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U.S. Stock Futures Drop as Trade-Talk Doubts Swirl: Markets Wrap

U.S. equity futures fell as Chinese and American officials struggled to schedule a planned meeting this month to continue trade talks. The pound slumped with the U.K. facing a showdown in Parliament over delaying Brexit again. Contracts on the three main U.S. indexes extended their declines after Bloomberg reported the difficulties the two countries were having in support liquidity and growth. Elsewhere in Asia, equities in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia declined in thin volumes. The Stoxx Europe 600 advanced for a third straight session, led by financial services shares.…

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Americas Southwest Border Is Not Out of Control

President Donald Trump’s vision of the U.S. southwestern border verges on the apocalyptic. “Caravans are heading here,” he claims. “Deadly ravages of drugs, gangs and crime [are] pouring across our border,” while legal loopholes allow in murderers and thieves who have “transformed once-peaceful neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields.” Never mind the studies showing that illegal immigrants commit crimes at rates less likely to be incarcerated than people born in the U.S. And ignore, for the moment, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s own put it this week, look instead at the historical record of…

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This Rare Bear Who Called the Crash Warns Housing Is Too Hot Again

When real estate investors get this confident, money manager James Stack gets nervous. U.S. home prices are surging to new records. Homebuilder stocks last year outperformed all other groups. And bears? They’re now an endangered species. Stack, 66, who manages $1.3 billion for people with a high net worth, predicted the housing crash in 2005, just before prices reached their peak. Now, from his perch in Whitefish, Montana, he says his “Housing Bubble Bellwether Barometer” of homebuilder and mortgage company stocks, which jumped 80 percent in the past year, once again…

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Asia Stocks Rise as Earnings Awaited, Won Weakens: Markets Wrap

Asian equities edged higher ahead of the start of the region’s earnings season this week, with investors betting that the outlook for economic growth and profits is strong enough to support record-high stock prices. The Korean won fell. Shares from Sydney to Seoul climbed with markets in Tokyo closed Monday for a holiday. Samsung Electronics Co. and a slew of Japanese retailers and manufacturers are among companies giving profit updates this week. South Korea’s currency reversed gains as authorities said they would take action to stem one-sided moves in the won. Oil…

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Asia’s Richest Banker Spots a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

For India, it’s a $207 billion mess, a pile-up of bad loans years in the making that’s dragging on growth. For the nation’s wealthiest banker, it’s the kind of opportunity that very rarely presents itself. What has billionaire Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., in an interview. “Through this you could actually get assets that would give disproportionate returns for long periods of time.” Funds controlled by Kotak Mahindra are looking at deals involving the assets and debts of some of the first 12 companies going through the bankruptcy courts, Kotak said. Industries…

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Blockbuster Reforms May Take Back Seat as Modi Eyes Elections

India’s national sales tax might be the last big-ticket reform from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he prepares for about a dozen of state polls and seeks re-election in 2019, government officials say. Modi is expected to conclude already-underway measures such as the privatization of state carrier easier to do business in India, reforming taxation and taking measures to pull banks out of their bad debt trap. Still, while global investors look favorably at Modi, his policies have not addressed the growing disenchantment among farmers and unemployed youth and senior…

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