Monday, February 12, 2018

Tuesday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • Japan Catches Up With a Rebound in Global Stocks. Shares in Tokyo advanced, as did those in Seoul and Sydney, while Hong Kong futures tipped a firmer open. The Cboe Volatility Index fell as the S&P 500 Index posted its biggest two-day advance in 18 months, but traders were still on edge following the tumultuous moves last week that wiped $2 trillion from U.S. stocks. The 10-year Treasury yield was steady after falling back from touching 2.89 percent, and the dollar remained under pressure. West Texas Intermediate oil remained under $60 a barrel. Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.4 percent as of 9:22 a.m. in Tokyo and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 0.9 percent. Markets were closed on Monday for National Foundation Day. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.2 percent. The Kospi index was up 0.7 percent in Seoul. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.6 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent. The underlying measures rose 1.4 percent, extending Friday’s 1.5 percent gain. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent and the MSCI All-Country World Index edged up after a 1.2 percent rally Monday.
  • VIX Manipulation Costs Investors Billions, Whistle-Blower Says. A whistle-blower told U.S. regulators that a scheme to manipulate the VIX, the volatility gauge thrust into the spotlight last week during a wild trading session, costs investors hundreds of millions of dollars a month. A Washington-based lawyer told the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- the nation’s top markets regulators -- in a letter Monday that his client found a flaw that allows traders “with sophisticated algorithms to move the VIX up or down by simply posting quotes on S&P options and without needing to physically engage in any trading or deploying any capital.” Billions in purportedly ill-gotten profits have been scooped up by “unethical electronic option market makers,” according to the letter.
Wall Street Journal:
Business Insider: 
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are +.75% to +1.75% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 73.5 -2.0 basis points
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 13.5 -.25 basis point.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 75.13 +.01%.
  • FTSE 100 futures +.45%.
  • S&P 500 futures +.08%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.22%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (AB)/.65
  • (DBD)/.35
  • (MLM)/1.46
  • (PEP)/1.30
  • (SINA)/.82
  • (UAA)/.00
  • (WB)/.58
  • (BIDU)/2.08
  • (FOSL)/.40
  • (MET)/.73
  • (OXY)/.41
  • (TEX)/.25
  • (TRUP)/.01
  • (TWLO)/-.06
Economic Releases
6:00 am EST
  • The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for January is estimated to rise to 105.3 versus 104.9 in December.
Upcoming Splits
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Fed's Mester speaking, Japan GDP report, UK CPI/PPI reports, weekly US retail sales reports, Suntrust Orphan Drug Day, Stifel Transport/Logistics Conference and the Goldman Tech/Internet Conference 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 mixed and to rally into the afternoon, finishing modestly higher.  The Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the day.

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