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From: Sam6/9/2019 10:02:44 AM
3 Recommendations   of 84670
Huawei Accused Of Technology Theft
4:36 Download

June 8, 20198:31 AM ET
Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday
Emily Feng

Huawei has become one of the world's biggest manufacturers of cellphones and high-end telecom equipment. Its rise has come with multiple accusations of technology theft.


The Chinese company Huawei has become one of the world's telecom giants. And there are questions about how it got there, including accusations that it stole technology to get ahead. The Trump administration has now banned U.S. companies from using that equipment in its 5G infrastructure and recently laid out rules that would prevent American firms from doing business with Huawei. Few of those companies have been open about their past work with the Chinese company, but NPR's Emily Feng found that one was willing to talk.

EMILY FENG, BYLINE: It all began with a few missing pieces of glass - not just any kind of glass, however. Adam Khan, the CEO of AKHAN Semiconductor, explains.

ADAM KHAN: We made this world's first demonstration of a nanocrystalline diamond-based device.

FENG: Layman's translation - Khan made diamond-coated glass, and hype brought clients knocking. One of them was China's Huawei. They wanted the glass for their smartphone screens. Khan knew horror stories about companies having their tech copied by their Chinese partners. Diamond-coated components have military applications as well, so Khan knew his tech couldn't leave the U.S. without government permission.

KHAN: And also we were very forthright from the beginning that we can't allow this to ever be manufactured in China directly.

FENG: So after months of haggling, AKHAN Semiconductors sent Huawei's San Diego office a sample of its diamond glass last March with the promise that Huawei keep it in the U.S. and return it in 60 days. Instead, not only did Khan get the sample back after more than four months but...

KHAN: Immediately picking up the parcel and you could hear the broken glass, you know, we knew there was an issue.

FENG: Someone had blasted a laser at the glass to reverse engineer it. Shards were missing. Looking back, Khan says he should have known.

KHAN: At the very first meeting that we had in their San Diego facility, you know, they semi-jokingly were saying you should leave your samples behind. And we kind of laughed and said, yeah, that's not going to happen.

KATE O'KEEFFE: This culture really stems from the top and that senior people in the company are really the ones directing that everyone comply with this goal of getting technology by any means.

FENG: Kate O'Keeffe is a Wall Street Journal reporter who's collected multiple stories of alleged IP theft at Huawei. Among the cases she looked at - the 2010 suit in which Motorola sued Huawei for stealing trade secrets. The companies settled out of court. Then in 2014, T-Mobile sued Huawei for copying a phone-testing robot named Tappy. Huawei later paid millions in damages.

O'KEEFFE: When we looked at the indictment in the Tappy the robot case where we saw Huawei's employees here in the U.S. actually fighting back against these orders from management, management just wasn't satisfied with that and forced them to carry on.

FENG: Khan knew of these cases. So after he got back the box with the broken glass, he decided to partner with the FBI. Under their instruction, Khan called Huawei's San Diego office last December. To Khan's surprise, the Huawei employee, a woman named Angel Han, admitted the glass had been sent to China in violation of U.S. export control laws.

KHAN: They didn't seem bashful or reserved in making that comment.

FENG: And then suggested they meet at Nevada's annual Consumer Electronics Show to seal the deal. So in January, Khan and the FBI headed to Las Vegas. The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas is a glitzy resort and casino with canals snaking through it. It also would be the site of Khan's confrontation with Huawei. FBI agents were close by. Khan's Huawei contact, Angel Han, met him there with her colleague. The tone was cheerful until Khan brought up the missing glass.

KHAN: That's really when the tone and the emotion did a 180 on their part. Angel had become very distressed, very worried immediately as soon as I mentioned the sample, asking, you know, is the U.S. government listening?

FENG: The meeting abruptly ended. Khan never heard from Huawei again, except for one almost unbelievable email.

KHAN: Stating that they would like to test our materials and that we can bring them to their San Diego facility.

