Opening Bell: 8.2.18

BoE pushing rates; China pushing back, Elon Musk just pushing; "Masturdating"; and more!
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Bank of England Raises Interest Rates to Highest Level Since 2009 [WSJ]
BOE officials voted unanimously to raise the central bank’s policy rate to 0.75% from 0.5% following the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee’s August meeting, the BOE said Thursday. The increase takes the benchmark rate to its highest level since 2009.
The pound nudged higher after the decision, trading broadly flat against the dollar at $1.3111.
The move marks the latest small step by a major central bank to dial back the monetary stimulus that has been supporting the global economy since the financial crisis tipped the world into recession in 2009.

China Vows It Won’t Back Down After Trump’s Latest Tariff Threat [Bloomberg]
“China is fully prepared and will have to retaliate to defend the nation’s dignity and the interests of the people, defend free trade and the multilateral system, and defend the common interests of all countries,” China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Thursday on its website. The “carrot-and-stick” tactic won’t work, it said.
The Trump administration said Wednesday that it’s considering increasing the proposed tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent, in a bid to force China back to the negotiating table. President Donald Trump has asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider hiking the duties, which could be implemented as early as next month.

Tesla shares surge as upbeat Musk sees profitable second half [CNBC]
The electric car maker's second-quarter loss was wider than analysts expected, but the company backed its prior forecast that calls for profitable third and fourth quarters.
"From an operating plant standpoint, from onwards I really want to emphasize our goal is to be profitable and cash flow positive for every quarter going forward," Musk said on the call. He added that recessions, or force majeure events could derail the plan but the goal is to be achieving positive GAAP income and cash flow "every quarter from here on out."

Bond yields, stocks fall as trade fears spread to Europe [Reuters]
Euro zone government bond yields edged down with borrowing costs in Germany and France pulling back from seven-week highs as demand for safe-haven debt grew after the U.S. administration increased pressure on China by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.6 percent down, dragged down by a 1.8 percent fall in Chinese H-shares.
Analysts blame the current retreat in world stock markets on the uncertainty around the trade policy of the Trump administration, while recent corporate results are seen encouraging.

Tech Firms Surrender Their Crucial Billion-Dollar Tax Deductions [Bloomberg]
A recent U.S. federal court ruling means companies such as Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google won’t be able to deduct the full cost of the stock payments they make to employees when calculating their corporate tax bills, which they’ve done for years.
Instead, they’ll have to allocate some of the expense to their foreign subsidiaries, usually in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, where the deduction is nearly worthless because they don’t have much of a tax liability there.
For Facebook, the change means the struggling social media giant could face a tax rate as high as 30 percent in the third quarter, compared to the new corporate rate of 21 percent. That’s because the company has to make up for previous quarters and pay additional taxes for when it deducted more of the stock-based compensation than the court decision allows, according to a regulatory filing. In the third quarter of 2017, it paid a rate of just 10 percent.

'Masturdating' is the quirky dating trend everyone should try - and it's not as dirty as it sounds [Mirror]
With new dating trends emerging constantly - most recently it was 'gatsbying' - it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve.
Right now there's one word on everyone's lips - and that's 'masturdating'.
It's a term that was coined back in 2015 on American talk show Late Night with Conan O'Brien, but appears to be making a comeback.

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