Carlos Ghosn, Apple, US-China Trade, Bitcoin and Pfizer - 5 Things You Must Know
TheStreet

In a Thanksgiving holiday-shorted week, here are five things you must know for Monday, Nov. 19:

1. -- Carlos Ghosn Faces Arrest in Japan 

Renault SA (RNLSY) shares plunged to the lowest level in four years Monday, wiping more than $2 billion from the company's market value, after Nissan Motor Co. said chairman Carlos Ghosn misused company funds following an investigation in cooperation with Japan's Public Prosecutors Office.

The Nissan statement followed a a report from Japan's Asahi newspaper, and other media outlets, that the Renault CEO faces arrest for allegedly violating the country's financial instruments and exchange linked to his role as chairman of Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) . Nissan said in a statement that a months-long investigation found that Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly understated their compensation in annual securities reports, while Ghosn also used company money for his personal benefit. Executives at Renault in Paris were not immediately available for comment when contacted by TheStreet.

Renault shares tumbled 12.4% lower in Paris trading following the report and changing hands at €56.51 each, the lowest since October 2014, while Nissan's German-listed units tumbled 12.2% on the Deutsche Boerse.

2. -- Apple Suffers More iPhone Demand Headaches

Apple Inc (AAPL) shares extended declines Monday following a report from the Wall Street Journal that suggested yet more iPhone production cuts as waning demand and an increase in available models disrupts the tech giant's global supply chain.

The Journal reported that Apple has notably reduced orders for the three new iPhones it unveiled in September -- the XS, XS Max and the XR -- from suppliers, and slashed planned production for the iPhone XR by around 33% from the 70 million units it originally had anticipated from launch through the holiday season. The latest Journal piece follows on from a series of analyst downgrades and reports of waning iPhone demand and production cuts, as well as a troubling profit warning from Lumentum Holdings (LITE) , a key supplier of 3D chips for Apple iPhone's facial recognition system.

Apple shares were marked 1.46% lower in pre-market trading Monday, indicating an opening bell price of $190.70 each, a move that would extend the decline from its October 3 peak to around 18% and value the Cuptertino-Calf.-based group at just over $908 million.

3. -- U.S. and China Trade Jabs as Trade Tensions Mount

The long-running trade dispute between the U.S. and China, however, took center stage over the weekend following a two-day meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Papua New Guinea during which China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence exchanged jabs and pointed fingers over the rise of trade protectionism around the world.

Pence, for his part, told that conference that U.S. tariffs on $250 billion worth of China-made goods would continue into next year, a statement that appeared to contradict views expressed by President Donald Trump late last week. Xi, in response, said the world faced a choice between "co-operation and confrontation" and refused to allow China to sign-off on an APEC level communique for the first time since 1993.

The escalating rhetoric, however, failed to trip global stocks, which booked modest gains in both Asia and Europe in the wake of a weaker U.S. dollar and softer Treasury bond yields following Friday comments from Fed Vice Chair Clarida, who told CNBC television that "going forward, we have to look at a lot of trends, including the global economy, and there's some evidence that it's slowing."

4. -- Bitcoin Blues Push Digital Currency to 13-Month Low

Bitcoin prices fell to the lowest level in more than thirteen months Monday, taking the digital currency's year-to-date decline past 61%, as the so-called "hard fork" in Bitcoin cash, which split the lesser-known digital coin into two essentially competing bits, continues to throw the broader market for crypto currencies into chaos. 

Bitcoins were marked at around $5,200 each on the Bitstamp exchange in Luxembourg Monday, the lowest since late 2017, as prices for other digital currencies continue to tumble amid concerns over both the impact of the bitcoin cash fork, which happens on a scheduled basis, and last week's profit slump by Nvidia Corp., which makes chips used by cryptocurrency miners to find and verify transactions using super-powered computers.

5. -- Pfizer Plans Drug Price Hikes on January 15.

Pfizer (PFE) said late Friday that it plans to boost prices on around 41 of its listed drugs by between 5% and 10%, starting next year, but noted that rebates from insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers would offset some of the added costs to customers. The reverses an earlier decision by Pfizer in July to delay price increases following a Tweet from President Donald Trump that the drugmaker "should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason."

"We believe the best means to address affordability of medicines is to reduce the growing out-of-pocket costs that consumers are facing due to high deductibles and co-insurance, and ensure that patients receive the benefit of rebates at the pharmacy counter," outgoing CEO Ian Read said in a statement.

Pfizer shares closed at $43.51 each in New York Friday, after rising 0.69% on the session, to extend their year-to-date advance to around 20.1% and value pharma giant at around $252.36 billion.

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