Opening Bell 7.11.18

More tariffs; Twitter troubles; Escape room captures criminal and more!
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Fresh Trade Threat Drags on Global Stocks [WSJ]

The Trump administration said Tuesday it would assess 10% tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods. The tariffs, which wouldn’t come into effect for at least two months, cover a variety of Chinese goods, including tuna, salmon and other fish, luggage, tires, dog leashes, handbags, baseball gloves, furniture, apparel, and mattresses.

China called the move “totally unacceptable” in a statement attributed to an unnamed ministry spokesman and vowed to roll out unspecified countermeasures.

Shares of commodity-linked companies were among the hardest hit on Wednesday, as commodity prices were also pressured by a strengthening dollar.

Shares of mining companies Glencore and Rio Tinto fell sharply in Europe. Trade concerns have continued to weigh down commodities prices with copper futures down 2.8% to around one-year lows. The metal has been hit especially hard amid the escalating trade rhetoric and is seen by many analysts as a barometer for global economic health.

Murdoch's Fox ups Sky bid to $32.5 billion, all eyes on Comcast [Reuters]

“The end price really depends on the appetite of those companies and how much they are willing to take their leverage up and at what stage their shareholders say enough is enough,” the shareholder, who did not wish to be identified, said.

The fight for Britain’s leading pay-TV group is part of a bigger battle being waged in the entertainment industry as the world’s media giants offer tens of billions of dollars in deals to be able to compete with Netflix and Amazon.

Comcast and Walt Disney (DIS.N) are locked in a separate $70 billion-plus battle to buy most of Fox’s assets, which would include Sky.

U.S. Producer Prices Rise From Year Ago by Most Since 2011 [Bloomberg]

The figures, which measure wholesale and other selling prices at businesses, indicate that inflation pressures in the production pipeline are firming amid rising demand and tariffs on steel and other goods.

The June index for final demand services climbed 0.4 percent from a month earlier, the most since January, and 2.8 percent from the same month a year ago. More than 40 percent of the advance was due to higher retail margins for fuel.

The gain also reflected a 1.3 percent month-over-month jump in truck transportation of freight, the largest in data back to July 2009.

In contrast, the cost of goods rose 0.1 percent in June from a month earlier, reflecting cooling energy prices, after a 1 percent May surge.

While the consumer price index -- due Thursday -- is considered a more important indicator of inflation, producer prices help provide insights into the direction of input costs that businesses are facing.

Twitter shares to drop nearly 30% because expectations are too high: Nomura Instinet [CNBC]

The firm initiated coverage on the social media company’s shares with a reduce rating, predicting it will report earnings below expectations next year.

“We view Twitter as a stable and extremely valuable platform with long-term strategic value,” analyst Mark Kelley said in a note to clients Tuesday. “However, we see some downside risk to consensus estimates for 2019, particularly to the 1H monetization levels the Street is currently looking for. This, paired with the recent run and current valuation, leaves us expecting a reset to expectations and the stock.”

Twitter shares are down 1.4 percent in Wednesday’s premarket session. The company’s shares are up 82.2 percent so far this year through Tuesday versus the S&P 500’s 4.5 percent gain.

Burglar can't get out of escape room, calls 911 [WTTA 38]

He reportedly took a cell phone, TV remote and a beer from the fridge prior to calling authorities.

"The sheriff said he had a burrito and he was settling in to have a breakfast and a beer I guess and then got scared because he couldn't get out," Rob Bertrand, owner of NW Escape Experience, said.

The burglar had broken the back door trying to get in -- and couldn't remember where the other door was. Apparently, turning to authorities for an escape, at the time, seemed like the right thing to do.

"But we started thinking about it and yeah, it's really funny," Bertrand said. "I'm proud to say I'm the only escape room in the Northwest that has a 100% capture rate of criminals."

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