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US warns UK over Huawei; Microsoft arm nears deal; Russia tests own internet

Top News

* U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien warned the U.K about allowing Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. into the country's 5G telecommunications networks, the London's Financial Times reports. O'Brien said such a move would be a security threat to British secret intelligence services, MI5 and MI6.

* Microsoft Corp.'s venture capital arm, M12, which was previously called Microsoft Ventures, is set to buy a stake in U.K.-based kid-technology startup SuperAwesome, Sky News reports. The deal is reportedly expected to be confirmed in January 2020.

* Russia tested its own independent internet, which could serve as an alternative to the global internet in the country, reports, citing the Russian government. Russian Ministry of Communication said ordinary users did not observe any changes amid the test and the results will be presented to President Vladimir Putin.

* The Walt Disney Co. is set to maintain a firm grip on the box office during the five-day Christmas frame, as "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" enters its second weekend. The final entry in the franchise's "Skywalker" saga raked in about $177 million in domestic ticket sales for its opening weekend and is expected to pull in between $75 million and $80 million over the Christmas frame.


* Sony Corp. is struggling to meet manufacturing demands for its image sensors, Bloomberg News reports. Terushi Shimizu, head of Sony's semiconductor unit, said Sony is facing difficulty in keeping up with the increase in demand for its sensors despite increasing its capital spending on the business this fiscal year and setting up a new plant, which will go online in April 2021.

* A Wedbush Securities Inc. analyst expects more than a third of roughly 900 million iPhone owners to upgrade for 5G in 2020, reports. The move could reportedly represent an increase in sales of more than 10% for Apple Inc.

Internet & OTT

* YouTube LLC updated its mobile app to allow users to voice search, even when their phone is casting to a TV, reports. Users can now watch videos in HDR when streaming from a PlayStation 4 or Playstation 4 Pro.

* Netflix Inc. set an annual salary of $650,000 for its Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings for 2020. Hastings has also been granted stock options worth about $34.0 million. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos' 2020 compensation consists of $20.0 million in salary and stock options worth $14.7 million. The company's chief product officer, Greg Peters, will take home $12.0 million in salary, while he will be granted stock options worth about $6.9 million.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.60% to 23,924.92. (Hang Seng closed.)

Most European Markets are closed as of Dec. 26.

On the macro front

The MBA mortgage applications report, the jobless claims report, the state street investor confidence index, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

Featured news

Banks look to 'internet of things' to help better assess trade finance risks: Erste Group Bank AG and Standard Chartered PLC are among the banks exploring how real-time monitoring of goods could help them better manage credit risk in trade transactions.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: Premium networks original emphasis imperative to OTT: Original production has boomed thanks to increased focus from networks and streamers, but premium networks seem to have more patience than most.

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