Daily Market Report 10-19-2023

Daily Market Report

As of 11:00 A.M. EST


Stocks Drop, Treasuries Trim Losses Before Powell: Markets Wrap – Bloomberg, 10/19/2023

  • Stocks fell amid corporate earnings as traders monitored the latest developments in the Middle East and awaited Jerome Powell’s speech for clues on the Federal Reserve outlook. 
  • Treasuries trimmed losses after the 10-year yield approached 5%.
  • The S&P 500 fell 0.3%. The Nasdaq 100 was little changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%.
  • Tesla slumped after missing both earnings and sales estimates for the quarter. 
  • Netflix surged as much as 18% after posting its best quarter for subscriber growth in years. 
  • Ten-year US government bond rates advanced three basis points to 4.95%.
  • Powell is set to deliver his remarks 12 p.m. at the Economic Club of New York, leading a busy schedule of Fed speakers Thursday. 
  • Regional presidents Austan Goolsbee (Chicago), Raphael Bostic (Atlanta), Patrick Harker (Philadelphia) and Lorie Logan (Dallas) were also due to speak at different events.
  • Thursday’s economic reports were mixed. 
  • Applications for US unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level since January as the labor market kept powering ahead. 
  • Sales of previously owned US homes fell to the lowest level since 2010 as affordability worsened even further.
  • Powell is expected to suggest that the recent Treasury yield increase means the Fed probably won’t have to raise rates when it meets on Oct. 31-Nov. 1. 
  • But with inflation still well above the Fed’s 2% goal, he’s likely to hold out the possibility of an increase at its final meeting of the year, in December.
  • Traders also continued to closely watch the latest geopolitical events. 
  • The Israeli army said it is striking the source of fire in Lebanon following 20 launches.
  • Israel received an initial shipment of armored vehicles from the US to replace those damaged during the war. 
  • American Airlines Group topped expectations for profit even as its forecast for the rest of the year fell short.
  • AT&T raised its free cash flow guidance for the full year after posting mobile subscriber gains and profit that beat analysts’ estimates.
  • Lam Research’s revenue fell for a third straight quarter, a sign demand for chipmaking equipment remains sluggish.
  • Blackstone grappling with higher interest rates and stung by a pullback in dealmaking, reported a 12% decline in quarterly profit available to shareholders.
  • Las Vegas Sands authorized its first share buyback program since 2020, signaling management’s confidence in the business after years of pandemic-related hardship.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1.2%.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.7% to $87.68 a barrel.
  • Gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,962.20 an ounce.

Tesla’s Musk Warns of Cybertruck Challenges – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • Chief Executive Elon Musk warned Wednesday that Tesla would face “enormous challenges” scaling up factory production of its long-delayed Cybertruck, signaling profits could remain under pressure in the coming quarters. 
  • Tesla’s third-quarter financial results disappointed on a number of fronts, including missing analysts’ expectations on revenue and net income, adding to concerns about whether the company can sustain its growth trajectory with a rather limited lineup. 
  • Teslas sold for an average of around $44,000 in the third quarter, compared with about $54,000 in the same period of 2022.
  • The company’s closely watched automotive gross margin, excluding regulatory credits, fell more than expected, to 16.3% in the July-to-September period. 
  • In the third quarter, the automaker’s once industry-leading operating margin fell to 7.6% in the third quarter, from 17.2% in the year prior, putting it on par with many traditional automakers.
  • The electric-car maker reported a 44% decline in third quarter net income Wednesday, a steeper drop than Wall Street had expected, as price cuts across the company’s lineup continued to take a toll on the bottom line. 
  • On Wednesday, Tesla reaffirmed its goal of delivering 1.8 million vehicles to customers this year, up from 1.3 million in 2022, but Tesla executives demurred when asked about growth plans for next year. 
  • On Tesla’s earnings call, Musk struck a cautious tone about the year ahead, expressing concerns about the broader economy, including higher interest rates and their impact on consumers.
  • He also was tempered in his outlook for the Cybertruck, which Tesla plans to start delivering to customers at the end of November. 
  • “We dug our own grave with Cybertruck,” Musk said, referring to the complexity of building the vehicle, which has faced cost overruns and design changes. 
  • He added that Tesla expects to eventually produce 250,000 Cybertrucks a year, but not until 2025 at the earliest.

