• Competition in retail has become a zero-sum game: Morning Brief
    Yahoo Finance

    Competition in retail has become a zero-sum game: Morning Brief

    Top news and what to watch in the markets on Thursday, November 21, 2019.

  • Bloomberg

    Oracle’s Largely White Board Attracts Congressional Scrutiny

    (Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. should increase the racial diversity of its board, a group of U.S. lawmakers said, putting a greater spotlight on the company’s hiring and management practices.“The fact that African Americans make up 13% and Asian Americans make up 5.6% of the U.S. population but 0% of Oracle’s board and leadership team is inexcusable,” said the lawmakers in a letter dated Nov. 22 from the House Tech Accountability Caucus and Tri-Caucus, which includes the Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific American Caucuses.The criticism is the latest call for the second-largest software maker and its billionaire Chairman Larry Ellison to improve diversity and inclusion. Former employees and the U.S. government have sued the Redwood City, California-based company, alleging it systematically underpaid women and people of color.Thursday’s letter is the second time this year that Oracle has attracted congressional scrutiny for its diversity practices. In January, the Congressional Black Caucus and House Tech Accountability Caucus wrote a letter to the company expressing dismay about allegations of pay discrimination.The letter dated Friday was signed by Representatives Robin L. Kelly, Joaquin Castro, Karen Bass and Judy Chu, who are chairs of the various House caucuses, among other lawmakers.The Tech Accountability Caucus has previously criticized Amazon.com Inc. for its tepid record of appointing non-white people to its board, and Facebook Inc. for allowing marketers to use ethnic affinity to target ads for housing, employment or credit.Amazon has since adopted a policy pledging to consider a diverse slate of candidates for any open board seats, and added Rosalind Brewer and Indra Nooyi as directors. Facebook in 2016 updated its ad policy to disable ethnic targeting for certain ads.“We respectfully request a prompt response from Oracle Corporation regarding our diversity concerns,” according to the letter. The group requested an executive-level briefing with the Congressional Tri-Caucus to discuss the issue, but said it would otherwise accept a written response within 14 days or via a phone call. Oracle didn’t respond to a request for comment.Oracle, in a February response to the earlier congressional letter, said it wouldn’t “intentionally discriminate against women and people of color” and was committed to a diverse, nondiscriminatory work culture, according to the lawmakers.Oracle is also contending with a January lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Labor, which alleged the company short-changed female and minority workers some $400 million in wages.The allegations stem from a 2014 audit by the unit, which enforces equal pay and other non-discrimination matters for federal contractors. Records show that Oracle paid women and minority employees less than others and steered them into lower-level jobs, the department has said in court papers. It also alleged that Oracle used H-1B visas to hire scores of Asians and paid them less than employees who were U.S. citizens.In 2017, three female engineers sued Oracle, alleging underpayment as compared to male engineers completing the same tasks. An analysis conducted on their behalf showed the company paid some women about $13,000 less per year on average versus male counterparts. The plaintiffs are seeking to represent more than 4,000 similarly situated employees.Oracle has denied the allegations in both cases.(Updates to show Oracle didn’t respond to a comment request in the eighth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.net;Anders Melin in New York at amelin3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Salesforce Q3 Earnings Preview: Buy Surging CRM Stock Right Now?

    Salesforce Q3 Earnings Preview: Buy Surging CRM Stock Right Now?

    Is now the time to buy surging Salesforce (CRM) stock ahead of its Q3 earnings release on December 3?

  • The Intel-AMD Showdown

    The Intel-AMD Showdown

    It's beginning to look like a really interesting market.

  • Ross Stores (ROST) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Top Estimates

    Ross Stores (ROST) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Top Estimates

    Ross Stores (ROST) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 6.19% and 1.80%, respectively, for the quarter ended October 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

  • Selling a Truck to Detroit’s Loyal Owners May Be Tesla’s Toughest Challenge Yet

    Selling a Truck to Detroit’s Loyal Owners May Be Tesla’s Toughest Challenge Yet

    (Bloomberg) -- A year before Elon Musk was ready to unveil Tesla’s first pickup model, the chief executive officer was setting a low bar for the amount of demand it will draw. Dig into the dynamics of the fiercely competitive and tough-to-crack U.S. truck market, and it’s easy to see why.Japanese automakers have spent two decades and billions of dollars trying to get in on the big pickup gravy train. But 20 years after Toyota first started making the Tundra, Detroit brands continue to crush the competition, controlling almost 92% of the half-ton truck segment, according to IHS Markit. Customers who own Ram pickups are more loyal than owners of any other model line in the U.S., the researcher says, and brand loyalty to Ford Motor Co. or General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet isn’t far behind.Late Thursday, Musk will start his ascent up arguably the toughest hill Tesla has tried to climb yet with the debut of Cybertruck. He cautioned in November of last year that he wasn’t sure if a lot of people will buy the pickup and in June said the design won’t be for everyone. The comments contrast starkly with the bold predictions the billionaire has made about how many Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers his company will manage to sell in the coming years.“An electric pickup truck needs to meet the needs and capabilities of current pickup trucks and deliver a little bit more,” Stephanie Brinley, an IHS Markit analyst, said by phone. “A traditional pickup-truck buyer may consider electric, but they are not going to give up on capability.”Detroit automakers aren’t waiting for Musk to take the wraps off his truck before starting to talk a little trash. Thirteen months after the Tesla boss tweeted that his pickup will boast 300,000 pounds of towing capacity, Ford released a video of an electric F-150 prototype dragging 1 million pounds of double-decker rail cars.GM CEO Mary Barra told investors at an event in New York on Thursday her company’s first electric pickup will debut in showrooms in late 2021, and it will have a leg up on the competition. “General Motors understands truck buyers,” she said. Other GM executives also are confident that Tesla’s pickup won’t be in the same league as their electric truck.“I suspect price-wise there might be some similarities, but I think in terms of size and capabilities, there might be a difference,” Phil Brook, the vice president of marketing for GM’s GMC brand, said in an interview. “People who buy our trucks, they are very proud of the fact that they’ll take their trucks anywhere, they’ll get them dirty, then they’ll wash them out and go to a five-star restaurant for dinner. So they’re not people who just drive them around and want to look good.”On a RollMusk told a Tesla enthusiast podcast earlier this year that he wants his truck to start at less than $50,000. Not all of his comments about the pickup have moderated expectations: During an October earnings call, he declared it will be the company’s “best product ever.”Tesla shares have been on a roll since that quarterly report, surging 42% on optimism the company can produce profits on a more sustainable basis. But it’s unclear how soon the new truck will contribute to those efforts. The Model Y crossover is scheduled to launch next summer, and limited production of the Semi truck is planned for next year. Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, expects Tesla to begin building the pickup in late 2020 or early 2021.Tesla shares rose 1.2% to $356.58 as of 2:04 p.m. Thursday in New York.Tesla probably won’t have the electric-truck market to itself for long, if at all. Amazon-backed Rivian Automotive plans to launch its R1T pickup late next year. Ford has vowed to start selling hybrid-electric and battery-electric versions of the F-150 starting in 2020, and GM has committed to producing plug-in pickups at a plant it had been planning to shutter in the Detroit area.Battery prices will have to drop significantly for electric trucks to reach parity with combustion engine-powered pickups, according to Dan Levy, an analyst at Credit Suisse.“Given electrification cost constraints and customer preferences, we expect the large-truck segment will be among the last segments to see an inflection in volumes toward electrification,” Levy wrote in a report this week. He assumes Tesla will be selling about 50,000 pickups by 2025, compared with roughly 300,000 Model 3 and 400,000 Model Y.One obstacle that shouldn’t be overlooked is the tough time Tesla has had operating in truck country. Texas, which bars manufacturers from selling vehicles direct to consumers, is the top state for U.S. registrations of half-ton pickups, according to IHS. The state’s share of the nationwide total this year through September -- 14% -- is more than double the runner-up, Michigan, which also has a ban.‘Blade Runner’Tesla’s Thursday night event bookends the press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show, where Ford generated buzz with the debut of the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV. But seeking attention of his own wasn’t the only motivation for Musk to stage his truck reveal now and near the show. When announcing the date and locale, he joked on Twitter they were “strangely familiar” and shared a link to the opening credits and scene of the 1982 film “Blade Runner,” which was set in November 2019. He had referenced the movie before as inspiration for the pickup’s futuristic design.“Musk has indicated it ‘looks like an armored personnel carrier from the future,’ from the set of Blade Runner, and is ‘unrecognizable from the trucks from the past 20-40 years,’ which we think could carry the risk of not attracting traditional pickup buyers, leaving it a lower-volume niche product,” Emmanuel Rosner, a Deutsche Bank analyst, wrote in a report this week. Investors will want to know more about production timing, increased capital-spending requirements and where Tesla will build the truck, he said.Musk is scheduled to begin making remarks around 8 p.m. local time at Tesla’s design center in Hawthorne, California.(Updates with GM CEO comments from sixth paragraph)\--With assistance from Keith Naughton and Chester Dawson.To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Hull in San Francisco at dhull12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chester Dawson at cdawson54@bloomberg.net, Craig Trudell, Melinda GrenierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    GM CEO Mary Barra Charges Ahead With Electric Cars but Shuns Hybrids

    (Bloomberg) -- If General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra had her way, the auto industry would forget about selling hybrid electric-models and instead concentrate on getting more battery-powered vehicles into showrooms.At an auto industry conference held by Barclays in New York on Thursday, Barra said GM is pushing ahead with a plan to sell 20 electric vehicles by 2023 and doesn’t want to build hybrids like Toyota Motor Co.’s Prius model, which pioneered the category more than 20 years ago in Japan.“Customers aren’t interested in hybrids,” Barra said.She has a point. While Tesla Inc.’s electric models have captured the imagination of consumers and are growing in popularity, Prius sales are down 24% through October of this year -- although Toyota’s sales of all hybrid models in North America are up 23%.Hybrids still burn gasoline and are simply an interim step in the shift to fully electric vehicles, Barra said.There’s a cost to pushing EVs, though. In the early going, selling low-profit electric vehicles will be “margin dilutive,” GM Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara told investors at the same conference. Even when GM’s future plug-in models become profitable, they will make less money for the company than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles do now, she said.To contact the reporter on this story: David Welch in Southfield at dwelch12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chester Dawson at cdawson54@bloomberg.net, Cécile DauratFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Fiat Chairman Rejects GM’s Bribery Allegations Against Ex-CEO

    (Bloomberg) -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chairman John Elkann forcefully rejected allegations leveled by General Motors Co. that implicate the Italian-American automaker’s late chief executive officer, Sergio Marchionne, in a union bribery scandal and threaten its plan to merge with French rival PSA Group.“We are not worried,” Elkann said Thursday at an investor event in Turin for Exor NV, the holding company of Fiat’s founding Agnelli family. “I’m disappointed over the false accusations against Marchionne, who can’t defend himself.”Elkann, the 43-year-old Agnelli family leader, was responding to the federal racketeering lawsuit filed by GM on Wednesday that accuses Marchionne of playing a role in a years-long corruption scheme that’s already landed car executives and labor leaders in jail.GM CEO Mary Barra, who spoke later Thursday at an investor event in New York, said the suit was “not a decision that we made lightly” and that it is designed to help level the playing field. “When we saw facts indicated that that was not the case, we felt it was in the best interest of all our stakeholders in the company” to proceed with the legal action.The charges, if borne out, would tarnish the legacy of an executive credited with saving Fiat and then Chrysler during a 14-year run -- and with it the Agnelli family’s fortunes. There’s also the prospect that the allegations could complicate Fiat Chrysler’s plan to merge with Peugeot owner PSA, leapfrogging GM to become the world’s fourth-largest automaker by volume.‘Delicate Time’The lawsuit “comes at a very delicate time for FCA,” which also is negotiating a new labor contract, Marco Opipari, an analyst with Fidentiis Equities, wrote in a note. “This is not a lighting bolt in the clear sky, as the federal anti-corruption investigation” is ongoing.Fiat said Thursday that talks with Peugeot are progressing well, and Elkann added that he expects a binding memorandum of understanding by year-end. Paris-based PSA, which also owns the Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall brands, declined to comment.The lawsuit came as a surprise to Fiat, Elkann said, adding that he’d studied it overnight and determined there weren’t any new revelations. “There are no grounds for what we are being accused of.”GM alleges Fiat Chrysler inflicted billions of dollars in damages by bribing United Auto Workers’ brass for competitive advantages that the union denied to GM. The illicit payments benefited Fiat Chrysler starting in 2009, when the two companies were emerging from government-backed bankruptcies, through 2015, when Marchionne conspired with the UAW to attempt a takeover, according to the suit.The U.S. automaker may seek at least $6 billion in damages, and given it’s filed the suit under the federal RICO act, the amount “could yield a figure as high as $15 billion,” estimates Ryan Brinkman, an analyst with JPMorgan Chase.Read More:GM Stuns Fiat With Lawsuit Alleging Marchionne Bribery Role General Motors Declares Corporate War on Fiat: Chris BryantGM’s Lawsuit Against Fiat Chrysler Raises Risks for Peugeot DealGM Sues Rival Fiat Chrysler Over Bribery Accusations: A TimelineFiat Chrysler on Wednesday said it assumed GM was trying to undermine active negotiations to clinch the PSA merger and the UAW contract. While GM isn’t suing the UAW, it’s risking relations with the union by airing more allegations of wrongdoing on top of what federal prosecutors have already made public.Shares of Fiat Chrysler fell as much as 5% in Milan on Thursday, their biggest intraday drop in almost four months. In New York trading, they declined 0.6% to $14.90 as of 1:26 p.m. GM slumped 3% Wednesday and dropped another 1.1% to $34.89 as of 1:26 p.m. on Thursday.What Bloomberg Intelligence says:“GM could have a hard time proving its damages and that they were caused by the alleged bribes. Moreover, the alleged merger it sought to force upon GM using its superior relationship with the UAW didn’t happen.”\--Holly Froum, Bloomberg Intelligence analystThe suit is remarkable both in terms of precedence and irony. Big automakers are accustomed to dealing with major litigation brought by regulators and consumers, but not by one another -- especially not with so much as a courtesy call beforehand.And if arguments both sides are making against each other are true -- that Marchionne was using the UAW to bully GM’s Mary Barra, and that she’s now trying to undercut Fiat Chrysler’s combination with PSA -- the chess moves will go down as among the most dramatic by Detroit executives in decades.In a statement, the UAW denied that past contracts were tainted, saying there were “multiple layers of checks and balances” to ensure their integrity. Hours after responding to GM’s suit, the union announced its executive board brought charges to remove Gary Jones, who succeeded Williams as president last year. He resigned Wednesday, according to his lawyer.The case is General Motors LLC v FCA US LLC, 19-cv-13429, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan.(Updates with GM CEO comment from fourth paragraph)\--With assistance from Chiara Remondini, Tommaso Ebhardt and David Welch.To contact the reporters on this story: Daniele Lepido in Milan at dlepido1@bloomberg.net;Gabrielle Coppola in New York at gcoppola@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Chester DawsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • GM's electric pickup to hit dealer showrooms in fall 2021 - CEO

