Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thursday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • Seattle Sues Trump Administration Over Sanctuary Cities Order. The city of Seattle sued the Trump administration over the president’s executive order that calls for cutting federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities and other jurisdictions that protect undocumented immigrants. Seattle’s mayor contends Trump’s threat to withhold funding for local governments that don’t cooperate with his immigration crackdown is unconstitutional in a complaint filed Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal:
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are unch. to +.25% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 94.5 -.75 basis point. 
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 21.25 unch.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.26 -.07%. 
  • S&P 500 futures +.14%. 
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.17%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (LNN)/.37
  • (PRGO)/1.78
  • (TITN)/-.21
Economic Releases
8:30 am EST 
  • 4Q GDP is estimated to rise +2.0% versus a prior estimate of a +1.9% gain.
  • 4Q Personal Consumption is estimated to rise +3.0% versus a prior estimate of a +3.0% gain.
  • 4Q GDP Price Index is estimated to rise +2.0% versus a prior estimate of a +2.0% gain.
  • 4Q Core PCE is estimated to rise +1.2% versus a prior estimate of a +1.2% gain.  
  • Initial Jobless Claims are estimated to fall to 247K versus 261K the prior week.
  • Continuing Claims are estimated to rise to 2031K versus 1990K prior. 
Upcoming Splits
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Fed's Williams speaking, Fed's Kaplan speaking, Eurozone Industrial Production report, Japan CPI report, weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, weekly EIA natural gas inventory report, (MTH) analyst day and the (VFC) investor day could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are mostly higher, weighed down by consumer and industrial shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open mixed and to rally into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher.  The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the day.

Stocks Reversing Slightly Higher into Final Hour on Less European/Emerging Markets/US High-Yield Debt Angst, Oil Gain, Short-Covering, Energy/Retail Sector Strength

Broad Equity Market Tone:
  • Advance/Decline Line: Higher
  • Sector Performance: Most Sectors Rising
  • Volume: Below Average
  • Market Leading Stocks: Performing In Line
Equity Investor Angst:
  • Volatility(VIX) 11.14 -3.38%
  • Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 124.75 -.62%
  • Emerging Markets Currency Volatility(VXY) 9.13 -.54%
  • S&P 500 Implied Correlation 43.91 -3.22%
  • ISE Sentiment Index 81.0 +1.0%
  • Total Put/Call .79 -9.2%
  • NYSE Arms .79 -3.5%
Credit Investor Angst:
  • North American Investment Grade CDS Index 67.60 +.16%
  • America Energy Sector High-Yield CDS Index 375.0 -2.70%
  • European Financial Sector CDS Index 87.52 +.49%
  • Western Europe Sovereign Debt CDS Index 11.35 +1.43%
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign Debt CDS Index 21.26 -.58%
  • Emerging Market CDS Index 211.94 -.83%
  • iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 136.37 +.01%
  • 2-Year Swap Spread 33.5 +.25 basis point
  • TED Spread 37.0 -1.0 basis point
  • 3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -23.0 -1.0 basis points
Economic Gauges:
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.31 +.17%
  • 3-Month T-Bill Yield .77% unch.
  • Yield Curve 111.0 -1.0 basis point
  • China Import Iron Ore Spot $82.25/Metric Tonne +.29%
  • Citi US Economic Surprise Index 52.5 -.6 point
  • Citi Eurozone Economic Surprise Index 68.20 +1.7 points
  • Citi Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 40.80 -1.0 point
  • 10-Year TIPS Spread 1.98 +1.0 basis point
  • 50.2% chance of Fed rate hike at June 14 meeting, 56.3% chance at July 26 meeting
Overseas Futures:
  • Nikkei 225 Futures: Indicating +10 open in Japan 
  • China A50 Futures: Indicating +55 open in China
  • DAX Futures: Indicating +45 open in Germany
  • Higher: On gains in my tech/biotech/retail/medical sector longs  
  • Disclosed Trades: None
  • Market Exposure: 100% Net Long

