China tensions; Volkswagen slows; GE cuts dividend

1. China tensions: China's yuan slumped to its weakest level in a decade on Tuesday. It's n...

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 12:08 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2018 12:08 PM

1. China tensions: China's yuan slumped to its weakest level in a decade on Tuesday. It's now trading at around 6.97 to the dollar.

The currency has lost more than 9% this year as investors worry about slower economic growth in China and the country's escalating trade conflict with the United States.

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The battle flared again Monday after the Trump administration banned Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company, a state-backed Chinese chipmaker, from buying American parts.

The weakening yuan could lead to yet more acrimony.

The exchange rate is creeping closer to 7 yuan to the dollar, which is seen as a key psychological threshold for traders and could be the trigger for renewed attacks by President Donald Trump. Trump has previously accused China of deliberately devaluing the currency.

2. Volkswagen slows: New European emissions tests that came into effect in September have dented sales and production at Volkswagen.

Sales in the third quarter declined 3.6% over the previous year and production dropped 8.2% as Volkswagen struggled with the changeover.

The reported 18.6% drop in operating profits was smaller than analysts had expected, however, and shares in the carmaker rallied nearly 3%. Analysts at UBS descried the results as "surprisingly solid, in spite of [the disruption]."

Shares in Volkswagen (VLKAF) are down 12% so far this year. The stock has been hit by the uncertainty around regulation of diesel and electric cars, trade tensions and fallout from its company's diesel emission scandal.

3. General Electric: General Electric (GE) is cutting its 119-year old dividend to just one cent beginning in 2019. It was most recently 12 cents per share.

The deeply troubled company said the move will save it $3.9 billion in cash each year.

GE also reported worse-than-expected results, including a $22 billion accounting writedown for its beleaguered power division.

It was the first earnings report under new CEO Larry Culp. The struggling multinational firm desperately needs new direction — it has shed half a trillion dollars from its market value over the past 18 years.

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

European markets opened lower, following a mixed session in Asia.

The Dow swung wildly on Monday and closed down 1%. The S&P 500 dropped 0.7% and the Nasdaq shed 1.6%.

5. Companies and economics: Aetna (AET), Baker Hughes (BHGE), BP (BP), Coca-Cola (KO), Ecolab (ECL), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), General Electric (GE), Honda Motor (HMC), MasterCard (MA), Pfizer (PFE), Sony (SNE) and Under Armour (UAA) will release earnings before the open.

Baidu.com (BIDU), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Denny's (DENN), eBay (EBAY), Electronic Arts (EA), Facebook (FB), Herbalife Nutrition (HLF), Hyatt Hotels (H), MGM Resorts (MGM), T-Mobile US (TMUS), Voya Financial (VOYA) and YUM China (YUMC) will follow after the close.

Apple (APPL) is expected to announce new iPads and Macs at an event in Brooklyn. The company will report fourth quarter earnings on Thursday.

BP (BP) reported bumper results that were fueled by higher oil prices. The company said that profit rose to $3.8 billion in the third quarter, more than double compared to the same period last year.

Lufthansa (DLAKY) cut its growth forecast and reported a 7.7% drop in earnings, attributing the performance to higher fuel costs, flight delays and cancellations.

Economic growth in the eurozone slowed to just 0.2% in the third quarter, half the 0.4% rate posted in the previous three months. Growth in the wider European Union dropped to 0.3% from 0.5% in the second quarter. The euro weakened slightly against the dollar following the data release.