Netflix Plans Price Increase as Password-Sharing Crackdown Boosts Subscriber Growth – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • Netflix said its effort to limit password sharing led to a 10.8% rise in subscriptions in the third quarter, a better-than-expected result that comes as the company plans to increase some prices in the U.S. and other markets.
  • Netflix reported revenue of $8.54 billion, roughly in line with its projections of $8.52 billion and up 8% from $7.9 billion in the third quarter last year. 
  • The streaming giant added 8.8 million subscribers in the third quarter with customer growth in every region, its largest quarterly customer gain since the second quarter of 2020.
  • The company ended the quarter with 247.15 million paid subscribers, up 10.8% from a year earlier.
  • The company’s operating margin during the period was 22.4%, slightly higher than its forecast.
  • Net profit rose 20% to $1.68 billion in the third quarter, topping its forecast. 
  • The company plans to immediately raise prices for its basic plan in the U.S., which is no longer available to new customers, to $11.99 from $9.99 and up the cost of its premium plan to $22.99 from $19.99. 
  • It is also increasing some prices in the U.K. and France, though the cost of its ad-supported and standard ad-free plans are unchanged.
  • Netflix said in its third-quarter earnings report that its average revenue per member decreased 1% year-over-year as a result of limited price increases over the past 18 months, a higher percentage of its growth coming from countries where it charges less for plans, and changes to its mix of its subscriptions. 
  • It plans to invest about $13 billion, rather than the roughly $17 billion it expected to spend earlier this year. 
  • The company said its free cash flow for the year is likely to increase to $6.5 billion, up from a prior forecast of $5 billion.
  • It expects average revenue per member to improve in 2024 given the price increases and the expected growth in ad revenue.

American Air Beats for Quarter, Cuts Forecast on Higher Fuel – Bloomberg, 10/19/2023

  • American Airlines Group topped Wall Street’s expectations for third-quarter profit even as its forecast for the rest of the year fell short, underscoring the choppy environment as carriers are battered by climbing jet fuel prices.
  • Revenue was $13.5 billion, matching analysts’ forecast.
  • The airline’s adjusted third-quarter profit of 38 cents a share topped the 25 cents expected by analysts.
  • Fourth-quarter adjusted profit will be flat with 2022, American said, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 7-cent profit per share.
  • Adjusted full-year earnings will be between $2.25 and $2.50 a share, compared with its earlier outlook for as much as $3.75, American said in a statement Thursday. 
  • The revision was closer to the $2.34 average from analyst expectations.

AT&T lifts free cash flow target as subscriber additions top estimates – Reuters, 10/19/2023

  • U.S. wireless carrier AT&T raised its annual free cash flow forecast on Thursday as promotions and phone upgrades boosted subscriber additions that trounced third-quarter estimates, sending its shares up more than 7%.
  • Revenue came in at $30.4 billion, beating estimates of $30.19 billion, according to LSEG data.
  • It added 468,000 net monthly bill-paying wireless phone subscribers in the third quarter, surpassing expectations for 398,200 additions, according to Factset.
  • Adjusted earnings per share of 64 cents exceeded expectation of 62 cents.
  • The company raised its forecast for full-year adjusted core earnings growth to more than 4%, from a prior view of 3% or more.
  • The company expects free cash flow of about $16.5 billion in 2023, up from its prior forecast of $16 billion or higher. 
  • Its third-quarter figure of $5.2 billion beat Visible Alpha estimates.

Blackstone’s Q3 profit drops 12% on weak asset sales, misses estimates – Reuters, 10/19/2023

  • Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, said on Thursday that its third-quarter distributable earnings fell by a steeper-than-expected 12% year-on-year owing to a decline in asset sales from its real estate business.
  • Distributable earnings, which represents the cash available to pay dividends to shareholders, fell to $1.2 billion in the quarter, from $1.4 billion a year earlier. 
  • That translated to distributable earnings per share of 94 cents, which missed the average analyst estimate of $1.01, according to LSEG data.
  • Blackstone said its net profit from asset sales fell 36% to $259.4 million, weighed down by higher interest rates and geopolitical tensions that have restricted global mergers and acquisitions activity.
  • The slump in asset sales was concentrated in Blackstone’s real estate division, where realized performance revenue plunged 88% to $17.4 million. 
  • Fee-related earnings, including earnings from lucrative management and advisory fees, fell 5% to $1.12 billion.
  • Infrastructure funds gained 11% and private credit funds appreciated by 4.6%. 
  • Opportunistic real estate funds dropped 2%.
  • Blackstone raised $25.3 billion of new capital during the quarter, spent $12.4 billion on new acquisitions and retained $200.6 billion of unspent capital.
  • It declared a dividend of 80 cents per share.

