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05Apr2016 Pre-Market Commentary: US Futures Lower, WTI Crude Headed To $34, US Dollar At 17 Month Low Ahead Of FOMC Meeting The Week

Written by Gary

Investor sentiment sours ahead of the Fed's minutes tomorrow, pushing US stock future indexes sharply lower this morning. Inturn, halting the markets advance and may turn into a pullback - of sorts. WTI crude dipped into the lower $35's earlier today, a one-month low, which represents the low end of its support and should eventually slide to $34. Markets are expected to open lower, make the morning dip and drift higher by the close.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are sharply lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 2.34% while France's CAC 40 is off 2.08% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 1.29%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Panama Papers probes opened, China limits access to news on leaks

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Authorities across the globe have opened investigations into the activities of the world's rich and powerful after a cache of leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm showed possible wrongdoing using offshore company structures.

Starboard's Jeff Smith resigns as Darden chairman

(Reuters) - Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants Inc's chairman, Jeffrey Smith, head of Starboard Value LP, has resigned 18 months after engineering the ouster of the company's board.

Dollar slides to 17-month low vs yen as stocks, oil fall

LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar fell on Tuesday to its weakest against the yen since October 2014 as investors pulled away from riskier assets, pushing shares and oil prices lower as the outlook for U.S. interest rates remained clouded.

IMF chief ramps up call for global action as growth risks increase

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The global economy's already modest prospects will decline further unless authorities take stronger action to boost growth, the head of the IMF warned on Tuesday, saying the Fund would cut its headline forecasts next week.

Oil slips to one-month low on unexpected U.S. demand drop

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil slipped to a one-month low on Tuesday after a surprise fall in gasoline demand in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, and on doubts whether oil producers can agree an output freeze to dampen a global supply glut.

Peugeot pledges sales drive in new mid-term plan

PARIS (Reuters) - French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen outlined plans for international expansion and a push into after-sales services, seeking to convince investors it can follow a lightning turnaround with sustained improvements in profitability.

Disney expands search for new CEO, COO Staggs leaving

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tom Staggs, the veteran Walt Disney Co executive who had been widely seen as the media company's next CEO, will step down on May 6 as the board expands its search for a successor to Bob Iger, Disney said on Monday.

New U.S. inversion rules threaten Pfizer-Allergan deal

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department took new steps on Monday to curb tax-avoiding corporate "inversions," with the pending $160 billion merger of Pfizer Inc and Allergan Plc seen as a potential casualty.

GM South Korea union riled by decision not to build Impala sedan in country

SEOUL (Reuters) - The trade union that represents most workers at General Motors Co's South Korea operations said on Tuesday it will contest the U.S. automaker's decision not to build Impala sedans in the country, amplifying tension in labor relations ahead of annual wage talks between management and union.

USDJPY Spikes On Reuters Story BOJ To "Debate Further Easing"

With the USDJPY crashing to a fresh 17 month low, sending the Nikkei down 2.3% and taking out levels during which we have seen direct BOJ intervention in both February and March, many were wondering how a panicking Japan would try to push its currency lower. The answer was revealed moments ago, with the following Reuters headlines:


BOJ LIKELY TO DEBATE POSSIBILITY OF EASING MONETARY POLICY AT APRIL 27-28 RATE REVIEW " SOURCES

IF BOJ WERE TO ACT, MORE LIKELY TO INCREASE ASSET BUYING THAN FURTHER CUT INTEREST RATES - SOURCES

WILL BE CLOSE CALL AT BOJ APRIL MEETING ON WHETHER TO EASE OR NOT - SOURCES

More from Reuters:

Bank of Japan policymakers will likely debate the possibility of easing monetary policy further at a rate review this month, as a raft of gloomy data threatens their scenario that a moderate economic recovery will accelerate inflation towards a 2 percent target, sources familiar with their thinking said.

If the central bank were to act, it would more likely increase asset purchases than cut interest rates, the sources said, as financial institutions are still scrambling to adjust to a negative rate policy deployed in January.

But a decision on whether to ease at the April 27-28 review will be a close call as many BOJ officials are wary of using their limited policy tools again so soon, especially as the negative rate move has proved unpopular among the public.

"It will be a question of whether the BOJ feels it has forestalled risks in January or whether they feel that January's action wasn't enough," said one of the people familiar with the BOJ's thinking. (Reporting by Leika Kihara, Sumio Ito and Yoshifumi Takemoto; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

Will the BOJ increase QE as this headli ...

