US is well on its way to Trump’s goal of ‘energy dominance,’ says Marathon Petroleum CEO

US on its way to Trump's goal of 'energy dominance,' says Marathon CEO

US on its way to Trump’s goal of ‘energy dominance,’ says Marathon CEO   11 Hours Ago | 01:26

President Donald Trump’s goal of making the United States a global superpower in energy is starting to come true, Marathon Petroleum Corp. Chairman and CEO Gary Heminger told CNBC on Tuesday.

“When I look at the president’s theme to begin with and the beginning of his administration, he wanted to have energy dominance in the U.S. and I believe that we are well on our way,” Heminger told Jim Cramer in an exclusive “Mad Money” interview. “We’re the largest producer in the world today.”

Recent declines in oil prices haven’t stopped U.S. producers from pumping more oil ahead of OPEC’s meetings later this week, at which the group of oil-exporting countries are expected to cut production.

That puts the United States in a league above its competitors, said the Marathon chief, whose Ohio-based company specializes in petroleum refining, marketing and transportation.

“The U.S. refining system [is] second to none of anyone in the industry, so I believe we’re well on our way now” to global energy dominance, Heminger said.

The CEO added that he expected OPEC’s meetings in Vienna, Austria this Thursday and Friday to result in “a pullback in OPEC production,” in which case “we’ll see crude prices inch up” from their current levels.

And although oil’s recent pummeling has benefited business at Marathon — where oil is part of Marathon’s cost of goods sold, so price declines translate into higher margins — Heminger said the company sees prices for the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rising significantly in 2019.

“We really believe the price is probably going to end up being … $65 to [$]70 in 2019, on an average,” he said. “I believe we’ve averaged almost $65 — about [$]64.50 — year to date in 2018, so we think we’re being conservative looking at that number for next year.”

WTI crude futures fell 0.64 percent on Tuesday to $52.61. Year to date, the commodity has lost 8.77 percent.

Shares of Marathon Petroleum shed 2 percent amid Tuesday’s marketwide meltdown, settling at $63.3


Cramer on how to play the possible outcomes of Trump-Xi meeting at G-20

Playing possible outcomes of Trump-Xi meeting at G-20

Playing possible outcomes of Trump-Xi meeting at G-20   6:28 PM ET Fri, 30 Nov 2018 | 00:46

President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at this weekend’s G-20 summit will be a defining moment for the U.S. economy and the stock market, so investors have to be prepared, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday.

Leaders of the world’s top 20 economically developed nations, known collectively as the Group of 20 or G-20, are meeting at the Buenos Aires, Argentina gathering to discuss topics of global significance such as the future of work.

Trump is expected to sit down with Xi to address U.S.-China trade relations, which have soured this year as the Trump administration took a hard line on China’s trading practices and the nations exchanged tariffs on each others’ goods.

Many on Wall Street expect a positive result from the meeting. On Thursday, Trump told reporters he was “very close” to striking a deal, but remained unsure if he would follow through.

Cramer, host of “Mad Money,” saw five possible outcomes:

  1. Weakness in the Chinese economy and stock market brings Xi to the table and leads to a deal. Cramer gave this possibility a 10 percent chance of occurring and said it would cause a 10 percent rally in the U.S. stock market.
  2. Trump extends the existing 10 percent tariffs on Chinese imports instead of raising them to 25 percent at year-end as planned. Cramer said there was a 10 percent chance of this happening and forecast a 5 percent rally if it does.
  3. Trump keeps the tariff hike to 25 percent in place, but says the administration will wait to impose another round of duties. Cramer pegged this as the most likely option, giving it a 50 percent chance of occurring.
  4. Trump not only keeps the tariff hike to 25 percent in place, but slaps 10 percent tariffs on the Chinese imports he hasn’t yet sanctioned, which equate to roughly $280 billion worth of merchandise. Cramer pegged the odds of this happening at 25 percent, and said it would cause a 4 percent decline in U.S. stocks.
  5. There’s a 5 percent chance the “unthinkable” could happen, the “Mad Money” host said: the meeting goes south, Trump puts 25 percent tariffs on all Chinese imports and the U.S. stock market tanks 10 percent.

Assuming the Trump-Xi meeting results in the third option — the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods still go to 25 percent at year-end, but no additional tariffs are announced — Cramer had a plan in place for stock-pickers.

If it happens, “the recession stocks with little exposure to China will roar higher,” he said, telling investors to buy PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s and Clorox “right into the opening sell-off” on Monday.

