Thursday, July 21, 2016

Friday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • Hollande Tells May to Choose EU Market or Migrant Curbs for U.K. French President Francois Hollande told U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that Britain faces a choice: Accept unlimited immigration from the European Union or lose access to its single market. “There can be no free movement of goods, free movement of capital, free movement of services if there is no free movement of people,” Hollande said at a joint press conference in Paris Thursday. “It will be for the U.K. to chose: Stay in the single market and allow freedom of movement or have another status.” May’s first venture abroad as prime minister, a week after taking the job, has been marked by personal warmth from the leaders of Germany and France but little in the way of concessions. Instead, she is beginning to get a picture of how tough the coming Brexit negotiations will be.
  • From Paschi to German Lenders, Investors Brace for Stress Tests. Italian banks, whose woes have prompted a debate over state aid, may not be the only ones in the spotlight next Friday when regulators publish their latest health check on Europe’s largest lenders. Though Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA will probably attract the most scrutiny with its mountains of soured debt, German, Austrian and Nordic banks also may be shown in an unpleasant light when the London-based European Banking Authority sets out its findings. “If you do get a surprise, it will probably be a negative one, said Paul Fenner-Leitao, a credit analyst at Societe Generale SA. “People might just shrug it off, but it could remind investors that all still isn’t well in Europe years after the crisis.
  • Turkey Enters Emergency-Rule Era as Erdogan Hints at Extension. Turkey entered its second day under a state of emergency as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled that the three-month period approved by parliament may not be enough to complete a purge of those responsible for last week’s failed coup. Erdogan told Reuters that there’s no obstacle to extending emergency rule, which took effect at 1 a.m. on Thursday and was later endorsed by parliament. It allows the government to issue decrees with the force of law, and detain suspects for longer periods without trial.
  • Chinese Companies are Turning Japanese. Chinese companies are swimming in cheap cash. Problem is, they're not spending it. A reluctance to invest is frustrating policy makers after they unleashed a wave of cheap credit in an effort to stoke growth. Rather than build new plants or hire additional staff, corporates are opting to park money at the bank - or send it overseas through buying foreign assets. Known as the so called "liquidity trap," it's a problem not unlike the experience in Japan where weak business confidence and a reluctance to invest is also holding back the economy. "Cash-rich Chinese companies are searching for offshore investment, just as the Japanese did in the late 1980s due partly to the strength of the yen in the aftermath of the ‘Plaza Accord’," Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.  economists led by Raymond Yeung wrote in a note.
  • Asian Stocks Drop as Kuroda’s Comments Weigh on Japanese Shares. Asian stocks fell after Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda dashed hopes for so-called helicopter money, triggering the yen’s steepest rally in a month and weakening the outlook for exporters in Tokyo. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.2 percent to 134.45 as of 9:10 a.m. in Tokyo, retreating from its highest level since November. The gauge is up 0.6 percent for the week. The Topix index slipped 0.8 percent, trimming its gain for the week to 0.9 percent. Investors focused on the comments from Kuroda, even after a Nikkei newspaper report said Japan’s stimulus package could be as large as 30 trillion yen ($283 billion).
  • Saudi Arabia Overtakes Russia as China’s Top Oil Supplier: Chart.
  • Fracklog in the Biggest U.S. Oil Field May All But Disappear. The number of dormant crude and natural gas wells in the U.S. stopped growing in the first quarter -- and may all but disappear in the nation’s biggest oil field should prices hold steady. As of April 1, there were 4,230 wells left idle after being drilled, a figure little changed from January, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. While some explorers have continued to grow their fracklog of drilled but not yet hydraulically fractured wells, others began tapping them in February as oil prices rose, the report showed. Crude in the $40- to $50-a-barrel range may wipe out most of the fracklog in Texas’s Permian Basin and as much as 70 percent of the inventory in its Eagle Ford play by the end of 2017, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Andrew Cosgrove. While bringing them online is the cheapest way of taking advantage of higher prices, the wave of new supply also threatens to kill the fragile recovery that oil and gas markets have seen so far this year.
  • Obama Offers $4.5 Billion to Add Electric-Car Charge Stations. The Obama administration will invest as much as $4.5 billion to build electric-car charging stations, creating a network stretching coast-to-coast to reduce “range anxiety” and potentially improve consumer acceptance of the lower-polluting vehicles.
Wall Street Journal:
Fox News:
Zero Hedge:
Business Insider:
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are -.50% to unch. on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 119.25 -.25 basis point.
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 48.0 +.5 basis point.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.31 -.01%
  • S&P 500 futures +.02%. 
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.01%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (AAL)/1.68
  • (ALV)/1.70
  • (GE)/.46
  • (GNTX)/.29
  • (HON)/1.64
  • (MCO)/1.26
  • (SWK)/1.71
  • (STI)/.88
  • (TXT)/.64
  • (VFC)/.34
  • (WHR)/3.40 
Economic Releases 
9:45 am EST
  • The Preliminary Markit US Manufacturing PMI for July is estimated to rise to 51.5 versus 51.3 in June.
Upcoming Splits 
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Eurozone Manufacturing PMI and the (SCHW) business update could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are mostly lower, weighed down by technology and commodity shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open mixed and to weaken into the afternoon, finishing modestly lower. The Portfolio is 25% net long heading into the day.

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