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31Dec2015 Pre-Market Commentary: Last Session Of The Year Will Open Lower As Global Markets Turn In A Red Finish

Written by Gary

U.S. stock future indexes are down along with Asian and European markets closing out the year on a subdued note. Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Claims reported higher this morning as analysts were expecting/hoping that Wall Street would edge up today. Markets are expected to open fractionally lower.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets finished broadly lower on Wednesday with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is down 1.08% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.86% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.51%.

Global stock markets, oil price subdued on last trading day of 2015

LONDON (AP) — Global stocks were closing out the year on a subdued note Thursday, while indexes in Germany, Japan and South Korea were already shut for the New Year holiday.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC-40 shed 0.2 percent to 4,665.91 and Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent at 6,265.28. Germany's main stock market, which remained closed for the holiday, on Wednesday closed 1.1 percent lower to leave it up 9.6 percent for the year.

Wall Street was expected to edge up slightly, with the futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 up 0.1 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.9 percent to 3,539.18 points while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.15 percent to 21,914.40. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent to 5,295.90 and India's Sensex gained 0.1 percent to 25,980.85. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Thailand also advanced. Singapore declined.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Oil ends 2015 in downbeat mood; hangover to be long, painful

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices headed for a second year of steep losses in their last trading hours of 2015 as record OPEC supply created an unprecedented global glut that may take another year to clear.

Stock futures little changed on last trading day of 2015

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed in subdued trading on the last day of the year, with the S&P 500 holding on to a small gain for the year.

Facebook fights for free Internet in India, global test-case

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has become a battleground over the right to unrestricted Internet access, with local tech start-ups joining the front line against Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg and his plan to roll out free Internet to the country's masses.

Sky-high stocks book fourth year of gains, tipped for more

LONDON (Reuters) - Stock markets in developed economies were set to record their fourth straight year of gains on Thursday while oil prices cemented losses of more than 35 percent as a roller-coaster year drew to a close.

Lockheed wins more than $1 billion contract for C-130J aircraft

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp has been awarded a contract worth more than $1 billion for 32 C-130J aircraft, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

India to tighten rules for credit cooperatives to protect investors - official

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will crack down on errant financial firms that raise funds, mainly from millions of rural poor customers, through loosely regulated credit cooperative societies, a senior official in the agriculture ministry said.

BP orders complete evacuation of Valhall field in North Sea

OSLO (Reuters) - BP said it ordered a total evacuation of its Valhall platform in the North Sea on Thursday after a barge broke its anchor and was drifting towards the installation following a storm.

Malaysia's 1MDB to sell property project stake for $1.7 billion

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's troubled state fund 1MDB said it would sell its 60 percent stake in a Kuala Lumpur development project to Iskandar Waterfront Holdings and its partner, state-run China Railway Engineering Corp, for 7.41 billion ringgit ($1.7 billion).

U.S. hedge fund founder is denied early release in insider case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday rejected hedge fund manager Doug Whitman's request to end his two-year sentence for insider trading early while he pursues his latest appeal of his 2012 conviction.

Another Hedge Fund Shuts Down: SAB Capital Returns All Outside Money

Two days, ago we noted that hedge funds are now dropping like flies in a year in which generating positive returns has become virtually impossible for the majority of the vastly overpaid 2 and 20 "smart money" out there, when we reported that the $500 million multi-strat hedge fund belonging to Doug Hirsh (of Sohn Investment Conference fame) is shutting down.

Then, in keeping with what has become a daily tradition, we asked a simple question: who's next:

Which hedge fund will close today

" zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 30, 2015

It turns out that despite our intention, the question was not rhetorical because just a few hours later Bloomberg answered when it reported that the latest hedge fund shutdown casualty was another iconic, long-term investor: Scott Bommer's SAB Capital, which as of a year ago managed $1.1 billion, and which after 17 years of managing money and after dropping roughly 11% in the first eight month of 2015, has decided to return all outside client money, and converting the hedge fund into a family office (after all one has to preserve one's offshore tax benefits).

According to Blo ...

