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Frontrunning: May 18

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

  • FBI’s Russia Probe Gains Credibility With Mueller In Charge (BBG)
  • Trump storm hits stocks again but dollar steadies (Reuters)
  • Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its agent (McClatchy)
  • Kremlin declines to comment on probe of Trump ties with Russia (Reuters)
  • Trump To Announce $350bn Saudi Arabia Arms Deal – One Of Largest Ever (Ind)
  • Brazilian Markets Tumble After Country Plunges Back Into Political Crisis (BBG)
  • Fed’s Kashkari says don’t use rate hikes to fight bubbles (Reuters)
  • Rebellion in Venezuela: 43 Dead in 44 Days of Relentless Protest (BBG)
  • Turkey wants U.S. envoy on Islamic State removed over Kurdish policy (Reuters)
  • Revealed: Dutch King Has Been a KLM Pilot for 21 Years (BBG)
  • GM will cut operations in India, South Africa (Reuters)
  • Amazon Believers Double Their Pleasure in Wagers Against Retail (BBG)
  • VIX Surge Is Unwelcome Lesson in Duplicity of Volatility Wagers (BBG)
  • Britain faces dire consequences if it fails to secure good Brexit deal: May (Reuters)
  • Wal-Mart’s quarterly same-store sales beat estimates (Reuters)
  • Even nuanced shift in ECB communication needs great caution (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III was appointed Wednesday as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, giving him wide latitude to explore potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. on.wsj.com/2pYKk1a

- Cisco Systems Inc said it would lay off another 1,100 employees and forecasted a drop in quarterly revenue. The fresh round of cuts expands a previous restructuring plan announced last August to cut 5,500 jobs, or 7 percent of Cisco’s workforce at the time. on.wsj.com/2pYExbS

- Qualcomm Inc sued the manufacturers that make iPhones for Apple Inc for failing to pay royalties on the chip maker’s technology. The lawsuit accused Compal Electronics, Foxconn Technology, Pegatron Corp and Wistron Corp of breaching patent-licensing agreements with Qualcomm by halting royalty payments on Qualcomm technology used in iPhones and iPads. on.wsj.com/2pYKDZS

- Law enforcement authorities arrested 21 people in Los Angeles suspected of being members of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang, known as MS-13, following a nearly three-year investigation that targeted the gang’s leadership. on.wsj.com/2pYLKZw

FT

Ford Motor Co said it plans to cut 1,400 salaried jobs in North America and Asia through voluntary early retirement and other financial incentives.

Deutsche Boerse AG’s Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter came under fire from investors over the company’s failed merger with the London Stock Exchange Group Plc at the German exchange operator’s annual meeting.

Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc filed a lawsuit against four Apple Inc contract manufacturers, including Foxconn Technology Group, for not paying royalties, as its legal battle with the iPhone maker intensifies.

Microsoft Corp held back from distributing a free patch for old versions of Windows that could have slowed last week’s devastating ransomware attack, instead charging some customers $1000 a year per device for protection against such threats.

NYT

- Puerto Rico’s first day in federal court to reduce its $123 billion in bond debt and unfunded pensions got off to a cordial enough start on Wednesday, but after a few hours, the gloves started to come off. nyti.ms/2qywjJa

- American and European officials met on Wednesday in Brussels to discuss aviation security after the United States Department of Homeland Security said it was considering a ban on laptop computers and tablets in the cabins of trans-Atlantic flights. nyti.ms/2qyFQzY

- Lloyds, one of Britain’s four largest lenders, said on Wednesday that it had returned to private ownership after the British government sold its final stake. nyti.ms/2qyDcdG

- Hundreds of thousands of Greeks walked off the job on Wednesday, heeding the call of labor unions to join a 24-hour general strike to protest a new round of austerity measures nearing approval in Parliament. nyti.ms/2qyzdOn

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** British Columbia says its 15 percent tax on foreign home purchases in the Vancouver region does not discriminate unfairly against non-Canadians because it targets buyers’ immigration status, not their citizenship. (tgam.ca/2qvYWsK)

** Andrew Weaver, the BC Green Party Leader, held a news conference Wednesday to announce that he is set to begin face-to-face negotiations with Premier Christy Clark, the Liberal Leader, and with NDP Leader John Horgan to determine which of the two parties he will support when the final ballots are counted from the May 9 election. (tgam.ca/2pO7Gew)

** CBC has removed the new managing editor of The National, the third media leader in Canada to lose his job or step down over the past week after weighing in on the toxic subject of cultural appropriation. (tgam.ca/2rufOgJ)

NATIONAL POST

** The union representing rail workers says new legislation that would require cameras to be installed on Canada’s trains threatens workers’ privacy and came as a surprise. But Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday he’s spoken with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference about the proposal, and the union knew what was being planned. (bit.ly/2rgYfV3)

** BlackBerry Ltd shares briefly hit a two-year peak this week after a particularly bullish analyst predicted growth in its auto divisions could quadruple its stock price in three years. (bit.ly/2pZfnKa)

Britain

The Times

- The official measure of real wages in UK has fallen for the first time in 30 months even as unemployment dropped to levels last seen in 1975. According to the Office for National Statistics, regular earnings growth, excluding bonuses, declined 0.2 per cent in the three months to March after accounting for inflation, confirming that living standards are declining once again. bit.ly/2pMweVl

- The chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group Plc Antonio Horta Osorio will start work this summer on a new three-year plan for the bank but has not committed to being there to deliver it. bit.ly/2pMK0XZ

The Guardian

- The Volkswagen AG chief executive Matthias Müller and his predecessor Martin Winterkorn are facing an investigation by German authorities into whether they misled investors by not releasing information about the company’s cheating on diesel emissions tests soon enough. bit.ly/2pMKvRR

- The equality watchdog in UK has begun formal legal action against buy-to-let mogul Fergus Wilson after he told his letting agent to ban “coloured” tenants because they left curry smells in his properties. bit.ly/2pMFxoa

The Telegraph

- UK City watchdog said on Wednesday that Smith & Williamson and LA Business Recovery had been appointed joint administrators to loss-making Strand Capital, with funds of more than 80 million pounds ($103.71 million), owned by Optima Worldwide Group Plc. bit.ly/2pMIRQ9

- Facebook Inc is expected to receive a fine from EU antitrust regulators on Thursday for the “incorrect or misleading information” it provided to investigators who were probing its 2014 purchase of messaging service WhatsApp. bit.ly/2pMp3fU

Sky News

- BP Plc shareholders have voted in favour of cuts to executive awards, proposed by the company last month to head off another rebellion. Last year, around 60 percent of shareholders rejected BP’s pay policy after the company reported a record loss amid a sharp slump in oil prices. bit.ly/2pMH79A

- Prime Minister Theresa May will unveil a social care revolution in the Tory manifesto, paid for by axing winter fuel payments for wealthy pensioners. PM will claim social care is “one of the great challenges of our time” and pledge that no-one should have to sell their home to pay for it. bit.ly/2pMpsPs

The Independent

-The amount of empty office space in London has jumped over the past 15 months and is likely to rise again despite potential for a post-Brexit business exodus that could drive down rental values, a survey by Deloitte Real Estate showed. ind.pn/2pMI3ut

- KitKat-maker Nestle SA has been foiled again, after a UK Court of Appeal ruled that the consumer goods giant cannot trademark the shape of its popular four-fingered chocolate bar. ind.pn/2pMxK9Q


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