Declines More Steeply Than Peers’ as Lower Oil and Gas Prices Bite – Wall Street Journal, 8/1/2023
- British oil giant BP said its second-quarter profit dropped almost 70% from its year-ago bonanza, as lower commodity prices and weak refining margins hit results.
- BP’s second-quarter net income fell to $1.8 billion from $9.3 billion in the same period last year, when Russia’s war in Ukraine helped stoke oil and gas prices amid supply worries.
- London-based BP said Tuesday that its underlying replacement-cost profit, a metric similar to net income that U.S. oil companies report, was $2.6 billion.
- That compared with a $3.5 billion average projection of 24 analysts compiled by BP and $8.5 billion in the year-ago period.
- Net debt at the end of the second quarter was $23.7 billion, up from $22.8 billion a year ago.
- BP trimmed its quarterly share buyback to $1.5 billion from $1.75 billion announced last quarter while modestly boosting its dividend.
- BP said in its earnings statement Tuesday that it expects natural-gas prices to continue to be lower in Europe and Asia into the third quarter, citing higher-than-normal levels of gas storage on the European continent as countries sock away supplies ahead of winter.
Toyota Is More Profitable Than Tesla. Again. – Barron’s, 8/1/2023
- Toyota Motor scored a victory in the battle for global automotive dominance.
- Sales came in at about $74 billion, topping the consensus estimate for about $69 billion.
- Sales volumes in the quarter came in at 2.3 million units, up from two million units a year ago.
- What’s more, operating-profit margins came in at about 10.6%, up from 6.8% a year ago.
- Adjusted earnings per share of 39 cents met Wall Street estimates, according to FactSet.
Daimler Truck hits double-digit return on sales in industrial business – CNBC, 8/1/2023
- Daimler Truck achieved a record adjusted return on sales in its second quarter of 10.3% for its industrial business making trucks and buses, the company said on Tuesday, boosted by considerable growth in its North America and Asia business.
- Unit sales rose by 9% with revenue up 15%, indicating the company had upheld its strategy of combatting rising costs by hiking prices – but incoming orders were down by 12% in the first half of the year, results showed.
- Earnings per share in the quarter fell slightly to 1.11 euros compared to 1.12 euros in the prior year period, the company said.
- Daimler Truck raised its guidance for annual adjusted sales returns across the group last month to a range of 8.5% to 10% from 7.5% to 9% previously, citing easing of supply chain constraints, stronger demand in its core markets and the after-sales business.
Norwegian Cruise Stock Falls. Earnings Weren’t Quite Good Enough. – Barron’s, 8/1/2023
- Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings stock fell sharply ahead of the open Tuesday despite second-quarter earnings beating expectations.
- Norwegian reported adjusted earnings of 30 cents per share on revenue of $2.2 billion in the second quarter, beating estimates on both metrics.
- Analysts were expecting earnings of 26 cents per share on revenue of $2.17 billion.
- Norwegian expects adjusted earnings of 70 cents per share in the third quarter, below estimates of 80 cents per share, according to FactSet data.
- The cruise operator even hiked its full-year earnings guidance by 5 cents to 80 cents per share. But the stock pointed 9.8% lower.
Foreign Purchases of U.S. Homes Slump to All-Time Low – Wall Street Journal, 8/1/2023
- Foreign buying of U.S. homes fell for a sixth straight year, sinking to the lowest level on record, though some signs of turnaround are starting to emerge.
- International buyers purchased 84,600 U.S. homes in the year ended in March, down 14% from the prior year, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors.
- The dollar volume of residential real estate purchased by these buyers fell 9.6% to $53.3 billion, also a record low since NAR began collecting the data in 2011.
- The median purchase price for foreign buyers in the year ended in March was $396,400, NAR said, compared with $384,200 for all U.S. sales of previously owned homes in the same period.
- But their purchases tend to be concentrated in a limited number of states, like Florida, California and Texas, which were the most popular destinations for foreign buyers during the period.
BlackRock, MSCI Face Congressional Probes for Facilitating China Investments – Wall Street Journal, 8/1/2023
- The world’s largest asset manager and a top stock-market-index compiler are being investigated by a congressional committee for facilitating American investment in Chinese companies the U.S. government has accused of bolstering China’s military and violating human rights.
- The House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party notified BlackRock and MSCI on Monday of the probes into their activities, according to letters viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
- While the committee doesn’t have lawmaking authority, it does have subpoena powers and has garnered bipartisan support for its initiatives.
