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18Mar2015 Pre-Market Commentary: Premarket SP500 Futures Down 0.4%, WTI Trading Below Support Ahead Of FOMC Statement

Written by Gary

Premarket Futures were down 0.4% earlier this morning ahead of the FOMC statement later today. Also reported that Fannie and Freddie could need another bailout and Athens will run out of money by the end of this month and assure that Greece will leave the Euro.

The only news that matters to algos today is whether Janet Yellen will include the word "patient" in the FOMC statement as a hint of a June rate hike.


Here is the European Market Open from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. The FTSE 100 is higher by 0.85%, while the DAX is leading the CAC 40 lower. They are down 0.82% and 0.15% respectively.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Brent oil falls below $53 as industry data shows U.S. stocks at record high

LONDON (Reuters) - Brent oil prices fell below $53 a barrel on Wednesday on oversupply concerns as industry data indicated U.S. crude stocks had hit a new record high.

Holcim, Lafarge discuss new role for Bruno Lafont to save deal - sources

PARIS/ZURICH (Reuters) - Cement makers Holcim and Lafarge , seeking to save their troubled merger, are discussing a new CEO appointment to the combined group that would see current Lafarge boss Bruno Lafont in a different role, sources said on Wednesday.

Meet "The Wohl Of Wall Street": The Inland Empire's Own 17-Year-Old Hedge Fund Manager

A decade ago the Inland Empire was known for having more real estate agents than any other profession, because "making money in real estate was so easy, anyone could do it." Now it's the rise of the "hedge fund managers."

Turns out E-trade knew precisely who their target audience was with all those baby ads. Because when we learn that a 17-year-old football and basketball playing highschooler out of California's Inland Empire is running his own "hedge fund", all we can say is "thank you Fed" for eliminating all the risk in "markets", and allowing such young entrepreneurs as Jacob Johl, who already has 20 investors and is better known as the "Wohl of Wall Street" to thrive and propser, even as all those who were still alive when markets were actually, well, markets can only sit back and laugh.

And laugh some more when seeing performance charts such as this one, pulled from the aspiring hedge funder's website.

About Wohl Capital Investment Group:

Wohl Capital was started by its current CEO and Senior Manager Jacob Wohl. Many hedge funds take only acredited investors with $1 million of capital or more to invest. We believe that we've created a hedge fund for the rest of us.

Jacob started Wohl Capital Investment Group to create a hedge fund for the average middle c ...

Stock futures slip ahead of Fed statement

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday ahead of a highly anticipated statement and news conference by the Federal Reserve later in the session, with the Fed expected to give clearer clues on how soon it plans to tighten monetary policy.

Violent Clashes Break Out Next To New ECB Headquarters In Frankfurt As Thousands Protest Austerity: Live Webcast

It's not just Greece which is protesting the utter lack of reforms enabled by the ECB known as "austerity" - as of today so is Germany itself with the so-called #Blockupy movement. According to local media reports, the start of anti-austerity rallies in Frankfurt coincided with the European Central Bank opening its new headquarters, whose occupants are now besieged by tens of thousands of protesters, so perhaps #OccupyQ€ would have been more appropriate. Police said they expect around 10,000 anti-capitalist protesters, marching under the banner of leftist alliance Blockupy, to attend the rally, with a march through the city planned for later in the evening. The result is what according to a police spokesman "is one of the biggest deployments ever in the city."

As the photos below shows, several police cars have been set on fire, with windows being smashed and demonstrators throwing stones at police ahead of the massive demonstration on Wednesday, and as riots break out across Frankfurt even as thousands of police respond with water cannon, pepper spray and mass arrests.

Anarchist BBQ in Frankfurt celebrating opening of European Central Bank HQ #Blockupy pic.twitter.com/WtKX6MEEYa

@ Kingslayer (@squig_) March 18, 2015

1.Polizeirevier in #Frankfurt / #EZB

A Sucker Is Optimized Every Minute

Now that we have hard data on everything, we no longer make decisions from our hearts, guts or principles.

Frontrunning: March 18

Hilsenrath: Fed to Markets: No More Promises (WSJ)

Fed set to ditch 'patient' rate vow as it eyes U.S., world growth (Reuters)

Fannie, Freddie could need another bailout (Reuters)

Alibaba Stock-Sale Lockup Is Ending (WSJ)

Netanyahu Sweeps Aside Herzog's Challenge to Win Israel Vote (BBG)

Oil Bonds Lose Investors $7 Billion in 10 Days (BBG)

There's a mysterious $1.1 trillion in spending cuts in the House GOP's budget (WaPo)

ECB's Celebration of Its New $1.4 Billion Tower Is Spoiled by Protesters (BBG)

IMF Considers Greece Its Most Unhelpful Client Ever (

Protesters, police clash near new European bank HQ in Frankfurt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Anti-capitalist protesters clashed with riot police near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt on Wednesday and set fire to barricades and cars, casting a pall over the ceremonial opening of the billion-euro skyscraper.

Many Blackstone M&A bankers expected to depart ahead of spin off to Taubman

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than half of the 17 senior managing directors working in Blackstone Group LP's mergers and acquisitions advisory arm may leave as the business is combined with the advisory firm headed by star Wall Street investment banker Paul Taubman, according to people familiar with the matter.

Futures Weak Ahead Of "Impatient" Fed, Oil Slide Continues; China Stocks Go Berserk

The only news that matters to algos today is whether Janet Yellen will include the word "patient" in the FOMC statement as a hint of a June rate hike, even though the phrase "international developments" is far more important in a world in which everyone (such as the 25 or so central banks who have cut rates in the past 80 days) is now scrambling to export deflation to everyone else. And with carbon-based traders recuperating from St. Patrick's day, few will notice that the oil tumble continues as WTI touches new 6 year highs after yesterday's shocking 10MM+ API build, and is now openly eyeing a collapse into the $30s.