    GM's electric pickup to hit dealer showrooms in fall 2021 - CEO

    General Motors Co's first electric pickup truck model will go on sale in the fall of 2021, the company's top executive said, around the same time that electric carmaker Tesla Inc's own model is expected to debut. "General Motors understands truck buyers and ... people who are new coming into the truck market," Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said at an investor conference in New York on Thursday. The No. 1 U.S. automaker has so far given few details on its planned line of electric pickup trucks.

  • Ross Stores Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q3

    Ross Stores Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q3

    Investing.com - Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) reported third quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations on Thursday and revenue that topped forecasts.

  • Buffett is Buying Energy and Retail: Should You?

    Buffett is Buying Energy and Retail: Should You?

    Do you have the guts to dive into the two most hated industries on the Street?

  • Will Campbell (CPB) Beat Estimates Again in Its Next Earnings Report?

    Will Campbell (CPB) Beat Estimates Again in Its Next Earnings Report?

    Campbell (CPB) has an impressive earnings surprise history and currently possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely beat in its next quarterly report.

  • HP (HPQ) to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in Store for the Stock?

    HP (HPQ) to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in Store for the Stock?

    HP's (HPQ) fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 results are likely to reflect high demand in the commercial PC market. However, weakness in the Printing business might have posed a threat to the stock.

  • Xerox threatens hostile bid unless HP opens its books

    Xerox threatens hostile bid unless HP opens its books

    HP on Sunday rejected Xerox's offer of $22 per share, saying it undervalued the company, and that it was open to exploring its own bid for the U.S. printer maker. "We are confused by this reasoning in that your own financial adviser, Goldman Sachs & Co, set a $14 price target with a 'sell' rating for HP's stock after you announced your restructuring plan," Xerox wrote in its letter to HP. "Unless you and we agree on mutual confirmatory due diligence to support a friendly combination by Nov. 25, Xerox will take its compelling case to create superior value for our respective shareholders directly to your shareholders," the company said in the letter.

  • Lockheed (LMT) Up 5.3% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

    Lockheed (LMT) Up 5.3% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

    Lockheed (LMT) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • NOC or LMT: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

    NOC or LMT: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

    NOC vs. LMT: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

  • The Extreme Risks of Trading Your Own Retirement Assets - November 21, 2019

    The Extreme Risks of Trading Your Own Retirement Assets - November 21, 2019

    From understanding your risk tolerance to maintaining emotional control, achieving your retirement goals takes a much different investing approach than regular stock trading.

  • VMware (VMW) to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

    VMware (VMW) to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

    VMware's (VMW) third-quarter fiscal 2020 results are expected to reflect continued enterprise deal wins, portfolio strength and partnerships with the likes of AWS and IBM.

  • Stocks - Tiffany & Co, Fiat, Apple Rise Premarket; Macy’s Falls

    Stocks - Tiffany & Co, Fiat, Apple Rise Premarket; Macy’s Falls

    Investing.com - Stocks in focus in premarket trading on Thursday:

  • Lockheed Martin Wins Navy Deal to Configure CH-53K Aircraft

    Lockheed Martin Wins Navy Deal to Configure CH-53K Aircraft

    Lockheed Martin (LMT) will offer configuration changes to support initial operational test and evaluation in relation to the CH-53K helicopter.

  • General Motors Slaps Fiat With Lawsuit for Bribing UAW Staff

    General Motors Slaps Fiat With Lawsuit for Bribing UAW Staff

    General Motors (GM) files racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler for corrupting the bargaining process, which has been causing significant damages to the former.