Thursday, December 21, 2017

Friday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • Catalan Separatists Win Regional Election in Blow to Rajoy. (video) The three separatist group had 70 seats in the 135 strong assembly with 99 percent of the votes counted late on Thursday, the Catalan regional government said on its website. The pro-Spain opposition party Ciudadanos claimed the most votes of any single group to take 37 seats while Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party was decimated, losing eight of its 11 lawmakers. Rajoy called the snap election in October after weeks of turmoil, ousting the rebel administration in Barcelona to stop it from putting a declaration of independence into effect. Now the separatists have a mandate to reclaim control over the region and Ciudadanos is challenging the PP’s claim to be the party that can hold the nation together. “This is really bad for Rajoy,” Veronica Fumanal, a political marketing expert, who has advised both Ciudadanos and the Socialists, said in an interview. “He’s been completely rejected.” 
  • Bond Yields Set for Weekly Jump, Stocks Tick Up. Equity gauges from the U.S. to Asia and Europe are also set for a modest advance this week as trading volumes dip into year-end. With little on the economic calendar to drive trading in Asia, futures in the region were up early Friday after U.S. benchmarks closed higher. Treasury yields came off their highs of the week, with the curve sharply flatter as demand from fund managers emerged at the long end. The dollar was mixed versus its major peers as gains against the Mexico peso were offset by losses against the loonie. Bitcoin plunged for a third session. Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed as of 8:22 a.m. in Tokyo. The main gauge advanced 0.2 percent to 2,684.57 Thursday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 0.3 percent. Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 0.2 percent. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.6 percent.
  • Papa John's Controversial CEO Will Hand Reins to Lieutenant. Company founder John Schnatter will hand the reins to Chief Operating Officer Steve Ritchie as of Jan. 1. The 43-year-old Ritchie, who began as a Papa John’s customer-service rep making $6 an hour in 1996, has been overseeing operations for the past three years.
Wall Street Journal:
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are unch. to +.5% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 68.25 unch
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 13.25 unch.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 73.69 -.05%.
  • S&P 500 futures +.06%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.06%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • None of note
Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
  • Personal Income for November is estimated to rise +.4% versus a +.4% gain in October.
  • Personal Spending for November is estimated to rise +.5% versus a +.3% gain in October.
  • The PCE Core MoM for November is estimated to rise +.3% versus a +.1% gain in October.
  • Durable Goods Orders for November is estimated to rise +2.0% versus a -.8% decline in October.
  • Durables Ex Transports for November is estimated to rise +.5% versus a +.9% gain in October.
  • Cap Goods Orders Non-Defense Ex-Air for November is estimated to rise +.5% versus a +.3% gain in October.
10:00 am EST
  • New Home Sales for November is estimated to fall to 655K versus 685K in October.
  • Final Univ. of Mich. Consumer Confidence for December is estimated to rise to 97.2 versus a prior estimate of 96.8.
11:00 am EST
  • Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity for December is estimated to fall to 15.0 versus 16.0 in November.
Upcoming Splits
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The US govt funding deadline, UK GDP report and the German GfK Consumer Confidence report could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are higher, boosted by commodity 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.

No comments: