Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wednesday Watch

Evening Headlines

  • China Early Economy Indicators Show Little Cheer, Little Change. After something of a roller-coaster ride in March and April, China settled into sluggish growth in May, according to the earliest batch of private indicators tracking the world’s second-largest economy. The Minxin manufacturing index from the China Academy of New Supply-side Economics, Market News International’s business confidence indicator and Standard Chartered Plc’s small-business gauge all retreated. The key May indicators for new credit, industrial production, fixed-asset investment and retail sales are expected in mid-June, after the official purchasing managers index for manufacturing on June 1. That PMI probably fell to 50 for May from 50.1 the prior month, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. The tepid signs thus far for May activity coincide with signals from policy makers that they want to keep a lid on rising debt, even if such restraint caps an economic rebound. Here’s what the earliest economic data show for this month:
  • Asia Stocks Rise as U.S. Home Sales Surge, Rate-Hike Bets Climb. Asian stocks rose, with the regional equities benchmark gauge rebounding from a seven-week low, after a surge in U.S. home sales fueled speculation the world’s biggest economy can withstand higher interest rates. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.8 percent to 125.95 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo after closing on Tuesday at the lowest level since April 6. Japan’s Topix index added 1.6 percent as the yen traded at 110.15 per dollar after falling 0.7 percent Tuesday.
  • The Outlook for Copper Amid Weak Prices and Demand. (video)
  • Banks Said to Devise Plans for Cutting Back Online Lending Risk. Some of Wall Street’s biggest banks are making contingency plans to cut their exposure to online consumer loans if the market deteriorates further after the recent crisis at LendingClub Corp., people with knowledge of the reviews said. While firms including Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG haven’t scaled back exposure, they’re concerned about financing they provide to institutional investors that buy loans from companies like LendingClub and Prosper Marketplace Inc., the people said. Industry lawyers estimate that banks have funded a few billion dollars of online loans for investors through these credit lines. Wall Street lenders are looking to avoid making the same mistakes they made in the subprime crisis, when they were late to limit their exposure to bad mortgage loans.
  • Apple(AAPL) Said to Hit Setback in Push to Open Stores in India. (video) Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook went to India last week to push his bestselling iPhones. The trip may not have paid off. India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board ruled Apple must comply with regulations to procure 30 percent of components locally if it wants to sell through its own retail stores, according to people with direct knowledge of matter. The company makes most of its products in China and doesn’t currently meet that criteria. While India can provide waivers for cutting-edge technology companies, the panel decided it can’t certify Apple for that exception, the people said, asking not to be identified as the decision isn’t public. The FIPB decision needs to be ratified by the government and it could still be overruled.
Wall Street Journal:
Fox News:
  • Kasich joins Cruz, Rubio in keeping delegates as campaign leverage. (video) Ohio Gov. John Kasich has become the latest Donald Trump rival to take a clenched-fist approach to the delegates he won during the primary season, moving this week to keep those delegates as bargaining chips going into the party's July nominating convention.
Zero Hedge:
Business Insider:
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are +.75% to +1.25% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 143.75 -2.5 basis points. 
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 53.25 -2.25 basis points.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 70.61 unch
  • S&P 500 futures +.14%. 
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.19%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (EV)/.48
  • (TIF)/.68
  • (UHAL)/3.14
  • (CPRT)/.54
  • (COST)/1.22
  • (GES)/-.19
  • (HPQ)/.38
  • (NTAP)/.58
  • (PVH)/1.43
  • (TDW)/-.54
  • (WSM)/.50
Economic Releases 
8:30 am EST
  • Advance Goods Trade Balance for April is estimated at -$60.0B versus -$56.9B in March. 
9:00 am EST
  • The FHFA House Price Index MoM for March is estimated to rise +.5% versus a +.4% gain in February. 
9:45 am EST
  • The Preliminary US Services PMI for May is estimated to rise to 53.0 versus 52.8 in April.
10:30 am EST
  • Bloomberg consensus estimates call for a weekly crude oil inventory decline of -1,660,000 barrels versus a +1,310,000 barrel gain the prior week. Gasoline supplies are estimated to fall by -1,380,000 barrels versus a -2,496,000 barrel decline the prior week. Distillate supplies are estimated to fall by -963,000 barrels versus a -3,170,000 barrel decline the prior week. Finally, Refinery Utilization is estimated to rise +.47% versus a +1.4% gain prior.
Upcoming Splits 
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Fed's Kaplan speaking, Bank of Canada rate decision, $34B 5Y T-Note auction, weekly MBA mortgage applications report, 1Q House Price Purchase Index, (JACK) analyst meeting, (PLCE) annual meeting, (AFL) analyst briefing and the (A) analyst meeting could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are higher, boosted by technology and commodity shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open mixed and to rally into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher. The Portfolio is 75% net long heading into the day.

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