Saudi Aramco's profit; Hong Kong protests; BlackRock's private equity deal
1. Aramco's first look: Saudi Aramco said Monday that its profit dropped 12% in the first half of its financial year to $46.9 billion due to weaker global oil prices.
The rare financial disclosure coincides with renewed interest in a potential initial public offering by Saudi Arabia's state oil producer, and bolsters its status as the world's most profitable company.
Apple, for comparison, generated profit of $31.5 billion in the first six months of its financial year.
Aramco has been more public about its finances recently as Saudi officials consider whether to list shares in the company in order to fund projects that could wean the economy off its addiction to oil.
An IPO that was planned for 2018 never materialized. A lack of transparency over the size of the country's energy reserves had caused skepticism about the potential sale and the value of Aramco.
But plans for a public listing as early as next year are now being accelerated following positive investor reaction to a bond sale in April, according to the Wall Street Journal.
2. Hong Kong protests: As protests in Hong Kong escalate, the ramifications for businesses and travelers are growing.
The Hong Kong International Airport Authority has canceled all flights scheduled to depart the major travel hub Monday evening because of a mass demonstration. Flights bound for Hong Kong that have not yet taken off were also canceled.
Shares in Hong Kong's flagship airline, Cathay Pacific, were already down almost 5% on Monday. The company said over the weekend it would cooperate with a directive from China's aviation authority that banned staff from flying to, from and over mainland China if they participate in or support the protests.
An internal memo sent by CEO Rupert Hogg to staff on Monday warned that the carrier has "has a zero tolerance approach to illegal activities."
3. BlackRock deal: BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, has cut a flashy deal as part of its push into private equity.
The company said over the weekend that it had made a $875 million investment in Authentic Brands, the company that owns Sports Illustrated, Nine West and Juicy Couture. That makes it the company's largest shareholder.
The investment is the first for BlackRock's new private-equity fund, Long Term Private Capital, which the company said in April was ready to start investing after securing $2.75 billion.
4. Global market overview: US stock futures point lower as investors turn their attention to the protests in Hong Kong.
The Dow is set to open down 100 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are set to fall a similar amount.
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6. Coming this week:
Monday — China vehicle sales; Tencent Music and Saudi Aramco earnings
Tuesday — Germany inflation rate; US inflation; JD.com and Tilray earnings
Wednesday — China retail sales; Germany and Europe GDP; UK inflation; Luckin Coffee, Macy's and Canopy Growth earnings
Thursday — US retail sales; Alibaba, JCPenney, Walmart and NVIDIA earnings
Friday — US housing starts and building permits