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06Apr2016 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Pre-Markets Fractionally Higher, WTI Crude Falling From $37 Level Ahead Of Supply Report And FOMC Later Today

Written by Gary

US stock future indexes are very quiet ahead of the release of the FOMC minutes today at 2 pm. Futures Up fractionally, short-term indicators are bullish and longer term indicators are turning bullish with the 200 DMA turning up should it keep trending upwards. Markets are expected to open higher.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed today. The FTSE 100 is up 0.70% while the CAC 40 gains 0.52%. The DAX is off 0.10%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Nokia to cut thousands of jobs following Alcatel deal

HELSINKI/PARIS (Reuters) - Telecom network equipment maker Nokia is planning to cut thousands of jobs globally, including 1,400 in Germany and 1,300 in its native Finland, as part of a cost-cutting program following the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent earlier this year.

Airline hedges fuel rally in later dated oil prices

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Big airlines are making waves in the oil market for the first time since prices went into a tailspin nearly two years ago, betting this may be their best chance to lock in cheap jet fuel for years to come, industry and market sources say.

Dollar and shares lick wounds ahead of Fed minutes

London (Reuters) - The dollar edged up from a 17-month low against the yen on Wednesday, and buffeted European share prices benefited from a rebound in oil to move off their lowest level in over a month.

Nokia plans to slash 1,300 jobs in Finland

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia is planning to cut about 1,300 jobs in its native Finland following its acquisition of France's Alcatel-Lucent, the telecom network equipment maker said in a statement.

Oil futures rise on hopes for output freeze

LONDON (Reuters) - Crude oil futures rose on Wednesday as hopes for an agreement among exporters to freeze output underpinned the market, although persistent global oversupply and Iran's plans to boost production put a cap on gains.

Iceland's leader resigns, first casualty of Panama Papers

LONDON/REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned on Tuesday, becoming the first casualty of leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm which have shone a spotlight on the offshore wealth of politicians and public figures worldwide.

Final U.S. retirement advice rule addresses industry, political concerns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Wednesday unveiled its final version of a retirement advice rule aimed at ensuring that broker-dealers put their clients' interests ahead of their own profits, though it was softened in response to industry complaints.

Pfizer and Allergan scrap $160 billion 'inversion' deal

(Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc and Ireland-based Allergan Plc formally announced the scrapping of their $160 billion merger on Wednesday, in a big win for President Barack Obama who has been pushing to curb tax-slashing "inversion" deals.

Exclusive: Russia sees oil price of $45-$50 per barrel 'acceptable' as it prepares for freeze deal - sources

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia believes an oil price at $45-$50 per barrel is acceptable to allow the global oil market to balance, as it prepares to meet leading oil producers in Doha later this month, sources familiar with Russian plans said on Wednesday.

European Equities: Rolling Over Or Overdue?

By Dana Lyons of

In terms of global reach, the post-February equity rally has been a fairly broad advance. Some markets, most notably the U.S., have resumed their former relative strength while other regions, like emerging markets and Latin America, have seen strong mean-reversion bounces from very oversold levels, One region conspicuously lagging during this rally, however, has been Europe.

After bouncing into mid-March, bourses across the European continent have struggled to maintain any momentum. In fact, as of today, many of the broader European averages are trading back at late-February levels. Furthermore, on a relative basis, European stocks have lagged so badly that they have now set a new record for futility. Specifically, when measuring the performance of the Dow Jones STOXX Europe 600 Index versus the S&P 500, the resultant relative ratio just dropped to an all-time low (since the beginning of our data in 1998).

Zooming in, we can see more easily how the STOXX 600:S&P 500 ratio has, importantly, just dropped below the former all-time low set in December 2014.

So is this new relative low another nail in th ...

Rothschild Humiliates Obama, Reveals That "America Is The Biggest Tax Haven In The World"

In his speech yesterday, following the Treasury's crack down on corporate tax inversions, Obama blamed "poorly designed" laws for allowing illicit money transfers worldwide. Since the speech came at a time when the entire world is still abuzz with the disclosure from the Panama Papers, Obama touched on that as well: "Tax avoidance is a big, global problem" he said on Tuesday, "a lot of it is legal, but that's exactly the problem" because a lot of it is also illegal.

There is one major problem with that: of all the countries in the world, it is none other than the country of which Obama is president, the United States, that has become the world's favorite offshore "tax haven" destination.

As Bloomberg, which first broke the story about Nevada's use as a prominent tax haven early this year, writes, "Panama and the U.S. have at least one thing in common: Neither has agreed to new international standards to make it harder for tax evaders and money launderers to hide their money."

