Apr 22, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly and Samuel Potter
The Trump administration won’t renew waivers that allowed countries to buy Iranian crude without facing U.S. sanctions, according to four people familiar with the matter. Oil rose to the highest level in almost six months as investors, already concerned about supply constraints, reacted to the news. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will deliver the decision later today, with countries such as China, which had a waiver, already objecting to the change of policy.
Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk has never been one to shy away from a fight, but his latest target is raising eyebrows. In a series of tweets he criticized Panasonic Corp., blaming the company that supplies all the lithium ion cells for Tesla’s cars for constraining Model 3 production. His complaint came after reports that the companies were not going to proceed with an expansion of Tesla’s gigafactory. Tesla is also continuing to take a hard line with short sellers, getting a temporary restraining order against one in California.
Thursday’s publication of the Mueller report either completely exonerates President Donald Trump or leaves serious questions that need to be addressed, depending on which side of the political divide people stand. Democrats want to keep the spotlight on the findings in the report, while the President is very happy to move on to other issues ahead of the 2020 election. Senator Elizabeth Warren is among the few to call for impeachment proceedings, as some in the party are concerned that concentrating on the issue will not be a vote winner.
Markets (very) quiet
Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.1 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.1 percent higher as the countdown to the Golden Week holiday begins. Speaking of holidays, Europe is basically shut today, with almost every market in the region closed. S&P 500 futures pointed to a lower open, the 10-year Treasury yield 2.572 percent and gold was higher.
The Chicago Fed’s national activity index is published at 8:30 a.m., with U.S. existing home sales numbers for March released at 10:00 a.m. Earnings today include results from Halliburton Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Whirlpool Corp. Later this week the big players in U.S. tech and European banking report results for the first quarter.