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16Dec2015 Pre-Market Commentary: US Futures Higher, Crude Oil Falls Fractionally, Today The Fed Will Announce Rate Hike (or Not)

Written by Gary

U.S. stock index futures are fractionally higher this morning ahead of a widely expected hike in interest rates by the Federal Reserve later in the day.

Oil prices fell also fell fractionally on fresh evidence of growing global oversupply, but remains steady in the low 37 range. Markets are expected to open higher expect high volatility later this afternoon.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are broadly higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 1.12% while Germany's DAX is up 0.97% and France's CAC 40 is up 0.91%.

How to tell if the Fed statement is dovish or just cautious

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — With a first rate hike a certainty, the key test of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday is what the signal the central bank sends about the path of future rate hikes.

Asked what was important to pay attention, David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide replied: "the statement."

"Will they be overly dovish or just cautious in what they say," was the key, Berson said in an interview.

Berson said it is a fine line between cautious and dovish and he would only know the answer when he read the statement.


What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. housing starts surge, permits hit five-month high

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. housing starts in November rebounded from a seven-month low and permits surged to a five-month high, signs of strength in the housing market that could give the Federal Reserve more confidence to raise interest rates on Wednesday.

Stock futures rise as Fed looks set to hike rates

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Wednesday ahead of a widely expected hike in interest rates by the Federal Reserve later in the day.

Oil falls on U.S. supply build, expected Fed rate hike

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil fell on Wednesday on fresh evidence of growing global oversupply and as investors awaited the outcome of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting where interest rates are likely to be raised, boosting the dollar and pressuring commodities.

Google CEO touts India as key testing ground for new products

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - New Google leader Sundar Pichai pledged on Wednesday to use India as a testing ground for its products as the U.S. tech giant targets hundreds of millions of consumers in the developing world set to move online in the next few years.

German lobby group says excess emissions detected in Mercedes model

BERLIN (Reuters) - German environmental lobby group DUH turned on carmaker Daimler on Wednesday, saying test results had shown nitrogen oxide emissions from one of its Mercedes diesel models far exceeded European legal limits.

Fed opens meeting to put an end to crisis era policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eight years after a devastating recession opened an era of loose U.S. monetary policy, the Federal Reserve on Tuesday began a two-day meeting at which it is expected to turn in the other direction and raise rates in an increasingly normal economy.

As end of Fed's 'free money' nears, consumers still likely to spend

KOKOMO, Ind. (Reuters) - Judged by how long it has been going on, the current U.S. economic expansion should be on its last legs, but the mood in this rebounding heartland auto town would not show it.

China central bank sees economic growth slowing to 6.8 percent in 2016

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's annual economic growth is likely to slow to 6.8 percent next year from an expected 6.9 percent this year, the People's Bank of China said in a working paper published on Wednesday.

Shares climb, dollar dips as Fed prepares to lift rates

LONDON (Reuters) - Shares and bond markets rose and the dollar dipped on Wednesday, as investors readied for what is expected to be the first rise in U.S. interest rates in almost a decade.

Gold & Silver Jump Ahead Of Fed On Concerns About "World's Most Crowded Trade"

Is this supposed to happen on the day the Fed's rate hike is "boosting
confidence in the economy" and telegraphs more gains for the dollar?

Or perhaps these are just early hints that the world's most crowded trade, being long the USD, is starting to crack?

Congress To Lift Four Decade Oil Export Ban: Will It Impact Crude Prices?

A little logrolling is better than brinksmanship and legislative gridlock we suppose and thanks to GOP concessions on tax credits for wind and solar as well as a three year reauthorization of a conservation fund, Republicans were able to include a measure that lifts the 40-year old ban on crude exports in a package of spending and tax legislation that funds the government until September of 2016.

As Bloomberg reports, œHouse Speaker Paul Ryan told fellow Republicans in a closed-door meeting Tuesday night in Washington that leaders had reached a deal pairing a $1.1 trillion spending bill with a separate measure to revive a series of expired tax breaks.

œI think we've been pretty clear we're not going to have a shutdown, Ryan said on Tuesday, tacitly acknowledging the reputational damage the party suffered in 2013 when bickering over Obamacare brought the government to a virtual standstill. œThat's the way I think Congress ought to run, he added. œLet's get back to legislators legislating. Let's get back to actually doing things methodically, deliberating. We call this regular order around here " I call it democracy.

(Yes. Paul wants more of that.)

Foreign sales of refined products (like gasoline) were allowed under the ban - in place since 1975 after the Arab oil embargo - and as WSJ notes, œa certain type of light oil is also already starting to flow overseas thanks to permission granted in 2014 by the Commerce Department, which allows producers to reclassify a certai ...

Frontrunning: December 16

Fed Poised to Mark the End of an Era (Hilsenrath)

Fed opens meeting to put an end to crisis era policy (Reuters)

Fed's Historic Liftoff and Everything After: Decision Day Guide (BBG)

Emerging Markets Gird for Fed Rate Increase (WSJ)

What 7 Years at Zero Rates Have Looked Like (BBG)

5 Things to Watch at the Fed Meeting (WSJ)

Tokyo Trader to Work at 4 a.m. Ahead of Fed as Bond Tumult Rises (BBG)

Donald Trump Survives Another Debate as Republican Rivals Take Aim at Party Front-Runner (BBG)

Russia says serious differences remain with U.S. over Syria crisis (Reuters)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Slashes Revenue, Earnings Guidance (WSJ)

Third Avenue Bled Managers, Billions of Assets Before Fund Shut (B ...

Emerging Markets Gird for Fed Rate Increase

The Federal Reserve's expected first rate increase in almost a decade is stirring fears of another wave of turmoil in emerging markets that have already been hit by financial squalls, rising debt levels and anemic demand.

Banks to Energy Companies: Hang in There

Even after a steady drop in energy prices, banks in the U.S. are being lenient with cash-strapped companies rather than set tougher lending constraints that could make survival more difficult.

Oil Prices Fall as Investors Await Fed Rate Decision, U.S. Stockpile Data

Oil prices fell as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve interest rates decision and data expected to show another increase in U.S. stockpiles.

Capitol Report: SEC tinkers with liquidity fixes as issue of fund redemptions comes to the fore

The SEC has two proposals to improve mutual fund liquidity management but fixes may not come soon enough for investors running from surge of redemptions forcing some fire-sale liquidations

Economic Report: Housing starts jump 10.5%

Housing starts rose 10.5% in November to an annual rate of 1.173 million, beating expectations.

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