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27Mar2015 Pre-Market Commentary: Markets Expected To Open Lower, Oil Prices Falling, U.S. Dollar Resumes Climb

Written by Gary

U.S. stock index futures dipped on this morning setting indexes up for a full week of daily declines, as the dollar index added to the previous session's rebound ahead of a speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

After a few days of dollar weakness due to concerns that the Fed's rate hike intentions have been derailed following some undisputed ugly economic data the USD has resumed its rise.

Oil prices fell more than $1 a barrel earlier as worries receded over the threat of continuing disruptions to the Middle East supplies due to the Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen. European shares are heading for their biggest weekly fall of the year as a second week of gains for oil prices and periphery euro zone bond yields brought to a halt a two month bonanza for the region's equity markets.

Markets are expected to open lower.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 0.52% while the DAX gains 0.12%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.45%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Oil falls more than $1 as Middle East supply fears ease

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices fell more than $1 a barrel on Friday as worries receded over the threat of disruptions to Middle East supplies due to Saudi Arabia-led air strikes in Yemen.

European stocks head for biggest weekly fall of the year

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares were heading for their biggest weekly fall of the year on Friday, as a second week of gains for oil prices and a resurgent euro put the brakes on a two-month bonanza for the region's equity markets.

Co-Pilot in Germanwings Crash Hid Medical Condition From Employer, Prosecutors Say

They said that among the items found at Andreas Lubitz's home was a doctor's note relieving him from his duties because of an illness that covered the day of the crash.

U.S. GDP unrevised at 2.2 percent in fourth quarter; corporate profits fall

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth cooled in the fourth quarter as previously estimated, with businesses throttling back on inventory and equipment investment but robust consumer spending limiting the slowdown in the pace of activity.

BlackBerry Reports $28 Million Profit in 4th Quarter

The smartphone maker is in the midst of a major restructuring, limiting production of phones to avoid the costly financial of the past.

Marks & Spencer expected to show improving trend for non-food sales

LONDON (Reuters) - British retailer Marks & Spencer is expected to report an improving trend for its non-food business as it starts to put its online distribution problems behind it, despite a drop in sales for the 15th quarter in a row.

Dow Chemical to Merge Unit With Olin

In a $5 billion deal, Dow shareholders will own 50.5 percent of the rival chemical company.

Turkey Devolves Into A Full Police State: Law Grants Unlimited Powers To Weaponized Police Force

While a source of much schadenfreude by its neighbors and casual onlookers, Turkey has become a glaring example of what happens to a formerly respectable nation as it devolves entirely into a banana republic with not only authoritarian overtones but a police state to boot. And earlier today, Turkey's conversion to a full blown police state was complete when, after weeks of heated debates and brawls in parliament, Turkey's government passed a security package expanding police powers, along with an online surveillance law and a discretionary fund for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to fund covert operations.

In other words, president Erdogan has just voted himself quasi-dictatorial powers with a private police force to defend him.

As Bloomberg details, the parliament voted to approve security laws that allow police to conduct searches and arrests without immediate court orders and use firearms against militants. The law separately empowered government-appointed governors to order police or paramilitary forces to conduct searches and detain suspects for up to 48 hours without immediate court orders, state-run Anadolu Agency said.

Furthermore, protesters are banned from carrying fire crackers, firebombs, iron pellets and slingshots, along with covering faces during demonstrations.

Taking a cue from the US, whose NSA continues to enjoy 4th amendment-busting privileges despite all the Snowden revelations, Turkey's online surveillance law will allow police to keep wiretapping or monitoring online activities of suspects without court orders for 48 hours. At least in Turkey it's legally mandated: in the US at last ...

Chevron Seeks to Sell Caltex Australia Stake for $3.6 Billion

The proposed sale of the 50 percent stake comes amid falling oil prices and after other global oil companies left Australia's refining industry.

Futures tick lower as dollar gains ahead of Yellen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped on Friday, setting indexes up for a full week of daily declines, as the dollar index added to the previous session's rebound ahead of a speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Frontrunning: March 27

Google's new CFO to make $70 million (WSJ)

With Yemen strikes, Saudis show growing independence from U.S. (Reuters)

Banks Slash Dividends as Loans Sour From Beijing To Pearl River (BBG)

North American Railroads Caught by Speed of Crude-Oil Collapse (BBG)

Japan's Zero Inflation a Setback for Abenomics (WSJ)

Cooperman Says U.S. Seeks Information About Omega Trades (BBG)

Fed's Top Cop Gets Grilled About Leaks (BBG)

London Home Prices Gain on Demand for Cheapest Districts (BBG)

Apple's Tim Cook will give away all his money (

Post-Sept. 11, Cockpits Are Built to Protect From Outside Threats

By apparently locking the captain out of the cockpit, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 took advantage of a major safety protocol instituted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Contact Lens Makers and Discounters Tussle Over Price Setting

All the major contact lens manufacturers have enacted policies to set minimum pricing by sellers, who in turn say the rules amount to price-fixing. Anthony Morrow, above, is paying 60 percent more for lenses.

