Premarket: 6 things to know before the bell

Mon Sep 10 2018
Mark Cooper (3161 articles)
Premarket: 6 things to know before the bell

1. Changes at Alibaba : Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma says he will step down as Alibaba’s executive chairman next year.

“Because of physical limits on one’s ability and energy, no one can shoulder the responsibilities of chairman and CEO forever,” Ma said in a letter to customers, employees and shareholders.

The e-commerce company said CEO Daniel Zhang will succeed Ma in 12 months’ time.

Alibaba(BABA), which has a market value of more than $ 400 billion, reported sales that topped forecasts last quarter, led by a more than 60% increase in retail revenue. Shares were down 1.8% premarket.

2. CBS shakeup: CBS chief executive Les Moonves has left the company amid a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations.

The announcement on Sunday brought an end to his 20-year tenure atop one of America’s most important media empires. The CBS (CBS) board is getting six new directors, a shakeup that may position it for a sale.

The company is also facing some continued reputational risk.

Moonves is one of the media world’s highest paid CEOs, and a huge payout as he leaves the company could anger shareholders. Moonves has acknowledged making mistakes in his past but said he never abused his power.

3. Global economy check: Growth in Chinese exports weakened to just under 10% in August, down from more than 12% the previous month, according to government data published over the weekend.

The Turkish economy grew 5.2% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. That’s down from 7.3% growth in the first three months of the year.

The Turkish lira has been hard hit by US interest rate hikes and confusion over domestic monetary policy. Economists worry that the currency trouble could spark an economic recession.

UK GDP growth picked up to 0.6% in the three months to July, compared to 0.4% in April to June.

Revised data showed the Japanese economy grew faster than initially reported in the second quarter. But economists are still worried about a slowdown.

“The economy is running into capacity constraints … the jobless rate is the lowest it has been since the early 1990s and firms are reporting severe capacity shortages,” Marcel Thieliant, senior Japan economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note to clients.

4. Global market overview: US stock futures were pointing higher.

European markets opened mixed, while Asian markets ended the session mostly lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 0.3% on Friday, while the S&P 500 shed 0.2%. The Nasdaq dropped 0.3% to close out its worst week since March.

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5. Companies and economics: Sonos (SONO) will release earnings after the US close.

A shareholder suit over whether Volkswagen (VLKAF) failed to properly inform investors about its diesel scandal kicked off in Germany on Monday. Investors are seeking billions of euros in compensation.

The CEO of Volvo Cars said that global trade fears mean the timing is wrong for an IPO.

“Conditions right now are not optimal to give certain upside for the investors,” Hakan Samuelsson told the Financial Times. He said a decision on when to go public would be made by parent company Geely (GELYF).

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6. Coming this week:
Monday — Turkey, Japan and the United Kingdom report GDP; Alibaba announces Jack Ma succession plan
Tuesday — UK unemployment
Wednesday — Brookings Institution hosts a panel on the financial crisis, Apple announces its new products
Thursday — Kroger reports earnings, US consumer inflation report, European and English central banks report interest rate decisions
Friday — US retail sales and consumer sentiment reports

Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper is Political / Stock Market Correspondent. He has been covering Global Stock Markets for more than 6 years.