Thursday, August 18, 2016

Friday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • China's 'Zombie' Lists Leave Banks in the Dark. (video)
  • Here’s Why Turkey Could Walk Away From Its EU Deal. Turkey became a crucial partner for the European Union over the past year as they fought to control the continent’s biggest refugee influx since World War II. But European leaders have become increasingly uncomfortable with what they see as authoritarian tactics of the Turkish government, particularly since last month’s bungled military coup. There’s a crunch point looming in October, when the EU has to decide whether to allow Turkish citizens visa-free travel under the refugee deal they reached in March. Without visa liberalization, Turkey has said it will walk away from its promise to halt the flood of migrants crossing the Aegean Sea to Greece. Here are some of the issues clouding the picture:
  • Italy Wants the EU to Change Tack on Growth and Security. Italy is seeking an expansionary push for growth in the European Union as the bloc forges a new course after the U.K. voted to leave, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s junior minister for European affairs said. Undersecretary Sandro Gozi, speaking ahead of an Aug. 22 informal meeting of Renzi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, called for a wide-ranging agreement to boost cooperation on security and defense as well as an expansionary economic policy to boost European growth.
  • Asian Stocks Rise as Energy Shares Gain, Japan’s Topix Advances. Asian stocks climbed as energy producers advanced after oil entered a bull market and Japanese shares advanced as the yen stabilized after breaching 100 against the dollar. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent to 139.59 as of 9:04 a.m. in Tokyo, paring its decline for the week to 0.3 percent. Japan’s Topix index increased 0.4 percent as the yen traded at 100.14 against the dollar. Asian stocks have rallied 24 percent from a February low as lackluster data from the world’s biggest economies fueled speculation central banks will continue to support them with stimulus and loose monetary policy. The Fed minutes released Wednesday showed officials saw little risk of a sharp uptick in inflation, helping drive the odds of a rate increase this year back below 50 percent.
  • New OPEC Freeze Wouldn’t Be So Potent as Gulf Rivals Pump More. Even if OPEC strikes a deal with Russia next month in Algiers to freeze oil production, success will mean a lot less than when they tried and failed four months ago. Oil has rallied more than 10 percent since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said that it will hold informal meeting in the Algerian capital, fanning speculation the group could complete a supply agreement with rival producers that sputtered in April. Iran may now drop its refusal to join a freeze after restoring most of the crude output curbed by sanctions, a development analysts say makes a deal more likely, but also less worthwhile. “A freeze at 34 million barrels a day is not the same as one at 33 million barrels a day,” said David Hufton, chief executive officer of PVM Group in London, referring to the broker’s own estimate for total OPEC output. “It pushes the re-balancing process back at least a year.” 
Wall Street Journal:
Fox News:
  • Rio police indict Lochte, teammate for falsely reporting robbery. (video) Police in Rio de Janeiro Thursday indicted U.S. Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen for falsely reporting a crime, the latest twist in a bizarre case that has overshadowed the final week of the Summer Games. Lochte originally claimed that he, Feigen and teammates Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning. Police began to question the story after being unable to find corroborating witnesses. Under Brazilian law, a judge still must decide whether to accept the police indictment, which is punishable by a fine or up to six months in prison. If the judge does not accept the indictment, the case will be dropped.
Zero Hedge: 
Business Insider:
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are unch. to +.25% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 112.5 -1.75 basis points.
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 43.0 -1.75 basis points.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 73.85 -.05%
  • S&P 500 futures -.01%. 
  • NASDAQ 100 futures -.02%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (BKE)/.35
  • (DE)/.94
  • (EL)/.40
  • (FL)/.90
  • (HIBB)/.28
  • (SMRT)/.07
  • (TUES)/-.13 
Economic Releases 
  • None of note
Upcoming Splits 
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Canadian inflation report could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are slightly higher, boosted 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 50% net long heading into the day.

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