Futures Wipe Out Early Gains In Volatile Session As Dollar Resumes Climb; Oil Slides

After a few days of dollar weakness due to concerns that the Fed's rate hike intentions have been derailed following some undisputedly ugly economic data (perhaps the Fed should just make it clear there will never be rate hikes during the winter ever again) the USD has resumed its rise, and as a result risk assets, after surging early in the overnight session driven by the Nikkei225 and the Emini, the "strong dollar is bad for risk" trade has re-emerged, with the Nikkei dropping almost 500 points off its intraday highs, with US equity futures poised to open lower once more, sliding nearly 20 points in the overnight session, and surprising the BTFDers who have not seen five consecutive days of "risk-off" in a long time.

Not helping the risk case is oil, which having soared this week on geopolitical concerns and fears the Yemen conflict may spread and closing higher for five consecutive days rebounding 13% off last Thursday's levels with the five-day streak the highest since February 2014, has realized that there still is no excess demand, and inventory keeps building, as a result WTI has slid and is eyeing $50 support once more. According to Bloomberg, Brent, WTI fall ~$1 during early trading as fears over impact of Yemen conflict ease on low trading volume. Today we get another Baker Hughes U.S. oil rig count update, which may show the recent slowdown in rig shutterings has picked up. "Yesterday's price rise was a knee-jerk reaction to events in Yemen and mkt participants are now making a more sober assessment of the situation," says Commerzbank commodity strategist Carsten Fritsch. "The risk of a supply disruption resulting from Saudi-led bombing in Yemen is very small."

An extension of the USD's gains this morning caused another slide in EUR/USD, which first caused stops to be taken out at 1.0850 before a test of 1.0800 and EUR/GBP to fall below 0.7300. Some noted that further EUR selling could be seen into month-end as investors mai ...

China to let mutual funds buy Hong Kong shares via 'connector': regulator

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's securities regulator said on Friday it would let mainland mutual funds invest in Hong Kong shares via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect.

Fed's Fischer: Nonbank financial sector less vulnerable than before crisis

(Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said on Friday that the nonbank financial sector today is less vulnerable to the type of shocks that played a key role in spreading the U.S. financial crisis.

Chasing Chinese tourists, Samsonite launches multi-brand airport shops

HONG KONG,(Reuters) - Samsonite International , the world's biggest luggage maker, attributed its record China sales last year to the company's wide range of brands aimed at travelers with varying budgets and tastes. Its next target: tourists at airports.

Invest in Food

......Submitted by Bullion Bulls Canada - Written by Jeff Nielson

At first glance, the title to this commentary seems facile, especially to those readers in higher income brackets. The reality, however, is that "investing in food" is a risk-free means of generating an annual return on one's investment that would likely exceed the return one could earn on almost any other investment â€" despite the fact that nearly all other asset classes carry significant risks.

Indeed, with many asset classes currently at extreme "bubble" levels in their valuations (notably stocks,bonds, and real estate), the term "risk" is gross understatement. Putting any new money into any such assets (or simply keeping one's wealth exposed to these sectors) is nothing less than financial suicide. In comparison to financial suicide; the opportunity for a risk-free return on one's investing today obviously merits further scrutiny.

img credit

It is in this environment of extreme financial risk and perpetually spiraling food prices where we consider the proposition of food as an investment asset class. We begin by looking at the "fundamentals" of this market/investment class. And what we see (from this perspective) is extremely encouraging: f ...

Andorra to create 'bad bank' to group BPA toxic assets

MADRID (Reuters) - Andorra will create a 'bad bank' to group the assets of Banca Privada d'Andorra (BPA) linked to illicit activity, it said late on Thursday, as the principality battles to rebuild the reputation of its banking system.

Three Ways To Capture Top Dividend Payers

You needn't go chasing individual stocks to find those with the best yields. Three exchange-traded funds do the work for you.

Corporate America's Biggest Dividends

Exxon Mobil raised its quarterly dividend 10.5% to 63 cents a share Wednesday, but Dow Jones Indices senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt says the company's annual of $11.3 billion will still be hair below that of Apple, which hiked its own dividend Tuesday. The companies that follow pay America's biggest dividends. (Yields are as of 4/23/13.)

American Apparel ex-CEO Charney seeks $40 million in damages

(Reuters) - The former chief executive and founder of hipster clothing brand American Apparel Inc , Dov Charney, is claiming $40 million in damages for a breach of employment contract, his attorney said.

About 1,000 workers at South Africa's Medupi power station fired: Eskom

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - About 1,000 workers at the construction site of South Africa's Eskom [ESCJ.UL] Medupi power plant have been fired for vandalizing property during this week's one-day strike, the power utility's spokesman said on Friday.

Peugeot French production increase earns presidential visit

PARIS (Reuters) - PSA Peugeot Citroen said on Friday it had chosen a French factory over a rival Spanish plant to expand engine production, prompting a visit by President Francois Hollande to highlight a bright spot in France's gloomy labor market.

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