Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Thursday Watch

Evening Headlines
  • Asia Stocks Set to Slide as Fed Rattles Wall St.  Asian stocks looked set to decline after U.S. equities swung from gains to losses as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell failed to quell investor concerns that tightening policy will choke economic growth.  Equity futures slid in Japan and most other Asian markets before the open. The S&P 500 Index turned a gain of as much as 1.5 percent into a loss of the same magnitude to end Wednesday’s session at a 15-month low after U.S. policy makers raised interest rates for the fourth time this year. They also lowered their forecast for hikes next year to two from three, though markets had been priced for just one. Treasury yields slid and the dollar erased losses as Powell said the Fed’s balance sheet normalization would continue “on automatic pilot.”  Futures on the Nikkei 225 fell 1.6 percent in Singapore.  Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures lost 0.6 percent.  Futures on the FTSE China A50 fell 1 percent. 
Wall St. Journal:
Zero Hedge:
Night Trading 
  • Asian equity indices are -1.0% to -.25% on average.
  • Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 92.50 +1.5 basis points
  • Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 11.75 +2.25 basis points.
  • Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 66.89 -.05%.
  • FTSE 100 futures -1.25%.
  • S&P 500 futures +.38%.
  • NASDAQ 100 futures +.46%.
Morning Preview Links

Earnings of Note

Before the Open:
  • (ACN)/1.86
  • (BB)/.02
  • (CCL)/.70
  • (CAG)/.56
  • (SAFM)/-1.28
  • (SCHL)/2.16
  • (WBA)/1.44
After the Close:
  • (CAMP)/.23
  • (CTAS)/1.68
  • (NKE)/.46
Economic Releases
8:30 am EST
  • The Philly Fed Business Outlook Index for December is estimated to rise to 15.0 versus 12.9 in November.
  • Initial Jobless Claims for last week are estimated to rise to 215K versus 206K the prior week.
  • Continuing Claims are estimated to rise to 1663K versus 1661K prior.
10:00 am EST
  • The Leading Index for November is estimated unch. versus a +.1% gain in October.
Upcoming Splits
  • None of note
Other Potential Market Movers
  • The UK retail sales report, Bloomberg Economic Expectations Index for December, weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, weekly EIA natural gas inventory report, (HIIQ) investor day and the (RCII) conference call could also impact trading today.
BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are lower, weighed down by technology and commodity shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open mixed and to weaken into the afternoon, finishing modestly lower.  The Portfolio is 25% net long heading into the day.

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