- President Donald Trump pressed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s general secretary on how to encourage member nations to pay more for their defense while expressing “strong support” from the U.S. for the alliance, according to a readout of the call released by the White House. During a call on Sunday with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump agreed to join in a meeting of NATO leaders in late May and discussed the potential for “a peaceful resolution of the conflict along the Ukranian border,” according to the readout. Intense fighting has taken place between government troops and pro-Russian separatists near Ukraine’s Russian border during the past week, the latest episode in a crisis that began when Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014.
- Asian stocks gained as banks followed a rally in the U.S. sparked by the Trump administration’s plan to roll back financial regulations. The dollar was little changed as a Federal Reserve official’s support for higher rates contrasted with a jobs report showing weaker wage growth. Equities in Japan, Australia and South Korea climbed, with financial shares leading the way in each market, after the S&P 500 Index closed within a point of its all-time high on Friday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady after completing a sixth weekly decline for its longest stretch of losses since August 2010. Oil edged higher, after three straight weeks of gains. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7 percent as of 9:25 a.m. in Tokyo, after its biggest weekly decline since November. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. jumped 4.3 percent to the highest level of the year after third-quarter profit unexpectedly rose 17 percent.
- Investors are betting big that OPEC’s cuts are real. Money managers are the most bullish ever on West Texas Intermediate crude for a second week as signs show OPEC and other nations are slashing production. The group cut supply by 840,000 barrels a day last month, according to a Bloomberg survey, and Russia, the largest of the non-members taking part in the deal, reduced output by 117,000 barrels a day. WTI has traded above $50 a barrel for the past seven weeks, encouraging Wall Street investors to fund more drilling in U.S. shale fields. “The smart money is starting to realize that the OPEC production cuts are real,” Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, said by telephone on Friday. “The oil story is beginning to look like the bust-end of the cycle is over.”
- Trump Says Obamacare Replacement Could Take Until Next Year. President Donald Trump said the process for coming up with a replacement for the Affordable Care Act could stretch into 2018, a longer time frame than he previously indicated. Trump’s comments came in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that aired on Sunday during the Super Bowl pre-game show. O’Reilly asked the president whether he would introduce a health plan this year to replace Obamacare, which Trump has vowed to repeal. “Maybe it’ll take till some time into next year, but we are certainly going to be in the process,” Trump said in the interview. “I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”
Wall Street Journal:
- Senate Republican Leader McConnell Distances Himself From Trump Stances. Mitch McConnell differs with president on numerous fronts.
- Vacant Supreme Court Seat Could Affect Travel Ban Court Case. The current 4-4 split could make it hard for losers at the circuit-court level to get question in front of highest court.
- Fiscal Hole Will Test President Donald Trump’s Agenda. President’s appetite for stimulus comes up against budget realities and some fellow Republicans.
- U.S. Suggests Path to End Russian Sanctions. Vice President Pence says move depends on Moscow’s cooperation in fight against Islamic State.
- Companies Join Forces Against Social-Conservative Bills in the South. Business groups in states such as Tennessee, Georgia and Texas draw more support in bid to fight transgender laws and other similar legislation.
- Appeals Court Denies Trump Request To Reinstate Travel Ban.
- As Trump Breaks Twitter Silence, Meet His Legal Nemesis "So-Called Judge" James Robart.
- Schauble Agrees With Trump That Euro Is "Too Low" For Germany, Blames Mario Draghi.
- ClimateGate 2 - NOAA Whistleblower Claims World Leaders Fooled By Fake Global Warming Data. (graph)
- World's Largest Actively Managed-Bond Fund Dumps "Excessively Risky" Eurozone Bank Debt.
- Deplorable? Obama Sent $27 Billion Taxpayer Money To Fund Sanctuary Cities In 2016.
- Trump Defends "Killer" Putin On National TV: "We've Got A Lot Of Killers - You Think Our Country's So Innocent?" (video)
- Media Turning On Itself: USAToday's Wolff Slams CNN's Stelter As "Ridiculous, Self-Righteous Figure".
- Vancouver Home Sales Crash 40%, As Toronto Home Prices Soar 22%. (graph)
- Italy Increasingly Likely To Abandon The Euro.
- Gorsuch May Not Shift The Balance Of Power On The Supreme Court As Much As You Think.
- Coffee Company Responds To Starbucks(SBUX), Pledges To Hire 10,000 Veterans.
- Le Pen Kicks Off Presidential Campaign Echoing Trump: The Highlights From Her Manifesto.
- "Dear Leftist, You Need To Take A Closer Look At The Real 'Refugees' Before You Denounce 'Vetting'".
- BuzzFeed Sued For Defamation Over Trump Dossier 'Fake News'.
- How The IRS Can Empty Your Bank Account Without Warning.
- TEPCO Admits Fukushima Radiation Levels Reach Record Highs As Hole In Reactor Discovered.
- "Davos Man Is Dead" - Trump's EU Ambassador Slams Out Of Touch Elites. (video)
- "Is Trump About To Cause Another Crisis?": 2008 Could Be Eclipsed As Bank Restrictions Eliminated. Beware of what may be coming next. We already know the establishment has a plan to blame President Trump for the next financial crisis, and now there are moves being made that will support that narrative.
- People are threatening to boycott Budweiser because of its immigration-themed Super Bowl ad.
- The US could resume taking in refugees as soon as Monday.
- Tiffany(TIF) hires Lady Gaga in Super Bowl ad as sales plummet and CEO resigns.
- Coke's(KO) 'America the Beautiful' pre-game Super Bowl ad was just as divisive the last time it aired.
- Asian indices are +.25% to +.5% on average.
- Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 110.0 -2.0 basis points.
- Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 31.0 -1.25 basis points.
- Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 71.45 +.03%.
- S&P 500 futures -.10%.
- NASDAQ 100 futures -.13%.
Earnings of Note
- None of note
- None of note
- The Fed's Harker speaking, China Manufacturing & Services PMI, German Factory Orders report and the (FAST) January sales report could also impact trading today.