By Samuel Potter
Trump’s bad week
Tariff Man has had a rough start to the week. First the World Series jeers, and then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that the full House will vote in the coming days on the next steps for the impeachment inquiry. Today the committees running the inquiry are set to get a key piece of evidence when a former army officer assigned to the White House National Security Council testifies that he listened to President Donald Trump’s July telephone call with Ukraine’s president — and was so disturbed by the conversation that he reported it to the NSC’s legal counsel. Elsewhere, a former reality-TV star who claims Trump forcibly kissed and groped her before he was president reached an agreement with the Trump Organization to unseal nine more pages of documents that she says corroborate her story.
If at third you don’t succeed…
British Members of Parliament on Monday voted against an early election for the third time, but it looks like that’s about to change. The U.K.’s main opposition Labour Party said this morning it will back an early general election. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who wants a Conservative majority so that he can push through the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, had planned to change tactics today by proposing a very basic piece of legislation that would move the date set in law for the next election to December. But now Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says his conditions for a vote have been met.
Of records and earnings
The S&P 500 Index just closed at the most-highest-est ever, so everything is just fine and dandy, right? Well honestly it depends if you’re a glass-half-full kind of daily email newsletter, or a glass half-empty-because-I-spilled-it-all-over-my-keyboard type newsletter. It’s not clear how useful a glance at the big earnings really is, but here you are anyway: On Monday after the close, Alphabet Inc. disappointed after its quarterly earnings were dented by heavy investment in Google’s cloud-computing business. This morning BP Plc reported profit that beat analyst estimates as a strong refining performance offset the effect of lower oil and natural gas prices. And Nomura Holdings Inc. posted pretax profit in retail, wholesale and asset management segments, but vowed to continue cost cuts in the face of a shrinking domestic retail business that has increased reliance on volatile global operations.
Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.5% as Japan’s Topix index rallied 0.9%. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was down 0.5% at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time as investors weighed earnings and took a breather after six days of gains. S&P 500 futures pointed to a directionless open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.830% and gold was steady.
The earnings are rolling in, and today’s big names include Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co Inc., General Motors Co., ConocoPhillips, Mastercard Inc. and more. The data front is relatively quiet; pending home sales are at 10 a.m. alongside the Conference Board Consumer Confidence number. The Federal Reserve faces arguably its biggest decision of the week when they gather to agree where to order lunch from. It’s the first day of their two-day gathering that will likely conclude tomorrow with a rate cut.