Market Morning: Chinese Aircraft Carriers, DUP Sours on Brexit Deal, Big Opioid Settlement

Market Morning

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Factory Revealed

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This will probably annoy the Trump Administration. Reuters reports exclusively that high-resolution satellite images show that China is progressing in the construction of a full sized aircraft carrier and should be the first of several large vessels produced. The site is called the Jinagnan shipyard and the images were taken last month. “We can see slow but steady progress on the hull, but I think the really surprising thing these images show is the extensive infrastructure buildup that has gone on simultaneously,” said analyst Matthew Funaiole of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. “It is hard to imagine all this is being done for just one ship,” he added. “This looks more like a specialized space for carriers and or other larger vessels.”

SEE: Market Morning: Brexit Back & Forth, Carrie Lam Booed Off Stage, Buffett Wants BofA, Balkman Blunders

DUP’s Arlene Foster Comes Out Against Brexit Deal

As the Brexit deal was cooking last night, simmering in a braising liquid of European Union United Kingdom soup, it looked fairly likely that a deal would finally be hammered out. Then, this morning, the Democratic Unionist Party leader, Arlene Foster, came out against the customs arrangements and issues surrounding value-added taxes. The DUP is a Unionist party, as its name suggests, which means it does not want to be severed from the United Kingdom, and fears that if it agrees to the current customs regime on the table, that Northern Ireland would effectively be cut off from the UK in all but name. We will see what happens over the next two days, which is the deadline that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has until he will be mandated to request a Brexit extension to January 31 by the Benn Act.

Salesforce CEO Says Time to Break up Facebook

He may be an interested party in the matter, but that’s not stopping Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) CEO Marc Benioff from suggesting that the time has come to forcibly break up Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). He suggested this on CNN yesterday. His reasoning, at least as quoted by CNN, had little to do with the size of the company, but rather because it’s “not good for you, they’re after our kids, they’re running political ads that aren’t true…” though size was mentioned. However, by that logic, many companies would have to be broken up, since many companies sell something that is addictive, not good for you, and almost all media publishes political ads that are not true, as tends to be the case with most political ads. Benioff’s main complaint is that “…they’re having an undue influence as the largets social media platform on the planet.” Perhaps Benioff should try to compete with them then and open a Salesforcebook. Though his comments may simply be an attempt to sell his new book “Trailblazer,” in which he discusses how to blaze trails, among other things.

Cronos Shares Surge, Nobody Knows Why

Shares of Cronos (NASDAQ:CRON), the cannabis research company, surged 33% last night in after hours trading off of no apparent news. Two block trades totaling 1.2 million shares were executed last night about 40 minutes after market close at $8.40 a share. Why someone would wait for thin illiquid after hours trading in order to put in two enormous block orders may raise a red flag or two. Watch out for a short attack on the stock this morning to knock down some of those gains. If it was insider trading, it was a bit too obvious so it is unclear exactly what is going on here.

Opioid Settlement Proposal In the Works

McKesson Corp (NYSE:MCK), AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC), Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) are coming together with a combined proposal to settle the circa 2,600 lawsuits around the country relating to the opioid epidemic. The combined proposal includes $22 billion in cash and $28 billion in services. Teva (NYSE:TEVA) would also give away some medications valued oat $15 billion, but did not offer to pay any cash, as it really cannot afford to do this given its current financial state, which is not that good. A trial is set to begin on Monday, and the Judge presiding over the case wants a settlement. A sticking point though is that the lawyers representing the state would get a cut of that settlement, and there is no guarantee a deal will be struck. The lawyers involved call the report inaccurate, so this might be “fake news”.



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