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21Dec2015 Pre-Market Commentary: US Futures Flat, Brent At Lowest Price In Eleven Years, US Dollar Trending Down, Markets Might Be In For A Quiet Session

Written by Gary

U.S. stock future indexes are flat to being fractionally in the green. Brent crude prices hit their lowest in over 11 years as investors worry about a relentless rise in global supply that looks set to outpace demand again next year. Markets are expected to open fractionally higher followed by a morning dip.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 0.90% while Germany's DAX is up 0.71% and France's CAC 40 is up 0.40%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Oil prices hit lowest since 2004 as supply balloons

LONDON (Reuters) - Brent crude prices hit their lowest in over 11 years on Monday, hounded by a relentless rise in global supply that looks set to outpace demand again next year.

Oil at 11-year low, election impasse hits Spanish assets

LONDON (Reuters) - Brent crude oil extended a slide on Monday to its lowest level in more than 11 years while investors dumped Spanish bonds and stocks after an inconclusive general election set the scene for potentially weeks of political stalemate.

Panasonic buys U.S. refrigeration firm Hussmann for $1.5 billion

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp is set to buy U.S. refrigeration firm Hussmann for over 186.6 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in a deal it says will leverage its technology and help it break into the U.S. food distribution industry.

Ericsson and Apple sign patent deal, settle litigation

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson announced it had signed a patent license deal with Apple Inc , ending a year-long dispute and sending its shares up 7 percent on Monday.

Strikes at Amazon German warehouses up to Christmas

BERLIN (Reuters) - Workers at German warehouses of U.S. online retailer Inc were called out on a new strike by labor union Verdi on Monday as part of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Toshiba to cut 7,000 jobs in PC and TV units, sees full-year loss

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Toshiba Corp said on Monday it will cut nearly 7,000 consumer electronics jobs after a $1.3 billion accounting scandal, in an overhaul that will streamline the sprawling conglomerate into a company focused on chips and nuclear energy.

Martin Shkreli attributes arrest to drug-price hikes: WSJ

(Reuters) - Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical entrepreneur facing U.S. charges of securities fraud, has said he had been the target of legal authorities for his much-criticized drug-price hikes and his over-the-top public persona, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Ride-hailing firm Lyft plans to raise up to $1 billion in financing: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Ride-hailing app Lyft Inc, Uber Technologies Inc's biggest competition in the United States, expects to raise up to $1 billion in a new round of financing, Bloomberg reported citing a Delaware state filing.

General Electric expects to announce headquarters decision in January

(Reuters) - General Electric Co expects to announce a decision next month about whether it will move its headquarters out of Connecticut, a spokesman said on Sunday.

Spain May Need Second Election After Anti-Austerity Party Scores Big At Ballot Box

œToday sees the start of a new political era, Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias told supporters gathered in Madrid after Sunday's largely inconclusive elections in Spain. œThe forces of change are making a historic advance.

Iglesias is certainly correct that things have changed. Spain's three-decade old political duopoly was toppled over the weekend with PP and PSOE garnering their lowest combined share of the vote since the eighties.

Iglesias' Podemos - the anti-austerity party that many equate with Syriza - polled stronger than expected, winning 69 seats in Parliament and 21% of the vote. Here's a look at the results compared to projections:

Needless to say, this is bad news for Brussels and bad news for markets (at least in the short-term). The fragmented outcome means the coalition building process will be arduous to say the least and that means the process will be plagued with uncertainty. The worst possible scenario from Berlin's perspective would be for Spain to go the way of Portugal - that is, with a left-of-center alliance moving to topple the PM. Admittedly that outcome looks less than likely here, but as Deutsche Bank puts it, œthere is no obvious solution in terms of forming a stable government. Here's a look at several possible coalitions:

Frontrunning: December 21

Splintered Spanish vote points to fraught coalition talks (Reuters)

Brent Oil Falls to 11-Year Low in London as Global Glut Persists (BBG)

Oil prices hit lowest since 2004 as supply balloons (Reuters)

U.S. Probes Theranos Complaints (WSJ)

Driver plows onto Las Vegas Strip sidewalk 'like bowling ball', one dead (Reuters)

Yellen, Bull Markets and Extinction in a Seven-Year Stock Rally (BBG)

Twitter account of pharmaceutical executive Shkreli hacked (Reuters)

Azerbaijan's Shift to Free Float Sends Manat to 20-Year Low (BBG)

Banker Bonuses Have Nowhere to Hide Under EU's Final Pay Rules (BBG)

Martin Shkreli Says Drug-Price Hikes Led to Arrest (WSJ)

As Pot-Growing Expands, Power Demands Tax U.S. Electricity Grids (BBG)

Miss ...

Brent Crude Falls to Lowest Level Since 2004

Brent oil prices dropped to the lowest level since 2004 amid ongoing concerns about a global supply glut.

Global Stocks Rise But Spanish Assets Fall After Election

Global stocks were mostly higher although Spanish assets fell sharply following as the country's governing party lost its parliamentary majority in the national elections that took place over the weekend.

Banks Battle Staffers' Vulnerability to Hacks

Terrified by a string of recent hacks, banks are spending billions of dollars trying to fend off a faceless army of digital intruders. But the biggest threats may come from within.

The Effect Of Fed Funds Rate Hikes On Consumer Borrowing Costs

from Liberty Street Economics

-- this post authored by Nina Boyarchenko, Sooji Kim, and Matthew Plosser

The target federal funds rate has hovered around zero for nearly a decade, and observers are questioning what effect an increase could have on both the financial markets and the real economy. In this post, we examine the historical reaction of loan rates to target rate increases. Specifically, we examine the interest rates that banks offer on residential mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Rise, Europe Stocks Look Lower, Brent Below 2008 Bottom, US Profits Falling, UK Wage Growth Slowing, Vietnam Pivot To West And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 21 December 2015

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.


Chuck Jaffe: This junk bond fund's quick demise is a warning for investors

Know what's in your mutual fund, especially if it owns alternative investments, writes Chuck Jaffe.

Futures Movers: Brent oil tumbles to lowest level since 2004

U.S. oil prices also fell after last week's climb in the number of active oil rigs for the first time in five weeks.

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