Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Thursday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • Dollar Down, Asia Stocks Mixed on Less Hawkish Fed. Stock benchmarks inched higher in Japan, rose in South Korea, and edged lower in Australia. The greenback sank as the Fed did not suggest that it was leaning to ward four rate hikes this year, as some had expected, and it kept its inflation forecasts little changed. The yen was the strongest of the Group-of-10 currencies. The U.S. 10-year yield maintained losses while yields on two-year U.S. Treasuries, which are more sensitive to changes in Fed policy than longer-debt, dropped the most since early February. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.1 percent and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.3 percent as of 9:46 a.m. Tokyo time.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.7 percent.Futures on the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index climbed 0.3 percent.Futures on the S&P 500 Index added less than 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge fell 0.2 percent.
Wall Street Journal:
  • U.S., China Sharpen Trade Swords. As China braces for U.S. trade action on aluminum, steel and intellectual property, it is drawing up tariffs for U.S. farm products.
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are unch. to +.5% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 75.75 -.5 basis point
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 13.0 unch.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 75.30 +.06%.
  • FTSE 100 futures -.08%.
  • S&P 500 futures +.17%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.25%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (ACN)/1.49
  • (CCL)/.43
  • (CMC)/.29
  • (CAG)/.57
  • (DRI)/1.64
  • (GIII)/.17
  • (JKS)/.17
  • (HOME)/.35
  • (CTAS)/1.27
  • (KBH)/.29
  • (MU)/2.74
  • (NKE)/.53
Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
  • Initial Jobless Claims for last week are estimated to fall to 225K versus 226K the prior week. 
  • Continuing Claims are estimated to fall to 1870K versus 1879K prior.
9:00 am EST
  • The FHFA House Price Index for January is estimated to rise +.4% versus a +.3% gain in December.
9:45 am EST
  • The Preliminary Markit US Manufacturing PMI for March is estimated to rise to 55.5 versus 55.3 in February.
10:00 am EST
  • The Leading Index for February is estimated to rise +.5% versus a +1.0% gain in January.
11:00 am EST
  • The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity Index for March is estimated at 17.0 versus 17.0 in February.
Upcoming Splits
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Fed's Kashkari speaking, Bank of England rate decision, Eurozone Manufacturing PMI report, Australia Employment Change report, UK CPI report, Bloomberg Economic Expectations Index for March, weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index and the weekly EIA natural gas inventory report could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are higher, boosted by financial and commodity 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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