2019年12月19日 星期四

DealBook: House Impeachment Vote Is Unlikely to Sway Markets

Investors don't expect the Republican-controlled Senate to remove President Trump from office, according to a survey by RBC Capital Markets.
December 19, 2019
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  Leah Millis/Reuters
Investors shrug off Trump impeachment
Voting nearly along party lines, the House approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, making him the third president in history to face removal by the Senate. But the stock market has been largely unfazed by the news of impeachment proceedings, and that is unlikely to change, reports MarketWatch.
Investors are shrugging at the news because they don’t expect the Republican-controlled Senate to remove the president from office.
Market participants have grown more comfortable with the expectation that Mr. Trump would be impeached but not convicted, according to an investor survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets.
“Perhaps the most relevant concern for investors is whether the impeachment damages Trump’s prospects in 2020,” MarketWatch reported. “Some analysts contend the impeachment is more likely to benefit Trump.”
A strong economy supports investors’ sentiments:
• “Investors look at fundamentals — economic growth, earnings, labor costs and so forth — and none of these factors have been affected by impeachment, ” the C.I.O. of Commonwealth Financial Network told Forbes.
• The stock market has set new highs during the impeachment proceedings, and consumer confidence is also climbing, CNBC reports.
More: Mr. Trump brushed off the news at a campaign rally yesterday: “It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached,” he said. Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that she might delay sending the articles to the Senate as leverage for negotiations on the rules for a trial. How TV covered the moment of impeachment vote.
Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin and Stephen Grocer in New York, and Gregory Schmidt and Sharon O’Neal in London.
An appeals court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act's health insurance mandate is unconstitutional.
An appeals court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act's health insurance mandate is unconstitutional.  Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock
Obamacare insurance mandate is struck down
A federal appeals court yesterday struck down the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires Americans to have health insurance, saying it was unconstitutional, but the future of the decade-old health care law is still in limbo, writes the NYT’s Abby Goodnough.
The decision did not invalidate the rest of the law, and the panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans sent the case back to a federal district judge in Texas to see which parts of the law could survive without the mandate.
If the law were thrown out, insurers would no longer have to cover people up to age 26 on their parents’ plans, and could refuse coverage for more than 50 million people with pre-existing conditions. About 17 million Americans bought coverage through the A.C.A.
The case could go before the Supreme Court. The California attorney general, Xavier Becerra, said he planned to petition the court to hear the case. He led 21 states that intervened to try to preserve the law.
President Trump, who campaigned on repealing the law, tried to appeal to both opponents of the law and people concerned about losing their health insurance.
He called the ruling “a big win for all Americans,” and said it would not alter the health care system. Mr. Trump also said he wanted to protect people with pre-existing conditions.
The case is unlikely to be resolved before next year’s presidential election.
The Bank of England in London. 
The Bank of England in London.   Adrian Dennis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Leaked Bank of England feed gave investors an edge
The Bank of England said today that an audio feed from its news conferences had been leaked to some investors before it was made public. The early access to policymakers’ remarks gave those investors a leg up on the rest of the market, reports the NYT’s Amie Tsang.
The central bank is investigating the source of the leak, an unidentified third-party supplier that has provided sound from news conferences ahead of their video feed since earlier this year.
Investors closely monitor the news conferences to gain insight. “In the world of high-speed trading, just a few seconds’ lead time can offer some investors a trading advantage,” Ms. Tsang reports.
The bank said it had disabled the supplier’s access. “The bank operates the highest standards of information security around the release of the market-sensitive decisions of its policy committees,” it said.
Uber reaches a settlement on sexual harassment
Uber has a resolution on one investigation into its workplace culture: Yesterday, the ride-hailing company agreed to create a $4.4 million fund to compensate employees who had been sexually harassed at work, the NYT’s Kate Conger writes.
The company “permitted a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found. It has been examining workplace issues there since 2017.
Besides creating the fund, the company agreed to three years of monitoring by a former agency commissioner to ensure that it changes its practices.
“This agreement will hopefully empower women in technology to speak up against sexism in the workplace knowing that their voices can yield meaningful change,” a lawyer for the Commission said.
The prevalence of sexual harassment at Uber came to light when a former engineer, Susan Fowler, published an essay describing how the company had allowed inappropriate behavior to fester.
The company has “worked hard to ensure that all employees can thrive at Uber by putting fairness and accountability at the heart of who we are and what we do,” said Tony West, the company’s chief legal officer.
A big threat to job growth: demographics
The U.S. job market continues to exceed expectations, but it is on a collision course with a dimming demographic outlook, writes Greg Ip in the WSJ.
Job numbers are growing faster than expected: The current economic expansion has lasted a record 10-plus years. But the U.S. population is smaller than the Census Bureau had predicted.
“The U.S. has had two longstanding demographic advantages over other countries: higher fertility and immigration,” Mr. Ip writes. “Both are eroding.”
• The country’s fertility rate dropped to its lowest on record in 2018.
• And the foreign-born population in the U.S. had a historically low expansion rate last year.