Today's Headlines

  • Global Drugmakers Poised for Windfall of Approvals in China. China is starting to approve new medicines at an unprecedented pace this year, opening the floodgates for innovative therapies to enter the country and potentially turbo-charging growth for multinationals in the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market. Over the past few weeks, the China Food and Drug Administration has approved AstraZeneca Plc’s Tagrisso for lung cancer, Roche Holding AG’s melanoma drug Zelboraf and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH’s lung cancer therapy Gilotrif. Long criticized for being slow to approve life-saving medicines, the Asian country is speeding up its regulatory process to battle surging rates of diseases like cancer and hepatitis. The reforms have the potential to breathe new life into the growth prospects for foreign drugmakers in China, a market where they have largely relied on older products.
  • Domino’s Will Begin Using Robots to Deliver Pizzas in Europe. Starship Technologies, the London-based company that has created six-wheeled self-driving delivery robots, will begin taking customers Domino’s pizzas in Germany and the Netherlands. Starship, launched in July 2014 by two former Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, will whisk pizzas to customers’ doors if they live within a one-mile radius of certain Dominos pizza shops in "select German and Dutch cities," the company said in a statement. Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd., the world’s largest franchise licence owner of Domino’s Pizza, with operations in markets across Asia and Europe, has formed a group called Domino’s Robotic Unit to oversee the project. 
  • Europe Stocks Rise With FTSE 100 as Oil Climbs on Inventory Data. (video) The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.3 percent the close as oil extended gains after U.S. crude stockpiles rose less than forecast. The FTSE 100 Index rose 0.4 percent in the second day of gains. The British gauge of megacaps earlier fell as much as 0.4 percent as the U.K. invoked the formal mechanism to exit the European Union, before reversing the drop as the pound traded lower.
  • Libya's Oil Output Falls to Six-Month Low as Field Shuts. Libya’s crude production dropped to about 500,000 barrels a day, the lowest since September, as exports from the nation’s second-largest terminal at Zawiya were disrupted. The OPEC nation’s output has fallen from about 700,000 barrels last week since production halted at Sharara in southwest Libya following the shutdown of the pipeline that links the field to Zawiya, according to a person familiar with the matter who isn’t authorized to speak to the media and asked not to be identified. Shipments from Zawiya, west of Tripoli, are now under force majeure.
  • Oil Traders Warn There's a Supply Crunch Looming. (video)
  • Rosengren Calls for Fed to Tighten at Every Other FOMC Meeting. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said the central bank should be prepared to raise interest rates a total of four times in 2017 to guard against overheating the U.S. economy. The policy-making Federal Open Market Committee should be ready to move again in June, September and December, unless incoming data push them off course, he said. “The perception seems to be that the outcome of each FOMC meeting depends on nuances of incoming data, with the base case being no change in rates,” Rosengren said in the text of a speech in Boston Wednesday. “My own view is that an increase at every other FOMC meeting over the course of this year could and should be the committee’s default.”
  • Retailers, Mexican Peso Gain as Border Tax Chances Falter: Chart.
Wall Street Journal:
Business Insider:
Washington Post: 
  • These scientists want to create ‘red teams’ to challenge climate research. Congress is listening. “One way to aid Congress in understanding more of the climate issue than what is produced by biased ‘official’ panels of the climate establishment is to organize and fund credible ‘red teams’ that look at issues such as natural variability, the failure of climate models and the huge benefits to society from affordable energy, carbon-based and otherwise,” said witness John Christy, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, in his prepared testimony. “I would expect such a team would offer to Congress some very different conclusions regarding the human impacts on climate.”

Bull Radar

Style Outperformer:
  • Small-Cap Growth +.3%
Sector Outperformers:
  • 1) Oil Service +2.0% 2) Retail +1.5% 3) Biotech +1.4%
Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume:
Stocks With Unusual Call Option Activity:
  • 1) CSC 2) YELP 3) EWJ 4) RH 5) WSM
Stocks With Most Positive News Mentions:
  • 1) VRTX 2) FTNT 3) VRNT 4) MS 5) NRG