Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Aug. 14:
1. -- Stock Futures Sputter After Tariff Reprieve
U.S. stock futures declined sharply on Wednesday while global stocks traded mixed a day after the U.S. said it would hold off on levying tariffs on certain Chinese imports, and the U.S. Treasury yield curve slipped into inversion for the first time in more than 12 years.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 193 points, futures for the S&P 500 were down 22 points, and Nasdaq futures declined 69.25 points.
The Dow jumped 372 points, or 1.44%, at 26,279, on Tuesday after the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said the White House will delay tariffs on some of the $300 billion of Chinese imports that already haven't been tagged. The S&P 500 rose 1.48% and the Nasdaq was up 1.95%.
While stocks certainly received a boost from a thaw in the trade war, caution, however, remained over the latest developments.
"Markets are responding with muted relief to the latest round in the trade saga but nothing has really changed," said Robert Carnell, chief economist head of research, Asia-Pacific, at ING.
In fact, data released Wednesday by China suggested the world's second-largest economy was slowing as the U.S. and China remained locked in their trade war.
Key readings on Chinese factory output, retail spending and investment weakened in July and were much lower than expected.
European stocks traded lower Wednesday, with the DAX in Germany down 0.72% after growth in Europe's largest economy shrank slightly in the second quarter. Gross domestic product fell 0.1% quarter over quarter. Annual growth slowed to 0.4% in the second quarter from 0.9% in the first quarter.
"The bottom line is that the German economy is teetering on the edge of recession," Andrew Kenningham from Capital Economics told Reuters.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields fell to 1.628% on Wednesday, edging past yields on two-year notes, which held at 1.634%, for the first time since June of 2007. The inversion of the yield curve, a condition in which two-year yields rise above 10-year yields, has signaled nearly every U.S. recession for the past 60 years.
In the U.S. on Wednesday, the economic calendar includes Import and Export Prices for July at 8:30 a.m. ET, and Oil Inventories for the week ended Aug. 9 at 10:30 a.m.
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2. -- CBS and Viacom to Reunite as $30 Billion Media Giant
CBS (CBS) - Get Report and Viacom (VIAB) - Get Report agreed to combine in a long-awaited all-stock merger, creating a company with more than $28 billion in revenue and a market capitalization of about $30 billion.
The two media giants, which had been part of one company run by media mogul Sumner Redstone until 2006, will recombine as a new entity known as "ViacomCBS Inc." Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish will become president and CEO of the combined company. Sumner Redstone's daughter Shari Redstone will become the first chairwoman in Viacom's history. Joe Ianniello, president and acting CEO at CBS, will become chairman and CEO of CBS.
This is the third time in three years that CBS and Viacom attempted to merge. The companies estimate that the deal will save some $500 million in annualized costs within one to two years of the closing. The merger will combine Viacom properties such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and the Paramount film and TV studio with CBS's broadcast network and Showtime premium network.
Under terms of the deal, Viacom shareholders will receive 0.59625 shares of CBS stock for every Viacom share that they own. The transaction will give CBS holders 61% and Viacom investors 39% of the combined company.
"To reiterate our long-standing view, we think the valuation of the combined company looks very cheap," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Viacom in its portfolio. "While the merger has been well-telegraphed, we do not think the benefits of increased scale, the expanded content portfolio, and an enhanced opportunity at taking on the growing, yet highly competitive direct-to-consumer market is reflected in the current multiple.
3. -- Tilray Sinks After Posting Wider-Than-Expected Loss
The adjusted loss in the quarter was 32 cents a share vs. a loss of 25 cents expected by analysts. Revenue of $45.9 million topped forecasts of $41.1 million. Recreational marijuana sales were $15 million in the latest quarter. generated $19.9 million.
"We are pleased with our second-quarter results and strong business momentum," said Brendan Kennedy, Tilray's president and CEO. "Our team has executed against our plan, with adult-use revenue nearly doubling in the second quarter compared to the first quarter and gross margin increasing sequentially for the second quarter in a row. As we continue to grow, we remain focused on our long-term strategic objectives and deploying capital to maximize stockholder value."
The company sold 5.59 metric tons of marijuana but posted a drop in average net selling price per gram to $4.61 from $6.38 a year earlier as the sales mix reflected less of higher-priced extracts and more of lower-priced adult-use product.
Tilray's gross margin rose to 27% from 23% in the first quarter, but was down from 43% a year earlier.
4. -- FAA Bans Apple MacBook Pro Laptops From Flights
The Federal Aviation Administration has banned some Apple
MacBook Pro laptop computers from flights following a recall of the devices over a battery overheating issue.
The ban affects MacBook Pros that were subject to an Apple recall in June.
Apple said at the time the issue affects 15-inch MacBook Pros with batteries "that may overheat and pose a safety risk." About 450,000 computers were included in the recall. They were sold between September 2015 and February 2017.
In a statement, the FAA said it was "aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops. In early July, we alerted airlines about the recall, and we informed the public. We issued reminders to continue to follow instructions about recalls outlined in the 2016 FAA Safety Alert for Operators."
Shares of Apple were down 1.49% in premarket trading Wednesday to $205.86 following a gain of 4.23% on Tuesday that was spurred by the Trump administration's decision to hold off on imposing tariffs on certain Chinese-made goods.
5. -- RealReal's Revenue Soars 51% in First Quarter as Public Company
Shares of RealReal (REAL) - Get Report jumped more than 12% to $19.10 in premarket trading after the online seller of pre-owned luxury goods said revenue for the three months ended in June jumped 51% from a year earlier to $71 million.
RealReal posted a wider-than-expected loss of $2.83 a share in the second quarter.
It was RealReal's first earnings report as a public company. Its initial public offering in late June was priced at $20.