FENG: The FBI raided Huawei's San Diego facility in late January. The agency did not respond to requests for comment on the investigation, which is still underway. Huawei declined to comment for this story. Khan, meanwhile, is determined to move on. He is accelerating his plans to bring his diamond-coated glass to market, but he couldn't help himself from looking back just once. A few weeks ago, he drove past Huawei's San Diego office. The Huawei sign had disappeared. Emily Feng, NPR News.

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From: Sam6/9/2019 11:43:54 AM
2 Recommendations   of 84670
Past and current Micron employees report job cuts, Micron silent on numbers
  • 20 hrs ago


    Excellent article on Micron in Boise. They have been laying off people there while increasing numbers in other places like San Jose and Taiwan. Not the first time in Boise. But they are much larger company now with a far greater international presence and more diversified technology. This article gives a Boise perspective. They just built a large research fab in Boise, so they will have a large presence there for the foreseeable future. But I doubt if they will employ 11000 people there in the future. Well, unless Silicon Valley gets so expensive and ingrown that the talent pool there starts to disappear. Its hard to see that happening right now, but who knows, stranger things have happened over the years. Earthquakes, for example.

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    From: Sam6/9/2019 2:28:01 PM
    3 Recommendations   of 84670
    Taiwan now No.1 biggest semiconductor equipment spender in world
    Taiwan takes the No.1 spot in semiconductor equipment spending, bucking worldwide downturn
    By Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
    2019/06/05 15:09

    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan was the biggest spender on semiconductor equipment in the first quarter of this year, bucking a worldwide downtrend in the industry, announced SEMI on Tuesday (May 4).

    Semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings for the first quarter from Taiwan leaped from US$2.81 billion from the fourth quarter last year to US$3.81 billion in the first quarter this year, representing an increase of 36 percent, reported SEMI. This also represented a massive 68 percent increase from the US$2.27 billion in billings from Taiwan in the first quarter last year.

    In the process, Taiwan pulled ahead of rival South Korea's US$2.89 billion, after it saw billings drop by 8 percent from the previous quarter and a year-on-year drop of 54 percent. China took third at US$2.36 billion, but also saw a 13 percent quarterly drop in billings and a year-on-year decline of 11 percent.

    North America took fourth place at US$1.67 billion, after it too saw a quarterly dip of 14 percent and a year-on-year plunge of 47 percent. Fifth place Japan took a heavy hit as well, with only US$1.55 in billings for the first quarter, a massive fall of 41 percent from the previous quarter, and a year-on-year skid of 27 percent.

    This bucked a global drop of semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings down to US$13.79 billion, a quarterly drop of 8 percent and a year-on-year plunge of 19 percent, based on data gathered by SEMI and the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan from 80 global equipment suppliers.

    continues at

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    To: Sam who wrote (83436)6/9/2019 9:34:24 PM
    From: Return to Sender
       of 84670
    InvestmentHouse - No Need to Fear, the Fed is Here (Weekend Newsletter)

    - Jobs report misses big headline and wages are slowing. No need to fear, the Fed is here.
    - Mexico tariffs put off. It is sad it took a tariff threat to get action, but it was the one thing that got Mexico to act.
    - Indices head higher another session in the rebound, again on less than solid internals.
    - Market downside technical setup versus the Fed backstop.
    - Fed may be behind the market again, but outside of some express talk about a rate cut, what more can the Fed do to drive stocks higher near term?
    - After a big rebound week, watch for some downside. But also watch for key support to hold and suggest new upside.

    Stocks stretched the post-Monday gains through Friday, aided by an even firmer conviction - thanks to a jobs report miss -- the Fed would cut rates, and the Administration indicating there would be no implementation of Mexican tariffs.

    Stock futures were higher ahead of jobs, fell on the paltry 75K gain in non-farm payrolls, but then reversed to pre-market highs as traders figured a weak number even further strengthened the odds for a near term rate cut. Stocks surged into midmorning then held the very solid gains through the close.

