Sunday, April 23, 2017

Monday Watch

Today's Headlines
  • Macron, Le Pen in French Runoff as Establishment Crashes Out. (video) Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen won the first round of the French presidential election, triggering a runoff on May 7 between two radically different visions of the country’s future. Macron, a first-time candidate and political independent, was on course to take 23.8 percent in Sunday’s election, with National Front leader Le Pen on 21.7 percent, according to projections from the Interior Ministry based on more than 90 percent of votes counted. A snap poll released late Sunday suggested Macron would defeat Le Pen by more than 20 percentage points in the second round.
  • Fillon Concedes Defeat in French Presidential Election. (video) Republican candidate Francois Fillon conceded defeat in the first round of the French presidential election, endorsing his centrist rival Emmanuel Macron. Macron is set to face nationalist Marine Le Pen in the final-round of voting.
  • Euro Rises to Five-Month High as Le Pen, Macron Lead French Vote. (video) The euro jumped against the dollar after early counting of ballots in the first round of the French election showed that centrist Emmanuel Macron and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen were on course to reach next month’s run-off. The shared currency traded 1.7 percent higher at $1.0913 by 9:05 p.m. London time, paring gains of as much as 2 percent that took the shared currency to the highest since November. A place for Macron in the second round avoids investors’ nightmare scenario of a contest between the anti-euro Le Pen and the Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon.
  • Risk Is Back On After French Election; Euro Jumps. The euro climbed 1.5 percent to $1.0884 as of 7:03 a.m. in Tokyo. The yen fell 1 percent to 110.27 per dollar. Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.9 percent. Contracts on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average traded in Chicago increased 2 percent. Gold slipped 1 percent to $1,272.01 an ounce. Treasury 10-year futures dropped, with contracts for June delivery falling 3/4 to 125 10/32.
  • Israel Strikes Weapons Depot in Southern Syria, Al Jazeera Says. Israeli airstrikes killed an unknown number of Syrian soldiers at a weapons depot in rural Quneitra province, Al Jazeera TV reported. An Israeli army spokeswoman declined to comment. Sunday’s strike came after several projectiles from Syria hit the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on Friday and the army returned fired at areas where the launching originated. Since violence in Syria began in 2011 and devolved into civil war, Israel has been accused of carrying out occasional strikes targeting weapons convoys destined for Lebanon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the military acts to limit the transfer of “game-changing” weapons to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.
Wall Street Journal:
  • BD to acquire Bard in $24 billion medical tech deal. Becton Dickinson and Co will acquire C R Bard Inc in a $24 billion cash-and-stock deal that will give shareholders of the target about 15 percent of the combined entity, the two U.S. medical technology companies said on Sunday.
  • Trump to set executive orders on environment, energy this week. U.S. President Donald Trump will sign several executive orders on energy and the environment this week, which would make it easier for the United States to develop energy on and offshore, a White House official said on Sunday. "This builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines, innovations in energy production, and reduced unnecessary burden on energy producers," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Night Trading
  • Asian indices are +.5% to +1.5% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 98.0 -2.5 basis points.
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 24.0 -.75 basis point.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.59 -.04%.
  • S&P 500 futures +.82%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.83%.

Earnings of Note
  • (HAL)/.03
  • (HAS)/.38
  • (ITW)/1.45
  • (KMB)/1.55
  • (SOHU)/-1.64
  • (AA)/.48
  • (ABX)/.21
  • (CR)/1.00
  • (CCI)/1.10
  • (ESRX)/1.32
  • (NEM)/.22
  • (OI)/.53
  • (SWFT)/.11
  • (WHR)/2.66
  • (TMUS)/.36
  • (SANM)/.70
Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
  • The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for March.  
10:30 am EST
  • The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity Index for April is estimated to fall to 16.5 versus 16.9 in March.
Upcoming Splits
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Fed's Kashkari speaking and the German Import Price/IFO reports could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are higher, boosted by technology and industrial shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open higher and to maintain gains into the afternoon. The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the week.

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