Lam Research forecasts revenue below estimates despite China business boom – Reuters, 10/19/2023

  • Chip manufacturing equipment supplier Lam Research forecast second-quarter revenue slightly below Wall Street estimates on Wednesday due to weak memory chip demand, even though its China business continues to boom.
  • Lam posted first-quarter revenue of $3.48 billion, compared with market estimates of $3.41 billion.
  • China constituted 48% of its first-quarter revenue compared with 30% a year earlier, the company said.
  • Excluding items, profit fell to $6.85 per share, compared with estimates of $6.12.
  • The Fremont, California-based company expects current-quarter revenue of $3.7 billion plus or minus $300 million, compared with the average analyst estimate of $3.65 billion, according to LSEG data.

Las Vegas Sands Shares Rise on 3Q Profit, $2B In Share Buybacks – Market Watch, 10/19/2023

  • Shares of Las Vegas Sands rose after the company said it swung to a profit in the third quarter and announced $2 billion in share buybacks.
  • Revenue more than doubled, beating analysts’ estimates. 
  • Higher sales helped the company turn a profit, compared to a loss a year earlier.
  • The casino and resorts company said its board authorized $2 billion of share repurchases through 2025. 
  • The company reinstated its dividend in the second quarter.
  • The company continued to see recovering tourism spending in Macao and Singapore in the quarter, Chief Executive Robert Goldstein said.

Discover shares fall on ‘sizeable’ amount of funds set aside to cover loan losses – Market Watch, 10/19/2023

  • Shares of Discover Financial Services fell after hours on Wednesday, after the credit-card and financial services giant set aside more money to cover losses on souring credit and reported an uptick in a metric of credit-card debt that it likely won’t get back.
  • That metric, the credit-card net charge-off rate, rose to 4.03%. 
  • Discover’s provision of credit losses was $1.7 billion during the quarter, a $929 million increase driven by a reserve build that was $297 million higher. 
  • The reserve build caused the company to miss Wall Street’s profit estimates. 
  • Revenue rose to $4.04 billion from $3.47 billion in the prior-year quarter.
  • Discover reported net income of $683 million, or $2.59 a share, compared with $1.01 billion, or $3.56 a share, in the same quarter last year. 
  • Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings per share of $3.17, on revenue of $3.95 billion.

SAP reaffirms cloud business outlook after Q3 misses forecast – Reuters, 10/19/2023

  • Business software maker SAP on Wednesday reaffirmed its full-year outlook for its key cloud business revenue after slightly missing analyst expectations in the third quarter.
  • Cloud revenue rose by 16% in the third quarter on the back of its application services and HANA software to 3.47 billion euros ($3.66 billion).
  • According to forecasts compiled by data provider Visible Alpha on behalf of the company, analysts had predicted cloud revenue rising by 18% in the quarter to 3.525 billion euros.
  • Orders on hand in the cloud business grew by 25% in constant currency, as in the same period last year, according to SAP.
  • For the full year, the company reaffirmed its cloud revenue outlook in the range of 14 billion-14.2 billion euros.

Alaska Air Cuts Full-Year Profit, Revenue Outlook – Market Watch, 10/19/2023

  • Alaska Air Group cut its full-year outlook for profit and revenue as the airline ramps up capacity and grapples with higher costs.
  • Alaska Air is targeting annual revenue to rise by 7% to 8%. 
  • In July, the company had previously guided for revenue growth of 8% to 10%.
  • The Seattle-based airline is targeting full-year earnings of $4.25 a share to $4.75 a share, down from prior guidance of $5.50 a share to $7.50 a share.
  • The company narrowed its full-year capacity guidance to a range of 12% to 13%, raising the lower bound of the range by one percentage point.
  • Alaska Air expects costs, excluding fuel and special items, to be down 1% to 2%. 
  • It had previously guided for non-fuel costs to fall by 1% to 3%.

