North American Morning Briefing: Stock Futures -2- – Morningstar.com

The letter was sent to Southwest’s board Monday, a day after a report that the company could complete a deal to buy Dominion Energy Inc.’s Questar Pipeline Co. Southwest, which has a market value of roughly $4.2 billion, agreed to buy the company for $1.975 billion including debt Tuesday afternoon.

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California Oil Spill Came From Pipeline Dragged More Than 100 Feet

State and federal officials will deploy hundreds of more people to help respond to the oil spill off the coast of Orange County, Calif., Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

Mr. Newsom, who attended a briefing with state, federal and local officials in Huntington Beach, said at a press conference that there will be about 1,500 people on site to help with cleanup efforts by Wednesday, up from about 300 Tuesday. Multiple agencies are working to contain the damage created by a leak connected to an offshore oil platform over the weekend.

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Hertz Names Former Ford CEO as Interim Chief

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. tapped former Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields as its interim chief executive and moved Chief Executive Paul Stone to the role of president and chief operating officer.

The leadership change comes as the Estero, Fla.-based company resets after emerging from bankruptcy under new ownership and demand for rental cars has snapped back after bookings were crushed in the early days of the pandemic.

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Biden Backs Powell After Sen. Elizabeth Warren Intensifies Opposition

President Biden said he has confidence in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Tuesday escalated her criticism of the central bank’s leader.

“Thus far, yes,” Mr. Biden said when asked by a reporter during a trip to Michigan if he had confidence in Mr. Powell. “But I’m just catching up to some of these assertions,” he said, referring to senior officials’ trading activities that sparked Ms. Warren’s most recent volley of disapproval.

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Rising Bond Yields, Falling Industrial Demand Behind Slumping Silver Prices

Silver is sliding at its fastest pace in years.

Prices just wrapped up their worst four-month stretch since November 2014, dragged down by expectations for higher interest rates and a slowdown in manufacturing activity. Front-month silver futures have fallen more than 21% in that period to around $22 a troy ounce.

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Builders Hunt for Alternatives to Materials in Short Supply

Shortages of key construction materials are forcing some builders and contractors to turn to substitutes and hunt for alternative suppliers as they rush to meet high demand for new housing.

Construction companies are looking for replacements and new sources for everything from wood paneling to ceiling joists to pipes, saying that potentially higher costs and added complications to design and construction can be preferable to putting a project on hold for months while waiting for planned supplies.

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Wine Deal Making Surges as Investors Look Past Covid-19 Woes

Deal makers have targeted the wine industry, as investors bet on rising prices for winery acreage despite a Covid-19 hit to demand for the beverage.

Deals by private-equity funds to invest in wineries, vineyards and distributors have risen 75% in 2021 so far, compared with last year, according to Refinitiv. There has also been a jump in mergers and acquisitions, with companies spending $8.1 billion this year to snap up wine-related firms, compared with $1.8 billion last year, Pitchbook data showed.

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German Manufacturing Orders Dropped More Than Expected in August

German manufacturing orders fell more than expected in August, after a strong increase in July.

Manufacturing orders declined 7.7% on month in August in adjusted terms, following a revised 4.9% increase in July, according to data from federal statistics office Destatis released Wednesday.

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Eurozone Retail Sales in August Rose by Less Than Expected

Eurozone retail sales increased in August following a decline in July, the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat said Wednesday.

The volume of retail sales rose 0.3% over the previous month in August, while in July it fell by a downwardly revised 2.6%, Eurostat said. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.8% rise for August.

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New Zealand Raises Interest Rates as Inflation, Housing Pressures Build

WELLINGTON, New Zealand-New Zealand largely kept out Covid-19 by closing to the outside world, a policy accompanied by stimulus to keep the economy moving. Now the resulting labor shortages and surging demand, notably for housing, have led it to become one of the first developed economies to raise interest rates since the pandemic began.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand lifted its benchmark rate to 0.5% from a record-low 0.25% and signaled more increases over the next year, as it seeks to tame inflation stoked by higher oil prices, rising transport costs and supply-chain disruptions. It said the increase would also drive up mortgage rates and so help cool house prices, up about 30% over the past year.