Did Italy And Malta Actually Agree To Swap Oil Rights For Refugees

By James Burgess of OilPrice

Did Italy And Malta Actually Agree To Swap Oil Rights For Refugees?

As the Syrian refugee crisis reaches a critical impasse, both in terms of European security and refugee human rights, Brussels has found itself having to deny accusations of a secret pact between Malta and Italy to swap refugees for oil exploration rights.

The Maltese opposition leader has claimed that Malta and Italy cut a secret deal in which Malta would surrender oil exploration rights in an offshore area disputed with Italy, while Italy would return the favor by picking up Malta's share of migrant rescues at sea.

In late March, the European Commission was forced to respond to the accusations as the Syrian refugee crisis has hit a fever pitch, denying the accusations; but it's a complicated issue.

Maltese opposition leader Simon Busuttil of the Nationalist Party, and a member of the European Parliament until 2013, accused the Maltese government late last year of allowing the Italian government to drill for oil in Maltese waters in a dubious oil-for-migrants swap.

His accusations were boosted by the reporting of an Italian newspaper, Il Giornale, which claimed that Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had agreed to the deal with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Last September, Maltese Home Affairs Minister Carmelo A ...

Frontrunning: April 5



Panama Papers: Biggest Banks Are Top Users of Offshore Services (WSJ)

Panama Papers probes opened, China limits access to news on leaks (Reuters)

Credit Suisse CEO Distances Bank From 'Panama Papers' (WSJ)

Fed's Evans says market more pessimistic on U.S. rate hikes (Reuters)

IMF's Lagarde Says Risks to Weak Global Recovery Are Increasing (BBG)

New U.S. inversion rules threaten Pfizer-Allergan deal (Reuters)

Time Is Running Out (Again) for Greece (BBG)

The World Has Started Spending More on Weapons (BBG)

Ted Cruz Is Confident of Wisconsin Win Over Donald Trump on Tuesday (WSJ)

Trump Faces Biggest Test Yet in Tuesday's Wisconsin Primary (BBG)

Another Brazil State-Run Giant Readies Its Own Graft Writedowns (

Is The Allergan-Pfizer Deal Over? What Wall Street Thinks

Yesterday's stunning announcement by the US Treasury, which released a report titled "Treasury Announces Additional Action to Curb Inversions, Address Earnings Stripping", and which was clearly aimed at ending not only all tax inversions, but the biggest pharma M&A deal in history, Pfizer's tax-inverting takeover of Allergan (pardon Actavis) hit AGN like a ton of bricks, sending the stock crashing 20%.

As we previewed last night, we expect numerous M&A arbs to be puking up blood this morning, following the biggest spread blow out in recent history in a $100+ billion deal that involved virtually everyone, from plain vanilla funds to the fastest of the fast money.

But is the deal over? Here are some Wall Street opinions (via BBG).

Citi: "Deal likely to be over"

U.S. ownership of combined Pfizer-Allergan will probably approach and may exceed 80% threshold under new Treasury Dept. regulation, "likely precluding" deal from taking place as an inversion, Citi analyst Liav Abraham says in note.

Even if domestic ownership is in 60%-80% range, Citi says PFE would probably have difficulty importing its offshore cash balances, providing sufficient cause for the deal not to move forward

Expects AGN will see multiple contraction over near term as deal had insulated stock from recent multiple contraction in specialty pharma; says AGN warrants premium to peer group due to earnings quality, growth profile and balance sheet,

Evercore ISI: "Pfizer-Allergan deal trading like it's "95% dead"

SunEdison: Looking for Life in Its Orbit

SunEdison appears headed for a bankruptcy filing, but investors are sniffing around its affiliated yieldcos. TerraForm Power appears to be the safer bet.

Why Nielsen's TV Data Just Got Harder to Beat

Nielsen's deal with Dish Network will help it improve its ratings system and silence some of its many critics.

Air Alaska-Virgin Deal: Why Investors Should Get on Board

Alaska Air's acquisition of Virgin America is a necessary response to industry consolidation.

Economic Report: State-by-state look at house prices finds Washington, Colorado on top

CoreLogic home price appreciation data shows home prices rise the most where local economies are thriving.

Earnings Summary for Today

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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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