Here is what you need to know.
AB InBev is taking over SABMiller. There has been an “agreement in principle on the key terms,” according to both AB InBev and SABMiller. The two sides have agreed to InBev paying £44 ($67.62) per share of SABMiller, valuing the world’s second-largest brewer at £71.2 billion ($109.4 billion), a 50% premium from the level SAB was trading at when InBev made its initial offer. The deal will give AB InBev control of one-third of the world’s beer supply even with Miller expected to be spun off to avoid US regulatory concerns.
The slide in China’s imports produced a record trade surplus. China’s trade surplus hit $60.34 billion (376.2 billion renminbi), a near record in US dollar terms (a record in local currency terms). Imports sank 20.4% year-over-year, which was far worse than the 15% drop analysts were anticipating. Meanwhile, exports fell 3.7%, missing the 6.3% gain that was expected. “We continue to believe that the situation is not nearly as dire as the headline contraction in import values, which have been dragged down by global commodity price deflation, suggest. Import volumes are holding up much better,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, chief China economist at Capital Economics, wrote. China’s yuan eased 0.3% to 6.3410 per dollar.
China’s auto sales slowed. Sales of passenger vehicles in China rose 5.8% through the first nine months of the year, making for their slowest pace of expansion in three years, according to Bloomberg. Sales have totaled 14.4 million units so far this year, with Mercedes-Benz seeing a 31% jump through September. On the flip side, GM has seen sales fall in five of the past six months, but sales are still up 1.6% this year. October is expected to be a strong month for sales after Beijing cut the sales tax in half for smaller engines, which make up nearly two-thirds of vehicles, Bloomberg reports.
UK consumer prices turned negative. UK CPI fell 0.1% YoY in September, making for just the second negative reading since 1960. The drop in prices was largely affected by oil, but clothing and footwear were also a drag. The British pound is weaker by 0.7% at 1.5247.
German investor confidence is fading. ZEW Economic Sentiment tumbled to 1.9 in October, down from its previous reading of 12.1. ZEW said, “The exhaust gas scandal of Volkswagen and the weak growth of emerging markets has dampened economic outlook for Germany.” The current assessment also fell, sliding to 55.2 from 67.5. The euro is up 0.2% at 1.1378.
SAP posted a strong quarter. Europe’s largest software maker announced that adjusted revenue rose 17% to €4.99 billion ($5.7 billion). A 19% rise in adjusted operating profit ran the total to €1.62 billion, which was ahead of the €1.53 billion that the Bloomberg consensus was expecting. Non-IFRS cloud and software revenue climbed 19% (12% at constant currencies) to €4.12 billion. “Our strong double-digit growth in cloud and software revenue was mainly driven by excellent results in mature markets,” CFO Luka Mucic said in the release. “SAP’s global resilience helped us also sail through stormy waters in emerging markets where we expect to continue to see volatility and economic challenges.”
Novogratz is leaving Fortress. A person close to the matter told Bloomberg that hedge fund titan Michael Novogratz was leaving Fortress because of a disastrous year. Novogratz’s Fortress Macro Fund lost 4.67% in September and is down 17.49% so far in 2015. According to Hedge Fund Research, the fund is greatly lagging its peers, which on average are down 0.64%.
Stocks markets around the world are lower. France’s CAC (-1.3%) leads the way lower in Europe after Japan’s Nikkei (-1.1%) lagged in Asia. China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.1%) eked out a gain. S&P 500 futures are lower by 9.50 points at 2,001.50.
US economic data is light. The Treasury budget crosses the wires at 2 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 3 basis points at 2.06%.
Earnings season picks up. Fastenal and Johnson & Johnson report ahead of the opening bell, while CSX, Intel, and JPMorgan Chase release their quarterly results after the close.