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26May2016 Pre-Market Commentary: US Futures Fractionally In The Green, WTI Crude Breaks $50, Durable Goods Jump Higher

Written by Gary

US stock future indexes are flat to fractionally higher (SPY +0.09%), WTI crude rose 1.14% ( $50.20) and the Euro is higher by +0.14% vs. dollar. Durable goods orders jumped 3.4%, coming in higher than the estimate for a rise of 0.5%. Continuing Claims came in higher and Initial Jobless Claims reported lower.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 0.60% while the DAX gains 0.54%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.21%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Takata in rescue talks with KKR, other investors: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) - Takata Corp is in bailout talks with a number of potential investors including private equity firm KKR & Co , people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, driving up shares in the embattled auto parts maker.

U.S. jobless claims fall more than expected last week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, moving back to near cycle lows as the labor markets

Brent oil breaks above $50 for first time in seven months

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices climbed above $50 a barrel on Thursday for the first time in nearly seven months as a global supply glut that plagued the market for nearly two years showed signs of easing.

Stock futures slightly higher as economic data awaited

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Thursday, after the S&P 500 posted its strongest two-day run since early March, and as investors await data to gauge the economy's strength.

Exclusive: New York financial regulator gearing up to probe online lenders - source

(Reuters) - New York state's financial regulator, which recently launched a probe into LendingClub Corp, is preparing to look into the activities at other online lenders and whether they should be licensed in New York, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Fed's Bullard: tight U.S. labor market may put upward pressure on inflation

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. labor markets are relatively tight and may put upward pressure on inflation, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said on Thursday.

Cartel or talking shop? OPEC awaits Saudi ruling

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - For those seeking guidance on Saudi Arabia's thinking regarding the future of OPEC, the last few weeks' agenda of the new Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, might offer a few clues.

Exclusive: Wanda Commercial buyout offer delayed by regulator's queries - sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A plan by China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, to take his Hong Kong-listed commercial property unit private is being held up by questions from the city's market regulator, according to company insiders, delaying an announcement on the offer.

Snapchat raises $1.81 billion in new funding round

(Reuters) - Messaging app Snapchat Inc has raised $1.81 billion in an equity offering, indicating strong investor interest in the company despite concerns that it is struggling to attract advertisers.

Gartman Slammed By Gold: "We Have Had A Terrible Run This Past Week"

Gartman's performance continues to surprise: even after a day when he managed to flip-flop just in time to catch the market's general direction as he did yesterday when he warned shorts to "run for cover", and when he should - at least on paper - make a profit, he continues to lose. The culprit this time? Gold.

For our positions here at TGL ¦ and we have had a terrible run this past week given that our largest position is and has been and shall continue to be gold and further given that we came into the week short of equities on balance and had to turn our trading ship around amidst this massive, violent rally that did indeed catch us off guard ¦ we are up a scant 1.0% for the year-to-date and we ended the day yesterday net long of equities as we are long of an individual high tech equity closely associated with our alma mater, NC State University, and as we are long of the largest manufacturer of steel here in the US, while we are somewhat hedged with positions in the derivatives markets, leaving us net long of equities on balance and rather aggressively so. Of course, we have our long position in gold predicated in EUR and Yen denominated terms, but we have never considered that position to be an equity trade; it is a commodity trade of course, but it has rather obviously weighed heavily upon us this week.

So perhaps it is time for Gartman to sell and go short his "commodity trade" then? Many gold bulls would be delighted...

Chevron Facility Goes Offline In Nigeria Following Tweeted Attack By Mysterious Militant Group

Recently we presented a profile of the latest scourge to haunt Africa's former oil producing powerhouse Nigeria, namely the Niger Delta Avengers, who not only maintained a regularly updated blog following the February launch of their Godaddy-hosted website which even includes a Contact Us section...

... but are perhaps the most social media savvy "freedom fighting" organization in the world today, with a twitter account that constantly updated on the group's ongoing activities. In fact, just yesterday the NDA may have been the first such group to pre-announce a terrorist act before any of the major media outlets caught it.

We Warned #Chevron but they didn't Listen. @NDAvengers just blow up the Escravos tank farm Main Electricity Feed PipeLine.

" Niger Delta Avengers (@NDAvengers) May 25, 2016

It wasn't a joke.

As Reuters reported this morning, Chevron's onshore activities in Nigeria's Niger Delta have been shut down by a militant attack at its Escravos terminal, the company confirmed on Thursday.

As Reuters observes, the Niger Delta Avengers, which has told oil firms to leave the Delta before the end of May, said late on Wednesday it had blown up the facility's mains electricity feed.

"It is a crude li ...

This Is What Would Make Jeff Gundlach Bullish

In his latest market commentary, presented by Reuters on Tuesday night, Gundlach remained skeptical on the stock market. Specifically, he said that the rally in U.S. stocks, which began on Monday, feels like a short squeeze and characterized U.S. stocks as "dead money."

He also mocked the return of the rate hikes are good fabulation, which has reemerged in recent days following the Fed's hawkish shift, and which is a carbon copy of what happened late last year when the Fed's first rate hike was also spun as positive: "I feel like we are back in December again, where everyone thinks that there is a super secret that some Fed officials have this knowledge that the economy is really good."

But back to the market, which the DoubleLine manager said an interview with MarketWatch on Wednesday that he's not ready to endorse, even as the S&P 500 index has climbed 1.9% over the past week.

So is there anything that would make a gloomy Gundlach bullish? As it turns out the answer is yes, but it is a big bogey.

As MarketWatch quotes, Gundlach needs to see a truly breakout level for the S&P 500 to get excited about this market. The DoubleLine chief executive said a climb above 2,200 for the S&P 500 would be a bullish sign. Then again, the S&P 500 has never hit 2,200, with an all time high of 2,131 set on May 21, 2015.

œThe market has been going sideways for 18 months, and when it breaks, either up or down, it should be a large move. So let the market prove itself. If it breaks to the upsi ...

Hewlett Packard and Microsoft: Why Focus Is In, Scale Is Out

Downsizing at big tech companies is a cautionary tale that size doesn't always win.

Telstra's Autohome Revolt Could Delay Goodies for Shareholders

Telstra's plans to boost shareholder returns have been complicated by a lawsuit to stymie its stake sale in Autohome, a Chinese car-buying website.

Don't Jump on This Chinese Peer-to-Peer Bandwagon

Shares in Chinese peer-to-peer lender Yirendai have more than tripled in a few months. But that just raises questions about the risks the company takes on.

21 May 2016 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Again Worsened. Rolling Averages Remain Higher Than Levels One Year Ago.

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims

The market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Bloomberg) were 270,000 to 275,000 (consensus 275,000), and the Department of Labor reported 268,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 275,750 (reported last week as 275,750) to 278,500. The rolling averages generally have been equal to or under 300,000 since August 2014.

Currencies: Dollar set to weaken against euro for 2nd day as rally stalls

The dollar weakened against its main rivals Thursday, on track for a second straight day of declines against the euro, as investors looked ahead to speech by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

Economic Report: Autos, planes boost durable-goods orders

Orders for durable or long-lasting goods made in the U.S. rose 3.4% in April, fueled by higher demand for new cars, trucks and commercial jets. But a key measure of business investment fell again.

Economic Report: Jobless claims fall again, hit one-month low

The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell by 10,000 to 268,000 and hit a one-month low, another sign the U.S. economy has weathered a rough patch earlier in the year.

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