    SP500 29.85, 1.05%
    NASDAQ 126.55, 1.66%
    Dj30 263.28, 1.02%
    SP400 0.56%
    RUTX 0.72%
    SOX 1.15%
    NASDAQ 100 1.94%

    VOLUME: NYSE -8%, NASDAQ -3%


    The action on the week managed to wipe away the late May selling, the second leg lower in the selling from the April peak and the move that broke the head and shoulders patterns through the necklines. Impressive recovery in price.

    THE question, of course, is whether this was a repudiation of the break lower. I often say a head and shoulders pattern sets up just to fool you. These appeared to be serious, however, given they made up the second top to the large double top patterns.

    The key fact to us is they did not break up the larger patterns formed since January 2018, the topping 'process' as I have called it. Lower volumes, weaker breadth, thinner leadership on the upside. Even the Friday breadth was not great with NASDAQ not even 2:1 and NYSE decent at 2.8:1.

    That does not, however, keep you from playing upside moves as we did on this one. We took downside gain Monday, e.g. QID, then bought upside as the market rallied back Tuesday and on: HIIQ, DIS, TWLO, PEP, MCD - all provided good entries and HIIQ even gave us the gain on the week. These stocks were all in good patterns; in the kind of rebound move shown Friday, you get solid price moves even from stocks not in great patterns, e.g. AMZN, FB, GOOG. Of course we are already in other stocks that held decent patterns and started to move up again - as a good stock should: CL, PG, AMD, DE.

    Thus, some very good moves from stocks in good position to move as well as stocks whose patterns were cracked. That happens even in overall downside markets, and despite the 4 sessions of gains (outside DJ30 that squeaked out a Monday gain), the bias is still lower.

    No doubt the Fed and further rate cutting and other stimulus formerly known as 'extraordinary' that Powell now views as normal provides powerful upside stimulus - it did so for 9 years. If the Fed is truly in the game of playing market backstop - as the market appeared to believe to end the week, then even the 17 month topping action can give way to new highs.

    That leaves the market at another proof point: will the top take over once more, or will the prospect of Fed intervention overcome the headline-led action and push stocks to new highs?

    Stubborn bid refuses to quit.

    Despite the negative overall look from the indices and many stock sectors, a few groups have steadily pointed higher. They are not typically viewed as related, but they are moving higher: personal products, software, food/eateries, social, credit services, drugs. We own some of these, bought into some on the week, and are looking at them more if they continue moving higher.

    Why would you do so if the bias remains down? The groups have been tested but have not broken. There is a certain continued bid in the market, and even after some of these stocks were tagged Monday, they recovered and held their patterns. That says a lot for the strength: the sellers tried to take them out, but they hung on and popped back upside. Again, that demonstrates a strong bid.

    Thus, even though we view the overall market pattern, internals, and leadership as downside, a stubborn bid remains. Moreover, that stubborn bid may be further augmented by the belief the Fed will help the markets sooner than later: bond yields are tanking, and no amount of Fed commentary otherwise, it fears deflation. Thus, I do believe the Fed will cut - not to join the crowd of 'I knew what was coming all along' pundits, but you recall I predicted a Fed cut in the making several months back. That, however, does not matter to the markets. What does matter is perceptions about the future, and with the Fed perceived as again having the market's back (okay, that is a growing perception, not a strong majority at the moment), the market could continue to find a bid. Has to prove it given the patterns, but the Fed is giving stocks a chance to move up when it looked as if they were in the process of rolling over.



    NASDAQ: Reversed off the Monday crash, rallying back up to the 50 day EMA by the Friday close. That puts NASDAQ back above the neckline in the head and shoulders pattern spanning early March to last week. Low volume, so-so breadth strongly suggest the move does not hold. As noted earlier, however, the Fed factor can thwart this downside technical setup - indeed, it helped thwart the break lower Monday.