“At the same time, … hedge funds will dump any industrial or tech company that’s perceived as having too much reliance on the Chinese market, and here, you’ve got to think 3M, Emerson, United Technologies and, sadly, Apple, which has become the ultimate political football given its mastery … in both countries,” he continued.

Above all, the “Mad Money” host preached caution, especially with the stock of Apple, in which his charitable trust owns shares.

“For most investors, this game may not be worth playing,” Cramer said. “If you’re a trader, you might want to scoop up some Apple if it really goes down and gets hit with heavy selling, as I expect, although I still believe that Apple is a stock you should own, not trade.”

“In the end,” he said, “I just want you to be ready for the most likely outcome here, which means the recessionistas rally on Monday and the industrials get absolutely slammed.”


Tucker Carlson broke Fox News’ Twitter blackout that was ordered for him to post a statement about assault allegations

Tucker Carlson AP
  • Tucker Carlson appeared to break a Fox News Twitter blackout to defend himself from assault allegations.
  • The Twitter blackout was reportedly instituted as a form of protest against Twitter’s response to tweets containing Carlson’s address.
  • On Saturday, Juan Manuel Granados accused Carlson of assaulting him at a country club in Virginia.

Fox News has instituted a Twitter blackout across the company, reportedly in response to threats to host Tucker Carlson, but apparently the blackout doesn’t apply to Carlson himself.

Despite orders emailed to the entire Fox News digital team instructing employees not to tweet, previously reported by Business Insider, Carlson took to Twitter Sunday evening to defend himself against blowout allegations of assault from Michael Avenatti’s new client Juan Manuel Granados.

Breaking the blackout, Carlson wrote, “Last month one of my children was attacked by a stranger at dinner. For her sake, I was hoping to keep the incident private. It’s now being politicized by the Left. Here’s what happened.”

Attached to the post was a lengthy statement providing Tucker Carlson’s own account of a dispute at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Virginia. Carlson denied personally assaulting Granados.

Breaking a blackout made for him

Carlson’s tweet notably went against a documented Twitter blackout that has been in place at the network for multiple days, reportedly ordered because Carlson’s own address was leaked.

In the email obtained by Business Insider, Fox News managing editor Greg Wilson told the entire digital team, approximately 140 people, to “please refrain from tweeting out our content from either section accounts or your own accounts until further notice.”

A Fox News source cited by a Tribune Media’s Scott Gustin reportedly said the decision came from “the highest level” of the company and was a form of protest against Twitter’s response to tweets containing Carlson’s address. Gustin said that it’s believed that Twitter advised Fox News to submit ticket request rather than immediately deleting tweets with Carlson’s address.

A Fox News source told Mediaite: “[This] is a conscious decision in light of what was done to Tucker.”

On Wednesday, a group of approximately 20 protesters from Smash Racism DC reportedly showed up at Carlson’s home after his address was leaked on Twitter. According to a report from The Washington Post, protesters blew bull-horns, carried signs with Carlson’s address, and spraypainted an anarchist symbol on Carlson’s driveway (note: a number of details in The Washington Post report have been disputed by an accoun t of a reporter claiming to be there).

Until Sunday, November 11, the last time Tucker Carlson or Fox News had tweeted was November 8. As of Sunday, @FoxNews still remained silent.

Playing defense

The Sunday tweet came as a response to Carlson’s other major controversy from the weekend — assault allegations brought forth by Michael Avenatti’s latest client Juan Manuel Granados.

On Saturday, Avenatti tweeted video that appeared to show Carlson screaming “get the f— out” at another patron of a Virginia country club. Avenatti claimed that “Carlson and/or members of his inner circle” assaulted Granados.

Read more: The man accusing Tucker Carlson of assault previously filed a successful discrimination suit against a Virginia health club

In response to an inquiry from Business Insider Saturday, Fox News sent the same statement that Carlson would eventually post, where Carlson denied personally assaulting Granados. Carlson claims that Granados called his daughter a “f—— whore” among other slurs and that his own son then dumped a glass of wine on Granados’ head.

Since Carlson’s initial response, Granados published his own lengthy response in which he denied any name calling and alleged Carlson made threats of violence.

Granados said he planned to bring charges against Carlson, his son, and another man present at the incident.


UK GDP: growth hits near two-year high, but business investment shrinks – as it happened

Chancellor Philip Hammond being shown around Fuller’s Brewery, in Chiswick, today.


