Morning Brief: Trump's anti-trade policies cast shadow over IMF meeting

Friday, April 20, 2018

What to watch today

While political news will likely be making waves both in markets and abroad, the earnings calendar on Friday will bring a few big names reporting earnings from both the industrial and banking sectors, with Honeywell (HON), Waste Management (WM), Schlumberger (SLB), SunTrust (STI), State Street (STT), and Kansas City Southern (KSU). And on the economic data calendar, no major data is set for release.

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Top news

One troubling theme is permeating the IMF’s spring meeting: Leaders from the International Monetary Fund have taken the organization’s spring 2018 meeting as an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the current state of the global economy and its leadership. The organization’s fall 2017 Global Policy Agenda (GPA) update and the jubilation for synchronized global growth that swept through that conference just six months earlier have given way to the mendaciously hopeful warning, “The Window of Opportunity Remains Open” — the title of spring 2018’s GPA. While U.S. President Donald Trump and his anti-trade, protectionist policies were rarely mentioned explicitly, they cast a shadow over the proceedings. [Yahoo Finance]

Wells Fargo reportedly to be fined $1B: Federal regulators plan to fine Wells Fargo as much as $1 billion as early as Friday for abuses tied to its auto-lending and mortgage businesses, The New York Times and other news outlets reported. The potential $1 billion fine would be the largest ever imposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the bank’s main national regulator, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal watchdog bureau set up after the Great Recession. [AP]

How AT&T and Time Warner defend their $85 billion mega-merger: The chief executives of AT&T (T) and Time Warner (TWX) appeared in federal court this week to make their case for the proposed $85 billion mega-merger they agreed on back in 2016, which the U.S. Justice Department has sought to block. Randall Stephenson of AT&T and Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner are aiming to convince Judge Richard Leon that AT&T owning Time Warner would not create an unfair advantage or hurt consumers. [Yahoo Finance]

‘Rogue executive’ led Xerox into Fuji deal, complaint claims: Xerox Corp. (XRX) was a company racked by infighting, rogue decision-making and dishonesty as it raced to sell itself to Japanese rival Fujifilm Holding Inc., according to claims detailed in new court filings. The amended complaint, filed Thursday in state court in Manhattan by investor Darwin Deason, contains at least portions of correspondence, some previously redacted, among Xerox board members, executives, their counterparts at Fuji, and their advisers. Taken collectively, they lay out a breakdown of corporate governance norms. [Bloomberg]

For more of the latest news, go to Yahoo Finance

Products sit in a case inside Ground Swell cannabis dispensary in east Denver. America’s marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420 holiday: Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to a national advocacy group. Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year. Yet cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and it still has many opponents. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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The Morning Brief provides a quick rundown on what to watch in the markets, top news stories, and the best of Yahoo Finance Originals.