    SP500: Surged back from the head and shoulders breakdown as well, rallying to the 50 day SMA and January 2018 high at the close. As with NASDAQ, lower volume on the recovery, so-so breadth. Obviously a nice break upside price-wise but now at a seriously important resistance level to start the week. This week it shows if this rebound can test normally and hold on. What would be normal? A test back to 2800. Then a rebound. What is that? It would form a right shoulder to a short inverted head and shoulders - yes, from a head and shoulders to an inverted one. Have to acknowledge the changes when they occur. Of course, the operative word is 'when.' Not there yet.

    DJ30: Up to the 50 day SMA as well, up all 5 sessions after showing a doji Monday just over the prior Friday low. Trying to break up that head and shoulders as well, back up to test the late February high in the left shoulder. Trying. Still has to prove it can do it.

    SOX: Up on the week after holding a key low at 1300 the prior week. Many chip stocks making the same rebound move. Thus far it is truly just a rebound in a negative pattern, though there is more upside room to continue the rebound.

    SP400: The midcaps posted an excellent week, up 5 sessions as was DJ30. Gapped lower two Fridays back then gapped upside Monday, a bit of an island reversal. Rallied through the 200 day SMA Friday with a gap, stalling at the 50 day EMA. That leaves SP400 smack in the middle of the range from February, and from our view, still downside bias unless the Fed has completely changed the game.

    RUTX: The small caps lagged the move, making to the lows from March. Only two solid upside moves on the week, Tuesday and Friday. The small caps are still lagging and still sport the weakest pattern in the market.


    FAANG: The patterns are hashed for the most part, but Friday saw money move in with some of the best volume since the selling. AMZN jumped the 200 day SMA on strong trade. Even AAPL made it to the 200 day SMA on a gap and rally, showing above average volume as well. FB showed similar action, recovering to the 10 day EMA on above average trade. NFLX made it through the 50 day SMA on the high, just could not make it stick. GOOG finally awoke after its Monday DOJ anti-trust slam lower.

    Personal products: Still solid, e.g. PG, CL, and EL.

    Chips: Some names are performing as the group put in an interim bottom and is attempting a bounce. AMD up again on a big upside week. AMAT slowly climbing but on light trade. TXN to the 50 day MA. XLNX looks as if it wants to break higher, just has not done so. SWKS edging upside. INTC broke upward through the 20 day EMA; it can still be a buy this week after it tests that Friday move early week.

    Software: After an ugly, ugly Monday, a very impressive recovery for this group. MSFT led the Friday breakouts. NOW is up to the old high. WDAY surged Thursday and Friday to near the old closing highs. COUP recovered to another new high. TWLO at a new closing high.

    Drugs/Biotech/Healthcare: After a Thursday dip, a good recovery. PTCT, ARNA rebounded Friday off near support. PCRX surged Friday. TNDM still solid.

    Social: SNAP enjoyed a strong week, testing a bit Friday. TWTR surged back through the 50 day MA's Friday on strong volume. MTCH still looks good for a new buy if it can hold one of these moves. FB finally got some snap Friday, making it to the bottom of the wedge after that sharp, anti-trust related Monday selloff.

    MISC: MNST broke out Friday from a cup w/handle. We watched it, thought about putting it on Thursday night, didn't. Great. On a test Monday . . . V and MA surged upside to new highs. VRSN new highs again. TREX looks possible for a new buy. ZEN, SHOP both surged nicely; a dip early week could set up some new buys.


