FedEx lawsuit; Powell speech; Markets fall

Posted at 3:34 AM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 07:17:04-04

1. FedEx lawsuit: FedEx is suing the US government, claiming it shouldn’t be required to enforce federal export bans like the one targeting Huawei.

Policing the contents of packages “is a virtually impossible task, logistically, economically, and in many cases, legally,” the company said.

The lawsuit comes after FedEx mishandled deliveries for Chinese smartphone and telecom equipment company Huawei.

Beijing launched an investigation into FedEx as a result — a warning sign for multinational companies as the trade fight between the United States and China drags on.

China is in the process of drawing up a blacklist of foreign companies, individuals and organizations. Investors are worried FedEx will be included.

The company is set to report earnings Tuesday after US markets close. Shares are down 1.8% in premarket trading after dropping 2.7% on Monday.

2. Powell speech: Also on the radar is a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in New York.

Markets are certain that the Fed will soon cut rates. But the magnitude and timing of the cuts remains unclear, which means Powell’s comments on the economy and monetary policy will be closely scrutinized.

The central bank held rates at its meeting last week but left the door open for a move lower in July.

Wall Street’s expectation could box in the central bank.

Failing to cut rates would create a “hawkish shock” in financial markets that could send the S&P 500 plunging 7%, boost the US dollar and roil the bond market, Goldman Sachs has predicted.

3. Markets fall: US stock futures point lower as geopolitical tensions continue to escalate.

President Donald Trump on Monday announced new sanctions on Iran, with the punitive measures set to target the country’s supreme leader, military officials and its top diplomat.

The Dow is set to fall 30 points, or 0.1%, when markets open. The S&P 500 is tracking down 0.2% and the Nasdaq could drop 0.3%.

European markets also opened lower after stocks in Asia declined.

Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.3% in early trading, while France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.2% and Germany’s DAX fell 0.1%. Shares of French digital consulting firm Capgemini jumped roughly 7% after the company said it would buy competitor Altran for €3.6 billion ($4.1 billion).

The Shanghai Composite dropped 0.9%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.3% and Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.4%.

The Dowposted a small gain on Monday, 99 points below the record closing high it set in October. The S&P 500 fell 0.2%, and the Nasdaq dropped 0.3%.

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4. Coming this week:
Tuesday — S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index; US new home sales; Micron and FedEx earnings; Powell speech
Wednesday — US crude oil inventories; General Mills earnings
Thursday — Nike and Walgreens earnings; US GDP third estimate
Friday — US personal income and spending data; Constellation Brands earnings