Pfizer Prices Covid Drug Paxlovid at $1,400 for a Five-Day Course – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • Pfizer will price a course of its Covid-19 drug Paxlovid at nearly $1,400 when commercial sales begin later this year, more than double what the U.S. government has paid.
  • Pfizer told the pharmacies and clinics that will dispense Paxlovid, in a letter dated Wednesday that was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, that a five-day course of the antiviral will list for $1,390. 
  • The U.S. government had paid $529.
  • Health plans will probably pay much less than the list price for the pills, and most patients will have a small or no out-of-pocket cost because Pfizer is expected to offer price discounts and help patients with their out-of-pocket charges.
  • The list price is the starting point for negotiations between Pfizer and firms called pharmacy-benefit managers over how much health plans will pay for the drug and what patient copays or other out-of-pocket charges will be.

Costco Picks Longtime Insider to Succeed Longtime CEO – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • Costco Wholesale said longtime Chief Executive Craig Jelinek will step down after the holidays and hand over the role to his top deputy, who has also spent decades working at the warehouse retailing giant.
  • Ron Vachris, 58, the company’s president and chief operating officer, will take over in January, becoming just the second person to hold the Costco CEO job since the company’s co-founders. 
  • His appointment was telegraphed when Vachris was elevated to the No. 2 role and joined the company’s board in 2022. 
  • Vachris started out as a forklift driver and has steadily climbed through the management ranks, including stints in merchandising and real estate.
  • Jelinek, 71, who took over from one of the company’s co-founders, will stay on as an adviser through April 2024 and will remain a member of the Costco board.


US Jobless Claims Fall to 198,000, Lowest Level Since January – Bloomberg, 10/19/2023

  • Applications for US unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level since January as the labor market kept powering ahead.
  • Initial jobless claims fell to 198,000 in the week ending Oct. 14, according to Labor Department data out Thursday. 
  • That was below all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
  • Continuing claims, a proxy for the number of people receiving unemployment benefits, rose to 1.73 million in the week ended Oct. 7. 
  • On an unadjusted basis, claims fell to 181,181. Texas, New York and California led the decline.

US Existing-Home Sales Sink to Lowest Level Since 2010 – Bloomberg, 10/19/2023

  • Sales of previously owned US homes fell in September to the lowest level since 2010 as affordability worsened even further.
  • Contract closings decreased 2% from a month earlier to a 3.96 million annualized pace, National Association of Realtors data showed Thursday. 
  • The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a reading of 3.89 million.
  • Sales were down nearly 19% from a year earlier on an unadjusted basis.
  • The median selling price rose 2.8% from a year earlier to $394,300, the highest September reading on record. 
  • NAR’s measure of housing affordability fell in August to the lowest level in data back to 1989, according to a separate report.
  • The number of homes for sale ticked up to 1.13 million, but was still the lowest for any September in data back to 1999. 
  • At the current sales pace, it would take 3.4 months to sell all the properties on the market, up slightly from the prior month.
  • The NAR’s report showed 69% of homes sold were on the market for less than a month. 
  • Properties remained on the market for 21 days on average in September, a slight increase from the prior month.
  • Sales fell in all regions except the Northeast in September.
  • Single-family home sales fell to an annualized 3.53 million pace, the lowest since 2010. 
  • Condominium and co-op sales also declined.
  • First-time buyers made up a historically low 27% of purchases, down from the prior month.
  • Cash sales represented 29% of total sales, matching the highest level in over a decade. 

Trump Is Winning Over Swing-State Voters Wary of Biden’s Economic Plan – Bloomberg, 10/19/2023

  • Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden in several key swing states as voters reject the economic message that is central to Biden’s reelection bid, according to a poll by Bloomberg News and Morning Consult.
  • Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, leads Biden 47% to 43% among voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 
  • The results across those seven states had a margin of error of 1 percentage point.
  • Thirteen months before the election, Biden lags the former president in head-to-head matchups in five of the seven swing states, though the gap between the rivals was within the larger margin of error for each individual state. 
  • While the two candidates are virtually tied nationally, these states will likely be particularly important in delivering the electoral votes that will decide the next president.
  • A 51% majority of swing-state voters said the national economy was better off during the Trump administration, and similar numbers said they would trust Trump over Biden on the economy going forward, 49% to 35%. 
  • Among independent voters, the chasm on trust to handle the economy is even wider, with a 22-point advantage for Trump.
  • The numbers are even worse among those who said the economy was their most important issue: Those voters disapproved of Biden’s economic policies 65% to 14%.

