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31May2016 Pre-Market Commentary: US Futures Higher, WTI Crude And The US Dollar Volatile Ahead Of Key Economic Reports

Written by Gary

US stock future indexes are fractionally higher (SPY +0.2) as traders are back from the long weekend and into a very busy short week. An economic data deluge ranging from the monthly jobs report to figures on inflation, manufacturing, and the services sector, plus an ECB meeting an OPEC gathering. Markets are expected to open higher.

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 0.19% while Germany's DAX is off 0.15% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.01%.

Iraq will supply 5M barrels of extra crude to its partners in June, according to industry sources, joining other Middle East producers by lifting market share ahead of an OPEC meeting this week.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and the United Arab Emirates also plan to raise supplies in the third quarter. Despite the news, OPEC will continue to "discuss issues including an output freeze when the group gathers June 2," said Fayyad Al-Nima, Iraq's Deputy Oil Minister.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan +1% to 17235. Hong Kong +0.9% to 20815. China +3.3% to 2917. India -0.2% to 26668.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris -03%. Frankfurt -0.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude +0.3% to $49.46. Gold -0.3% to $1213.70.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +4 bps to 1.87%

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Futures flat as rate hike expectations firm

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday as investors digested the possibility of an interest rate hike in the coming months and awaited data for clues regarding the strength of the economy.

Verizon, unions agree to pay raises, new jobs to end strike

(Reuters) - A tentative deal between Verizon Communications Inc and leaders of striking unions includes 1,400 new jobs and pay raises topping 10 percent, the company and unions representing about 40,000 workers said on Monday, hoping to end a walkout that has lasted nearly seven weeks.

Viacom's independent directors vow to fight ouster attempt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Viacom Inc's six independent directors vowed on Monday to fight any attempt to oust them from the board, saying they found "inexplicable" the assertion that controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone was mentally competent and acted of his own free will.

Brent crude lower on strong Middle East oil output

LONDON (Reuters) - Brent crude prices fell on Tuesday on rising output from the Middle East and ahead of an OPEC meeting on Thursday, while U.S. crude edged higher as the summer driving season began.

Audi, Porsche help VW limit damage from emissions scandal

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen's underlying profit fell less than expected in the first quarter as demand for upmarket Audi and Porsche models helped to offset a hit to VW sales from its emissions test cheating scandal.

Fed's Bullard says global markets seem well-prepared for summer rate hike

SEOUL (Reuters) - St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said on Monday global markets appear to be "well-prepared" for a summer interest rate hike from the Fed, although he did not specify a date for the policy move.

Mondelez to create more apps, online videos in advertising shift

(Reuters) - Oreo cookie maker Mondelez International Inc's "Twist, Lick, Dunk" mobile application has been such a success that the snack company plans to roll out similar games in a move away from traditional advertising to create its own content.

Fed, China fears force investors to check out of Asia

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Having dumped Asian shares on resurgent worries about China's economy, the specter of more aggressive U.S. interest rate rises is now forcing global investors to sell the region's bonds and currencies.

Goldman Sachs raises odds of China share inclusion in MSCI indexes to 70 percent

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs has increased the probability that MSCI will include mainland Chinese shares in its indexes to 70 percent,

The Fascinating Story Of How The Petrodollar Was Born And Lived In Secrecy For Over 40 Years

For decades, the story of Saudi Arabia recycling petrodollars, i.e., funding the US deficit by buying US Treasuries with proceeds of its crude oil sales (mostly to the US), while the US sweetened the deal by providing the Saudis with military equipment and supplies, remained entirely in the conspiracy realm, with no confirmation or official statement from the US Treasury department.

Now, that particular "theory" becomes the latest fact, thanks to a fascinating story by Bloomberg which gives the background and details of secret meeting between then-US Treasury secretary William Simon and his deputy, Gerry Parsky, and members of the Saudi ruling elite, and lays out the history of how the petrodollar was born.

Here is the background:

It was July 1974. A steady predawn drizzle had given way to overcast skies when William Simon, newly appointed U.S. Treasury secretary, and his deputy, Gerry Parsky, stepped onto an 8 a.m. flight from Andrews Air Force Base. On board, the mood was tense. That year, the oil crisis had hit home. An embargo by OPEC's Arab nations "payback for U.S. military aid to the Israelis during the Yom Kippur War "quadrupled oil prices. Inflation soared, the stock market crashed, and the U.S. economy was in a tailspin.

Officially, Simon's two-week trip was billed as a tour of economic diplomacy across Europe and the Middle East, full of the customary meet-and-greets and evening banquets. But the real mission, kept in strict confidence within President Richard Nixon's inner circle, would take place during a four-day layover in the coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The goal: neutralize crude oil as an economic wea ...

Frontrunning: May 31

Major Bourses on Course to End Month Sharply Higher (WSJ)

Brent crude lower on strong Middle East oil output (Reuters)

Treasuries Lose Their Lead Over Shares as Fed Moves Toward Shift (BBG)

Lost Decade for Value Stocks Tests Faithful Who Say End is Nigh (BBG)

Iraqi army pause at southern edge of Falluja as IS fights back (Reuters)

Risky Reprise of Debt Binge Stars U.S. Companies Not Consumers (BBG)

The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia's 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret (BBG)

Nuns With Guns: The Strange Day-to-Day Struggles Between Bankers and Regulators (WSJ)

China to 'pressure' U.S. on maritime issues, paper says (Reuters)

Lost Year in Nigeria Under Buhari Leaves Economy on Knees (BBG)

HSBC Tightens Hong Kong Safe-Deposit Box Rules to Boost Defenses (

Cancer Drugs: A Long Road to Blockbuster Sales

Amid high hopes, investors shouldn't forget how tricky cancer-drug development is.

Why China's Banks Need a New Source of Funding

China's banks had long relied on steady deposit growth to fund themselves. With deposit growth drying up, banks are looking to less reliable debt markets instead.

Forecast for Workday's Stock: Cloudy

Workday has a track record of beating analyst estimates, but that doesn't mean its shares will respond accordingly.

Economic Report: Consumer spending jumps 1% in April

Consumer spending leaped 1% in April to mark the biggest gain in almost seven years, as Americans splurged on new cars and trucks. Higher gas prices also contributed.

Commodities Corner: 5 key issues OPEC must wrestle with at its June meeting

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet next week, a little happier following the recent spike in oil prices, but a lot of factors can still rock the boat.

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