6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Douglas A. McIntyre

The president got China to cut a key tariff. According to Reuters:

U.S. President Donald Trump said China had agreed to cut import tariffs on American-made cars, buoying shares in BMW (BMWG.DE) and Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) who manufacture in the United States for export to the world’s biggest auto market

Shares of Chinese car dealers also perked up on hopes that such a move could revitalize the domestic auto market that is poised for its first annual sales contraction in decades amid cooling economic growth and a debilitating U.S.-China trade war.

Qatar will exit the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. According to Reuters:

Qatar said on Monday it was quitting OPEC from January 2019 but would attend the oil exporter group’s meeting this week, saying the decision meant Doha could focus on cementing its position as the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter.

Doha, one of the smallest oil producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is locked in a diplomatic dispute with the group’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia but said the move to leave OPEC was not driven by politics. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) may try its automated checkout in large stores. According to The Wall Street Journal: Inc. is testing its cashierless checkout technology for bigger stores, according to people familiar with the matter. If successful, the strategy would further challenge brick-and-mortar retailers racing to make their businesses more convenient.

The online retail giant is experimenting with the technology in Seattle in a larger space formatted like a big store, the people said. The systems track what shoppers pick from shelves and charges them automatically when they leave a store. Although the technology functions well in its current small-store format, it is harder to use it in bigger spaces with higher ceilings and more products, one of the people said, meaning it could take time to roll out the systems at more larger stores.

The president said he may kill NAFTA. According to The Wall Street Journal:

President Trump said he will soon begin the process of terminating the North American Free Trade Agreement to pave the way for congressional consideration of the reworked agreement known as the USMCA.

Termination would start a six-month withdrawal period and give lawmakers a deadline to choose between the new deal or nothing, the president told reporters Saturday aboard Air Force One. His comments came while flying back from Argentina after the Group of 20 summit and a Saturday dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping over trade issues.

Global markets rallied due to a trade deal between the United States and China. Dow futures were up 500 points at 5 a.m. EST.

Canada cut oil output, sending crude soaring. According to Bloomberg:

Oil was jolted higher by efforts across the globe to support prices as Saudi Arabia and Russia extended their pact to manage the market and Canada’s largest producing province ordered unprecedented output curbs. Futures shrugged off Qatar’s departure from OPEC.

After their worst month in a decade, prices in New York and London advanced more than 5 percent on Monday. Although Moscow and Riyadh have yet to confirm any fresh cuts, the agreement by the Russian and Saudi leaders over the weekend opens the door for a deal at the OPEC meeting this week in Vienna. Alberta’s decision to curtail production by 325,000 barrels a day put a rocket under oil’s rally, which largely ignored Qatar’s surprise announcement that it will leaved the producer group to focus on gas.