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27May2016 Pre-Market Commentary: Futures Fractionally Higher, WTI Crude Trading Below $50, GDP Comes In Lower Than Expected, Three Day Weekend Ahead

Written by Gary

US stock future indexes are fractionally higher heading into a three-day weekend. Crude oil prices are back below $50 in early trading on a round of profit taking by investors and with the U.S. dollar perking up. Financial markets in the U.S. will be closed on Monday for the observance of Memorial Day, in honor of men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are lower today with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 0.34% while Germany's DAX is off 0.17% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.04%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. first-quarter economic growth revised up to 0.8 percent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth slowed in the first quarter although not as sharply as initially thought, amid a surge in spending on home building and a steady increase in inventory investment by businesses.

Automakers recall 12 million U.S. vehicles over Takata air bags

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eight automakers said on Friday they are recalling more than 12 million U.S. vehicles for defective Takata air bags, expanding the largest-ever auto safety push, documents posted by U.S. regulators showed.

Stock futures flat as investors await Yellen, GDP data

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as cautious investors braced for a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and the second reading of gross domestic product data for the first quarter.

Saudi Aramco boosting market share as it prepares for listing: CEO

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi oil giant Aramco is gaining market share and pushing for greater efficiency, chief executive Amin Nasser said in an interview, as it acts as a "bridge" to a future when the nation relies less on energy exports.

Adidas sells U.S. apparel firm Mitchell & Ness

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Adidas said it had agreed to sell U.S. sportswear seller Mitchell & Ness, resulting in a one-time gain in a the low to medium double-digit million euro range.

U.S. business spending mired in weakness, but economy picking up

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. business spending intentions weakened in April for a third straight month amid soft demand for machinery, but a surge in contracts to purchase previously owned homes to a 10-year high supported views economic growth was gaining speed.

Singapore court revokes bail decision for ex-BSI wealth manager

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A former wealth manager of troubled Swiss private bank BSI was denied bail by the Singapore High Court on Friday and will await his trial in prison for two of the nine charges that are part of the city-state's investigations into money laundering.

U.S. rates may rise 'fairly soon,' Brexit a concern: Fed's Powell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve on Thursday continued to lay the groundwork for an interest rate increase in the next two months, with a senior policymaker saying the economy will likely be ready for such a move "fairly soon."

Konecranes-Terex deal to proceed as China's Zoomlion drops rival bid

HONG KONG/HELSINKI (Reuters) - China's Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co Ltd has abandoned its $3.4 billion bid for U.S. crane maker Terex Corp after failing to agree terms, clearing the way for a smaller deal between Terex and Finland's Konecranes .

Bitcoin Surges To 2016 Highs On Rising Chinese Demand; Decouples From Gold

Ever since last September, when we explained that as a result of China's crackdown on capital controls, the one clear winner (in addition to Vancouver real estate) would be bitcoin, the digital currency has more than doubled in dollar terms, rising from $230 and surging as high as $500 a few months later. Overnight bitcoin, which had traded in a stable range with little of its characteristic volatility in recent months, made its latest breakout, surging nearly 5% from a $440-level, to a fresh 2016 high of $480, and has since retracted the move modestly, trading at $475 at last check.

This pushed bitcoin's price to the highest since its sharp breakout in early November, when it breifly topped $500.

The rally started late last night, with bitcoin trading at around $450 when a 30-minute jump saw bitcoin price trading at $461. Before long, bitcoin price was hovering near the $470 mark.

According to Cryptcoinnews, the increase in price can be attributed to the growing demand from the Chinese market, as predicted here almost a year ago when the price was 50% lower, as a result of the recent Yuan devaluation. CCN elaborated on the BTC/CNY exchange charts in yesterday's analy ...

Frontrunning: May 27

Oil prices ease from seven-month high to below $49 (Reuters)

Wall Street Waits for Yellen Before Taking Off for a Long Weekend (BBG)

Donald Trump Celebrates Clinching GOP Delegate Race (WSJ)

Trump vows to undo Obama's climate agenda in appeal to oil sector (Reuters)

Japan Fails in Bid to Have G-7 Warn of Global Crisis Risk (BBG)

Valeant Rejected Joint Takeover Approach From Takeda, TPG (WSJ)

Activist William Ackman, Valeant Investor, Tries Life as an Inside Man (WSJ)

Islamic State drives Syria rebels from near Turkish border (Reuters)

Singapore court revokes bail decision for ex-BSI wealth manager (Reuters)

CEO Bonuses: How Pro Forma Results Boost Them (WSJ)

French fuel blockade lifted, Hollande says won't let protesters choke economy (Reuters)

Hollande Vows to Press New Frenc ...

CEO Bonuses: How Pro Forma Results Boost Them

Reported earnings faltered last year. To help set bonus payments, many companies relied on pro forma measures.

Why Samsung Suddenly Finds Parts Fitting Together

After a spell during which several of Samsung Electronics' big businesses struggled at once, a turnaround may be at hand.

The Oil Rally: What Comes After $50

Oil has broken above $50 a barrel for the first time in 2016. There may be more gains to come.

Rail Week Ending 21 May 2016: Rail Remains In Recession

Week 20 of 2016 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) declined according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. Month-over-month rolling averages improved (but are still contracting), but longer term averages continued their decline.

The Ratings Game: Is the FDA's decision to delay Sarepta drug decision good or bad? Nobody really knows

Eteplirsen, if approved, would be the only treatment for the rare disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

TheStreet fight: Activists say Cramer, other directors worse than Kim Jong Un

TheStreet has been accused by one major investor of manipulating the procedure of electing new directors.

The Wall Street Journal: Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to buy FEI in $4.2 billion deal

Thermo Fisher said the acquisition would help it benefit from a new life sciences trend.

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