BlackBerry And Android Join Forces, Plus Why It Might Be Time To Ditch Sprint If They’re Your Cell Provider

morning-brew

“The Bible says: ‘beware of false prophets.’ There are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done.” John Boehner, after announcing his shock resignation as speaker of the House of Representatives over the weekend. So who are these “false prophets”? His right-wing Republican colleagues, of course, who essentially forced him to resign for not being conservative enough for their liking. You gotta love intra-party conflicts.

MARKET SNAPSHOT 

Biotech Overshadows Yellen

  • It was an oddly mixed Friday for U.S. stocks, with the Dow Jones firmly in the green (thanks to Nike) but the broader S&P 500 and tech-based Nasdaq faltering down the stretch to finish in the red. The downtrend was led by the small-cap Russell 2000, which finished the week down 3.6 percent.
  • The biotech sector is often considered “all-or-nothing,” and on Friday, it was a lot of nothing—biotech stocks fell nearly 5 percent, appropriately bookending a brutal week (its worst in seven years) that began with Hillary Clinton slamming the sector for “price gouging” its prescription drugs.
  • The biotech collapse overshadowed a brighter start, fueled by Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen’s calming comments over the strength of the global economy. Those comments helped propel financial stocks to a strong day and had U.S. government bond yields rebounding higher from a monthly low set on Thursday.
  • The good Yellen vibes even spread to Europe, which was stuck in reverse last week over the Volkswagen emissions scandal but surged nearly 3 percent on Friday.
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U.S. MACRO 

Gloom Ahead for Q3 Earnings

U.S. second quarter GDP growth was revised upwards to 3.9 percent last week, but the good news is stuck in the past. Analysts’ dour outlook for the upcoming earnings season has the future looking grim, and many have cut projections for the third quarter and onwards—due mainly to the rout in oil prices. The 12-month forward earnings per share forecast is now at negative 2 percent, the lowest since late 2009. All the more reason for investors to worry, as even with the recent market correction, stock multiples remain above historic trends.

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CORPORATE PRIMER

Volkswagen’s Brutal Fallout

We don’t know what’s more self-defeating: Volkswagen’s dangerous emissions or its decision to cheat the Environmental Protection Agency. Let’s recap: Volkswagen got caught in an emission rigging scandal, the CEO then resigned, and the stock lost a third of its market value within a week. Yesterday, Switzerland announced that they are considering banning all Volkswagen diesel car sales, a decision that would result in over 180,000 cars on the Swiss highways being recalled.

Sprint Cheaps Out

If you’re a Sprint customer, you might want to look away—Sprint has elected to sit out the next U.S. auction of airwaves. While it’s a decision that could save Sprint billions of dollars, it will severely limit any chance of upgrades in the future. These airwaves are priced at a beach-front property premium because of their ability to penetrate buildings and cover larger areas better. But hey, maybe cost savings is a good move for a company that hasn’t turned a profit since 2007.

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TODAY IN TECH

BlackBerry Fights to Stay Relevant

Don’t give up on BlackBerry just yet. The embattled company and Google are teaming up for the launch of a new Android smartphone: Priv. The new phone promises productivity and superior security in both software and network. Utilizing the Android operating system isn’t the only perk—the new marriage allows joint custody of 1.6 million apps to be added to Google Play. BlackBerry also found a way to stay loyal to its roots by including a sliding keyboard and a touchscreen. The launch is expected to occur just before Christmas, so throwback to middle school and put BlackBerry Priv on your wish list.

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OTHER STORIES

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ECONOMIC CALENDAR

  • Monday: Personal Income and Spending
  • Tuesday: Consumer Confidence, Home Price Index
  • Wednesday: Private Payrolls
  • Thursday: ISM Manufacturing Index, Weekly Jobless Claims, September Auto Sales, Micron earnings
  • Friday: August Jobs Report

THE ECONOMICS OF EQUALITY

Gender equality is an important goal for our society, and for more than just moral reasons: according to the McKinsey Global Institute, gender equality is also great for the economy. Here are the newest numbers:

  • If women worldwide achieve equal footing to men in the world’s economy, global GDP could receive an annual boost of 26 percent—or $25 trillion—by 2025.
  • Simply continuing improvements in gender equality at the current pace is predicted to offer a boost of $12 trillion by 2025.
  • Let’s break it down by country: it turns out India could benefit the most, with a potential for 60 percent growth. The U.S. could also benefit, with a potential for 19 percent additional growth.
  • So, how can we close the gap in a world where 90 percent of countries have some form of legal discrimination against women? McKinsey suggested working on inequality in education systems, financial and digital inclusion, protection of women legally and improving cultural attitudes toward unpaid work, such as that of stay-at-home moms. All in a generation’s work.

INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY

You have a large cube made up of 10x10x10 smaller cubes. Each of the smaller cubes is identical. You submerge the larger cube entirely in red paint. How many of the smaller cubes have paint on them? (Answer)

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BUSINESS TERM OF THE DAY

Debt Swap — A transaction in which the obligations (debts) of a company or individual are exchanged for something of value (equity). In the case of a publicly-traded company, this would generally entail an exchange of bonds for stock.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

7,000: the number of police officers Pope Francis is traveling with while in New York. Overkill? You tell us.

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