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Opening Bell: 9.20.18

Trump shades OPEC; Tilray still batsh!t; S&P tech scene getting funky; Florida coastline covered in pot; and more!

Trump says OPEC 'monopoly' must get prices down [Reuters]
U.S. President Donald Trump linked American support for Middle Eastern countries to oil prices on Thursday as he again urged OPEC to lower prices.
“We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

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It's not a trade war, it's a trade skirmish, JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon says [CNBC]
"It's not a trade war, I call it a trade skirmish," he told CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan in New Delhi.
"The American government, our president, is right to raise the issues (about fair trade practices) with China," he said, although he added that he "may have used a different strategy to go about fixing it."
"It's unclear where we're going to get to," he added.

Tilray Shares in for Another Wild Ride as Pot Mania Persists [Bloomberg]
The weed stock that took investors on perhaps the wildest day yet for the nascent industry has registered huge swings in premarket trading Thursday, falling as much as 7 percent before trading higher by 11 percent as of 8 a.m. in New York. More than 300,000 shares traded hands. Canopy Growth Corp.’s American depository reciepts rose 3.1 percent while the ETFMG Alternative Harvest exchange-traded fund added 4.1 percent.
“When you get big moves like this, you suddenly have a lot of people paying attention,” said Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. “People are going to be watching a little closer and there probably will be more human involvement today than yesterday. ”

Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy [NYT]
Home work — working from home or a small workshop as opposed to in a factory — is a cornerstone of the fast-fashion supply chain. It is particularly prevalent in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and China, where millions of low-paid and predominantly female home workers are some of the most unprotected in the industry, because of their irregular employment status, isolation and lack of legal recourse.
That similar conditions exist in Italy, however, and facilitate the production of some of the most expensive wardrobe items money can buy, may shock those who see the “Made in Italy” label as a byword for sophisticated craftsmanship.

Tech Redefined: S&P 500 Companies Worth Combined $2.7 Trillion Change Sectors [WSJ]
Investors on Friday will have to contend with the scheduled rebalancing of several major indexes, and the expiration of heavily traded futures and options contracts, a quarterly collision that traders call “quad witching.” That’s in addition to big changes by two of the world’s largest index providers to a widely used system that organizes companies based on where they fit in the global economy.
The reshuffling, which will affect 23 S&P 500 companies --all together worth $2.7 trillion-- is tied to changes in the way index providers classify companies according to industry. Although a seemingly esoteric exercise, it has real-world implications, especially for stocks such as Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. that will leave the technology sector to join a new “communication-services” segment.

Jack Ma walks back promise to create 1M US jobs [NYPost]
The founder of the Chinese e-commerce giant said he couldn’t follow through on his promise because of the soured US-China trade relations, according to a report.
In January 2017, just before President Trump was sworn in, Ma met the then President-elect at Trump Tower and laid out his company’s plan to bring 1 million small US businesses onto its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years.

Giant Packages Of Marijuana Washed Up In Florida [HuffPo]
Large packages of marijuana washed up on beaches in Flagler, St. Johns and Volusia counties last week, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release sent to HuffPost on Wednesday.
Authorities in Flagler County found an estimated 100 pounds of the narcotics wrapped in bundles, which tested positive for marijuana, over two days after receiving reports last Thursday of “multiple packages, presumably containing marijuana” on the beach near Jungle Hut Park.

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