    Stats: +263.28 points (+1.02%) to close at 25983.04

    Stats: +126.55 points (+1.66%) to close at 7742.10
    Volume: 2.064B (-3.05%)

    Up Volume: 1.63B (+440M)
    Down Volume: 497.16M (-480.52M)

    A/D and Hi/Lo: Advancers led 1.93 to 1
    Previous Session: Decliners led 1.26 to 1

    New Highs: 152 (+71)
    New Lows: 111 (-31)

    Stats: +29.85 points (+1.05%) to close at 2873.44
    NYSE Volume: 727.973M (-7.82%)

    Up Volume: 474.4M (-15.68M)
    Down Volume: 227.323M (-62.964M)

    A/D and Hi/Lo: Advancers led 2.83 to 1
    Previous Session: Advancers led 1.37 to 1

    New Highs: 292 (+98)
    New Lows: 46 (-56)


    VIX: 16.30; +0.37
    VXN: 19.93; -0.39
    VXO: 17.39; +0.40

    Put/Call Ratio (CBOE): 0.79; -0.06

    Bulls and Bears:

    One of the most spectacular moves in recent memory. Bulls dropped over 6 points while bears jumped 1.2 points. Of course, those more bearish moves pushed stocks the opposite direction

    Indicator level: Fell from yellow to green, indicating the approach toward extremes did not make it and the pressure was released with the Friday rush higher in the stock indices.

    Bulls: 42.7 versus 49.0 versus

    Bears: 18.5 versus 17.3

    Theory: When everyone is bullish and has put all their capital to work, where does the ammunition to drive the market come from? There is always new money to start a new year. After that is used will more money be coming? That is the question.



    Threat level: Red-ish. 3 month/10 year spread inverts a third time. 5 year, and 2 year are below the 3 month treasury. Third 10 year/3 month inversion this year. The positive: the 2 year/10 year is not inverted.

    The 3 month yield versus the 10 year: Spread rose 1BP to -19BP. -26BP was the high water mark on this particular move.

    The 2 year versus the 10 year: Spread fell 3BP to 23BP. Made it to 26BP. Still healing itself.

    10 year: 2.084% versus 2.13%

    3 month: 2.277% versus 2.316%
    2 year: 1.851% versus 1.875%

    Historical: the last sub-2% rate was in November 2016 (1.867%). Last trade over 3% was November 2018. 2.6% for quite some time, then yields started higher, first run from November to January, then mid-March.

    The Dollar: There are two schools of thought. First, those who believe a strong dollar is in the interest of the US. Reagan (though not all of his advisors) and Clinton were strong dollar Presidents. Second, there are those who believe a strong dollar prevents the US from selling US goods abroad. The Bushes (1 and 2) and Obama were in this category. The thing is, the US is always its economic strength peak when its consumers are consuming, and that is when there is a strong economy and a strong dollar: they consume both US and foreign goods. History shows this again and again, and thus it is worth watching the dollar as a gauge of how the US economy is performing.

    EUR/USD: 1.13326 versus 1.12776. Euro screamed upside Monday, Thursday, and Friday, breaking through the 200 day SMA on the Friday close. That is the first close over the 200 day MA since January, indeed, the first time it moved over that level since January.

    Historical: Back into the 6-month range formed after the euro sold off from the early 2018 peaks after a week below it.

    USD/JPY: 108.18 versus 108.372. The dollar moved higher to the 10 day EMA on the week, then reversed hard downside Friday. Looks as if it failed at the 10 day EMA again.

    Historical: Last below 109 in June 2018 then tumbled to 107 in early January 2019. 114.51 is the recent high from October 2018.

    Oil: 53.99, +2.31. After another week of selling, oil jumped higher Friday. Still in the selloff.

    Gold: 1346.10, +12.50. Continued the surge up to the February high. If all is well, why is gold surging? Economic data weaker? Fed going to cut rates? Both are valid.


    A sharp price rebound with weaker internals than the sharp selling into Monday. Friday the rebound accelerated, again in price terms, as the weaker jobs data (aka prompting a nearer Fed rate cut) and the Administration forgoing Mexican tariffs. After all, jobs are lagging indicators, and if they are slowing then the economy overall is already significantly slower.

    As noted earlier, that means this week is another important one. The indices broke support, a break that hit a crescendo with the Monday reported anti-trust moves against FAANG stocks. From there a relief move after the sentiment was about as negative as it gets. The indices bounced on lower volume, mediocre internals, and just a handful of leaders. The indices moved back above the neckline in the head and shoulders patterns but closed the week at resistance. After a week of releasing the negative emotions we will see what is left in the tank, how much Fed-fuel as it were.

    To us it certainly looks like a prime spot to roll back over. I know, that goes against the hope in the populace in general, but it is what the patterns suggest. Again, the Fed can change all of that, but it would have to come out with more: last week the move was ginned up with Powell's comments and the solidifying of the view a rate cut is coming next and coming relatively soon. Will more Fed speakers hit the microphones to drive home the point? Will the Fed convene and emergency meeting and cut rates? With the market surging last week? Not counting on it.

    The point: the market surely surged back upside last week, but that was with the 'good' news of weaker economics and Fed-speak that convinced the markets the Fed was more than ready to cut rates if the economics indicated it was necessary. What more is going to drive stocks this week?

    Well, we will see. If the bids return, we have some good positions working and will be ready with more to add. The market has not taken down all leadership groups and they could put up some more breakouts. Even if there is an early dip this week some leaders could be put into buy positions.

    If there is reversal action at this resistance, however, we won't be slow to get out of upside that starts struggling and put on some more downside. Will be ready with those as well - the market is downside bias after all, even with the past week's surge.

    Watch the reversal, however. Sure it appears the bias remains low and the direction of least resistance is down. But how far? SP500 at 2800, a key level? NASDAQ 7650, another key level? A drop to that level that holds suggests even more upside recovery from some inverted head and shoulders patterns. Thus, on an early drop this week, watch 2800 on SP500 and 7650 on NASDAQ. If they hold we will be ready to transition to the upside with more gusto. After all, the Fed is behind the market now, right?

    Have a great weekend!

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    To: Return to Sender who wrote (83431)6/10/2019 4:43:45 PM
    From: Return to Sender
    3 Recommendations   of 84670
    BPNDX rises 6 to 59 - [AMZN BKNG CTSH MAR SNPS SWKS added]


    Jun 10

    Symbol Symbol







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    To: Return to Sender who wrote (83432)6/10/2019 5:15:22 PM
    From: Return to Sender
    4 Recommendations   of 84670
    BPSOX rises 2 to 15 - [MKSI SWKS added] - Nice to see some semi's added!


    Jun 15

    Symbol Symbol
    CY CY



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    To: Return to Sender who wrote (83441)6/10/2019 5:19:19 PM
    From: Return to Sender
    4 Recommendations   of 84670
    17 New 52 Week Highs on the NDX - No New 52 Week Lows for Monday June 10, 2019

    New Highs

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    To: Return to Sender who wrote (83442)6/10/2019 5:20:47 PM
    From: Return to Sender
       of 84670
    Mexico deal extends stock market rally
    10-Jun-19 16:20 ET
    Dow +78.74 at 26062.68, Nasdaq +81.07 at 7823.15, S&P +13.39 at 2886.73

    [BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 advanced as much as 1.1% on Monday, catalyzed by the U.S. and Mexico reaching a deal to avoid tariffs that were scheduled to be imposed today. At its high, the benchmark index was above the 2900 level for the first time since early May, but buying interest cooled off in the afternoon, leaving the S&P 500 up 0.5% for the session.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3%, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.1%, and the Russell 2000 gained 0.6%.

    President Trump could still reinstate the tariffs, though, if the U.S. thinks Mexico is not doing enough to stop the flow of illegal migration through its borders. Nevertheless, U.S. companies dodged a 5% tariff rate on all goods imported from Mexico, which kept the market in good spirits in addition to sizable M&A activity and decreased demand for U.S. Treasuries.

    The S&P 500 consumer discretionary (+1.1%), information technology (+1.0%), and financials (+0.9%) sectors, which are among the most heavily weighted sectors in the S&P 500, outperformed the broader market.

    Consumer discretionary received strong support from shares of Amazon (AMZN 1860.63, +56.60, +3.1%), information technology rose on the back of the semiconductor stocks, and financials benefited from higher Treasury yields amid the decreased demand for the safe-haven asset. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index increased 2.5%.

    The higher yields, on the other hand, undercut the performances of the rate-sensitive real estate (-0.3%) and utilities (-0.6%) sectors. The 2-yr yield and the 10-yr yield increased six basis points each to 1.90% and 2.14%, respectively. The U.S. Dollar Index advanced 0.2% to 96.74. WTI crude fell 1.1% to $53.31/bbl.

    In M&A news, United Technologies (UTX 128.01, -4.14, -3.1%) and Raytheon (RTN 187.12, +1.21, +0.7%) agreed to an all-stock merger of equals, valued at roughly $120 billion. Salesforce (CRM 152.79, -8.48, -5.3%) announced it will acquire Tableau Software (DATA 167.41, +42.20, +33.7%) for $15.7 billion in stock, which represents a 42% premium to DATA's closing price from Friday.

    Separately, shares of Beyond Meat (BYND 168.10, +29.45) continued to soar, tacking on another 21.2% on Monday. Since pricing its IPO at $25 per share on May 1, the stock has yielded a staggering 572.4% return to shareholders.

    Monday's lone economic report, the April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, showed that job openings decreased to 7.449 million from a revised 7.474 million in March (from 7.488 million).

    Looking ahead, investors will receive the Producer Price Index for May on Tuesday.

    • Nasdaq Composite +17.9% YTD
    • S&P 500 +15.2% YTD
    • Russell 2000 +13.0% YTD
    • Dow Jones Industrial Average +11.7% YTD

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    To: Return to Sender who wrote (83443)6/10/2019 5:22:21 PM
    From: Sam
    2 Recommendations   of 84670
    Samsung, SK hynix caught in US-China trade feud

    By Baek Byung-yeul

    Samsung Electronics and SK hynix have found themselves caught in the middle of the escalating U.S.-China trade war as they are facing growing pressure from Beijing not to join Washington's sanctions on Huawei, according to industry analysts Monday.

    Korean tech companies including the two semiconductor giants are facing an increasingly uncertain business outlook as they struggle to find the middle ground between the world's two largest economies.

    On Saturday (U.S. local time), the New York Times reported that Chinese government officials reportedly summoned officials from tech firms including Samsung and SK hynix on June 4 and 5 and warned them of "dire consequences" if they joined the U.S.-led boycott of Huawei.

    Officials from Samsung and SK hynix declined to comment on whether their executives were actually summoned, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

    The move came after Beijing's recent announcement that it will set up a blacklist of unreliable companies in retaliation to the ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei.

    Given U.S. Ambassador to Korea Harry Harris recently urged local tech firms to join the U.S.-led Huawei boycott, industry officials said Korean companies are increasingly at risk of becoming collateral damage in the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

    "It is getting harder to avoid being sandwiched by the trade war between the U.S. and China because the ongoing dispute is a geopolitical and economic matter," an official at a local tech company said. "Also, there are increasing chances that Korean companies will experience a slowdown in their businesses."

    He also said Samsung and SK hynix would be unable to cut themselves off from Huawei as they supply it with parts worth about 10 trillion won ($8.4 billion) annually.

    An industry analyst concurred that the escalating U.S.-China trade has clouded the outlook for Korean companies because they are heavily dependent on both markets.

    "For Korean companies, both the U.S. and Chinese markets are important. It will be difficult for them to pick and choose which side they would like to be a part of," said Mun Byung-ki, a senior researcher at the Institute for International Trade at the Korea International Trade Association.

    The researcher said it was important for them to make a strategic decision.

    "China has its strength in manufacturing and hardware-based industries and the U.S. has the advantages in software and technological capabilities, so it is hard to tell which side the companies have to opt for. As the circumstances surrounding the Korean companies are different, they have to come up with the appropriate strategic decision," the researcher said.

