Sunday, April 09, 2017

Monday Watch

Today's Headlines
  • Dozens Killed in Two Egyptian Church Bombings on Palm Sunday. Back-to-back bombings at two Egyptian churches on Palm Sunday killed more than three dozen people in the deadliest assault on the country’s Coptic Christian community in years. One of the targets was the seat of the Coptic Orthodox church in Alexandria. Islamic State claimed the attacks on the Mar Girgis church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta and St. Mark’s cathedral in Alexandria, according to the U.S.-based SITE Intel Group, which monitors jihadist channels on social media. At least 27 people were reported killed in the Tanta bombing, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Mogahed said. At least 13 others died in Alexandria, and 40 were wounded, Health Minister Ahmed Emad El Din Rady told reporters. One of the fatalities was a police officer who tried to prevent a suspected suicide bomber from entering the church. Pope Tawadros II, who had led Palm Sunday Mass in Alexandria, wasn’t hurt, state-run media said. The attacks underscored the challenges confronting the government of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as it tries to attract international investors to revive an economy battered by years of unrest. In his meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House last week, the Egyptian leader focused on the need to combat terrorism while also pressing for continued U.S. aid to his nation.
  • Xi Buys Time With Trump as Tensions Loom Over North Korea Threat. After predicting a “very difficult” encounter with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Donald Trump emerged from their first meeting hailing “an outstanding relationship” between chiefs of the world’s biggest economies. Xi was similarly upbeat about his U.S. counterpart after the 18-hour summit in Florida that ended on Friday, saying they “got deeply acquainted, established a kind of trust and built an initial working relationship and friendship."
  • Asia Stocks Set for Gains as Profit Season Starts. Asian stocks are poised for modest gains when trading starts in a week that will see the earnings results season get underway, while political uncertainty and central banks remain in focus. Equity-index futures in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia climbed in most recent trading, as traders in the Asia-Pacific region had their first chance to react to worse-than-forecast U.S. hiring data. The Australian dollar traded steady, while the yen weakened against the dollar. The yen traded at 111.21 per dollar as of 7.22 a.m. in Tokyo. The Aussie traded flat at 75.01 U.S. cents before home-loan data due Monday. Futures on Nikkei 225, S&P/ASX 200 and Hang Seng indexes all climb in late Friday trading. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index lost 0.2 percent.
  • Fed's Big Unwind Risks Reigniting U.S. Bond Market Volatility. Even with the bond market’s muted response to the Federal Reserve’s plan to begin winding down its almost $4.3 trillion portfolio of mortgage and Treasury securities, there are plenty of reasons why the calm probably won’t last. Out of style for almost a decade, volatility may be on its way back if you take a closer look at the mechanics of the Treasury and mortgage markets. Despite the Fed’s mantra of seeking to carry out its policy shift in a “gradual and predictable manner,” analysts say the effects of ending the reinvestment of the proceeds from maturing securities will still be felt.
Wall Street Journal: 
Zero Hedge:
Night Trading
  • Asian indices are -.25% to +.5% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 95.5 +.5 basis point.
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 21.25 unch.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 71.67 -.05%.
  • S&P 500 futures +.09%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.08%.

Earnings of Note
  • (LAYN)/-.13
Economic Releases
10:00 am EST
  • The Labor Market Conditions Index for March is estimated to fall to 1.0 versus 1.3 in February.  
Upcoming Splits
  • (CPRT) 2-for-1
  • (DRYS) 1-for-4
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Fed's Yellen speaking, Australia Home Loans report, (UAL) traffic data, (LUV) traffic data could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE: Asian indices are mostly higher, boosted by energy and industrial 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 week.

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