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16Aug2016 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Lower This Morning Amid Mixed Financial Reports, Higher Crude Prices, Lower U.S. Dollar And Dropping Gold Prices As Today Promises Volatility

Written by Gary

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a fractionally lower open (SPY -0.3%), as investors are looking at a fresh batch of corporate earnings reports, mixed U.S. economic data, while keeping an eye on oil prices and dollar movements. Crude prices traded at $46.22 and the U.S. dollar crashed to the lowest level in nearly eight weeks this morning.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 0.82% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.66% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.34%.

The first column is what was reported this morning. The second column is what analysts were expecting and the third column is the last report.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Futures lower a day after record close for Wall Street

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Tuesday, a day after Wall Street closed at record highs and ahead of a raft of economic data.

Apple to increase investment in increasingly tough China

BEIJING (Reuters) - Apple Inc will boost its investment in China, one of its most important but increasingly difficult markets, and build its first Asia-Pacific research and development center in the country, Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Tuesday.

Airbus, Boeing brace for crucial phase in subsidies dispute

GENEVA/PARIS (Reuters) - The world's two largest jetmakers are bracing for the next round in a transatlantic spat over billions of dollars of aircraft subsidies, amid accusations of widening U.S. support for Boeing and persistent European aid to Airbus.

Home Depot lifts profit forecast as housing market strengthens

(Reuters) - Home Depot Inc raised its full-year earnings forecast after reporting a 6.6 percent rise in quarterly sales as customers spent more in a strong housing market.

Univision bids for Gawker, challenging Ziff Davis: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Univision Holdings Inc has offered to acquire Gawker Media LLC, challenging a $90 million stalking horse bid from media company Ziff Davis LLC in the auction for the U.S. internet publisher, people familiar with the matter said.

Gas suppliers Praxair, Linde discuss merger: sources

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - U.S. industrial gas supplier Praxair Inc and German peer Linde AG have held initial talks about a merger to create a market leader with a value of more than $60 billion, people familiar with the matter said, sending shares in Linde more than 7 percent higher.

Oil trades at fresh August high on hopes producer action

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices reached their highest levels in more than five weeks on Tuesday as the market rode optimism over potential producer action to prop up the market.

How U.S. sanctions targeted a Belize banana farmer, and hurt an economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When the United States blacklisted John Angel Zabaneh, a banana farmer and exporter in Belize, for alleged ties to a top drug lord, it did more than just sideline one local businessman from the global financial system.

Billionaire investors turn bearish as U.S. stocks hit record highs

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several big-name hedge fund investors soured on U.S. stocks in the second quarter and moved to gold and other bearish bets, failing to anticipate the stock market rally in the current quarter.

US Dollar Dives To 3-Month Lows As Rate-Hike Odds Slide

Bloomberg's US Dollar index has tumbled most in a month to 3-month lows overnight - led by Yen and Swissy strength - as it appears the sudden realization that The Fed is on hold no matter what ripples across FX markets. Sept rate hike odds are back below 10% and even Dec odds are below 30% as a series of weaker than expected US macro data blows the recovery narrative...

And since the productivity data hit, rate hike odds have tumbled...

Knife Wielding Man Stabs Two Inside Austrian Train

A knife-wielding 60-year-old man "with mental health problems" attacked passengers on a regional train in western Austria, seriously wounding two, police said. The attack is the latest in a string of knife assaults in Europe. The suspect was arrested.

The knife attack took place on a regional train traveling between the Austrian towns of Bludenz and Feldkirch in westernmost Vorarlberg province at around 6.30am local time on Thursday, AP reported. A police statement said that a 19-year old man suffered wounds to the stomach and back. The other victim, a 17-year old male, had a throat injury. Both were hospitalized.

Amoklauf in Zug in Vorarlberg: Deutscher sticht auf zwei Fahrgäste ein.

— Kronen Zeitung (@krone_at) August 16, 2016

Vorarlberg police spokeswoman Elisabeth Engelhardt said police were searching for a motive as they questioned the man but "at this point there is no knowledge" of a copycat attack. "We assume that the perpetrator is mentally confused," she said in an email.

After the train driver had alerted the emergency services, the attacker was arrested immediately once the train arrived at the nearest station. During arrest the assailant fought back, forcing the police to deploy pepper spray. A 22-year-old man who helped the officers during the arrest was slightly injured in his hand.

"The attacker obviously had mental problems," Horst Spitzhofer, spokesman for the Austrian police, said later in the day.

Soros' S&P Puts Soar Near Record High As Percentage Of AUM

Soros bearish turn was reported over two months ago, when the WSJ reported that the recently hacked billionaire had returned to active investing at his Soros Fund Management with "Big, bearish" bets on economic turmoil. Yesterday, in his latest 13F we got confirmation of just that when the hedge fund revealed that it had doubled the amount of its SPDR Puts to 4 million, or a notional equivalent of $839 million as of June 30, up from $431 million as of Q1.

While the actual notional amount is a far cry from previous nominal holdings, which peaked in June 2014, as a percentage of total assets, the bearish bet - which comes with the usual caveat that this position was actual as of 45 days ago and so much may have changed since then - was near a record high as a percentage of total Soros assets, which in Q2 were $4.7 billion, down substantially from the Q2 2014 peak of $13.2 billion.

This bearish bias may explain the recent turmoil at Soros' hedge fund, where as reported last week, CIO Scott Bessent stepped down after only 8 months at the job.

And in other notable position moves, Soros Fund Management sharply cut its shares in gold in the second quarter. The fund reduced its holding ...

Frontrunning: August 16

World stocks edge away from one-year peak, dollar on defensive (Reuters)

Central Banks Could Be This Market's (WSJ)

Clinton announces transition leadership should she win in November (Reuters)

Oil Trades Near $46 a Barrel as Nigeria Sees OPEC Cuts Unlikely (BBG)

BHP Billiton Reports Worst-Ever Annual Loss (WSJ)

Trump nation-building view not in line with Bush (AP)

Air strike on MSF hospital in Yemen kills at least 11: aid group (Reuters)

Yuan's Volatility Slides to 10-Month Low as Currency Steadies (BBG)

Retirees Need $130,000 Just to Cover Health Care, Study Finds (BBG)

Morgan Stanley Targeted by ValueAct as Core Activist Stake (BBG)

China says seeks closer military ties with Syria (Reuters)

Ga ...

For Tesla, It's All in the Delivery

A lot is riding on Tesla Motors' ability to produce the Model 3 on time.

BHP Mines Cash for Uncertain Future

BHP's stock surged to its highest level in nine months, and investors are rightly pleased to be at the top of the miner's priority list.

Sina Shouldn't Be Worth Less Than Its Weibo Parts

Imagine a profitable and growing Twitter. That's why investors are so worked up about Weibo recently.

Economic Report: Consumer price index unchanged in July

Inflation excluding food and energy rose only 0.1% in July

Economic Report: Housing starts rise to second-highest rate since recession on multifamily rebound

Builders broke ground on more homes than expected in July, but construction still lags levels of earlier economic cycles.

Metals Stocks: Gold tries for best back-to-back advance in 2 weeks

Precious metals prices advance Tuesday, tracking currencies and an early pause for record-setting stocks.

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