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Frontrunning: February 24

  • Futures drop along with oil prices (Reuters)
  • The U.S. Is the World’s Third-Best Equity Market Since 1900 (BBG)
  • U.S. Talks With Mexico Clouded by Mixed Message (WSJ)
  • A Tea Party for the left? Liberals hope so (Reuters)
  • Kushner, Ivanka Trump Block Attack on Paris Pact (WSJ)
  • Saudi Arabia’s Oil Wealth Is About to Get a Reality Check (BBG)
  • Trump Considers Sending More Troops to Fight ISIS (WSJ)
  • No Engines? No Toilets? Jet Makers Struggle to Fill Orders Fast Enough (WSJ)
  • Trump's transgender move puts spotlight on Supreme Court case (Reuters)
  • Olympics in ‘Crisis’ as Just Two Cities Vie to Host Summer Games (BBG)
  • RBS Will Cut $2.5 Billion of Costs After Ninth Straight Loss (BBG)
  • White House Will Enforce Ban on Recreational Marijuana (BBG)
  • Tesla's 'close to the edge' cash foretells capital raise (Reuters)
  • Trump Deportation Policy to Echo in Real Time as Farm Wages Rise (BBG)
  • Billionaire Adelson Reaps Benefits From Big Republican Donations (BBG)
  • Capital One Discloses Probe Over Anti-Money Laundering (WSJ)
  • Kansas man charged in shooting of two Indians in possible hate crime (Reuters)
  • Investors Flock to Supercharged Gold Bet That's Returned 180% (BBG)
  • Traders drain pricey U.S. oil storage as OPEC deal bites (Reuters)
  • Junk Bond Manager Beating 98% of Peers Bets on Stressed Debt (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Top Trump administration officials tried to soften the message on expanded U.S. immigration-enforcement efforts during talks in Mexico City, but Mexican officials signaled little progress in bridging differences. http://on.wsj.com/2mr9zro

- The chemical substance used to kill Kim Jong Nam was a banned nerve agent called VX, Malaysia police said, raising the political stakes in a case that has already frayed diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea. http://on.wsj.com/2mrcYGM

- President Xi Jinping is shaking up his economic team ahead of a major power shuffle as China battles rising financial risks at home and friction with its trading partners. http://on.wsj.com/2mr56oz

- Google parent Alphabet's heated rivalry with Uber over self-driving cars has spilled into the courthouse, after the internet giant sued the ride-hailing company for allegedly stealing trade secrets to jump-start its own autonomous vehicle program. http://on.wsj.com/2mrcb8C

- James Quincey, Coca-Cola current chief operating officer, who will take over as chief executive in May, said the company must speed up the development of products beyond soda. http://on.wsj.com/2mrsySI

- Time Warner Inc. agreed to sell its Atlanta television station to Meredith Corp. for $70 million, removing a significant factor that could have prompted the Federal Communications Commission to review Time Warner's $85 billion sale to AT&T Inc. http://on.wsj.com/2mruxq5

 

FT

British American Tobacco Plc wants to double the number of countries where it sells vaping products this year and again in 2018, it said on Thursday, as it chases rival Philip Morris International Inc to grab a share of the growing market.

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron on Thursday outlined a Nordic-style economic plan mixing fiscal discipline and public spending, amid mounting pressure to clarify his policies as the presidential election nears.

Former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison by Spain's High Court on Thursday following a scandal over the widespread misuse of company credit cards during his tenure at lender Bankia.

 

NYT

- Waymo, the self-driving car business spun out of Google's parent company, claimed in a federal lawsuit on Thursday that Uber was using intellectual property stolen by one of Google's former project leaders. In a federal court filing in San Francisco, Waymo said Anthony Levandowski, who runs Uber's autonomous car division, downloaded 14,000 files from Google a month before leaving to start his own self-driving car company, Otto. http://nyti.ms/2lxZbQS

- Lightspeed, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, was the first institution to invest in Snap Inc and it is now set to reap more than $1 billion from what began as a mere $485,000 investment. Jeremy Liew, a Lightspeed venture capitalist embedded terms in his 2012 investment in what was then known as Snapchat. The terms gave Liew outsize power over the company's future financing round. That ended up irking Snapchat's chief executive Evan Spiegel, who took steps to reassert control over the company. Liew and Snap no longer have close ties, and Spiegel has not had meetings or spent time with Liew since the early investment rounds. http://nyti.ms/2lybcpt

- Federal agents had seized largely brand new Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs and Land Rovers in 2013 claiming that Efans Trading Corporation that planned to resell them to wealthy buyers in China was engaging in an insidious fraud. The federal jury in Manhattan determined that there was not enough evidence to support a civil forfeiture lawsuit filed by federal prosecutors. The court ruled in favor of the Efans and ordered the government to return the luxury cars and $3 million in cash that was also seized from a company bank account. http://nyti.ms/2ly6EzJ

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Crescent Point Energy Corp has not received any contact from an activist investor seeking a shakeup, the company's Chief Executive Officer Scott Saxberg said on Thursday. (https://tgam.ca/2lyHfFT)

** Eighty percent of Canadian energy sector firms have cut their headcount in the past two years, according to a study by Ernst & Young LLP and the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business. (https://tgam.ca/2lcNI6Q)

** DNS solutions provider BlueCat Networks Inc said it had been bought by U.S. private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC for an undisclosed amount. The Globe and Mail has learned that the deal values BlueCat at about C$400 million. ($305.53 million). (https://tgam.ca/2lJAPEo)

NATIONAL POST

** Alberta released its third quarter fiscal update on Thursday, which showed 18,000 jobs had been added in the province since employment bottomed out in July 2016, signaling an end to the province's long recession. (http://bit.ly/2kTuQxz)

** Canada's provincial securities regulators have joined forces to create a regulatory "sandbox", a system of tailored and flexible regulation for startup firms aiming to bring new business models to capital markets activities such as lending and financial advising. (http://bit.ly/2lyKHjY)

** The Ottawa federal government is proposing to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes to 21 and ban smoking on college campuses or inside condo and apartment buildings as part of a new drive to dramatically curb smoking rates. (http://bit.ly/2mjSFLU)

 

Britain

The Times

A Eurosceptic coalition of City grandees is calling on Theresa May and Mark Carney to put the planned 24 billion pound ($30.10 billion) merger of the London Stock Exchange Group Plc and Deutsche Boerse AG on hold for two years. http://bit.ly/2lx13tk

The Australian property group behind the Westfield London and Stratford City shopping centres gave Britain's retail sector a post-Brexit referendum vote of confidence as it lifted its stake in UK's biggest owner of malls. http://bit.ly/2lxbe17

The Guardian

Germany overtook the U.K. as the fastest growing among the G7 states during 2016. Europe's largest economy expanded at the fastest rate in five years, with growth of 1.9 percent last year. http://bit.ly/2lx3xb7

Barclays Plc tripled its profits last year but is still facing hefty fines and penalties and has cut its payout to shareholders. http://bit.ly/2lxc6CV

The Telegraph

Boeing Co plans to open its first manufacturing plant in Britain, picking Sheffield to make critical parts for its best-selling 737 and 777 planes. http://bit.ly/2lx2bNy

Budget airline Ryanair Holdings Plc has urged the government to secure agreements which mimic those allowing barrier-free travel between the U.K. and the EU. http://bit.ly/2lxobYH

Sky News

The car boss eyeing a takeover of Vauxhall's owner has said it could help turn around the loss-making company's fortunes - but made no pledges on jobs. http://bit.ly/2lx2OGW

John Lewis is to cut 387 jobs as part of its efforts to limit costs as the retail sector prepares for a difficult year. http://bit.ly/2lxdCF3

The Independent

A 29-year-old Brit has been arrested in connection with a cyber attack that affected nearly a million Deutsche Telekom AG customers back in November. http://ind.pn/2lx21pg