Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Thursday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • Asia Stocks Edge Higher; Dollar, Treasuries Steady. Asian stocks had a muted start to trading Thursday as concern simmers about an escalation of trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Treasury yields and the dollar were steady as oil retreated. Benchmarks edged higher in Japan, while South Korean shares were little changed. Australian stocks rose, cementing gains at an eight-year high. Futures in Hong Kong pointed to a muted opening. The S&P 500 broke a three-day losing streak and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced to an all-time high, buoyed by Facebook Inc.’s rally. The pound was stable after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May won a key vote on Brexit. Exchange-traded funds tracking equities in Argentina and Saudi Arabia climbed after MSCI Inc. upgraded the nations to emerging-market status. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.1 percent as of 9:08 a.m. in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.5 percent. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.1 percent. S&P 500 futures were up 0.1 percent
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are -.25% to +.75% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 79.25 -1.75 basis points. 
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 13.25 -.5 basis point.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 69.53 -.12%.
  • FTSE 100 futures +.30%.
  • S&P 500 futures +.16%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.21%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

Before the Open:
  • (BKS)/-.2
  • (CMC)/.42
  • (DRI)/1.35
  • (KR)/.63
  • (PDCO)/.30
After the Close:
  • (RHT)/.68
Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
  • Initial Jobless Claims for last week are estimated to rise to 220K versus 218K the prior week.
  • Continuing Claims are estimated to rise to 1710K versus 1697K prior.
  • The Philly Fed Business Outlook for June is estimated to fall to 29.0 versus 34.4 in May.
9:00 am EST
  • The FHFA House Price Index MoM for April is estimated to rise +.5% versus a +.1% gain in May.
10:00 am EST
  • The Leading Index for May is estimated to rise +.4% versus a +.4% gain in April.
Upcoming Splits
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The Eurozone Consumer Confidence report, Japan CPI report, weekly EIA natural gas inventory report, Bloomberg Economic Expectations Index for June, weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, Citi Chemical Conference, (HDS) analyst day and the (ETR) analyst day could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are mostly higher, boosted by commodity 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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