Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
PG&E employees say they are worried about what's at stake for pensions, the health of their 401(k)s and other unpaid obligations from the company as it enters the bankruptcy process, writes Axios' Courtenay Brown.
Details: Though PG&E said it will continue to pay employees' wages, health care and other benefits, many employees expressed major concerns that the company will renegotiate worker contracts in an effort to cut costs. The bankruptcy process is expected to be lengthy and complicated.
Background: PG&E filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, seeking protection on potentially billions of dollars in liability costs for its role in deadly wildfires across California.
Several union members are worried about receiving payments — uncashed paychecks, paid out vacation and severance agreements — owed by the company before it filed for bankruptcy.
The volatility of PG&E's share price has hit employees' 401Ks. The stock has rallied in recent days, despite the bankruptcy filing, but has recently fallen as low as $7 from $48 in November, before the deadly Camp fire broke out.
Employees also say they're anxious about whether or not their pensions will be put into play by outside creditors during the bankruptcy process, potentially changing labor agreements, which could impact pension plans and other benefits.
GE shares rose nearly 12% on Thursday, the stock's best one-day performance since March 2009, after reporting stronger-than-expected revenue in the fourth quarter backed by its aviation unit.
The big picture: The company has been a shooting star since bottoming out on Dec. 11. GE has climbed more than 50% over the past month and change, helping lift the S&P to its best January since 1987.
The White House is making Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro and members of his inner circle an offer: accept amnesty from National Assembly President Juan Guaidó and move somewhere nice or dig in your heels and face the consequences, Dave Lawler reports in Thursday's Axios World.
What to watch: The official said the administration is focused "100%" on preparing humanitarian aid to be delivered once Maduro is out of the way. Dave asked whether there were any discussions about sending troops to Colombia (based on John Bolton's notepad) and got a lengthy non-denial.
Dion's thought bubble: The opportunity for Maduro to take a king's ransom and live on "a nice beach somewhere" has been on the table for years. The Organization of American States would have gladly financed such a package prior to Donald Trump's election and Trump has been pushing for Maduro's ouster since he became president.
What's changed: With U.S. sanctions on oil, about half of Maduro's revenue will be cut and he will likely have to call on more support from Russia, Cuba and China.
Yes, but: Maduro's money supply has been draining for years as he lost the ability to issue new debt and oil production sank to historic lows, yet he's continued to find ways to cling to power.
Yelp launched an index that tracks consumer demand and the health of businesses on its platform and the company says the activity of its millions of users is raising red flags about the health of the economy, Courtenay writes.
The big picture: Yelp is the latest to leverage access to the users and businesses on its platform to glean trends about the national economy, following LinkedIn. It comes at a time when there is broad concern about a coming economic slowdown and key retail sales data was delayed in light of the government shutdown.
How it works: The Yelp Economic Average measures how much users are engaging with — i.e. reserving a table, joining a waiting list, or requesting a quote on the site— retail, restaurants and service companies on its site or mobile app.
Inside the report:
Yes, but: There's not much history to know whether or not a sharp moves in Yelp's index says more about Yelp itself rather than the broader economy.
Italy fell into a technical recession in 2018, with quarter-over-quarter growth declining in both the third and fourth quarters of the year, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Thursday.
Of note: The country's GDP fell 0.2% in the fourth quarter, following a 0.1% decline in the third. However, Italian GDP rose 0.1% on an annual basis in Q4 and 0.7% in Q3. (The definition of recession is quite nuanced and hotly debated.)
Recession of any kind is generally worrisome, but markets were little moved by the news because Italy's stalled growth has been known for some time.
What they're saying: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was also undisturbed by the (technical) recession announcement.
More bad news for the EU: German retail sales fell by 4.3% in December, the biggest monthly drop in 11 years.
The S&P 500 has gained only 2.2% on average in years when the New England Patriots play in the Super Bowl. And with Tom Brady as the team's quarterback, the S&P 500 has fallen 3% on average when the Patriots play, notes a research report from LPL Financial Research.
What they're saying: "Pats fans might be ecstatic that Tom Brady is starting in a record-breaking ninth Super Bowl, but market bulls don't want to see the Pats win. Stocks are up only 1.5% for the year on average after a victory versus up 2.9% if they lose," said LPL senior market strategist Ryan Detrick. "Tom might be terrific, but maybe not in all markets."
This is why the whole country roots against you: "Shouldn't this chart just be re-titled: S&P 500 Performance," resident Patriots fan Dan Primack chimed in on an email thread no one invited him to during the creation of this chart.
History: Gaspar Yanga, an African who led a confederation of slaves to one of the first successful resistance efforts against European powers in the Americas in 1609. Previously, Yanga organized a band of former slaves and built a small colony that became an outpost for fugitive slaves that stood for more than 30 years.
Yanga helped set the stage for successful revolution efforts by formerly enslaved Africans like Toussaint L'Ouverture who separately battled the Spanish, French and British and led the revolution for Haitian independence.