"Some Folks Are Selling" - Stocks & Commodities Suddenly Slammed

It appears the machines will have their work cut out today to keep the 'green for 2015' dream alive today as the last 30 minutes have seen selling accelerate across stock and commodity markets with bonds and the dollar bid.

Stocks are suddenly offered...

And VIX well bid...

Crude is tumbling again...

And Copper is getting slammed...

As The Dollar surges (EUR drops)...

And bonds are bid...

Obama To Hit New "Friend" Iran With Fresh Sanctions Over Contested Ballistic-Missile Program

Spot what's wrong with the following sentence: œThe Obama administration is preparing to impose its first financial sanctions on Iran since it forged a landmark nuclear agreement in July.

That's from WSJ and it underscores how truly absurd the relationship between Washington and Tehran has become. Just as the US is preparing to lift crippling international sanctions against Iran in connection with the country's nuclear program, The White House is set to slap new sanctions on the country to punish the Iranians for advances in ballistic-missile development.

You might recall that back in October, Tehran test-fired the Emad, a new generation, precision-guided, surface-to-surface ballistic missile with the capability of hitting arch enemy Israel. According to The Center for Strategic and International Studies, the liquid-propelled Shahab-3 variant has a range of 1,700 kilometers, is accurate to within 500 meters of the target, and can carry a 750-kilogram payload. For those who might have missed it, here's the test-fire:

As we wrote at the time, Iran simply doesn't seem to care how Washington feels when it comes to the development of what Tehran calls œdefensive weapons. If you read between the lines, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan essentially said in October that Iran will continue to exploit any and all ambiguities in the nuclear deal to its advantage up to and including building new ballistic missile systems, an act which certainly goes against the spirit of the deal if not the letter.

And while the launch of the Emad may not have violated the letter of the œhistoric nuclear accord, it did, apparently, violate paragraph 9 of Security Council resolution 1929 (see

Frontrunning: December 31

Oil ends 2015 in downbeat mood; hangover to be long, painful (Reuters)

Recession, retrenchment, revolution? Impact of low crude prices on oil powers (Guardian)

Midwest Flooding Might Make the Oil Glut Worse (BBG)

From Oil Glut to Shortage? Some Say It Could Happen (WSJ)

Ten Years After Blowup, Amaranth Investors Waiting to Get Money Back (WSJ)

China Fires a Warning Shot at Yuan Speculators With Bank Bans (BBG)

PBOC Doesn't Offer Reverse Repos for First Time in Six Months (BBG)

Battered Yuan Posts Worst Year Since 1994 as HSBC Preaches Calm (BBG)

Patients Struggle With High Drug Prices (WSJ)

Belgian police detain six people over New Year's attack plot (Reuters)

The Year the Hedge-Fund Model Stalled on Main Street (

Bond Bears Hope for Relief in 2016

The resilience of the bond market continues to confound many bond bears, offering a cautionary tale for investors and traders betting on lower bond prices in 2016.

Stocks Set to End Year With a Whimper

Global stocks looked set to close out the year with a whimper in the final trading day of 2015.

Ten Years After Blowup, Amaranth Investors Wait to Get Money Back

Amaranth Advisors was one of the biggest hedge-fund blowups in history. Now, the fallen fund is approaching a new milestone: a decadelong wait to give investors back what remains of their money.

Gauging The Jihadist Movement In 2016: The Al Qaeda Camp


-- this post authored by Scott Stewart

Since 2006, Stratfor has published an annual forecast for the overall jihadist movement. For the first several years, the forecast focused primarily on al Qaeda - a fact reflected in the titles we chose - but as the jihadist threat changed, stemming from a larger movement beyond that one organization, we dropped the "al Qaeda" from the title in 2009. In 2013 we changed the format of the jihadist forecast to a multi-part series because it had become too difficult to cover the topic in just one piece.

Market Snapshot: S&P 500 eyes final-day battle for longest winning streak since 2007

The Dow industrials will need to rise 219.20 points on Thursday just to break even on the year.

The Tell: The Twitter accounts stock-market investors need to follow in 2016

A roundup of the financially minded Twitterati to follow to get a heard start on the markets in 2016.

Economic Report: Jobless claims jump 20,000 to 287,000

Initial jobless claims rose 20,000 to 287,000 in the latest week.

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