Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Thursday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • Japanese Shares to Fall as Yen, Treasuries Advance. Political uncertainty continues to infect markets, as gains for Treasuries and the yen underpin expectations that Japanese stocks will fall, with other Asian bourses poised to open little changed. Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures fell with the yen gaining for the third day this week and after Treasuries posted their first four-day rally since the leadup to June’s Brexit vote. The S&P 500 Index was little changed for the eighth time in the past 10 sessions, erasing losses after crude rebounded above $52 a barrel. Gold reached a three-month high and euro-dollar volatility surged as investors assess political risks in Europe and the U.S. The New Zealand dollar fell after the central bank held interest rates at a record low. Contracts on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell in Osaka and Singapore. Futures on South Korea’s Kospi Index rose while those on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index retreated. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.3 percent. New Zealand’s main benchmark climbed 0.6 percent.
  • Anthem’s(ANTM) Bid for Cigna(CI) Blocked by Judge as Anticompetitive.
  • Big Pharma Is Pointing Fingers, and Hoping Trump Will Listen. In the fast-moving Washington game of who’s to blame for high U.S. drug prices, an often-overlooked industry is readying its defenses against pharmaceutical companies that fault other parts of the health sector for the costs faced by patients. Known as pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, the industry includes giants such as Express Scripts Holding Co. and CVS Health Corp., which negotiate prices with drugmakers, work with pharmacies and help set the co-pays patients pay out of pocket. Now these middlemen are now taking it from all sides.
Wall Street Journal:
Zero Hedge:
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are -.5% to +.5% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 108.5 -.75 basis point.
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 29.75 +.5 basis point.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 71.08 -.04%. 
  • S&P 500 futures -.05%. 
  • NASDAQ 100 futures -.04%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (BZH)
  • (BWA)/.84
  • (CLF)/.26
  • (KO)/.37
  • (CMI)/2.00
  • (CVS)/1.67
  • (DNKN)/.61
  • (K)/.85
  • (OXY)/-.02
  • (PTEN)/-.55
  • (REGN)/3.08
  • (SEE)/.74
  • (TWTR)/.12
  • (VIAB)/.84
  • (YUM)/.73
  • (AGU)/.67
  • (CERN)/.61
  • (EXPE)/1.37
  • (MHK)/3.22
  • (NWSA)/.19
  • (NVDA)/.98
  • (YELP)/.26
Economic Releases 
8:30 am EST
  • Initial Jobless Claims are estimated to rise to 249K versus 246K the prior week.
  • Continuing Claims are estimated to fall to 2058K versus 2064K prior. 
Upcoming Splits
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Fed's Bullard speaking, Fed's Evans speaking, Pres. Trump meeting with airline CEOs, German exports report, $15B 30Y Y-Bond auction, weekly Bloomberg US Consumer Comfort, weekly EIA natural gas inventory report, WASDE Crop report, (INTC) investor meeting, (TSN) annual meeting, (KO) Investor conference call and the Keefe Bruyette Woods Financial Services Symposium could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are mostly higher, boosted by technology and Metals/Mining 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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