10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, GCI, GG, NEM, C, PCG)

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Here is what you need to know.

China releases a fresh set of terrible data. China’s 2018 trade surplus with the world fell to $351.76 billion, its lowest since 2013, according to data released Monday by China’s General Administration of Customs. However, its 2018 trade surplus with the US swelled to a record $323.32 billion, the data showed.
Global markets are under pressure. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-1.38%) led the losses in Asia and Britain’s FTSE (-1.03%) trails in Europe. The S&P 500 was set to open down 1% near 2,570.
The government shutdown is now the longest on record. The shutdown reached a 24th day Monday and Bank of America Merrill Lynch says, “Every two weeks of a shutdown trims 0.1pp from growth; additional drag is likely due to delays in spending and investment.”
The EU sends letter of reassurance to Theresa May in last ditch attempt to prevent Brexit deal defeat. The letter falls short of making the “legally binding assurances” May had hoped to receive on the Northern Ireland backstop, which would keep Britain tied to EU custom and trade rules indefinitely if no deal is reached by the end of the Brexit transition period.
Gold is nearing $1,300. The precious metal is trading up 0.3% at $1,295 an ounce and is flirting with its first print above $1,300 since June.
The bond market is flashing a scary parallel to the financial crisis. Weakening demand at US Treasury auctions is the latest worry that investors need to pay attention to.
PG&E’s CEO quits as company is reportedly prepping for bankruptcy. CEO Geisha Williams has left PG&E, California’s largest utility, amid reports the company is prepping to file for bankruptcy later this month amid the fallout from the state’s wildfires.
Digital First Media …read more

Source:: Business Insider

Missing Gilgit-Baltistan nurse marries lover in Multan

GILGIT: A 22-year-old nurse from Gilgit-Baltistan, who had been missing in Karachi for 10 days, had in fact eloped to marry lover from Multan.In a video statement released before the Malir Police on Saturday, Khush Bakht updated on her whereabouts and said that she has married Qurban out of personal choice. She added further that she does not wish to go back to her parents but live with her husband. Khush Bakht’s statement was shared by Sindh Police’ official Twitter handle.It was reported that Khush Bakht had gone missing after she left home on January 4 for work. However, she did not go to work and instead went to Qurban. “From Karachi, they went to Multan where they tied the knot in a court marriage. After which they moved to Muzaffargarh.”It is still uncertain as to how and where the police intercepted the couple and took them to Malir Police Station where Khush Bakht recorded her statement. Khush Bakht was employed as a nurse at Karachi’s Saifee Hospital in North Nazimabad area. Upon her disappearance, the Gilgit-Baltistan government had stepped in to help track down Khush Bakht, on January 12. …read more

Source:: The News International – Latest news

America’s love for SUVs caught US carmakers off guard. Now, overcapacity is looking eerily similar to the era before the auto bailout

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Overcapacity is crippling the US automotive industry during what should be a boom time for carmakers.
Despite low fuel prices and low unemployment, the auto industry is laying off workers and closing factories.
Carmakers failed to notice the move by customers away from sedans towards SUVs, meaning the industry is showcasing recessionary traits despite record sales in 2018.

The US economy, despite lingering recession fears on the horizon, is in good health. Gas prices are low, with oil staying down after record domestic production and the limited success of OPEC’s cuts to-date. US unemployment is low, at 3.9%, and wages are also up.

So why are automakers closing plants and cutting jobs?

The US-China trade war and car makers’ own missteps have made grim reading for the industry. Some of the world’s largest manufacturers seemed to miss out on the transition towards big, gas-guzzling SUVs in North America, according to Bloomberg.

Read more: GM warned Trump that his China tariffs would hurt jobs. He now complains that it’s happening.

Six years ago sedans made up almost half of the auto market in the US, but that’s no longer the case as SUV sales rocket. Car makers appear to have missed the boat and are now suffering from overcapacity — churning out three million more vehicles a year than are being bought — the same issue that hit the industry during the last recession.

The overcapacity plaguing US automakers is the equivalent of 10 excess plants, which would account for at least 20,000 jobs directly, Bloomberg said. A failure to identify a shift in consumer’s preference for roomier, and increasingly fuel efficient, SUVs has hit automakers hard. Bloomberg says car companies are now behaving as if a recession has already arrived.

Companies now are scrambling to catch up, axing sedan models and …read more

Source:: Business Insider