Just as nobody will notice that even as futures in the US and European stocks are looking a little hungover ahead of the Fed and perhaps on the latest bout of anti-austerity out of Europe, the China levitation has gone full retard, with the SHCOMP up another 2.1% yesterday and now in full-blown parabolic mode as housing data - new property prices down 5.7% Y/Y and the sharpest drop on record - confirms the Chinese housing bubble has well and truly burst, and as shadow bankers dump all their funds into stocks in hopes of making up for losses due to regulatory intervention.

Unlike recent price action, the USD-index has also fell victim to the lack of overall price action with many participants firmly awaiting the FOMC statement and summary of economic projections and whether the Fed will drop the widely-watched â€'patient' phrase. The biggest mover this morning has been GBP which was weighed on by the already discussed UK employment data and BoE minutes. In antipodean currencies, NZD has continued to be weighed on by yesterday's particularly disappointing GDT auction and wider than expected trade deficit overnight. Finally, commodity related currencies including AUD and CAD have also been weighed on by the fall in energy and iron prices.

European equities have seen a relatively directionless start to the session with opening ...

Alibaba investors face lock-up battered but largely unbowed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Alibaba was preparing to sell shares to U.S. investors for the first time, Jerry Verseput tried to persuade his clients not to throw money at the giant China-based e-commerce company because he thinks IPOs are a gamble, especially those with a lot of hype.

Talk: Charles C. W. Cooke Can Fend for Himself

The National Review writer on being "conservatarian," the Second Amendment and surviving an apocalypse.

Volkswagen hit by second Chinese state television exposé in one week

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's main state-owned television network struck out against Volkswagen AG in its second exposé targeting the firm this week, alleging this time that the company overlooked dangerous engine leaks in its Chinese cars.

AmEx to launch its first cross-brand loyalty program in U.S.

(Reuters) - American Express Co said it will team up with seven U.S. companies, including Macy's Inc , AT&T Inc and Exxon Mobil Corp , to launch a cross-brand loyalty program for the first time in the United States.
...

Debate on gas contract secrecy overshadows EU quest for energy union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A push to make gas contracts agreed with countries such as Russia more transparent has pitched Poland against Germany ahead of energy talks among European Union leaders on Thursday.

Green Column: Outlook for Solar Gets a Bit Brighter

Solar has seen a dramatic fall in costs, on the order of more than 60 percent over the last five years.

Shares up in Europe and Asia before Fed meets; dollar steady

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares followed Asian stocks higher on Wednesday and the dollar held steady before a Federal Reserve meeting that's expected to lay the groundwork for the first increase in U.S. interest rates in nearly a decade.

Japan's Businesses Respond to Abe's Push for Higher Wages

Pay increases at companies like Toyota and Panasonic are modest but represent a step forward for the prime minister's economic revival program.

Boeing pins hopes on Malaysia order for boost to F/A-18 fighter jet

LANGKAWI, Malaysia (Reuters) - U.S plane manufacturer Boeing , in talks with Malaysia for the sale of 18 F/A-18 fighter jets, is pinning its hopes on an order to give a boost to the struggling product, executives of the planemaker said on Wednesday.

Asia Steps Up Efforts to Reach the 'Unbanked'

Financing the Future: Governments from China to India are experimenting with novel ways to widen access to financial services, from using mobile technology for transfers to allowing retail stores to take deposits in remote areas.

Dr. Mark Skousen: I've Been Fighting a Battle Against these Ideas â€" the â€'Paradox of Thrift' is a Myth (Sprott`s Thoughts)

.......Submitted by and with permission of: Sprott Global Resources

By Henry Bonner:

Skousen Friedman

Mark Skousen (Left) and Milton Friedman

Listen to audio (mp3)/Read transcript >

Dr. Mark Skousen has been advocating for the â€'supply-side' economics over his entire career. He's been a Professor at Columbia Business School, and he's now a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, in Orange County, California.

According to Austrian economists like Dr. Skousen, consumption and consumer spending are not the main drivers of economic growth. What really drives an economy are investments and innovation from businesses.

The stimulus plan, which was meant to send more cash into consumers' pockets, is based on Keynesian ideas. The more people spend the better. If they save instead of spending, it will lead to a downward spira ...

Japan blue chips plan bigger pay hikes but smaller firms expected to lag

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese blue-chip firms announced wage hikes that topped increases last year, but overall pay raises across corporate Japan are not expected to offset higher costs of living or be enough to drive a sustainable economic recovery.

Osborne to Extend Tax Breaks to British Voters in Budget Statement

With an upturn in tax receipts and a dip in inflation, the chancellor of the Exchequer has more leeway than expected to reduce the amount people pay in taxes or to curb spending cuts.

ECB's money printing may stymie cash generators

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Central Bank may well be printing money via its landmark government bond buying program, but it could also be destroying some of the financial system's own printing presses in the process.

Lufthansa pilots start first of two strike days

BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa pilots started the first of two days of strike action at the German carrier on Wednesday in an attempt to bring an end to a row over early retirement benefits that has been running for two years.

Nasdaq sees tech partnership with HKEx in derivatives link-up

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Securities exchange operator NASDAQ OMX Group Inc is a "natural partner" for its Hong Kong counterpart should the latter need technological assistance for derivatives link-ups with other exchanges, Nasdaq President Adena Friedman said.

The Role of Government

Written by Frank Li

One of the biggest differences between China and America is the size and role of government. China has a big central government, while America is supposed to have a limited government. Which one is better? More importantly, how should each evolve towards an Ideal Form of Government?

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To contact me with questions, comments or constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated:

gary@econintersect.com

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