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Boeing Effect, Huawei Chips, Trade Talks: CEO Daily for April 15, 2019

Good morning.

New evidence this morning that recession fears have subsided in the C-Suite. EY’s Capital Confidence Barometer is out later today, and CEO Daily got an early look: the survey of 505 C-level executives found a whopping 96% believe economic conditions are improving, compared to just 72% who said the same thing six months ago, and 69% a year ago. To have near-unanimity is surprising, and encouraging.

And here’s something else the executives were nearly unanimous about: 94% said they are planning significant investments in technology this year. “Technology has eroded barriers to entry for many industries, forcing U.S. executives to keep their strategies competitive and their portfolios in lockstep,” said EY’s Bill Casey. That also should lead to a good year for deal making, with 52% of the executives planning to pursue M&A in the next 12 months.

More news below. And in case you spent your weekend off the grid, two things worth catching up on: Tiger Woods won the Masters—his first major in 11 years. (Nike quickly released an ad to celebrate.) And Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana gave the most effective entry speech to date in the way-too-early and way-too-big Democratic presidential nomination sweepstakes.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@fortune.com

Top News

Boeing Effect

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have now both extended into August flight cancellations relating to their grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet. That’s 115 cancellations a day just on American’s part, during the busy summer season. Not good news for Boeing, nor the airlines. Wall Street Journal

Huawei Chips

Huawei is open to selling Apple its “5G” mobile connectivity chips, company founder Ren Zhengfei has said. So far, Huawei has reserved those chips for its own phones. Apple does not yet have a “5G”-capable device. CNBC

Trade Talks

EU member states this morning gave the bloc’s negotiators the mandate to open trade talks with the U.S. France opposed the move, arguing that there should be no trade negotiations with a country that shunned the Paris climate agreement. The EU wants to get rid of industrial tariffs, and the U.S. wants the EU to open up its agricultural markets and allow the import of hormone-treated beef. P.S.: The member states also, as expected, rubber-stamped the new Copyright Directive, so in two years we can expect to see a lot of online platforms scanning everything people upload for copyright violations. RTE

Purdue Addiction

Opioid peddler Purdue tried in 2014 to buy Reckitt Benckiser’s addiction treatment business, the Financial Times has revealed. If that takeover had succeeded, Purdue would have been profiting if OxyContin addicts continued to take the opioid, and profiting if they sought treatment to come off the stuff. FT

Around the Water Cooler

JetBlue Route

JetBlue intends to launch multiple flights from the East Coast to London, in an attempt to entice trans-Atlantic business away from American and Delta. Of course, it also faces competition from Virgin Atlantic, which is trying to expand its traffic over such routes with its partner, Delta. Fortune

Barclays Seat

Activist investor Edward Bramson still wants a seat on Barclays’s board. Ahead of the bank’s May 2 AGM, Bramson wrote to investors today to insist that “the stubbornly low valuation that the market accords to the shares of Barclays will continue until the board finally adopts a strategy that is more realistic and shareholder orientated.” Barclays wants to improve performance rather than scale back. Reuters

Ma Time

Work-life balance? Not if you work for Jack Ma. The Alibaba co-founder is all for 12-hour workdays, six days a week. “Those who can stick to [such a] schedule are those who have found their passion beyond monetary gains,” he wrote in a blog post, shrugging off criticism from those who are less than keen on an extreme-overtime culture. Bloomberg

Brexit Guitar

Brexit can seem quite abstract at times, so here’s a microcosm of the fiasco’s trade implications: a guitar being sold by a Scottish shop to a customer (that would be me, David Meyer) in Germany. Thanks to Brexit’s delay until Halloween, it will be a straightforward sale and shipment—but the uncertainty around the U.K.’s exit from the EU had threatened to make it complicated and overly costly. Fortune

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer. Find previous editions here, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters here.