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    To: Sam who wrote (83444)6/10/2019 5:30:16 PM
    From: Sam
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    Korean firms dragged into U.S.-China trade war Beijing warns officials from Samsung, SK not to bow to Washington June 11,2019|home|newslist1

    Worries that Korean companies could soon be dragged into the middle of the U.S.-China trade war appear to be coming true as top chaebol start to feel the pressure from Beijing.

    According to a New York Times report Saturday, the Chinese government called in major tech companies last week to warn them of “dire consequences” if they cooperate with the U.S. government’s ban on selling technology to Chinese companies. Among the tech firms were Korea’s top two chipmakers: Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, the report said.

    The meeting involved officials from China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The New York Times wrote their presence “suggested a high level of coordination and likely approval from the very top of China’s opaque leadership structure.”

    The response from Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix has been extremely cautious.

    On the same day, a Samsung Electronics spokesperson said, “There is nothing we can confirm to the media,” adding that “The interpretation that Samsung would benefit from sanctions on Huawei isn’t pleasing either.”

    The response was similar from SK Hynix. “There isn’t much we can say at the moment,” a spokesman said.

    If the New York Times’ report is true, it will mark the realization of concerns that Korean firms will end up sandwiched between the powers in the U.S.-China trade war.

    Both Samsung and SK Hynix have production facilities in China.

    Samsung manufactures NAND flash chips in the city of Xi’an, western China, while Hynix has a DRAM factory in Wuxi, eastern China. Samsung’s second NAND flash factory is also under construction in Xi’an. Since last year, the Korean electronics giant has injected 7.9 trillion won ($6.7 billion) into the project. Its completion in 2020 is intended to boost Samsung’s maximum NAND flash production per month by 43 percent from the current 200,000 units to 660,000.

    SK Hynix just finished expanding its Wuxi factory last April with 950 billion won of investment. Half of the chipmaker’s DRAM production comes from this site.

    Apart from chips, Samsung Display supplies smartphone displays to Chinese firms while LG Innotek exports camera modules. Samsung Electro-Mechanics is a supplier of multi-layer ceramic capacitors, another core component on electric circuits.

    Cutting off IT components from these companies could be a major roadblock to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Made in China 2025” initiative. The state-funded plan aims to put the country at the forefront of 10 tech industries like semiconductors and electric vehicles by 2025.

    According to IT industry sources, China’s biggest concern is the possibility of the Donald Trump administration launching a “secondary boycott” in the global IT industry, which refers to indirectly pressuring a target by influencing other businesses. Non-American IT companies receiving penalties for doing business with Huawei would be a disaster for China.

    “Chinese officials explicitly warned companies that any move to pull production from China that seemed to go beyond standard diversification for security purposes could lead to punishment,” said the New York Times in the same report, citing two anonymous sources familiar with the meetings.

    On the other end, Huawei was recently reported to have sent senior executives to Korea in order to request the continuance of component supply. In urgently arranged meetings on May 23 and 24, a senior executive from Huawei’s mobile division met with executives at local tech firms like Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and LG Display, local reports said, urging them to “undergo component supply according to original contract terms.”

    Huawei’s executives also recently visited mid-sized companies as well.

    Local industry watchers are worried that if Korean companies halt component supply to Huawei, Beijing will hit back with the same retaliations that brought down Lotte Mart.

    In March 2017, Lotte Mart was forced to halt operations of 87 of its 99 branches across China for firearm violations. Orders came months after Lotte Group agreed on a land swap with the government as the deployment site of the U.S.-led terminal high altitude area defense antimissile system. The retailer decided last year to completely pull out of the market.

    Back then the Chinese government used various administrative tools like fire regulations and hygiene laws to halt operations at Lotte Mart stores. The same could happen for Korean chipmakers if Beijing raises the same questions on hygiene and the usage of chemicals at their chip plants.

    But some critics doubt the New York Times report. CNBC reported that Beijing sent a softer message to companies from third-party countries, including Korea, saying that as long as they continue transactions normally there will be no problems.


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