Saturday, April 29, 2017

Today's Headlines

  • EU Throws Down Brexit Gauntlet to Britain as Talks Edge Closer. European Union leaders threw down the gauntlet to the U.K. ahead of Brexit talks, listing demands Prime Minister Theresa May must satisfy before they will discuss the sweeping trade deal she wants and urging her to be more realistic in her expectations. Any doubts about the scale of the task facing the U.K. in withdrawing from the EU after four decades were laid to rest at a Brussels summit of the region’s leaders on Saturday. A tough negotiating stance was endorsed unanimously, within minutes and to applause. The U.K. responded by saying it expects a confrontation.
  • Japan, Philippines Urge U.S., North Korea to Avoid War Brink. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte joined China in pleading with the leaders of North Korea and the U.S. to tone down their nuclear brinksmanship, even as he agreed with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that negotiations to end the standoff would be useless. “We have to caution everybody including those who’d give the advice to the two players because you have nuclear warheads to just show restraint,” Duterte said Saturday after wrapping up a meeting of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila.
  • Le Pen Has Potential Prime Minister, No Rush on Euro Exit. Marine Le Pen would name nationalist politician Nicolas Dupont-Aignan prime minister and signaled no rush for a French euro exit if she’s elected president in a bid to gain additional voter support. “We will create a government of national unity,” Le Pen, 48, said Saturday as she appeared with Dupont-Aignan on BFM television. Dupont-Aignan said they briefly discussed their platforms and that she trusts him and his party will remain independent as part of their newly-born alliance. Le Pen said her program, which includes raising barriers on trade and immigration, remains quite unchanged except for minor points. Leaving the euro is not a “preliminary” in her protectionist agenda and any exit process would be smooth.
  • Fed's Low-and-Slow Strategy Tested by Business-Spending Pickup. U.S. business investment is finally showing signs of life, and the Federal Reserve may have to reconsider its low-and-slow approach to raising interest rates if such spending becomes a vital force for the economy. Underneath a weak reading of first-quarter gross domestic product on Friday, non-residential investment in structures, equipment and intellectual property grew at a 9.4 percent annualized pace, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2013. While the Bureau of Economic Analysis attributed the increase to a significant jump in “mining exploration, shafts, and wells” -- which reflects a surge in oil-and-gas drilling -- almost all categories of investment showed gains.
Wall Street Journal:
  • Had bullish commentary on (LRCX), (VZ), (JPM), (EPC), (FNSR), (ACIA), (OCLR), (WDC), (CAT) and (MU).
  • Had bearish commentary on (IBM), (NFLX), (CMG) and (TSLA).
Zero Hedge:

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