GOP Weighs Giving Patrick McHenry More Powers as Jim Jordan’s Speaker Bid Fades – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • Republicans weighed a temporary fix that would give current caretaker speaker Patrick McHenry more powers to run the House of Representatives as rank-and-file GOP lawmakers started to lose patience with Rep. Jim Jordan’s efforts to continue his campaign after losses on two consecutive ballots.
  • The lead architect of the plan to give McHenry more powers, Rep. David Joyce (R., Ohio), initially said he hoped to hold a vote later Thursday but then backed away from that timeline, citing the need to rebut GOP criticism that any vote amounted to a power-sharing arrangement with Democrats. 
  • The next step, he said, would be a closed-door House Republican conference meeting.
  • While McHenry would be in charge, passing any measure to empower him would likely require Democratic votes, raising the possibility of a need to grant concessions to get them on board. 
  • For example, Democrats have suggested a rule change to enable legislation with significant bipartisan support to come to the House floor without having to go through the Rules Committee.
  • On Wednesday, Jordan fell short of the 217-vote threshold needed to be elected speaker, losing more GOP votes than he had on a first ballot the day before.


TSMC Thinks the Turn in the Chip Cycle Is Nigh – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • The world’s largest contract chip manufacturer thinks a turnaround in the semiconductor market is finally near. 
  • On Thursday it reported an 11% year-on-year decline in revenue for the quarter ended in September. 
  • Net profit fell 25%. 
  • But both came out ahead of analysts’ forecasts on S&P Global Market Intelligence. 
  • More promisingly, TSMC projects its revenue and profit for the fourth quarter will be above analysts’ current expectations. 
  • The midpoint of the company’s forecast still implies 4% lower revenue than in the same quarter last year. 
  • But that relatively rosy outlook indicates that TSMC thinks a market bottom is close. 
  • TSMC expects its capital expenditures this year to be $32 billion, lower than the $36 billion it spent in 2022.

Nokia to Slash Up to 14,000 Jobs as Telecom Operators Cut Spending – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • Nokia said it plans to cut up to 14,000 jobs as the telecommunications-equipment maker wrestles with a sharp downturn in spending by telecom operators.
  • The Finnish company said Thursday it would shrink its workforce to between 72,000 and 77,000 by 2026, from 86,000, depending on how market demand evolves. 
  • Nokia reported a 45% fall in third-quarter comparable net profit to €304 million, while sales fell 20% to €4.98 billion. 
  • Both those figures came in below analyst forecasts, prompting the company’s shares to fall more than 4%.
  • The company said sales at its network infrastructure business fell 14% in the quarter amid weaker customer spending, while mobile networks sales fell 19% because of a slowdown in 5G deployments in India.

U.N., World Leaders Push to Get Gaza Aid Flowing After Biden Pledge – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • The United Nations and world leaders were pushing Thursday to get immediate aid flowing into the Gaza Strip as the humanitarian crisis worsened for two million Palestinians who are trying to flee deadly Israeli airstrikes and struggling to find food, water and fuel during a near-total siege. 
  • President Biden said early Thursday that the U.S. had secured a deal with Egypt and Israel to send 20 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza as soon as Friday as the U.N. warned that the situation is growing increasingly desperate. 
  • The Israeli military has directed residents in the northern Gaza Strip to flee south as it prepares for what is expected to be a difficult ground assault designed to end Hamas rule. 
  • Israel has given no indication yet when it might launch the next stage of its military campaign.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak flew to Israel on Thursday for a two-day visit, where he was expected to press for the quick flow of aid into Gaza.
  • U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres will arrive in Cairo for a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at 5 p.m., his spokesman said.