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Glynn’s Take: Australian Banking Regulator Will Need to Do More to Cool Housing Market

SYDNEY-Australia’s banking regulator on Wednesday took its first steps to tame the country’s surging house prices, but more prudential fire power may be needed in the coming months to cool the market even further.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority tightened the mortgage serviceability criteria, a measure that will push some borrowers out of the market, especially those borrowing at the very limits of what their income will allow.

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Biden Backs Powell After Sen. Elizabeth Warren Intensifies Opposition

President Biden said he has confidence in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Tuesday escalated her criticism of the central bank’s leader.

“Thus far, yes,” Mr. Biden said when asked by a reporter during a trip to Michigan if he had confidence in Mr. Powell. “But I’m just catching up to some of these assertions,” he said, referring to senior officials’ trading activities that sparked Ms. Warren’s most recent volley of disapproval.

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Democrats Wrangle Over How to Shrink $3.5 Trillion Proposal

WASHINGTON-Democrats wrestled Tuesday with how to squeeze their wish list of programs and tax changes into a social policy and climate package whose size and scope centrists in the party are willing to support.

President Biden acknowledged in a series of meetings with Democrats this week and on Friday that a package once pegged at $3.5 trillion would have to be smaller, given opposition from centrist Senate Democrats to a bill of that magnitude. Now, they are grappling with the tougher next step: deciding exactly how much narrower-and which of-their proposed child care, education or health programs would have to get trimmed or culled.

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Federal Court Blocks California Law Banning Private Prisons

A federal appeals court ruled a California law that bans private prisons can’t stand because it impedes on federal immigration policy.

The law, which went into effect last year, prohibits the state from entering and renewing private prison contracts, and bans their use after Jan. 1, 2028. It includes for-profit immigrant-detention facilities run by private companies on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

TODAY IN CANADA

Earnings:

Nothing major scheduled

Economic Indicators (ET):

Nothing major scheduled

Stocks to Watch:

No items published

Other News:

No items published

Market Talk:

No items published

        

Expected Major Events for Wednesday

02:00/JPN: Sep Imported Vehicle Sales

06:00/GER: Aug Manufacturing orders

06:00/GER: Aug Manufacturing turnover

08:30/UK: Sep CIPS / Markit Construction PMI

08:30/UK: Sep Narrow money (Notes & Coin) and reserve balances

11:00/US: 10/01 MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey

12:15/US: Sep ADP National Employment Report

14:30/US: 10/01 EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report

23:50/JPN: Sep International Reserves / Foreign Currency

23:50/JPN: Sep Provisional Trade Statistics for 1st 20 days of Month

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

        

Expected Earnings for Wednesday

Acuity Brands (AYI) is expected to report $2.54 for 4Q.

Basic Energy Services (BASXQ) is expected to report for 2Q.

CPI Aerostructures (CVU) is expected to report $0.06 for 1Q.

Constellation Brands (STZ,STZB) is expected to report $2.75 for 2Q.

Costco Wholesale Corp (COST) is expected to report.

Firan Technology Group Corp (FTG.T) is expected to report for 3Q.

IDT Corp (IDT) is expected to report for 4Q.

Levi Strauss & Co (LEVI) is expected to report $0.36 for 3Q.

RPM International Inc (RPM) is expected to report $1.05 for 1Q.

Resources Connection (RGP) is expected to report $0.27 for 1Q.

Richardson Electronics (RELL) is expected to report for 1Q.

Steel Connect Inc (STCN) is expected to report for 4Q.

Village Super Market (VLGEA) is expected to report for 4Q.

Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

        

ANALYST RATINGS ACTIONS

Albertsons Cut to Underperform From Market Perform by BMO Capital

AO Smith Raised to Outperform From Neutral by Baird

Atea Pharmaceuticals Cut to Equal-Weight From Overweight by Morgan Stanley

Bloom Energy Raised to Strong Buy From Outperform by Raymond James

Chart Industries Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by Raymond James

Clearway Energy Raised to Outperform From In-Line by Evercore ISI Group

Columbia Sportswear Cut to Neutral From Buy by B of A Securities

CommScope Holding Cut to Neutral From Outperform by Credit Suisse

Comtech TeleComm Cut to Market Perform From Outperform by Noble Capital Markets

Digital Realty Cut to Neutral From Outperform by Credit Suisse

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October 06, 2021 06:03 ET (10:03 GMT)

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