“Job creation is constrained by the number of people of working age,” Mr. Ip writes. And until the trends are reversed, “the U.S. cannot assume it is immune to the demographic downdraft holding back Germany and Japan.”
Grounded Boeing 737 Max jets in Seattle. 
Grounded Boeing 737 Max jets in Seattle.   Lindsey Wasson/Reuters
Boeing suppliers wait for the other shoe to drop
Boeing buys parts from 600 suppliers around the world to build its 737 Max planes. Those suppliers are now waiting to see how the company’s temporary halt in production will affect their businesses, writes the NYT’s David Yaffe-Bellany.
“We are in a crisis mode,” Philippe, the C.E.O. of Safran, a French company that makes engines for the Max in partnership with General Electric, told L’usine nouvelle, a French newspaper. “Any day we do nothing now costs us money.”
The grounding of the Max has reduced G.E.’s cash flow by $400 million per quarter, company officials said in August. And Spirit AeroSystems, a Kansas company that manufactures the plane’s fuselage, relies on Boeing for 80 percent of its revenue.
Yet “the full reach of Boeing’s production process extends beyond those direct suppliers,” Mr. Yaffe-Bellany writes.
Major suppliers that also manufacture materials for other companies may be equipped to weather the suspension, while smaller operations will struggle. Yet a halt to production that lasts longer than a month could put even those larger companies in peril.
More: President Trump reportedly called Boeing’s C.E.O. on Sunday to discuss the company’s plans to halt production of the 737 Max.
Revolving door
Louis Dreyfus named Patrick Treuer, a former Credit Suisse investment banker, its new finance chief.
Peter Zaffino, the executive overseeing a turnaround effort of A.I.G.’s general insurance unit, was named as the company’s president.
Pearson’s chief executive, John Fallon, will step down next year.
Blythe Masters, the former JPMorgan executive and C.E.O. of the blockchain start-up Digital Asset Holdings, has joined the investment firm Motive Partners.
The speed read
• Several suitors have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision. (WSJ)
• Now that PSA and Fiat Chrysler are combining, Carlos Tavares has a hefty to-do list. (Bloomberg)
• Broadcom is looking to sell one of its wireless-chip units, a move that would accelerate the company’s shift away from its roots as a semiconductor maker. (WSJ)
• Valence Media, the parent of Billboard magazine, is acquiring Nielsen Music, a transaction that comes as data takes on an increasingly outsize role in the music industry. (WSJ)
• Adyen has sealed a deal to process McDonald’s mobile app payments, expanding the Dutch company’s portfolio of clients in a growing sector. (Bloomberg)
• Short-sellers are betting against companies that they believe are unduly inflated by environmental, social and governance promises. (Reuters)
• Direct lenders, including hedge funds and buyout firms, are preparing to dish out billions at a time to lure borrowers away from the $1.2 trillion leveraged loan market. (Bloomberg)
• The year the markets stopped believing in unicorns. (FT)
Politics and policy
• President Trump has asked advisers for a plan to help ease student loan debt for Americans, according to senior administration officials. (WSJ)
• Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a presidential candidate, cemented his place in the top tier of the Democratic primary after becoming more aggressive. (NYT)
• As his coal mining company was going bankrupt, Robert E. Murray paid himself $14 million, gave his successor a $4 million bonus and earmarked nearly $1 million for casting doubt on human-made climate change. (NYT)
• The special inspector general with the Troubled Asset Relief Program is calling for the U.S. to establish a national financial fraud registry. (WaPo)
• After Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s election victory, activists who wanted Britain to stay in the E.U. have thrown in the towel. (WSJ)
• Amazon is reportedly scouting sites in Ireland for a warehouse to fulfill orders currently shipped from Britain, as the Brexit deadline looms. (Bloomberg)
• Many people don’t hesitate to spend $600 on a cellphone. Here’s another device that money could be spent on: a toaster oven. (NYT)
• Tesla shares hit an all-time high. (CNBC)
• Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany played down any public threats from China if her government were to bar Huawei from the country’s 5G network. (Bloomberg)
• The Texas authorities say Google is trying to hamstring an antitrust investigation of the company brought by 51 attorneys general. (WaPo)
Best of the rest
• Wall Street analysts are unconvinced that Beyond Meat, the maker of “plant-based meat,” can repeat its stock performance from 2019. (Bloomberg)
• If Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain decides to reshape the BBC, he has five ways to pursue it. (FT)
• Edward Snowden is not allowed to profit from his memoir because he didn’t get publication clearance from the C.I.A. and the N.S.A., a judge ruled. (Bloomberg)
• Inflation in Britain remained at a three-year low in November, comfortably below the Bank of England’s 2 percent target before its next interest rate announcement, which is expected today. (Reuters)
• Coca-Cola documents show that the company’s public-relations goals included targeting teenagers, even as childhood obesity rates were rising. (WaPo)
• Renaissance Technologies, which has produced the greatest investment returns of any hedge fund, may be facing a clawback over a tax maneuver. (WSJ)
• Bernie Ebbers, the WorldCom C.E.O. imprisoned in one of the biggest frauds of the 20th century, will soon be free after serving just over half of a 25-year sentence. (NYT)
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