Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Nov. 19:
1. -- The Rambling Tech Wreck
U.S. listed tech stocks extended their slump in pre-market trading Tuesday, with Apple looking to slide into bear market territory, as investors continue to dump the so-called FAANG stocks amid persistent concerns over consumer demand, U.S.-China trade talks and rising interest rates.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) probably best reflect two of those concerns, and thus have lead markets lower over the past week as investors question the depth of demand for Apple's new suite of iPhones, which were launched earlier this year, and what Nvidia CEO called a "hangover" of extra chips thanks to a fall-off in demand from cryptocurrency miners that has rippled across the semiconductor sector
Apple shares were marked 1.4% lower in pre-market trading Tuesday, indicating an opening bell price of $183.25 each, a move that would take the decline since its October 3 close past 20% Nvidia shares, which have fallen more than 27% over the past week alone, are indicated to slide another 2.8% to 140.60 each.
Facebook Inc. (FB) , which has fallen nearly 40% since late July amid a host of data privacy, corporate governance and profitability concerns, was marked 1.2% lower in pre-market trading, indicating an opening bell price of $130 each. Alphabet (GOOGL) slipped another 1.7% to $1,010.00 in pre-market trading, a move would take the Google parent more than 20% lower from its July 25 peak, while Amazon (AMZN) was marked 2.14% lower at $1,480.00 each, extending its 3-month tumble past 27.5%.
2. -- Shop Till You Drop
A host of big-brand retailers will provide quarterly earnings updates today amid a mixed backdrop for U.S. consumer spending heading into the final hours before this year's Black Friday extravaganza. Kohl's KSS, Lowes Companies LOW, Target TGT, Best Buy BBY and Foot Locker FL, Gap Stores and TJX Companies Inc. are all slated to report quarterly numbers and holiday outlooks today, following reports late Monday from Urban Outfitters and L-Brands.
Retail stocks haven't kept pace with the perceived strength of the American consumer, at least in performance terms, as the S&P 500 Retailing subindex has fallen 17.8% since early September even as broader consumer spending trends improve amid the lowest levels of unemployment since 1969 and the fastest pace of hourly wage gains in nearly a decade.
3. -- Safe as Houses?
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will publish monthly housing starts and building permits data at 8:30 am eastern time in what is sure to be the session's key economic reading following the biggest drop in homebuilder sentiment in more than four years last month, according to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) closey-tracked benchmark.
The U.S. housing market remains a key weakness an otherwise booming economy, with rising rates holding back demand and a slump in new building keeping supply at bay, and could be big drag on consumer spending and sentiment heading into 2019.
Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates, the most common form of borrowing, rose to a seven-year high of 4.94% earlier this month, according to data from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or Freddie Mac, while the NAHB said its affordability index fell to the lowest level in ten years. The Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae's, home purchase sentiment index, a closely-watched metric for housing investors, also slipped to a one-year low of 85.7 points.
4. -- Boston Scientific's Multi-Billion Dollar Deal
Boston Scientific Corp. (BSX) , agreed to buy British healthcare company BTG plc Tuesday in a $4.2 billion deal that extends the the Marlborough, Mass.-based medical device maker's reach into medical technologies such as cryoablation products to freeze and destroy diseased cells and radiotherapy that delivers radiation straight to tumors.
BTG's board said it considers the deal "fair and reasonable" and intends to recommend that shareholders approve it, noting that "Boston Scientific's offer represents an attractive proposition for BTG Shareholders with a significant premium in cash and recognizes the value created by the support of our long term large shareholders."
Boston Scientific shares closed 5.16% lower at $35.29 each, a move that still leaves it with a year-to-date gain of 42.4% and values the group at just over $48.8 billion.
5. -- Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Dump Ghosn by the Roadside
Superstar CEO Carlos Ghosn, who was arrested in Japan yesterday amid a probe into financial misconduct at Nissan Motor Co., could be turfed from his role as chairman and CEO of French carmaker Renault as early as today, according to reports from Paris, after France's Economy Minister Bruno le Marie told French radio that the 64-year old was "no longer in a position where he is capable of leading Renault" but stopped short of demand his immediate departure.
France owns a 15% stake in Renault, which in turn owns 43% of Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) in Euro-Pacific alliance with Japan's second-largest carmaker thanks to a deal orchestrated largely by Ghosn, who faces allegations of mis-using company funds and under-reporting income on filings with authorities in Tokyo.
Renault SA (RNLSY) shares extended declines in Paris, falling a further 2.2% €57.70, the lowest in four years, while Nissan slumped 5.45% in Tokyo trading. Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the third member of the triad, said its alliance with Renault/Nissan would be difficult to maintain if Ghosn were to leave and said it will hold an extraordinary board meeting next week.