Chinese-Owned Pork Producer Smithfield Prepares for U.S. Listing – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • The Chinese parent of pork giant Smithfield Foods is working with banks to take the 87-year-old business public again in the U.S.
  • Smithfield, the largest U.S. pork producer, could list its shares as early as next year, according to people familiar with the matter. 
  • Deliberations are ongoing and the timing could change, the people said.
  • Smithfield was acquired in 2013 by China’s top meat producer, which is known today as WH Group. 
  • WH had been in talks with bankers on ways to boost its slumping valuation, people familiar with the matter said. 
  • The U.S. IPO market recently hosted some prominent listings after an 18-month lull, with heavyweights like British chip designer Arm, grocery-delivery company Instacart and marketing-automation platform Klaviyo offering their shares. 
  • Smithfield’s Chinese ownership has been a point of criticism in Washington, with lawmakers saying they want to ensure the U.S. food supply chain is protected and that China can’t use U.S. farmland to facilitate spying.

What We Know About the Gaza Hospital Blast – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • A blast Tuesday at the compound of the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza had reverberations across the region, coming hours before President Biden landed in Israel in a visit designed as a show of support. 
  • The explosion prompted competing versions of the events that led to it, from both sides of the fighting. 
  • Militant group Hamas immediately blamed Israeli air strikes for the blast at the Al-Ahli Arab hospital and said 500 people had been killed. 
  • Israel, the U.S. and independent security experts on Wednesday cast doubt on Hamas’s claims, saying the preliminary evidence pointed to a Palestinian militant group. 
  • The amount of damage also appears inconsistent with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry’s assertion on Wednesday that 471 people were killed, experts said. 
  • U.S. officials said that the death toll so far is likely between 100 and 300.
  • Images of the site suggest that a rocket, or fragment of a rocket, landed in the hospital’s parking lot, according to the Israeli assessment of the damage left by the explosion.
  • Palestinian and Arab officials blamed the blast on an Israeli airstrike. 
  • The Israel Defense Forces released what it said was intelligence, including satellite images and call intercepts, that it said proved the blast was caused by a PIJ rocket.

China Arrests Japanese Executive Despite Tokyo’s Appeals – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • China formally arrested a Japanese pharmaceutical executive who had been detained since March, Tokyo said Thursday, in a move likely to further chill business travel to the nation.
  • Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said the Astellas Pharma executive, whom China has previously identified as Hiroshi Nishiyama, was arrested in mid-October. 
  • Matsuno said Tokyo had made strong appeals to Beijing for the early release of the executive and would continue doing so. 
  • Nishiyama, a prominent member of the Japanese business community in China, disappeared in late March on what was supposed to be his last day in China after wrapping up his assignment there. 
  • A few days later, China’s Foreign Ministry said he was suspected of espionage.
  • Matsuno, the Japanese chief cabinet secretary, said Japan has been supporting the detained executive through consular meetings and contacts with his family. 
  • Japanese executives have said that Nishiyama’s case was deterring travel to China and that news of his arrest deepened those concerns. 

U.S. Lifts Broad Sanctions Against Venezuela for Six Months – Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2023

  • The Biden administration late Wednesday announced the removal of a broad array of sanctions against Venezuela’s oil and gas sector in response to a deal between President Nicolás Maduro’s authoritarian government and his political opponents that could lead to a presidential election next year.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department suspended for six months measures against Venezuela that had prohibited financial transactions in the country’s energy sector and gold mining industry. The measure also ended a ban on trading Venezuelan government bonds.
  • Washington could revoke the authorization if the regime doesn’t follow through with commitments the opposition hopes will lead to a free and fair vote.
  • Under the new guidelines, American and foreign companies will be allowed to produce and export Venezuelan oil and gas and conduct business with state-energy monopoly Petróleos de Venezuela, though transactions with Russian oil companies in Venezuela remain off-limits.

Factmonster – TODAY in HISTORY

  • British General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Va., bringing an end to the last major battle of the American Revolution. – 1781
  • French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte began their retreat from Moscow. – 1812
  • The United States imposes a partial embargo on goods exported to Cuba. – 1960
  • The Senate passed a bill (78–22) making Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, birthday a public holiday. – 1983
  • The stock market crashed on what came to be known as “Black Monday.” Stocks dropped a record 508 points, or 22.6%, topping the drops on October 28 and 29 in 1929 that ushered in the Great Depression. – 1987

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