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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 1:08 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2018 1:08 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

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
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