Headlines:

  • Global markets in Asia and Europe are lower this morning, as are U.S. futures amid continued protests in Hong Kong and trade uncertainty. Investors who were hoping for President Trump to comment on the timing and status of trade talks with China at his speech in New York yesterday were disappointed. Still, U.S. markets inched to record highs ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony to Congress today and tomorrow.
  • The Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to appear before the Joint Economic Committee at 11:00 a.m. ET today. Powell will testify on the economic outlook a day after being slammed by President Trump for putting the U.S. at a disadvantage by not lowering interest rates enough. The hearing will be livestreamed here.
  • Tesla will build a factory in the Berlin, Germany area. The first Tesla factory in Europe will produce cars, batteries and powertrains and be designated Gigafactory 4. CEO Elon Musk made the announcement soon after the Model 3 won at the Goldene Lenkrad (Golden Steering Wheel) awards ceremony, according to German newspaper Bild. Tesla will also establish a design and engineering center in the city.
  • The International Energy Agency says shale output from the U.S. will stay higher for longer than previously projected, reshaping global markets, trade flows and security. It predicts that U.S. shale, which accounts for 85% of the increase in global oil production to 2030, will reduce the influence of OPEC members and Russia.
  • Facebook announced the launch of Facebook Pay yesterday for users to make payments and purchases on its social network and apps Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The company specified that the payment system has its own infrastructure and nothing to do with Libra or the Calibra wallet. It will begin rolling out in the U.S. this week on Facebook and Messenger.
  • Google will soon offer checking accounts, according to The Wall Street Journal. The project, codenamed “Cache,” partners Google with Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University to offer basic checking account services and bill paying at first.
  • Alibaba has received approval for a secondary listing in Hong Kong. The company expects to raise as much as $13.4 billion with the sale of up to 500 million primary shares, according to Reuters. The move is seen as a vote of confidence for a city engulfed in chaos.