Financial Daily Dose 5.22.2019 | Top Story: Judge Deems Qualcomm Pricing Behavior Anti-competitive

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N.D. California federal judge Lucy Koh sided with the FTC in its antitrust suit against semiconductor-industry giant Qualcomm, finding that the company “abused its position . . . to harm competition and charge cellphone makers excessive licensing fees.” The ruling sent Qualcomm shares sliding in pre-market trading – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Because it’s been a minute since we checked in on Brexit and, oddly enough, the problem hasn’t solved itself, our latest dispatch from the UK involves PM May publicly raising the prospect of a second departure referendum for the first time, even as she was again pitching her thrice-rejected Brexit plan – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

We’ve been tracking the Fed’s yearslong efforts to address the U.S.’s stubbornly low inflation figure. Here’s why, especially with a “booming” American job market and strong economy, the Fed cares so much about sub 2% inflation [and what its May meeting minutes likely say about the struggle] – NYTimes and WSJ

Tech inquisitor extraordinaire Kara Swisher has some thoughts about what the taming of Microsoft can teach us about antitrust regulation in the current tech environment – NYTimes

Major US retailers—from JC Penney to Nordstrom to Home Depot—are reporting slowing quarterly sales, a rough development in a sector already bracing itself for “a significant increase in tariffs on goods imported from China” that will likely take an even bigger bite out of their bottom lines – WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Judy Shelton’s facing a decidedly different run-up to a potential Federal Reserve board nomination than previous White House favorites Herman Cain and Stephen Moore – NYTimes

Regular users of workplace messaging app Slack should be keeping a careful eye on developments in the NY federal lawsuit against two men accused of fraud related to their now-closed crypto company, Centra Tech, as the question of the Feds’ access to the duo’s Slack messages (and potential attorney-client privileged communications) has bubbled up to the surface – Law360

In case you were wondering, the timing of the White House’s Huawei move wasn’t any accident – Bloomberg

Oh yeah, and Huawei’s likely not the last Chinese-owned tech company in its crosshairs, either. Surveillance firm Hikvision, be ready – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

RMBS trustee Wilmington Trust Co. got a nice win in the 3d Circuit yesterday, with the panel rejecting “IKB International SA’s bid to revive a suit” blaming Wilmington for a $168 million loss on toxic RMBS investment losses. The decision cited the trustee’s “primarily ministerial” role in managing the trust as a major factor in its non-liability – Law360

The latest AAA-rated investment vehicles sparking investor interest are hybrid CDOs—a “reincarnated version of collateralized debt obligations, backed by both high-yield bonds and leveraged loans.” Supporters swear they “bear little resemblance to the ones that contributed to the financial crisis.” You may want to read up and decide for yourself – Bloomberg

Anything that ties together William the Conqueror, the isle of Guernsey, Netflix, corporate bond sales, and a healthy dash of history is just fine in my book – Bloomberg

Regular reader will know that we’ve had our eye on the yield curve and its inversions over the past months. The Journal points out an important detail for curve watchers that raises apples-to-apples questions for investors vs. Fed officials—namely, are we talking yields on 3-month notes or 2-year notes – WSJ

Coke’s betting that pop culture’s nostalgia kick (coupled with the popularity of Stranger Things) is enough resurrect one of the company’s biggest flops: New Coke. Uhhhhh. Good luck there – NYTimes and WSJ

MDR

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