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Morning Brief: Trump meets Putin in Helsinki

Monday, July 16, 2018

What to watch today

/REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Investors and traders will be listening for developments as President Donald Trump travels overseas. Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland. Among other things, markets will be interested in possible changes to sanctions against Russia.

In the U.S., we’ll get the June retail sales report. Economists estimate sales grew by 0.5% during the month, or 0.3% excluding autos and gas. Also, Bank of America (BAC) announces Q2 earnings before the opening bell and Netflix (NFLX) announces after.

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Top news

Trump calls European Union a US ‘foe’ citing trade tensions: President Donald Trump named the European Union as a “foe” of the U.S. in an interview following a contentious meeting last week with NATO allies. Asked to name the U.S.’s “biggest foe globally” in an interview conducted Saturday and aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Trump turned first to the EU, saying “we have a lot of foes.” [Bloomberg]

China’s economic growth cools amid trade tensions: China’s economic growth slowed in the quarter ending in June, adding to challenges for Beijing as its tariff battle with Washington escalates. The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6.7% over a year earlier, down from the previous quarter’s 6.8%, the government reported Monday. [AP] 

Goldman reportedly to name next CEO early this week: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) is expected to name its president, David Solomon, its next chief executive officer early this week, the New York Times reported. The announcement could be made as soon as Monday, the paper reported on Sunday citing sources, and will formally establish Solomon as the successor to Lloyd Blankfein. [Reuters]

Musk gave almost $40,000 to GOP-allied group: Self-proclaimed socialist Elon Musk gave $38,900 to a political committee that supports House Republicans. The contribution is Musk’s second-largest of this election cycle, according to disclosures filed with the U.S. Federal Election Commission, after a $50,000 contribution last year to a different group benefiting House Republicans.The latest contribution brings Musk back to the political fore. [Bloomberg]

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