The National Institute of Economic and Social Research’s latest GDP tracker predicts that the UK economy expanded by 0.4% in August-October, down from the 0.6% growth racked up in the third quarter.

NIESR also believes the economy will run at a similar rate until the end of 2018, and cautions not to get carried away by the stronger growth this summer.

It says:

  • In our view, UK economic growth peaked in the third quarter of this year and will settle at a rate that is close to its post-crisis average in the final quarter.
  • According to new ONS statistics published this morning, the UK economy expanded by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter (three months to September) after growing by 0.4 per cent in the second quarter (three months to June). The outturn was slightly lower than the 0.7 per cent monthly GDP forecast that we published last month for the same period and the error is partly because of back data revisions. Building on the official data, our monthly GDP Tracker suggests that the economy will expand by 0.4 in the final quarter of this year.

The apparent strength in third quarter growth masks a loss in momentum in industrial production as well as services output in the latter part of the third quarter. There are a number of factors at play, including Brexit-related uncertainty.


Investors clash with big business over shareholder rights

Shareholder resolutions have been used to target American Outdoor Brands, owner of gunmaker Smith & Wesson © Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The US regulator is being urged to ignore demands from big business to dilute shareholders’ ability to file resolutions at annual meetings.

A group of 30 investors, which includes religious orders, public pension funds and asset managers, warned it would be detrimental to corporate America.

It has written a letter to Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, ahead of a round-table meeting this week. SEC staff are set to examine the use of shareholder motions at annual meetings among other issues.

The focus on shareholder resolutions comes as corporate trade groups and businesses increase criticism of the current system, saying it is burdensome and prone to abuse.

Currently, an investor owning $2,000 of a company’s stock for at least a year is permitted to submit a shareholder proposal, although it will not necessarily be voted on.

One of the letter’s signatories dismissed the suggestion that the existing system had problems.

Jason Malinowski, chief investment officer at the $3bn Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System, said: “We don’t feel it is burdensome on companies. Most resolutions affect large companies that have the resources to address them.

“[The attack on shareholder resolutions] is a way to erode shareholder rights. It is trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.”

Last month, the National Association of Manufacturers, the largest industrial trade association in the US, wrote to Mr Clayton claiming the shareholder proposal process had been hijacked.

It said “activists […] seek to force companies to act according to their own narrow interests rather than the good of the business or long-term investor returns”, adding: “The proxy ballot was designed for the majority of investors to constructively engage with company management, but it has devolved in many ways into a shouting match focused on social and political issues.”

James Debney, chief executive of American Outdoor Brands, which owns gunmaker Smith & Wesson, this year criticised shareholders who he claimed had “inappropriately and detrimentally” used the proxy process to advance a political agenda.

The shareholder group had backed a vote requiring American Outdoor Brands to provide evidence it was working on gun safety and monitoring violence associated with its products.

In recent years, investors have used shareholder proposals to call for better disclosure of climate change issues and lobbying by businesses, as well as to block a move to virtual annual meetings.

The NAM called the $2,000 threshold for submitting resolutions “incredibly low” and said it allowed shareholders to “spam company proxy ballots”. It also expressed concern about how easy it was for shareholders to resubmit unsuccessful motions the following year.

In their letter to Mr Clayton, however, the group of investors said most public companies did not receive any shareholder proposals. The investors, which include Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, Trillium Asset Management and the USA West Province of the Society of Jesus, said that a Russell 3000 company received a shareholder proposal once every 7.7 years on average.

The investors also pointed out that resubmitting shareholders’ proposals was often vital to driving change, such as the introduction of annual director elections.

It said that in 1987 just 16 per cent of shareholders backed proposals linked to annual director re-elections on average, but by 2012, this had risen to more than 80 per cent.

“Shareholder proposals frequently address emerging systemic risks to the US and global economies, such as the predatory lending that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis,” the investors wrote.

“The current process also allows investors to communicate with boards, management and other shareholders about the most effective, proactive way to protect investor interests with respect to corporate governance, risk, and policy issues affecting companies prior to a crisis.”

Tim Smith, director of environmental, social and governance shareholder engagement at Walden Asset Management, a US investor, said there was an attempt to “handcuff us or use the nuclear option to obliterate shareholder resolutions” by some organisations and businesses.

“There is a strong sentiment [among shareholders] that this is an exceedingly important right to protect,” he added.

“Investors are going the extra mile to try to protect this, whether by speaking to the SEC, speaking out publicly, talking to trade bodies or talking to big investors who don’t traditionally file resolutions but sometimes support them.”