Market Morning: Tariff Truce, Disney Defends, Colorado Legalizes Betting, SoftBank Plummets

Stock Market Roundup

Stocks Jump On Report of Dismount Off Tariff High Horse

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Maybe. Tomorrow, news could change again. China and the United States have reportedly agreed to cancel tariffs in phases. This was reported not by the Trump Administration, but by the Chinese commerce ministry, which maybe gives it a better chance of being true rather than Trump bluster. No timetable has been set though, so in a worse case this could just be a philosophical statement in that all tariffs eventually end, at least insofar as time is finite. Stock futures are jumped on the news, on the assumption that this wasn’t just a general statement about mortality. According to the deal drawn up, the proportion of tariffs cancelled must be the same for both sides, though the number of tariffs that will be repealed can vary. Meanwhile, China is also considering removing restriction on U.S. poultry imports. Swine fever could be playing a part in this, with China’s ongoing pork shortage due to dwindling pig herds from the virus.

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Disney Tries to Stop Class Action Certification for Equal Pay Lawsuit

Disney (NYSE:DIS) is being sued by some of its female employees for allegedly paying them less money due to their femaleness. In total, 12 female Disney employees are involved in the suit. Originally, two long time employees LaRonda Rasmussen and Karen Moorein sued the company, and then other employees joined up. Disney is fighting the certification of the lawsuit as class action because determining if the company violated the California Fair Pay Act would be impossible to prove. How much someone is being paid and for what reason is not a measurable thing, according to Disney. The company stated that it invites anyone who works for Disney who doesn’t think they are being paid enough money, to engage with the company and make his or her – or rather just her – case.

Colorado Votes to Legalize Sports Betting

One of the side effects of the recent state elections in Colorado, besides a Democrat victory, is that Colorado’s Proposition DD has passed. This means that starting in 2020, people in Colorado will be able to place bets on sporting events without having to start informal under-the-table betting pools all in cash with their coworkers so as not to get arrested for betting on a sports game. Casinos in the state will be able to set up bets, and the tax level will be 10% of winnings. The money is supposed to be used for the state water plan, though of course one revenue stream from one direction means less from another, since people tend to adjust their spending habits when one thing changes. Whoever worded the initiative was really trying to confuse people though, since it starts with the phrase “Shall state taxes be increased by twenty-nine million dollars annually…” by taxing sports betting. Interesting what ballot-writers can come up with. The tax will only be paid by casinos, at least for now. Just like the income tax was originally only supposed to be paid by the super wealthy. With the overturn of the PAPSA, sports betting is likely going to be come slowly legalized on a state level. Watch the reaction of gaming stocks as things progress. (NYSE:MGM) (NASDAQ:ERI)

SoftBank Goes Soft, Loses 4% on Horrible Earnings

Sofrbank (OTCQB:SFTBF) reported operating losses of a whopping $6.5 billion. Its Vision Fund, lacking vision and being a bit blurry, has lost big chunks on speculative bets on Uber and WeWork, which lose similar amounts of money SoftBank, only more consistently. SofBank CEO Masayoshi Son has said that he has learned a “harsh lesson” from his botched attempt at a WeWork IPO. Some analysts believe the financier can still turn things around within about 18 months with a better corporate governance and cost controls, and maybe not buying so much stock in companies that are losing billions of dollars per quarter.

Ford Unveils Fully Electric 900HP Mustang

Want a fully electric Ford (NYSE:F) Mustang? Well, too bad, you can’t buy it, but at least one of them does exist, shown at a Las Vegas car show this week. Called the Mustang Lithium, it probably actually does have a lot of lithium in it, as that is the metal that carries charge in a lithium ion battery. Ford didn’t say what its performance figures are, other than to say they are “stunning”. Unlike other electric cars, it has a transmission, which fully electric cars don’t need. But because this one is so powerful, “stunning”ly so, it needs a special transmission to transmit the unusually high amount of torque through the drive train. Still, the driver doesn’t actually have to use the transmission. The power source is 800 volts, double other electric cars.


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