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Opening Bell 6.12.18

Trump-Kim Summit; Fed meetings; Inappropriate air travel and more!

Trump, Kim arrive at summit venue for historic U.S.-North Korea meeting [Reuters]

Trump was the first to arrive at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa, a resort island off Singapore’s port with luxury hotels, a Universal Studios theme park and man-made beaches. island, a resort. Television images showed Kim’s motorcade arriving later.

Staff-level meetings between the United States and North Korea were going “well and quickly,” Trump said in a message on Twitter on Tuesday.

Trump Says Economic Adviser Kudlow Suffered a Heart Attack [Bloomberg]

“Our Great Larry Kudlow, who has been working so hard on trade and the economy, has just suffered a heart attack,” Trump said from Singapore before his summit with Kim Jong Un. “He is now in Walter Reed Medical Center.”

Trump offered no further details on the 70-year-old Kudlow’s medical condition or prognosis.

Kudlow, a former Ronald Reagan economic adviser and Wall Street economist, has played a key role in ongoing trade talks, including disputes with China that led Trump to threaten tariffs. Kudlow, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is known as an advocate within the administration of more robust trade in opposition to more protectionist views advocated by trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Elliott Management Pushes for Changes at Sempra Energy [WSJ]

Activist Elliott Management Corp. is hoping to strike a deal with the gas-and-power company and its CEO Jeff Martin to replace six board members and initiate a strategic review of the company, which Elliott argues has become a scattered conglomerate with disparate pieces.

Elliott and Bluescape Resources Co., an energy investment firm it sometimes works with, said Monday they own a combined 4.9% Sempra stake worth $1.3 billion.

Sempra said in a statement it is reviewing the investors’ letter and presentation and is committed to an open dialogue with shareholders and delivering long-term value.

Sempra’s businesses include gas and electric utilities serving customers in California, Texas, Chile and Peru, an energy company in Mexico, a natural gas company and a renewable energy developer.

Fed meets as inflation and economy get stronger, stirring speculation it could increase rate forecast [CNBC]

The Fed begins its meeting as markets get the latest read on CPI at 8:30 a.m. ET Tuesday. Consumer inflation on both the headline and core, minus energy and food, is expected to run well above 2 percent, the Fed's target.

Couple that with expectations for a stronger economy, with third-quarter GDP tracking well above 3 percent and super-low unemployment of 3.8 percent, and there are many who expect the Fed to tip its hand for an added rate hike for this year. The Fed has forecast three hikes in 2018, with the second expected on Wednesday.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said the Fed could raise four times this year, but it may be more cautious and leave its rate forecast unchanged.

Plane passenger playing with sex doll forces emergency landing [New York Post]

A fellow passenger, who was flying with her partner and 4-month-old baby, said the man’s group was “quite rowdy” when it boarded the aircraft.

“The captain introduced himself and gave a really stern warning and reiterated that only alcohol bought on board could be consumed on flight and duty-free can’t be consumed,” she told the BBC.

After taking off from the Mediterranean island off Spain on Friday afternoon, the pilot warned passengers that he would land in Barcelona if the unruly behavior persisted.



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(Trump image courtesy Flickr user Gage Skidmore)

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