Dow Jones Futures: After Stock Market Rally Setback, IBM Stock Moves Late On Earnings – Investor’s Business Daily

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Bridgewater’s founder Dalio sees significantly slower growth in Europe and U.S. –

© Reuters. Bridgewater Associates' Dalio speaks at the 2017 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston© Reuters. Bridgewater Associates’ Dalio speaks at the 2017 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – The founder and chairman of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio, said he sees significantly slower growth rates in Europe and United States.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dalio said that monetary policies in Europe, the United States and China will have to ease in the next two years.

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Foxconn says trying to hire 50000 people in first quarter after… – Reuters

FILE PHOTO – The logo of Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, is seen on top of the company’s building in Taipei, Taiwan March 30, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s Foxconn (2317.TW), assembler of Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPhones, on Tuesday said it was trying to recruit for more than 50,000 positions across its China campuses for the January-March quarter, amid reports of mass lay-offs.

The world’s largest contract manufacturer, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, said in a stock exchange filing that changes in employee numbers were part of its usual adjustments based on global strategy and clients’ needs.

Last week, the Nikkei reported that Foxconn had let go around 50,000 contract workers in China since October, months earlier than normal.

“Efforts are in progress to recruit for more than 50,000 positions across our China campuses in Q1 2019,” the company told Reuters in an email when asked whether it was actively hiring.

The Nikkei report came weeks after Apple cut current-quarter production for new iPhones by 10 percent in the face of slowing demand in China, the world’s largest smartphone market.

Chipmaker Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) and other tech suppliers have also warned of a tech slowdown going into 2019.

Foxconn, which sources said makes roughly half its revenue from Apple, reported an 8 percent fall in December sales earlier this month.

At Foxconn’s campus in Zhengzhou in central China, thousands of temporary contract workers and some regular staffers left of their own accord due to the lack of weekend work, trimmed overtime opportunities, and reduced or canceled peak-season bonuses, five production line workers there told Reuters last month.

Reporting by Jess Macy Yu in TAIPEI; Additional reporting by Stella Qiu and Philip Wen in BEIJING and Chyen Yee Lee in SINGAPORE; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Christopher Cushing

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Exclusive: Tesla says it received battery quotes from China’s Lishen but no deal agreed –

© Reuters. Lishen Battery sign is seen at its headquarters in Tianjin© Reuters. Lishen Battery sign is seen at its headquarters in Tianjin

By Yilei Sun and Tom Daly

BEIJING (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (O:) said on Tuesday it had received quotes from Tianjin Lishen to supply batteries for its new Shanghai electric car factory but had not signed any agreement with the Chinese firm.

Reuters earlier on Tuesday reported, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the matter, that Tesla and Lishen had signed a preliminary agreement and were working on the details.

The companies had yet to reach a decision on how large an order the U.S. electric car company would place, and Lishen was still working out what battery cell size Tesla would require, one of the sources said. The source later reiterated that a preliminary agreement was signed.

The second source said that the certification process for suppliers usually took a long time to be finalised. The sources declined to be identified because the discussions are private.

“Tesla previously received quotes from Lishen, but did not proceed further. We have not signed any agreement of any kind with them,” a Tesla spokeswoman told Reuters.

Lishen said in a faxed statement to Reuters that it had not signed any agreement with Tesla to supply batteries to the factory.

Japan’s Panasonic Corp (T:) is currently Tesla’s exclusive battery cell supplier. Its shares closed down 2.7 percent after the Reuters report. It also announced a joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp (T:) on Tuesday to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said in November the U.S. company would manufacture all its battery modules and packs at the Shanghai factory and planned to diversify its sources.

“Cell production will be sourced locally, most likely from several companies (incl Pana), in order to meet demand in a timely manner,” Musk said in a tweet in November.

Panasonic said in a statement it was studying various possibilities with regards to Tesla’s Shanghai plant, but nothing had been decided. It declined to comment on the possibility of losing exclusive-supplier status with Tesla.

Other battery makers in the running for contracts could include Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (SZ:) and LG Chem Ltd (KS:).

Tesla broke ground on the $2 billion so-called Gigafactory, its first in China, earlier this month and plans to begin making Model 3 electric vehicles (EV) there by the end of the year.

Musk has said the factory will produce “more affordable” vehicles for the Chinese auto market, the world’s biggest, where the firm is facing mounting competition and risks from U.S.-China trade tensions.


Lishen, which says its clients range from Apple (O:) and Samsung Electronics (KS:) to Geely (HK:) and Hyundai Motor (KS:), has joined other battery makers in aggressively pursuing contracts with the rapidly growing EV industry.

The Chinese company started mass production of the same type of cylindrical battery made by Panasonic for Tesla’s Model 3 in 2017, in the city of Suzhou about 100 km (60 miles) away from Shanghai.

Panasonic and Toyota on Tuesday announced a joint venture that leverages the heft of one of the world’s largest automakers and one of the world’s biggest battery makers to expand their EV push.

The joint venture builds on the agreement that the pair announced in late 2017 on joint development of batteries with higher energy density in a prismatic cell arrangement.

It would also help Panasonic cut its heavy reliance on Tesla, whose production delays have weighed on the Japanese company’s earnings.

Panasonic planned to shift most of its prismatic battery-related equipment and facilities in Japan and China to the joint venture, while those producing batteries for Tesla would remain under the company, a source said.

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Toyota and Panasonic may team up to make EV batteries – Engadget

Toyota would hold a controlling 51 percent stake, while Panasonic would transition five of its car battery production plants in China and Japan to the new company. This wouldn’t affect Panasonic’s existing arrangements with Tesla, the tipsters said. If the report is accurate, Toyota and Pansonic would unveil their deal “as soon as this week.”

Each side has strong incentives to team up. Toyota has been comparatively slow to get started in EVs, and only recently started ramping up its plans. This could help it catch up in style by ensuring that it has access to affordable, mass-produced batteries. For Panasonic, meanwhile, this is mostly about cornering the market. Between this and the Tesla pact, it could become a dominant force in the EV world.

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Pessimism is dramatically rising among global CEOs, survey shows – CNBC

The biggest downturn in sentiment came from CEOs in North America, where optimism dropped from 63 percent in 2018 to 37 percent this year. Part of the downturn might be explained by a waning enthusiasm for the economic policies coming out of Washington.

President Donald Trump‘s headline appearance at the 2018 gathering of business and policy elites coincided with enormous enthusiasm for the commander-in-chief’s economic success, with C-Suite WEF attendees touting the benefits of U.S. tax cuts. The president’s decision to sit out this year’s event due to the U.S. government shutdown, meanwhile, comes amid expectations that the “Trump bump” is starting to fade and that trade tensions with China are beginning to bite.

“What you have now is not much more upside being seen, you see a lot more downside with the political agenda and trade conflicts, and no promise or hope for anything else like infrastructure,” Moritz explained.

The degree of worry over the U.S.-China trade fight is shared rather evenly among executives in both countries party to the conflict. “Ninety-eight percent of U.S. CEOs and 90 percent of China’s CEOs have voiced these concerns,” according to global audit firm PwC.

Despite the saber rattling over tariffs, however, the U.S. and China still remain the top markets for attracting investment outside a CEO’s home market. The U.S. narrowly retained its top position with 27 percent popularity, slipping from 46 percent in 2018, while China also slipped to 24 percent, down from 33 percent. The survey signals that the trade pain playing out between the world’s superpowers could be India’s gain, which earned a distinction as the rising star on a list of most attractive investment destinations on PwC’s list.

“When you look at what Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has done to that country and the trajectory he’s on, again there’s still challenges, but there are plenty of opportunities if you look at the workforce they have, the consumer base and the need for infrastructure,” Moritz said while admitting that the upcoming elections in India could present a key test for Modi.

“How you take India from that domestic-focused country into a bigger global player, I think is his challenge assuming he makes it through the next election and takes advantage of the opportunities.”

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UBS posts 2018 profit jump but misses estimates as its wealth unit struggles – CNBC

The bank’s net profit attributable to shareholders for 2018 came in at $4.897 billion, as compared to its 2017 figure of $969 million when a U.S. tax reforms dampened results. Five analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a net profit of $4.906 billion for 2018.

“We have seen sine normalization in markets early in 2019, we will stay focused on balancing efficiency and investments for growth, in order to keep delivering our capital return objectives while creating sustainable long-term value for shareholders,” Sergio Ermotti, UBS chief executive officer, said in a statement Tuesday.

UBS also announced it was aiming to purchase $1 billion of its shares in 2019, above the 2018 amount of $751 million.

The Swiss bank reported nearly $8 billion in wealth management outflows during the fourth quarter, and said lower invested assets will affect recurring revenues in that division.

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Tesla cuts Supercharger prices back down after customer backlash over increase – Electrek

Last week, we published a report about Tesla drastically increasing Supercharger prices around the world, but now the automaker is reducing the price hike after a backlash from customers.

Tesla Supercharger Price Increase

As we reported last week, Tesla is moving away from its per state/region pricing structure to implement a per station pricing structure in order to get more comprehensive prices based on local electricity rates and demand charges.

But the change in the structure is also coming with an overall significant increase in price.

At the time, we estimated that the prices are about 33% higher across most markets.

For example, the price in New York used to be $0.24 per kWh state-wide after the last increase and now downtown New York City locations went up to $0.32/kWh.

In California, prices went from $0.26 per kWh to ranging from $0.32 to $0.36 per kWh in the charging stations that we verified.

All European markets also saw some important price increases with most markets paying between 0.28 and 0.32 euros per kWh.

As we noted in our report, the cost of Supercharging was still less than gas, but Tesla’s prices were becoming less competitive than some third-party charging stations.

It resulted in a customer backlash with over 1,000 comments on our article about the situation and several social media posts – many of them unhappy about the increase while others were defending the move.

Tesla reduces Supercharger price hike

Now Tesla told Electrek that it listened to customer feedback and decided to reduce the Supercharger price increase by 10% globally.

After the price increase last week, the average price in the US was $0.31 per kWh.

It is now down to $0.28 per kWh

Norway was at 1,40 NOK per kWh before the increase. It went up to 1,86 NOK per kWh last week and it is now down to 1.70 NOK per kWh after Tesla adjusted the prices today.

Electrek’s Take

Nice to see that Tesla is listening to customer feedback and making this new price increase more reasonable.

It is still a little high in some markets, but we explain why that can be the case in our last article about it, especially with demand charges, which can be extremely steep for charging station operators.

Hopefully, Tesla can get those prices under control because they can’t keep going up at that rate without affecting the economic benefits of the Supercharger network.

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Starbucks rolls out delivery service for coffee drinkers – ABC News

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Starbucks is expanding its delivery service and aims to offer it at nearly one-fourth of its U.S. company-operated coffee shops.

The company said it is launching the service Tuesday in San Francisco and will expand to some stores in New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles in coming weeks. It tested the idea in 200 Miami stores last fall.

Starbucks says 95 percent of its core menu will be available for order using the Uber Eats mobile app. There will be a $2.49 booking fee.

In December, company executives laid out plans to expand deliveries in the U.S. and China this year.

Executives say delivery works best in dense urban areas where Uber Eats’ delivery fees are lower because of high demand, and customers spend more than they do in stores.

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