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22Aug2016 Pre-Market Commentary: US Markets To Open Flat, Crude Prices Off Friday's Highs, US Dollar Sliding From Earlier Highs, Investors Concerned About Yellen's Remarks Later This Week

Written by Gary

Wall Street futures pointed to a lower open (SPY -0.1%) today as investors weighed weekend comments from the Fed and looked ahead to a speech by the U.S. central bank chief Ms. Janet Yellen on Friday. Chicago Fed National Activity (Jul) was better than expected, up from 0.05 to +0.27. Short-term indicators are moderately bearish.

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 0.66% while London's FTSE 100 is off 0.45% and France's CAC 40 is lower by 0.28%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. banks want to cut branches, but customers keep coming

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Despite banks' nudging toward online tools, many U.S. customers are not ready to give up regular visits to their nearest branch, complicating the industry's efforts to slim down.

U.S. clearance for ChemChina deal sends Syngenta stock soaring

ZURICH (Reuters) - A U.S. national security panel has cleared ChemChina's $43 billion takeover of Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta , the companies said, boosting chances that the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Chinese company will go through.

Pfizer to buy Medivation in $14 billion deal

(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc said on Monday it would buy U.S. cancer drug company Medivation Inc in a deal valued at about $14 billion to boost its oncology portfolio.

Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard to buy CST Brands for $3.67 billion

(Reuters) - Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc said it would buy U.S. convenience store retailer CST Brands Inc for about $3.67 billion, as the company looks to strengthen its U.S. operations.

World stocks edge lower as investors await Fed hike signal

LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks edged lower and the dollar strengthened on Monday on expectations the Federal Reserve will give a signal this week that it is gearing up to raise U.S. interest rates.

TV networks expand on-demand offerings to fight 'cord-cutting'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. pay TV customers will have more chances this fall to catch up on shows in mid-season as networks increase video-on-demand offerings in their battle to keep audiences from jumping to streaming services.

Government 'to do its best' to privatise Rosneft in 2016: Russian Economy Minister

SHCHETINKA, Russia (Reuters) - Russia's government should do its best to privatise a stake in the nation's largest oil producer Rosneft this year, Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Monday.

Office Depot CEO to retire; company creates COO, North America

(Reuters) - Office Depot Inc said on Monday Chief Executive Roland Smith would retire, three months after the second-largest U.S. office supplies retailer and bigger rival Staples Inc abandoned their planned merger.

Foxconn says two employees at China plant died; cooperating with investigations

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Foxconn, which assembles Apple Inc products, said on Monday two workers at its manufacturing facilities in China died last week, even as the company made efforts to improve labor conditions that came under scrutiny after a spate of suicides in recent years.

Merkel, Hollande And Renzi Meet To Discuss The "Relaunching Of Europe"

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, there has been increasing skepticism and rising doubts about the viability and overall future of the European "project" which has been impacted not only by the stark British refusal to be part of Europe, but ongoing terrorist attacks in key European nations prompting calls for an end to the customs union. As a result the leaders of Germany, France and Italy are meeting today on the Italian island of Ventonene to discuss how to keep the European project together in the second set of talks between the premiers of Europe's three largest economies following the Brexit vote.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on an island off the coast of Naples ahead of September's EU summit called to discuss reverberations from the Brexit vote.

"They will be coming to discuss how to relaunch Europe from the bottom up, there's a big need," Renzi said on Sunday. "Relaunching Europe is a totally open game but it needs to be played," he said.

The successful Brexit vote has unleashed a torrent of anti-European sentiment, and as Reuters notes, officials in Brussels and Berlin fear the June 23 vote could lead to a referendum in the Netherlands - a founding member of the union - on whether to also leave the bloc.

"Monday aims to show the unity of Europe's three biggest countries, but not to create a specific club," a French diplomatic source said, noting that the aim was to prepare for the groundwork for the forthcoming Bratislava summit.

Among the key topics to be discus ...

A Displeased Colin Powell Accuses Hillary Of "Trying To Pin" Email Scandal On His Advice

As the NYT first reported on Friday, in the latest attempt to justify her use of a private email server, the FBI notes from Hillary Clinton's deposition revealed that she told federal investigators that former Secretary of State Colin Powell suggested she use a personal email account as he had done.

We promptly noted a key inconsistency with this story: "where the attempt to deflect blame from Hillary and toward Powell fails is the following "Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation's next top diplomat," Conason writes. "Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer."

In an immediate response, Colin Powell's office in a statement said he could not recall the dinner conversation. He did recall describing the system he used to her, but the statement did not say he suggested Clinton do the same. "He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department," the statement said. "At the time there was no equivalent system within the department."

Furthermore, as Reuters noted, Powell has said he had no choice besides using his private account as the department did not have a fully functioning email system of its own when he joined in 2001. He used a secure department computer to manage classified information, the statement said.

Overnight, a rather displeased Colin Powell said Hillary Clinton ...

Ireland's Biggest Bank Charging Depositors - Negative Interest Rate Madness

Deposits at Bank of Ireland are soon to face charges in the form of negative interest rates after it emerged on Friday that the bank is set to become the first Irish bank to charge customers for placing their cash on deposit with the bank.


This radical move was expected as the European Central Bank began charging large corporates and financial institutions 0.4% in March for depositing cash with them overnight.

Bank of Ireland is set to charge large companies for their deposits from October. The bank said it is to charge companies for company deposits worth over 10 million.

The bank was not clear regarding what the new negative interest rate will be but it is believed that a negative interest rate of 0.1 per cent will initially be charged to such deposits by Ireland's biggest bank.

Frontrunning: August 22

Dollar Rises on Fed Outlook as Emerging Stocks, Commodities Fall (BBG)

Oil falls as China fuel exports jump, U.S. rigs rise (Reuters)

Dollar gains, U.S. yields rise as investors await Fed hike signal (Reuters)

Fischer Signals 2016 Rate Hike With Economy Nearing Fed Goals (BBG)

Show of European unity: Merkel, Hollande, Renzi meet to discuss gameplan (Reuters)

Rainy Rio wraps up challenging Games on upbeat tropical note (Reuters)

Japan's Abe Plays Super Mario in Rio to Promote 2020 Tokyo Games (BBG)

Donald Trump the Mortgage Broker Was in Trouble From Moment One (BBG)

Japan Inc unenthused over Abe's stimulus, BOJ easing (Reuters)

Donald Trump Bets Big on Online Advertising (BBG)

Trump campaign signals possible shift on im ...

One Policy to Rule Them All: Why Central Bank Divergence Is So Slow

The focus on the Fed raising rates masks the global easing in monetary policy.

Renesas-Intersil: Putting Down Chips for Automotive Jackpot

Renesas, a one-time supplier of chips to Apple iPhones, looks to be paving the road to supply the likes of Apple's cars.

Two Strategies, One Crowded Trade

Buying low-volatility stocks and shares with good dividends often amounts to the same thing. A dividend itself can damp volatility, because the rising dividend yield that comes with a falling price can bring in buyers.

The Tell: S&P's technical factors still look 'pretty bullish'

Brian Lazorishak, senior portfolio manager at Stack Financial Management in Whitefish, Mont., pointed to the market's breadth, as measured by the ratio of advancers to decliners, and the breadth in trading volume.

Chuck Jaffe: These money lessons will last your kids — and you — a lifetime

A father gives his daughters pragmatic spending and savings advice as they move into financial independence.

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