While you were sleeping, ailing Japanese electronics firm Sharp agreed to a takeover by Taiwan’s Foxconn – also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry – solidifying the Taiwanese firm’s position as Apple’s biggest supplier. The deal involved issuance of $4.4 billion worth of new shares to Foxconn, causing Sharp stock to tumble on fears of dilution. But late in the Asian day, Foxconn said it had received new information from Sharp which would need to be clarified before the deal could be done. Stay tuned. A purchase of Sharp, founded in 1912, would be a rare foreign breach into Japan’s still-insular business world.


Meanwhile, the Chinese stock market tumbled six percent – a unpleasant development before Friday’s meeting of the G-20 finance ministers and central bankers in Shanghai. The IMF called on the ministers to take coordinated action to combat a global economic slowdown.


Here at home, the Republican political establishment, and everyone else, is trying to adjust to the notion that Donald Trump will be the GOP presidential nominee – an outcome party leaders and pundits insisted for months couldn’t happen. Rubio, Cruz and Kasich are all hoping that victories in their home states of Florida, Texas and Ohio will give them a path to victory. But no sign yet that any of them is gaining the momentum needed to displace Trump.


As a sober reminder of what’s at stake, the Miller Center releases a study this morning showing how eight of the past Presidents have faced major financial crises in the first year of their presidency. Not predicting, just saying.


More news below.


Alan Murray