German automakers in trouble; Earnings flow; Airline warning


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1. Trouble in Germany: Shares in German automakers dropped by about 3% Monday over worries about an investigation into collusion.

European antitrust officials confirmed Saturday that they are investigating claims that the country’s major carmakers may have been operating a cartel since the 1990s, colluding on everything from vehicle development and engines, to suppliers and diesel emissions systems.

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News of the probe was broken by German news magazine Der Spiegel on Friday. It reported that hundreds of executives from BMW (BMWYY), Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler (DMLRY) and Volkswagen (VLKAY) (plus its subsidiaries Audi and Porsche) had participated in 60 industry working groups.

The motive for the meetings, the magazine reported, was to suspend competition. It cited a letter it said Volkswagen had sent to German antitrust officials last summer in which the world’s biggest carmaker admitted to possible anti-competitive behavior.

Volkswagen and Daimler have declined to comment since the news broke Friday.

In a statement on Sunday, BMW said its diesel emissions system differed significantly from others in the market, and none of its vehicles were manipulated to pass emissions tests. A spokesperson declined to comment on the broader cartel allegations.

2. Earnings-paloooza: Big names from tech, food, retail and energy will report quarterly results this week.

Hasbro (HAS) and Halliburton (HAL) will report before the bell on Monday.

After the close, investors will hear from Google’s parent company, Alphabet (GOOGL, Tech30).

3. European airlines: Budget airline Ryanair (RYAAY) sparked an aviation sell-off Monday by warning that it might cut fares in the face of intense competition. It’s shares dropped 3.4%, while rival EasyJet (ESYJY) declined 2.1%. Vacation company Thomas Cook shed 1.4%.

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4. Stock market overview: There’s a fair bit of pessimism in global markets.

U.S. stock futures were looking weak.

European markets declined in early trading. Asian markets ended the day with mixed results.

The negativity comes after the International Monetary Fund released a report showing a shaky outlook for the U.S. economy over the next two years.

The IMF lowered its economic growth forecasts for the U.S. to 2.1% for this year and the next, down from the 2.3% for 2017 and 2.5% for 2018 that it had predicted in April.

Traders will be tracking a report from the U.S. National Association of Realtors. It’s publishing data on existing home sales for June at 10 a.m. ET.

Jared Kushner will be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday. President Trump’s son-in-law is being questioned as part of a probe into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.

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5. Coming this week:

Monday — Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner interview with Senate Intelligence Committee; Alphabet (GOOGL, Tech30), Hasbro (HAS) earnings
TuesdayMcDonald’s (MCD), GM (GM), AT&T (T, Tech30), Chipotle (CMG) earnings
Wednesday — Federal Reserve interest rate decision; Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort testify before the Senate judiciary committee; Boeing (BA), Coca-Cola (KO), Ford (F), Facebook (FB, Tech30), Whole Foods (WFM) earnings
ThursdayVerizon (VZ, Tech30), Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) earnings
Friday ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX) earnings; U.S. GDP report

CNNMoney (London) First published July 24, 2017: 5:31 AM ET


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