- The goal of the investigation is to gather facts that would inform the U.S.’s China policies, including on American capital flows.
- The panel told the firms that a review of just a sliver of their activities—which aren’t illegal—showed that they are causing Americans to fund more than 60 Chinese companies that U.S. agencies have flagged on security or human-rights grounds.
France Prepares to Evacuate European Citizens From Coup-Hit Niger – Wall Street Journal, 8/1/2023
- France said it is preparing to evacuate its citizens and those of other European countries from Niger on Tuesday after a weekend attack on its embassy by pro-Russian protesters supporting last week’s coup in the West African nation.
- The planned evacuation shows that France and other European governments expect their citizens to be at higher risk in Niger, a country that has been a key ally for the U.S. and Europe in combating Islamist militants in the Sahel, the semiarid strip south of the Sahara.
- Western officials worry that the military junta that detained Niger’s elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, last week could develop closer ties with Russia, especially if France, Niger’s former colonial power, and the U.S., cut military aid to the junta.
- On Sunday, thousands of pro-coup protesters, some of them waving Russian flags and placards demanding a French exit from Niger, threw stones at the French Embassy in the capital Niamey.
- “Given the situation in Niamey, the violence that took place against our embassy the day before yesterday and the closure of airspace, which leaves our compatriots without the possibility of leaving the country by their own means, France is preparing the evacuation of its nationals and European nationals wishing to leave the country,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. “The evacuation will start today,” it added.
Meta Offers to Seek Consent for Highly Personalized Ads in Europe – Wall Street Journal, 8/1/2023
- Instagram might soon ask for permission before using your embarrassing dance-video habit to select the ads you see—provided you live in Europe.
- Under pressure from privacy regulators, Meta Platforms has proposed asking all users in Europe to decide whether they would like to see ads targeted based on how they interact with the company’s apps, such as what videos they watch or posts they share.
- In a proposal to privacy regulators, the company said it could update its systems to seek consent for such ads as soon as the end of October in a bid to end a yearslong tussle over the legality of those ads in the European Union, people familiar with the proposal said.
- The offer to limit so-called behavioral ads to users who opt in goes far beyond what Meta has done so far in response to privacy regulators.
- Since April, Meta has allowed users in Europe to request an opt-out from ads based on their activity in Meta apps, but only if a user completes a lengthy form on its help pages.
- That process likely has limited the number of people who have opted out.
- Seeking consent, by contrast, would entail asking users to say “yes” or “no” before showing such ads.
- Under EU law, a user has to be able to access the service even if they say no.
China Replaces Missile Commander Days After Removing Foreign Minister – Wall Street Journal, 8/1/2023
- China ousted the commander of its missile force, a move that analysts said was intended to ensure loyalty to leader Xi Jinping in the arm of the military that controls nuclear-tipped missiles pointed at the U.S. and would play a pivotal role in any attempt to seize Taiwan through force.
- The removal of Li Yuchao, a veteran of the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force, marked an abrupt end to an unusually short stint in a key military post and comes days after China replaced its foreign minister in another decision shrouded in mystery.
- Li, who was appointed commander in January last year, hadn’t been seen in public for several months.
- His ouster was confirmed at a ceremony a day before China celebrated the 96th anniversary of the founding of the PLA, which falls on Tuesday.
Egypt’s Currency Squeeze Worsens as Banks’ Foreign Buffers Sink – Bloomberg, 8/1/2023
- Net foreign assets held by Egypt’s commercial banks headed deeper into negative territory, as the North African nation struggles with its worst hard-currency shortage in years.
- The deficit among lenders reached $17.1 billion in June, compared with $14.5 billion the previous month, according to data released by the central bank.
- The deterioration was driven by a $1.7 billion drop in banks’ assets and an around $950 million increase in their liabilities.
- While the pound currently trades at about 30.9 per dollar at banks, it now changes hands on the black market at around 38.
- According to central bank data, the overall net foreign liabilities of the banking system – including the regulator – reached $27.1 billion in June.
- The first U.S. census was completed, showing a population of 3,929,214 people. – 1790
- Colorado became the 38th state in the United States. – 1876
- Adolf Hitler presided over the opening of the Berlin Olympic Games. – 1936
- President Truman signed the congressional acts that established the Atomic Energy Commission and the Fulbright Scholarship program. – 1946
- MTV made its debut at 12:01 AM. The first video shown was Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles. – 1981