By Gabriel Crossley and Stella Qiu

BEIJING, Oct 13 (Reuters)China’s imports grew at their fastest pace this year in September, while exports extended their strong gains as more trading partners lifted coronavirus restrictions in a further boost to the world’s second-biggest economy.

Exports in August rose 9.9% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, broadly in line with analysts’ expectations for 10% growth and up from a solid 9.5% increase in August.

The strong trade performance suggests Chinese exporters are making a brisk recovery from the coronavirus pandemic’s hit to overseas orders. As the global economy restarts, Chinese firms are rushing to grab market share as their rivals grapple with reduced manufacturing capacity.

China’s factory activity has also picked up as international trading gradually resumes.

But some analysts warn exports could peak soon as demand for Chinese-made protective gear recedes and the base effect of this year’s massive declines wears off.

Imports surged 13.2%, returning to growth from a slump of 2.1% in August and much stronger than expectations for a 0.3% increase.

The country’s trade surplus for September stood at $37 billion, compared with an expected $58.00 billion surplus forecast in the poll and a surplus of $58.93 billion in August.

Already heightened U.S.-China tensions are expected to escalate ahead of the U.S. presidential election. China remains well behind on its pledge to boost purchases of U.S. goods under an agreement that was launched in February.

China’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $30.75 billion in September from $34.24 billion in August.

Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials reaffirmed their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal in a phone call in August.

However, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue cast doubt earlier this month on the likelihood of China meeting

Oil price is on track for the biggest weekly gain since May driven by a Norway strike and Hurricane Delta that has threatened output. Both U.S. crude and Brent are up around 10% this week, marking the first rise in three weeks.

Norway Strike

A strike by oil workers in Norway could cut output from western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer by almost a quarter by Oct 14 (read: Top & Flop ETF Zones of First Nine Months of 2020).

The dispute began on Sep 30 when wage talks between the Lederne union and the organization representing oil companies collapsed. However, the first production outages began on Oct 5. According to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, six offshore oil and gas fields were shut on Oct 5. This has reduced output capacity by 8% or around 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips (COP) planned shutdown of its Ekofisk 2/4 B platform, with output of 7,000 billion boepd, on Oct 10 if the strike continues. Six more oil and gas fields could fully or partly close by Oct 14, including the Ekofisk platform.

The biggest outage would be at Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup oilfield, the North Sea’s largest oilfield with an output capacity of up to 470,000 barrels of oil per day. Overall, 941,000 boepd are expected to go offline so far. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association expects the extended strike to cut 25% of production.

Hurricane Delta

The hurricane Delta has forced to shut down nearly 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil output in Gulf of Mexico. It has halted nearly 90% of the Gulf of Mexico’s crude output.

Saudi Arabia View

Per The Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia is considering the cancellation of plans for the Organization of the

For a change, investors aren’t having to count on tech stocks to deliver the goods. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) gained 27 points, up 0.8%, on Oct. 8. The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLK) gained 0.5%, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLE) surged 4.1% higher on another strong day for crude oil. IBM (NYSE: IBM) was the sole tech giant to have a big day, with shares gaining over 5% on news it was going to spin off part of its business.

Utility and real estate stocks, segments that usually do well in a recession but have underperformed in a 2020 that’s been anything but usual, also finished up today. Every stock in both sectors closed higher, with DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) up 6.3% and Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM) up 4%, leading the way.

Oil barrel and pumpjack paperweights on pile of cash.

Image source: Getty Images.

Is oil back? Investors are behaving that way

After falling sharply on supply/demand worries and the Friday announcement that President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures have surged from a low of $37 to today’s price above $41 per barrel.

Big Oil won big today, with Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) up 8.8% and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) up 7.4%, two of the S&P’s biggest gainers. More than half of today’s biggest gainers in the index operate in the oil patch, including global giant ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), which added 5.3% and reclaimed its place as the biggest of the U.S. big oil companies, only a day after temporarily falling behind Chevron (NYSE: CVX) in market cap size.

Today’s move higher for the oil sector came on a combination of things behind crude oil’s move higher. To start, oil prices are moving up on worries about oil and refinery production in the

Netflix execs
Reed Hastings (L), co-founder and CEO of Netflix, and Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, pose for photographs during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, June 30, 2016


  • Netflix received a Street-high price target of $650 on Wednesday from Pivotal Research Group, representing potential upside of 28% from Tuesday’s close.
  • Pivotal said Netflix is set to continue benefiting from a “virtuous cycle” of growing its subscriber base, increasing its spend on original content, and raising the price of its monthly subscription.
  • Netflix is “due for an increase” in price as early as January 2021, according to Pivotal.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Netflix is engaged in a “virtuous cycle” of growing its business and extending its lead against other video streaming services, Pivotal Research Group said in a note on Wednesday.

This cycle is just one reason Pivotal increased its Netflix price target to a Street-high $650, representing potential upside of 28% from Tuesday’s close. 

The “virtuous cycle” consists of Netflix growing its user base, which gives the company more capital it can spend on original content, which increases its potential target market, which enhances its ability to make future price hikes, Pivotal detailed.

The situation helps raise the barriers to entry for other streaming services, and Netflix also benefits from increasing broadband speeds, allowing the company to “piggy back for nearly free” on the substantial investments made by telecom companies, Pivotal said.

On top of that, Netflix is due for a price increase as early as January 2021, Pivotal added. Netflix last increased its prices in April 2019 by $1 to $2 for its subscription tiers.

Read more: These 30 global stocks are positioned to stay on top in the 4th quarter as the contrast between a recovering economy and rising

DraftKings Inc. and some early investors, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, are taking advantage of the stock’s 264 percent surge from an April debut to sell a combined 32 million shares.

The offering, underwritten by Credit Suisse Securities LLC and Goldman Sachs Group, will include 16 million shares sold by DraftKings while the other half are being offered by some investors, the online gaming company said in a statement. Boston-based DraftKings said its proceeds from the offering will be used for general corporate purposes.

DraftKings shares closed at a record high $63.78 on Friday, up more than 260 percent since April and 56 percent above the price when 40 million shares were offered at $40 each in June. The stock fell 5.1 percent Monday to close at $60.55 after news of the latest planned share sales.

Shalom Meckenzie, a billionaire Israeli executive who merged his company with DraftKings in April, led investors by registering to sell 8.5 million shares. Meckenzie will still be among DraftKings’s largest shareholders despite dumping more than $500 million in stock. Raine Capital LLC and Robert Kraft were among others who filed to sell.

There’s been no shortage of enthusiasm for DraftKings shares in the midst of bubbling excitement for the broader online sports betting industry in the United States as the pandemic depresses activity at traditional casinos. Evercore ISI estimated last month that DraftKings’ addressable market would quadruple by the start of the 2022 National Football League season.

The company’s offerings have prompted sell-side analysts to leapfrog one another, slapping on fresh price targets that are each higher than the one before. DraftKings has made waves by spending millions on partnerships with Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN network as well as with a range of professional sports teams, including the New York Giants and