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The President opened a new front in his diplomatic war with China, ordering the main pension plan for US federal government employees not to invest its portfolio in Chinese companies.  The intervention comes as the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages almost $600bn for some 5.5m federal employees, prepares to shift the international component of the fund into an index that includes Chinese stocks.  The Trump administration argues that the MSCI All Country World ex-US Investable Market index includes companies that pose a serious national security risk.  (FT)

 

Big advertisers like General Motors, PepsiCo, and General Mills are seeking to take advantage of options that became available May 1 to cancel up to 50% of third-quarter TV spending.  That doesn't bode well for owners of broadcast and cable networks, from Comcast and NBCUniversal to ViacomCBS and Walt Disney. Where's the money going? Much of it will likely be aimed at shoring up the firm's balance sheets, while some is shifting to areas like digital video and e-commerce. (SA)

 

Shares of Grubhub and Uber are both higher following reports of a merger. A deal would give Uber Eats' money-losing restaurant delivery service a leg up on market leader DoorDash at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has upended Uber's core business of ride-hailing. The two companies are still haggling over the deal's stock exchange ratio, though some say the tie-up could be finalized this month. (CNBC)

 

In economic data, the US Producer Price Index fell 1.3%, significantly below expectations.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

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