Boeing’s 737 hit; Iran tensions and oil; Microsoft soars

Posted at 3:12 AM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 07:32:26-04

1. Boeing crisis: Boeing’s 737 Max crisis is hitting its bottom line.

The company said Thursday that it will record a $5 billion after-tax charge in the second quarter, citing potential concessions to customers for disruptions and delivery delays.

It’s the fullest account from Boeing to date of the cost of grounding its best-selling jet.

Boeing halted deliveries of its Max jets in March following two deadly crashes in less than six months. That costs Boeing significant revenue, because most of the cost of a plane is paid at the time it’s delivered.

Boeing didn’t mention the potential costs of litigation against the company. It said earlier this month that it will pay $100 million to help the families of the victims of the crashes.

Full second quarter earnings will be released next week. The company’s stock rose 1.7% in premarket trading.

2. Iran and oil: Tensions between the United States and Iran are once again driving up oil prices.

US President Donald Trump said Thursday that the USS Boxer downed an Iranian drone said to have come within 1,000 yards of the ship. The drone ignored “multiple calls to stand down” and threatened the crew’s safety, Trump said.

The incident marked another escalation in relations between Washington and Tehran at an already fraught moment. It comes almost exactly one month after Iran shot down an American drone.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 1.2% Friday to $62.69 a barrel. Investors will be on high alert for additional developments in the Straight of Hormuz, the crucial channel used to transport oil from the Persian Gulf.

3. Microsoft’s beat: Microsoft’s cloud division is sending the company to new heights.

Revenue for the quarter ending in June beat projections by nearly $1 billion, according to results released on Thursday. Sales from Microsoft’s commercial cloud division, which includes Azure, Office 365 and Division 365, increased 39% from the prior year to $11 billion.

“This quarter was an absolute ‘blow out quarter’ across the board with no blemishes,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note to clients.

Microsoft shares rose 3.5% Friday in premarket trading.

4. Rally returns: Global markets are rallying again as optimism returns about a potential interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve.

US stock futures point to fresh gains. The Dow is set to rise 120 points, or 0.4%, when markets open. The Nasdaq could also rise 0.4%. The S&P 500 is poised to jump 0.3%.

Stocks in Asia and Europe are also trading in the green. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished up 1.2% Friday, while Japan’s Nikkei leaped 2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6% in early trading, while Germany’s DAX gained 0.8%.

The Dow closed up 0.01% on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 0.4%, and the Nasdaq finished 0.3% higher.

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5. Coming this week:
Friday — American Express and BlackRock earnings; University of Michigan consumer sentiment