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25Nov2015 Pre-Market Commentary: A Quiet Day On Wall Street?

Written by Gary

European markets up even with Syrian concerns, and USA market futures are up looking at a rising tide of positive data. As many traders are already out buying turkey, look for a quiet day on Wall Street.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.45% while France's CAC 40 is up 1.20% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.41%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Futures higher ahead of spate of U.S. economic data

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Wednesday ahead of a flurry of data that could help sway the Federal Reserve's decision on whether to raise interest rates next month.

Deere profit falls on slowed farm equipment sales

(Reuters) - Deere & Co , an agriculture and construction equipment maker, posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday even as weak global demand for farm equipment and soft commodity prices pressured sales.

China police cracks $4.5 billion underground bank: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police have busted an underground banking network that handled $4.5 billion worth of illegal transactions at Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (AgBank) alone, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.

U.S. GDP growth raised for third quarter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy grew at a healthier clip in the third quarter than initially thought, but strong inventory accumulation by businesses could temper expectations of an acceleration in growth in the final three months of the year.

VW will stick to 6.7 billion euro provisions despite simple technical fix

WOLFSBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Volkswagen will not reduce planned provisions of 6.7 billion euros ($7.1 billion) for costs of its diesel emissions scandal although technical fixes for affected vehicles have turned out less complex.

European stocks up, oil slides as concerns ease over Russia-Turkey tension

LONDON (Reuters) - European stocks moved higher and oil prices reversed course and fell 1 percent on Wednesday as investors' concerns eased over the potential fallout of Turkey's shooting down of a Russian fighter jet.

Exclusive: Three Goldman bankers leave for Uber as tech world raids Wall Street talent

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Three mid-level bankers in Goldman Sachs Group Inc's technology investment banking group in San Francisco have left to take positions at ride service company Uber Technologies Inc in recent months, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Lufthansa cabin crew union calls off this week's strike

BERLIN (Reuters) - The main cabin crew union at Lufthansa has called off a strike planned for this week after progress was made in talks with management over retirement and pension benefits.

Toyota to replace Takata airbag inflators previously deemed safe

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp on Wednesday said it would replace Takata Corp airbag inflators in 1.6 million cars in Japan that had previously been recalled after concluding that they may still be unsafe.

Why Even A Modest Disruption Will Shatter The Status Quo

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Any modest reduction in debt, tax revenues, consumption or new borrowing will bring the entire Status Quo crashing down.

Consider this clipping from the August 1932 San Francisco Chronicle newspaper:

"Reduction of salaries of municipal employees and limitation of city positions to only one member of a household will be sought by (Supervisor) Adolph Uhl in two amendments to the San Francisco charter. The salary reductions would run from 2.5% for the lowest bracket to 25% on salaries of $500 a month or more."

Thanks to the handy BLS Inflation Calculator we know that $500 a month in 1932 is the equivalent of $8,680 per month (about $104,000) a year.

Imagine the tempest of fury and outrage that would arise should this be proposed the next time local governments run short of funding. Nowadays, the calls would not be for sacrifices from the highly paid public servants but for tax increases of 25% to maintain public-servant wages and benefits while the private sector economy implodes.

This unwillingness to sacrifice for the greater good is now endemic. This is the result of two powerful social forces:

1. The loss of any shared sense of purpose or social good worthy of sacrifice.

2. The ascendancy of maximizing private gain by whatever means are available as the primary purpose and goal of the Status Quo.

The dominance of maximizing private gain by whatever means are available leaves the Status Quo brittle and fragile. Since everyone reckons any sacr ...

Global Stocks Rebound As Geopolitical Tensions Subside; Europe Surges On Report Of More ECB Easing

Following yesterday's dramatic geopolitical shock, U.S. equity index futures rise as Russia has not escalated the confrontation with Turkey as some had feared, while Asian shares fall, reversing earlier gains. European stocks are rallying and the euro is falling on the back of a Reuters report that the ECB is mulling new measures to prop up lending, although it’s not clear at this point what the real impact from these measures would be.

As a result, global stocks are little changed for a second day as investors assess the geopolitical fallout from the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey. U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande called for Russia and Turkey to avoid escalating the confrontation. Hollande meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris today before heading to Moscow tomorrow to meet President Vladimir Putin.

As Bloomberg reports, Tuesday's worst performing global equity benchmarks are experiencing differing fortunes today. On Tuesday Turkey's Borsa Istanbul Index sank 4.4 percent, the most in four months.

Russia's RTS Index dropped 3.3 percent, the most since Sept.1. Today Russian stocks rose as much as 1.6 percent, while Turkish equities fluctuated between gains and losses. Russia was the biggest source of Turkey's imports in 2014, while some 12 percent of all tourists to Turkey were from Russia last year, according to Renaissance Capital. Turkey is Russia's second-biggest market for gas exports, and relies on Gazprom to meet half of its gas needs. Turkey's lira fell for a third day against the dollar.

M&A Spikes to Craziest Frenzy Ever, even as Bottom Falls out of Riskiest End

Pfizer’s revenues have been declining for what will be four years in a row by the end of 2015. Its liabilities have ballooned to $104 billion. Its “goodwill†and “intangible assets†â€" future expenses temporarily parked on the balance sheet â€" have swollen to $95 billion. It has so much debt in relationship to its real assets that its tangible stockholder equity is a negative $24 billion. It’s facing a “patent cliff,†as new generic drugs are eating into sales and profits of its old drugs. It’s in worse shape than even IBM.

And it no longer wants to pay taxes in the US. So it announced a miracle cure, a marvelous piece of financial and tax engineering: the $160-billion acquisition of Allergan.

It’s the second largest deal ever and has become target of political scorn from all sides for one of its primary purposes: transferring Pfizer’s legal headquarters on paper to Ireland in order to escape US taxes. But beyond the sound-bites, the deal propels global M&A so far this year to a record $4.2 trillion.

With over a month to go before the year is up, it blows away the all-time annual record of $4.1 trillion set in 2007, according to Thomson Reuters. US-targeted M&A activity, which accounts for nearly half of global M&A, has soared 55% from 2014 and exceeds $2 trillion for the first time ever.

Pfizer’s deal pushes global healthcare M&A to $649 billion, more than 2013 and 2014 combined! No other industry comes even close. Tech M&A, though it has more than doubled from 2014, is in distant second place. And Pfizer’s deal pushed pharma M&A to $416 billion, more than 2014, 2013, and 2012 combined.

Big Pharma is getting bigger. And Pfizer is the M&a ...

Hedge Funds Stalk Battered Corner of Bond World

Wall Street traders are circling a corner of the bond world they say is taking an unwarranted beating in anticipation of rising interest rates-closed-end funds.

At Skadden, Tax Law Isn't So Boring as Inversions Raise the Stakes

The latest big merger, between Pfizer and Allergan, has landed the law firm in the middle of an election-year debate about U.S. tax policy, with billions of dollars riding on the firm’s efforts.

Stocks Rise Amid Global Tensions

Global stocks mostly rose as investors shrugged off a recent escalation of geopolitical tensions.

10 things not to buy on Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving is poised to be a big shopping day. Here’s what to avoid when you hit the stores.

How to winter-proof your home

Frozen pipes, flooding, and electrical outages could await many homeowners this winter.

'Budget' Tesla Model X starts at $80,000

Those going for the cheapest model, however, have the longest wait ahead of them.

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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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