Market Morning Tough Toyota Tariff Talk, Brexit Round 4, Retailer Jitters, ‘Hardcore’ Tesla Cost Cuts

Stock Market Roundup

Toyota Unhappy With Trump Car Tariffs

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“Today’s proclamation sends a message to Toyota that our investments are not welcomed, and the contributions from each of our employees across America are not valued,” Toyota (NYSE:TM) said in protest against President Trump’s new tariff policy declaring imported car parts a threat to national security. Trump’s claim is that, “excessive imports have weakened American producers’ ability to invest in research and develop new technologies,” or in other words, American car companies can’t compete with foreign car companies. Given that so many foreign car companies though are actually public and anyone can buy shares in them, perhaps Trump wants Americans to buy foreign car stocks, thereby turning them into American companies. To his credit though, Trump has lifted tariffs on steel and aluminum that were levies against Canada and Mexico last year as tariff firepower has been directed against China. Which raises the question of whether Trump believes tariffs help the US economy. If they do and he lifted them, then is he trying to hurt the economy?

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May Tries Brexit Deal One Last, Fourth, Time

British Prime Minister Theresa May is going to try to push her Brexit deal one last time in June. Chances are it will fail again, since members of her party aren’t too happy about some of the compromises she’s working out with the Labour party in exchange for its support for the deal. Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is coming in more strongly in favor of a second Brexit referendum. “If we can get that through Parliament — the proposals we’ve put — then I think it would be reasonable to have a public vote to decide on that in the future,” Corbyn said. Also, the Brexit party, which supports Brexit by any means necessary including no deal, is overtaking the Conservatives in a general election poll by 24% to 22% popular vote.

Big Retailer Earnings On Tap, Trade War Guidance Feared

Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) and Target (NYSE:TGT) are due to report results this week, and traders are bracing for impact news regarding the new tariffs on Chinese imports. Macy’s (NYSE:M), which surprised markets to the upside last week, has already said that the new tariffs are negatively affecting its furniture business and that further tariffs would impact clothing as well. Since retailers rely on imports, especially from China, more than another other sector in the US economy, which is comprised of 70% consumer spending, the effect of 25% tariffs on Chinese imports is likely to bring the sector down and contract GDP more than otherwise.

Tesla Has 10 Months to Break Even

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has $2.2B in cash on hand on its balance sheet, but that’s only enough to give it a 10-month runway before it must break even or raise more cash. A leaked memo from CEO Elon Musk indicated that we would personally be combing through ever 10th page of expenses and cut anything that could be cut. CFO Zach Kirkhorn would go through the other pages. Tesla shares were down heavily on news of the “hardcore” cost cutting plan in Musk’s words, as Tesla just finished tapping the capital markets for more cash, and the fact that cost cutting it already needed is alarming traders. Tesla is at its lowest levels since December 2016.

Goldman Buys United Captial

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is making a move for its wealth management division, trying to beef it up and shrink its troubled trading segment. United Capital has $25 billion on assets under management and Goldman bought it for $750 million. United Capital founder and CEO Joe Duran will be joining Goldman, along with United’s workers. This is Goldman’s biggest deal since way back in 2000.

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