Frontrunning: January 4

  • Stocks records tumble, oil at highest since 2015 (Reuters)
  • Massive Winter Storm Threatens East Coast With Snow and Floods (BBG)
  • Boston, New York Bear Brunt of Canceled Flights Before Storm (BBG)
  • Bitcoin Is a Hit in Countries Where Locals Face Currency Troubles (WSJ)
  • Trump's welfare plans have Republicans on edge (Reuters)
  • Russia urges U.S. not to interfere in Iran's 'domestic affairs' (TASS)
  • Commodities Are on Their Longest Winning Streak in History (BBG)
  • Cash-Strapped Venezuela Offers Diamonds for Medicines (WSJ)
  • U.S. military warns against getting hopes up over North Korean overture (Reuters)
  • The Rise of Untraceable ‘Ghost Guns’ (WSJ)
  • German tax office targets Chinese online retailers: Handelsblatt (Reuters)
  • Why Trump Ended His Hunt for Fake Votes (BBG)
  • JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs come top of banker pay league in Britain (Reuters)
  • Oil Rises From 3-Year High After Best Start to Year Since 2012 (BBG)
  • Iranian army commander offers to help police with protests (Reuters)
  • How a Secretive Conclave Decides When U.S. Recessions Happen (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest


- Dominion Energy Inc has struck a deal to buy troubled energy company Scana Corp, ushering in the final chapter for Scana's major South Carolina nuclear project after it became mired in controversy and was abandoned when construction costs skyrocketed.

- Spotify AB has confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a person familiar with the listing. The filing is the latest key step in Spotify's plans to go public using a method known as a direct listing.

- Tesla Inc on Wednesday said it sold 1,550 Model 3s in the final three months of the year, badly missing Wall Street's already lowered expectations. Tesla again pushed backed its goal of making 5,000 Model 3s a week by another quarter, now expected by the end of the year's first half.

- Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said it agreed to pay $2.95 billion to end a class-action lawsuit by U.S. investors who had sought to recoup corruption-related losses.

- Spark Therapeutics Inc said it would charge $850,000 a patient for a pioneering new treatment for a hereditary form of vision loss, below the $1 million price tag the company had considered, but still a milestone for ever-rising drug prices in the United States.




- Electric-car maker Tesla Inc said on Wednesday that production of the new vehicle, the Model 3, in the final quarter of 2017 was far behind what its Chief Executive, Elon Musk, forecast when it went into production six months ago.

- Computer security experts have discovered two major security flaws in the microprocessors inside nearly all of the world's computers. The two problems, called Meltdown and Spectre, could allow hackers to steal the entire memory contents of computers, including mobile devices, personal computers, servers running in so-called cloud computer networks.

- Spotify filed a confidential registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission in late December, with the intention of listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in the first quarter of this year.



** Officials are scrambling to prepare for a "weather bomb" with airlines warning flights may be cancelled, power utilities mobilizing crews from as far away as Quebec and residents advised they may be in the dark for days.

** A founder of one of Canada's best-known theatre companies Soulpepper has been forced to step down from the organization amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving multiple women over several years.

** Jim Shaw, the former chief executive officer of Shaw Communications Inc died on Wednesday. The Shaw family announced his death saying the 60-year-old "died peacefully surrounded by family and friends".

** Potential homebuyers in Canada can search the MLS database online and explore structural details of housing units and also have access to the current asking prices.



The Times

- Carillion Plc has come under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority over a string of statements apparently suggesting that all was well which ended last summer with a 1 billion pounds ($1.35 billion) profit warning.

- The trading boom in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin has prompted Plus500 Ltd to upgrade its forecasts for profits and revenues as the company said that it had experienced strong trading volumes throughout last year in contracts for spreads in cryptocurrencies.

The Guardian

- Trade unions have issued a warning about the possible impact on workers' rights if Britain leaves Europe's single market and instead seeks to join a flagship Pacific trading group after Brexit.

- The Institute for Fiscal Studies, one of the UK's leading think-tanks said the proportion of the workforce covered by the minimum wage was likely to triple to 12 percent between 2015 and 2020 – drawing in groups vulnerable to automation such as receptionists and shop checkout operators.

The Telegraph

- Oliver Meakin, the boss of electronics retailer Maplin, will be giving up microchips in favour of steak and chips when he joins the owner of restaurant chain Gaucho later this month.

- Co-operative Group Ltd doubled its sales growth over the festive period after profiting from the collapse of wholesaler Palmer & Harvey which left many of its corner shop rivals with empty shelves in the run-up to Christmas.

Sky News

- McDonald Corp's workers in the UK will get a pay rise Jan 22, three months after employees at two McDonald's restaurants walked out over pay and conditions, in the first-ever strike to hit the fast food giant in Britain.

- The state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has struck a deal to sell the offshore operations of its Lombard leasing unit to Investec Plc and Shawbrook Bank Ltd IPO-SHAW.L.

The Independent

- Poundland's European owner has secured a 180 million pound loan from a U.S. hedge fund to reduce dependence on its troubled South African parent Steinhoff International Holdings NV and reassure spooked suppliers.