Business

Trump on trade; Brexit jitters; End of the soup wars

Posted November 27, 2018 4:55 a.m. EST

— 1. Trump threats: President Donald Trump appears to be shutting the door on a ceasefire in the trade war with China just days before a crucial summit.

Trump told the Wall Street Journal that it was "highly unlikely" he would accept an offer by Chinese President Xi Jinping aimed at averting higher tariffs on more than $200 billion of Chinese goods in January.

He also warned he would put yet another round of tariffs on Chinese goods if the two leaders fail to broker an end to the dispute when they meet later this week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

"If we don't make a deal, then I'm going to put the $267 billion additional on," said Trump in the interview, adding the tariff level could either be 10% or 25%.

Trump said the tariffs could hit Apple products imported from China including iPhones. Shares in Apple (AAPL), which have already fallen 25% since early October, moved lower in extended trading.

2. Brexit worries: Trump also weighed in on Brexit, warning that the deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May could make it difficult for the country to trade with the United States.

The comments helped push the pound 0.7% lower against the dollar on Tuesday. The deal's fate could be decided as soon as December 11, when May will seek to push it through the parliament.

The United Kingdom has previously expressed a desire to negotiate a free trade deal with the United States.

3. Market overview: US stock futures were lower on Tuesday. Stocks in Asia and Europe were mixed.

Kit Juckes, an analyst at Societe Generale, said that a lack of economic news was encouraging investors to focus on the G20, Brexit and Italy's budget dispute with the European Union.

"If I have to weight these three topics, the G20 meeting is the one that is both imminent [and] most likely to move markets," he said. "I think the underlying tone is pessimistic."

The Dow closed up 1.5% on Monday. The S&P 500 gained 1.6% and the Nasdaq added 2.1%. Tech stocks led the way higher, with Amazon (AMZN) and Twitter (TWTR) climbing more than 5%.

4. End of the soup wars: An intense fight for control of Campbell Soup (CPB) is over.

For months, activist investor Daniel Loeb's hedge fund Third Point has been attempting to overhaul the soup company's board and install its own directors.

On Monday, both sides agreed to end the proxy fight and expand the Campbell board from 12 to 14 members. Two of the five nominees suggested by Third Point will be added to the board.

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5. Company news: Cracker Barrel (CBRL) will release earnings before the open. Salesforce (CRM) will follow after the close.

Facebook (FB) faces a potential showdown with lawmakers in London. Representatives from nine countries have gathered for an international hearing on disinformation, starting at 5:30 a.m. ET.

There is a chance that UK lawmakers will use the event to reveal internal documents Facebook has been trying to keep from the public.

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6. Coming this week: Tuesday — Cracker Barrel (CBRL) and Salesforce (CRM) earningsWednesday — J M Smucker (SJM), Box (BOX) and Tiffany (TIF) earnings; US GDP second estimateThursday — Dollar Tree (DLTR), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and HP (HPQ) earnings; Fed notes releasedFriday — G20 begins in Argentina