G20 expectations; Apple departure; Madame Tussauds

Posted at 3:17 AM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 07:12:09-04

1. G20 expectations: US President Donald Trump spent Friday meeting with a flurry of world leaders at the G20 summit in Osaka, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the big event is Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday.

Markets want the conversation to yield a clear truce on trade, with commitments not to escalate tensions further as Washington and Beijing work toward a final deal.

It’s not clear they’ll get that. Trump told journalists Friday that additional tariffs on Chinese goods remain on the table.

“We’ll see what happens and what comes out of it,” Trump said. “It will be a very exciting day, I’m sure. A lot of people are talking about it.”

2. Apple departure: Apple’s chief design officer Jony Ive is leaving the company after nearly 30 years.

The company said Thursday that Ive will start his own design company, and Apple will be one of its primary clients. He’ll continue to work closely on Apple projects.

Ive’s departure marks the end of an era at Apple. He worked with Steve Jobs to design the company’s most iconic products, from candy-colored iMacs to the iPod and the original iPhone.

Apple’s stock dropped 0.9% in premarket trading Friday.

3. Tussauds deal: The Danish family behind Lego has partnered with Blackstone to take Merlin Entertainments private in a deal that values the owner of Madame Tussauds at £4.7 billion ($6 billion).

Merlin Entertainments operates theme parks and other attractions in 25 countries, drawing 67 million visitors a year. It also owns LegoLand and The London Eye.

The company said Friday that it had agreed to be purchased by a consortium made up of Kirkbi, the investment house of Lego’s founding family, US private equity giant Blackstone and a Canadian pension fund.

The consortium will pay £4.55 ($5.75) per share for Merlin Entertainments, a 14% premium over the stock’s closing price on Thursday.

4. Markets mixed: US stock futures point higher as investors sit in G20 limbo.

The Dow is poised to rise 90 points, or 0.3%, when markets open. The Nasdaq could climb 0.1% and the S&P 500 could gain 0.3%.

European markets opened largely in the green. Britain’s FTSE 100 increased 0.2% in early trading, while Germany’s DAX jumped 0.4%.

Stocks in Asia went the opposite direction. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei both fell 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.6%.

The Dow closed down slightly Thursday. Boeing was the index’s biggest loser, declining 2.9% after a new flaw was discovered in the updated software for the 737 Max jet.

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5. Coming this week:
Friday — US personal income and spending data; Constellation Brands earnings