6. Coming this week:

Tuesday — Electronics Arts (EA), Under Armour (UAA), Aetna (AET), , Coca-Cola (KO), Hyatt (H), Denny's (DENN), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), eBay (EBAY), Herbalife Nutirtion (HLF), GE (GE), T-Mobile (TMUS), Sony (SNE) earnings; Apple product event in Brooklyn
Wednesday — Allstate (ALL), Anthem (ANTM), Yum! Brands (YUM), Dine Brands (DIN), Express Scripts (ESRX), Clorox (CLX), General Motors (GM), Fitbit (FIT), Pandora Media (P), NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) earnings
Thursday — Apple (AAPL), AMC Networks (AMC), Progressive (PGR), CBS Corp. (CBS), Cigna (CI), Starbucks (SBUX), Shake Shack (SHAK), Kraft Heinz (KHC), GoPro (GPRO), Wayfair (W), IHeartMedia (IHRTQ), and Spotify (SPOT) earnings
Friday — Chevron (CVX), Exxon (XOM), Newell Brands (NWL), United States Steel Corp (X), MSG Networks (MSGN), and Seagate Technology (STX) earnings; Jobs report

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 483790

Reported Deaths: 6543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1003791583
Ramsey42945800
Dakota36091387
Anoka33200384
Washington21986254
Stearns18703200
St. Louis14746262
Scott13209107
Wright12489115
Olmsted1176188
Sherburne869772
Carver765240
Clay688887
Rice667191
Blue Earth591035
Kandiyohi578474
Crow Wing518381
Chisago496844
Otter Tail481370
Benton444890
Winona416649
Mower402731
Douglas392268
Nobles386547
Goodhue384468
Polk342262
McLeod338349
Beltrami336751
Morrison323547
Lyon312444
Itasca311646
Becker309941
Isanti305354
Carlton299848
Steele299211
Pine281916
Freeborn279823
Nicollet256041
Todd246330
Brown243537
Le Sueur233920
Mille Lacs226747
Cass219124
Waseca208617
Meeker206934
Martin188228
Wabasha18613
Roseau179617
Hubbard160640
Houston157114
Dodge15154
Renville149040
Redwood146527
Fillmore13708
Chippewa135935
Cottonwood134520
Pennington131816
Wadena130220
Faribault122716
Aitkin118733
Sibley117110
Watonwan11708
Rock115614
Kanabec107319
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9438
Jackson93310
Swift87918
Pope8025
Marshall77615
Stevens7398
Lake73518
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68216
Wilkin66910
Koochiching61711
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5052
Grant4908
Norman4768
Unassigned44568
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40821
Red Lake3625
Traverse3025
Lake of the Woods2161
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 361499

Reported Deaths: 5412
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58007549
Linn20606312
Scott18279207
Black Hawk16223290
Woodbury14924211
Johnson1380473
Dubuque13522194
Dallas1132690
Pottawattamie10762143
Story1018945
Warren553474
Clinton542484
Cerro Gordo532781
Webster517687
Marshall495572
Sioux493469
Buena Vista472736
Des Moines457061
Muscatine450691
Wapello4314108
Jasper416266
Plymouth394277
Lee374752
Marion358469
Jones294354
Henry293037
Carroll285348
Bremer279154
Crawford273435
Boone259130
Washington253747
Benton252054
Mahaska223846
Jackson221138
Dickinson217238
Tama212965
Kossuth208154
Clay193125
Hamilton191942
Delaware188639
Winneshiek188427
Buchanan184629
Fayette184335
Page182619
Hardin180839
Wright179531
Harrison179469
Cedar177023
Clayton168053
Butler165831
Mills162820
Floyd162740
Madison154018
Poweshiek153630
Cherokee153535
Hancock146729
Lyon145941
Allamakee144946
Iowa144223
Grundy138830
Appanoose138647
Jefferson138232
Winnebago137730
Calhoun133311
Cass133351
Mitchell130640
Louisa128341
Union126331
Chickasaw124813
Sac124218
Emmet120940
Shelby120433
Franklin118419
Humboldt117225
Guthrie116228
Palo Alto104921
Montgomery103936
Howard102821
Clarke100320
Unassigned9850
Keokuk97829
Monroe93128
Adair91928
Ida90832
Pocahontas85219
Davis82523
Monona81527
Greene76910
Lucas73221
Osceola70314
Worth6947
Taylor66312
Fremont5869
Decatur5749
Van Buren56018
Ringgold51820
Wayne48721
Audubon4869
Adams3264
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