Over the past several years, amid increased scrutiny by journalists, regulators and law enforcers, the global tax-haven landscape has shifted. In an effort to catch tax dodgers, almost 100 countries and other jurisdictions have agreed since 2014 to impose new disclosure requirements for bank accounts, trusts and some other investments held by international customers -- standards issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a government-funded international policy group.

In short: while Obama is complaining about corporate tax avoidance and slamm ...

Frontrunning: April 6

Cruz, Sanders score decisive victories in Wisconsin (Reuters)

Clinton Can't Get to New York Fast Enough After New Sanders Win (BBG)

Trump, Clinton Have Single-Digit Leads in Pennsylvania (BBG)

Panama law firm says data hack was external, files complaint (Reuters)

'Panama Papers' Puts Spotlight on Boom in Offshore Services (WSJ)

Barclays partners with Goldman-backed bitcoin payments app (FT)

China Inc. Scraps $7 Billion of Bond Offerings as Defaults Rise (BBG)

Activists Reap Olive Garden Bounty (WSJ)

Russia sees oil price of $45-$50 per barrel 'acceptable' as it prepares for freeze deal (Reuters)

Deposition ordered for woman in debunked Rolling Stone rape article (Reuters)

Some Asking If Disney CEO Will Extend Tenure (WSJ)

NYU Graduates Seeking $11 Billion of Gold in Ransacked M ...

Pfizer, Allergan Terminate $160 Billion "Inversion" Merger; Banks Lose Over $100MM In Fees

Less than two days after the US Treasury cracked down on inversion deals, and one deal in particular, Pfizer's pharma record $160 billion acqisition of Allergan, moments ago the two companies announced the deal is officially over.

From the press release:

Pfizer Announces Termination of Proposed Combination with Allergan

Pfizer Inc. today announced that the merger agreement between Pfizer and Allergan plc has been terminated by mutual agreement of the companies. The decision was driven by the actions announced by the U.S. Department of Treasury on April 4, 2016, which the companies concluded qualified as an œAdverse Tax Law Change under the merger agreement.

œPfizer approached this transaction from a position of strength and viewed the potential combination as an accelerator of existing strategies, stated Ian Read, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer. œWe remain focused on continuing to enhance the value of our innovative and established businesses. Our most recent product launches, including Prevnar 13 in Adults, Ibrance, Eliquis and Xeljanz, have been well-received in the market, and we believe our late stage pipeline has several attractive commercial opportunities with high potential across several therapeutic areas. We also maintain the financial strength and flexibility to pursue attractive business development and other shareholder friendly capital allocation opportunities.

œWe plan to make a decision about whether to pursue a potential separation of our innovative and established businesses by no later than the end of 2016, consistent with our original timeframe for the decision prior to the announcement of the potential Allergan transaction, continued Read. œAs always, we remain committed to enhancing share ...

Allergan's Inversion Problem: There Is a Plan B

New tax rules have Allergan shares reeling, but investors don't have to be permanently disappointed.

Another Reason Investors Should Fear a Strong Yen

The yen is looking perilously strong, which puts pressure on government finances at a time when investors are praying a scheduled tax increase gets shelved.

Why Investors Are Crazy to Chase This Bond Yield Lower

German bonds are seen as a haven trade. But the lower yields go, the riskier they get.

Bank Holding Companies: Bank Regulation And Bank Complexity

from Liberty Street Economics

-- this post authored by Nicola Cetorelli and Rose Wang

U.S. Bank Holding Companies (BHCs) currently control about 3,000 subsidiaries that provide community housing services - such as building low-income housing units, maintaining shelters, and providing housing services to the elderly and disabled. This aspect of U.S. BHC activity is intriguing because it departs from the traditional deposit-taking and loan-making operations typically associated with banks. But perhaps most importantly, the sheer number of these subsidiaries makes one think about the organizational complexity of U.S. BHCs.

The Fed: Fed minutes may show less dovish central bank than advertised

Minutes of the Federal Reserve's March meeting will show policymakers were not so far apart on the outlook as many suggest.

Metals Stocks: Gold slips, remains tethered to volatile stocks, oil

Gold prices retreated Wednesday as a slightly stronger dollar eroded the appeal of the yellow metal and as traditional risk assets drew bidders a day after a global selloff in stocks.

The Tell: Barclays backs U.K. launch of bitcoin payments app

Barclays has become the first U.K. bank to partner with a cryptocurrency company, teaming up with Goldman Sachs-backed social payments app Circle, which uses bitcoin for money transfers.

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