Thursday, November 16, 2017

Friday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • Saudi Arabia Says OPEC Should Extend Cuts in Meeting This Month. (video) Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister said OPEC and its allies should announce an extension of their output curbs when they gather at the end of this month. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is unlikely to reduce excess oil inventories to average levels by the time the current deal expires in late March, said Minister Khalid Al-Falih, speaking at the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany. Russia, allied with OPEC in the deal, isn’t convincedit’s necessary to make a decision when the producers meet on Nov. 30, people familiar with the matter said this week.
  • India's Credit Rating Upgraded by Moody's in Boost for Modi. Moody’s Investors Service raised India’s sovereign bond rating for the first time since 2004, citing continued progress in economic and institutional reforms. The ratings firm upgraded India to Baa2 from Baa3 and said reforms being pushed through by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will help stabilize rising levels of debt. That’s a shift from Moody’s lowest investment-grade ranking to the second lowest. The surprise move comes even as India surrendered its status as the world’s fastest-growing major economy amid sweeping policy change. Growth slipped below 6 percent in the April-June quarter, sparking expectations that the government will need to unleash fiscal stimulus. Markets welcomed the move, even as some cautioned the response will be limited given the ongoing challenges that the economy faces.
  • Stocks Climb After Tumultuous Week; Dollar Falls. (video) Shares in Japan jumped for a second day as technology companies gave the biggest boost to the Topix index. Equity gauges in Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea also rose. The dollar declined for a fourth day and the Korean won added to a rally that has taken it to the strongest in more than a year, prompting officials to caution about the pace of the gain. Indian stock futures gained after Moody’s Investors Service raised the nation’s credit rating, citing progress on economic and institutional reforms. The Topix climbed 0.8 percent as of 10:59 a.m. in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.3 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.3 percent and the Kospi index in Seoul was up 0.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 0.9 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.3 percent.
  • Lynn Tilton Accused of Withholding Funds After Portfolio Defaults. After being cleared of wrongdoing in a case by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, New York financier Lynn Tilton faces new claims over how she ran her distressed companies in a lawsuit by three funds she once created and managed to raise money for her portfolio.
Wall Street Journal:
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are +.25% to +.75% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 79.0 -2.25 basis points. 
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 16.0 unch.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.79 +.15%.
  • S&P 500 futures -.10%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.01%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (ANF)/.21
  • (BKE)/.38
  • (FL)/.80
  • (HIBB)/.22
Economic Releases 
8:30 am EST
  • Housing Starts for October are estimated to rise to 1190K versus 1127K in September.
  • Building Permits for October are estimated to rise to 1250K versus 1215K in September.
11:00 am EST
  • Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity for November is estimated to fall to 21.0 versus 23.0 in October.
Upcoming Splits
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Fed's Brainard speaking, 3Q MBA Mortgage Foreclosures/Delinquencies and the BoJ Bond Purchase Update could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are higher, boosted by industrial and technology 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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