Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wednesday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • U.S., EU, Japan Fire New Warning Shot Over China Trade Abuse. The U.S., European Union and Japan announced a partnership to tackle overcapacity issues and forced technology transfers, which could inflame their relationship with China. The three countries issued a joint declaration Tuesday at the World Trade Organization biennial meetings that promised to target the “severe excess capacity in key sectors,” market-distorting subsidies, and policies that force companies to transfer their proprietary technologies abroad.
  • U.K. Must Prosecute or Fine Social Media Companies for Illegal Content, Panel Says. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May should legislate to prosecute or fine social media companies such as Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Google Inc if they fail to remove illegal content, a panel that advises her on ethics said. Paul Bew, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, called on the government to shift the liability of content to the companies, so they become publishers, not merely platforms for content.
  • Asia Stocks Mixed, Dollar Steady Before FOMC, ECB. Japan’s Topix index edged higher while the Nikkei 225 index fell, and stocks climbed in Sydney and Seoul. The dollar held onto gains after Treasury yields climbed to 2.4 percent and U.S. equities posted fresh all-time highs after data showed signs of inflation in producer prices. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates after its meeting on Wednesday, and it’s anticipated that the European Central Bank will reveal details of plans to taper asset purchases on Thursday. Comments on the outlook for 2018 will be the focus for investors as they weigh the impact of coming policy normalization on global asset prices. The Topix index rose less than 0.1 percent as of 9:31 a.m. in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 Stock average inched lower. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2 percent. Westfield Corp. was the biggest gainer on the benchmark, surging 14 percent, after Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco SE agreed to buy the global mall operator for almost $16 billion. The Kospi index was up 0.4 percent in Seoul. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.1 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.1 percent.
  • Traders See No End to the Dollar’s Pain in 2018. Despite a recent bounce back, analysts and investors say the greenback could lose more ground against the euro and yen as the prospect of strong economic growth and tightermonetary policy outside the U.S. more than offsets higher interest rates at home. The dollar is down more than 7 percent versus the world’s major currencies this year, the most in over a decade.
  • Hacking Isn’t the Only Way Your Cryptocurrency Can Get Stolen. You don’t need to be hacked to lose your cryptocurrency to thieves. An unidentified New York City man found out the hard way when an acquaintance allegedly entered his apartment and took his digital wallet containing $1.8 million worth of ether after another man robbed him of his keys at gunpoint. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said this type of crime will become more frequent as values of cryptocurrencies continue to surge.
Wall Street Journal:
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are -.25% to +.50% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 70.5 -1.25 basis points
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 13.75 -.25 basis point
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.83 +.02%.
  • S&P 500 futures -.1%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures -.03%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

  • (ABM)/.49
  • (PIR)/.11
  • (RMAX)/.51
Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
  • The CPI MoM for November is estimated to rise +.4% versus a +.1% gain in October.
  • The CPI Ex Food and Energy MoM for November is estimated to rise +.2% versus a +.2% gain in October.
  • Real Avg. Weekly Earnings YoY for November.
10:30 am EST
  • Bloomberg consensus estimates call for a weekly crude oil inventory decline of -3,308,800 barrels versus a -5,610,000 decline the prior week.  Gasoline supplies are estimated to rise by +1,792,800 barrels versus a +6,780,000 barrel gain the prior week. Distillate inventories are estimated to rise by +1,135,700 barrels versus a +1,667,000 barrel gain the prior week. Finally, Refinery Utilization is estimated to rise by +.05% versus a +1.2% gain prior.
2:00 pm EST
  • The FOMC is expected to raise the benchmark Fed Funds rate to 1.25-1.5% from 1.0-1.25%.
Upcoming Splits
  • (NSP) 2-for-1
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The FOMC Policy Update, Eurozone CPI report, Eurozone Industrial Production report, weekly MBA Mortgage Application report, (TREE) investor day, (HON) investor conference, (JLL) investor day, (SNY) analyst day,  could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are mostly 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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