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Samsung warning; SoftBank and WeWork; Carlos Ghosn speaks in public

1. More tech trouble: Samsung has warned that its fourth-quarter operating profit is set to...

Posted: Jan 8, 2019 9:17 AM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 9:17 AM

1. More tech trouble: Samsung has warned that its fourth-quarter operating profit is set to plunge nearly 30% compared to last year.

The South Korean company blamed the sharp drop on "lackluster demand" for its memory chips and "intensifying competition" in the smartphone industry.

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The guidance comes after Apple (AAPL) warned last week it will sell fewer iPhones than previously expected, mainly because of an economic slowdown in China.

That announcement sparked a deep sell-off in Apple's shares and the wider stock markets.

Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, didn't mention China in its earnings guidance, but it said that "mounting" macroeconomic uncertainties were affecting its business.

2. SoftBank rethinks WeWork: SoftBank is planning to inject $2 billion into coworking space company WeWork, a person familiar with the deal told CNN Business. The source said the deal is expected to close this week.

The investment, first reported by the Financial Times, is a fraction of what was once reportedly on the table. SoftBank (SFTBF) had considered investing as much as $16 billion into WeWork this year, the FT reported.

Founded in 2010, WeWork has already raised $10.6 billion. Nearly $9 billion of that is from SoftBank. WeWork is valued at $42 billion, a spokesperson told CNN Business in November.

3. Ghosn makes his case: Carlos Ghosn has rejected accusations made against him by Japanese prosecutors during a court hearing in Tokyo.

"Your honor, I am innocent of the accusations against me," said Ghosn. It was the first public appearance by the former Nissan (NSANY) chairman since his arrest seven weeks ago on suspicion of financial misconduct.

Ghosn, who remains chairman and CEO of Renault (RNSDF), is suspected of under-reporting his income by tens of millions of dollars and transferring personal investment losses to Nissan.

The global business leader's spectacular downfall following his arrest in November has shaken the international auto industry and strained the alliance he built between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF).

4. CES begins: The Consumer Electronics Show opens to public in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The annual event, which features press events, demos and gadgets, typically attracts nearly 200,000 people.

Attendees can peek at the future of TVs, mobile phones, voice assistants and of robots. Emerging 5G technology and artificial intelligence are expected to be the most talked-about trends on display.

This year's event coincides with a period of intense volatility for tech stocks and fears about how the sector would be affected by a weaker global economy.

5. Global market overview: US stock futures were pointing higher.

European markets opened with gains following a mixed trading session in Asia.

US oil prices increased another 0.3% on Tuesday to trade at $48.60 a barrel. Oil prices gained 1.2% on Monday.

The Dow closed 0.4% higher on Monday, building on the recent recovery on Wall Street. The S&P 500 added 0.7% and the Nasdaq jumped 1.3%.

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6. Economics: The National Federation of Independent Business will publish its latest report on US small business optimism at 6:00 a.m. ET.

An unexpected slump in German industrial production during November is adding to worries about the major European economy.

"The big picture is that the German economy — and the euro-zone more generally — has clearly shifted down a gear," said Jack Allen, senior European economist at Capital Economics.

7. Coming this week:
Tuesday — The floor opens at the Consumer Electronics Show
Wednesday — Constellation Brands (STZ), KB Home (KBH) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) earnings; Fed minutes
Thursday — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at the Economic Club in Washington, DC; Sears returns to bankruptcy court to potentially get a decision that could determine its future
Friday — CPI reports

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