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31Oct2016 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Pointing To A Fractionally Higher Opening, WTI Crude Slipping, Short-Term Indicators Neutral

Written by Gary

US stock future indexes were fractionally in the green today as skepticism over a planned deal by OPEC to limit production. Core PCE Price Index remained the same at 1.7%, DOW flat at +0.08%, SP 500 up +0.2% and Nasdaq is up _0.4%. Markets are expected to open higher initially.

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 0.65% while London's FTSE 100 is off 0.47% and Germany's DAX is lower by 0.27%.

Looking at the last three columns, the first one (Actual), is what was reported this morning. The second column (Forecast) is what analysts had forecast and the third column is the previous report. Full calendar HERE.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

GE to merge oil and gas business with Baker Hughes

(Reuters) - General Electric Co , banking on a recovery in oil prices, said on Monday it would merge its oil and gas business with No. 3 oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Inc .

Dollar shakes off Clinton FBI scare, global stocks stay spooked

LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar steadied but stock markets stayed spooked on Monday after news the FBI was investigating fresh e-mails linked to U.S presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's private computer server.

Got bank? Election could create flood of marijuana cash with no place to go

October 31 (Reuters) - Although the sale of marijuana is a federal crime, the number of U.S. banks working with pot businesses, now sanctioned in many states, is growing, up 45 percent in the last year alone.

New York's bitcoin hub dreams fade with licensing backlog

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's financial regulator had sights set on becoming a global hub for innovations like bitcoin when it adopted trailblazing virtual currency rules last year. But the state lost that momentum when the agency's chief left, putting a licensing process in limbo and allowing rivals to catch up.

Investors buy yen, shun risk in Asia as Clinton losing edge in U.S. polls

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Investors in Asia bought the Japanese yen, sold South Korean stocks and stayed away from volatile assets on Monday, reacting to opinion polls showing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump narrowing further in the U.S. presidential election.

Oil slides as non-OPEC nations demure on output limit plan

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices slid on Monday after non-OPEC producers made no specific commitment to join OPEC in limiting oil output levels to prop up prices, suggesting they want the oil producing group to solve its differences first.

Bauer ice hockey gear maker files bankruptcy in U.S. and Canada

(Reuters) - Performance Sports Group Ltd , the maker of Bauer ice hockey gear, said on Monday it has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Canada to facilitate a restructuring and sale of almost all of its assets.

MGM Resorts ready to bet up to $10 billion on Japan casino, possibly via REIT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International could plow almost $10 billion into a Japanese casino via a publicly traded real estate investment trust, its chief executive said on Monday, as Tokyo inches closer to legalizing the industry.

In big week for air expos, defense jets outlook rosy as civil aviation fragile

ZHUHAI, China (Reuters) - From Zhuhai in southern China to Florida, hawkers of civil and military aircraft - and the money to finance them - will try to drum up new business at aerospace expos this week, conscious their high-risk industry is approaching a turning point.

Huma Abedin: "I Have No Idea How The Emails Got On Weiner's Computer"

With the FBI having obtained a warrant to begin poring over the 650,000 reported emails found on Anthony Weiner's computer, attention shifts to just what the FBI may find, with Democrats alleging that much of the thousands of emails allegedly sent from Huma Abedin's computer are duplicates or otherwise innocuous, while critics alleging more deleted and/or confidential emails may emerge. On her, behalf, however, long-time Hillary aide Huma Abedin has told the FBI she was not aware any of her emails were on the laptop investigators seized as part of its probe info Anthony Weiner's investigation.

According to Politico, the FBI engaged in a back and forth over the weekend with Abedin or her attorney, when Abedin explained the situation.

"She says she didn't know they were there," a source familiar with the investigation said. This is a sensitive topic for Abedin and the Clinton campaign, because on previous occasions, Huma - under oath - disclosed that all the emails in her possession had been accounted for and handed over to the FBI.

As CNBC adds,"there are a number of scenarios that would explain how the emails got onto the laptop without Abedin's knowledge, including that they were somehow automatically backed up from the cloud. But investigators will want to know how this happened and if there is any indication that Abedin misled them about the existence of emails.

It is a large project. Agents determined there were as many as 650,000 emails on the laptop, dating back years. The number of emails related to the Clinton investigation is likely to be much smaller.

On Saturday, Clinton campaign chairma ...

Frontrunning: October 31

FBI in Internal Feud Over Clinton Probe (WSJ)

As Clinton struggles, Trump tries to raise doubts (Reuters)

Dollar shakes off Clinton FBI scare, global stocks stay spooked (Reuters)

Oil slides as non-OPEC nations demure on output limit plan (Reuters)

Mark Carney stands ready to serve 8-year term at Bank of England (FT)

Clinton Team Questions FBI Director's Motive (WSJ)

OPEC Splits Prevent Deal With Other Producers to Curb Supply (BBG)

After a Blockbuster Election, CNN and Fox Plot Their Next Moves (BBG)

Once the hope candidate, Obama in his final days faces a hopeless electorate (WaPo)

Banks Are Hoarding $2.4 Trillion of Bonds (BBG)

Iraqi forces resume offensive towards eastern Mosul (Reuters

GE To Combine Oil And Gas Unit With Baker Hughes: New Company To Have $32 Billion In Revenue

General Electric agreed to merge its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes, Inc., creating a publicly traded energy powerhouse that will have over $32 billion in revenue and would give GE a cost-effective way to play an energy industry rebound as the companies seek to bolster their operations amid a global slump in crude prices.

As the WSJ, which first broke the story last week, reports GE will contribute its oil-and-gas business and $7.4 billion through a special one-time cash dividend of $17.50 for each Baker Hughes share.

The new company will be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and will be 62.5% owned by GE and 37.5% owned by Baker Hughes.

Tbe merger creates a company with more than $32 billion in revenue that could cut costs to better compete with rivals such as Schlumberger to provide equipment and services to oil rigs and wells; it will likely result in even more competition in the sector and lower prices. The deal would enable GE to benefit from a recovery in the industry - assuming the recent OPEC-driven bounce in energy prices persists - without having to pay for a full acquisition of Baker Hughes. It would also enable the companies and their shareholders to benefit from savings and other synergies from putting the two businesses together.

The deal takes place after GE held talks earlier this year about buying pieces of Baker Hughes set to be divested under a sale of the Houston-based company to Halliburton Co., a transaction that collapsed.

GE expects the deal to add about 4 cents to its earnings per share in 2018 and 8 cents by 2020. Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive of GE Oil & Gas, will be chief executive of the new company and GE Chief Executive and Chairman Jeff Immelt will be its chairman. Baker Hughes Chairman and Chief Executive Martin Cra ...

Apple and Microsoft Are Right to Boot Up PC Efforts

Rumors of the death of personal computers have been greatly exaggerated. They still matter, to both Apple and Microsoft.

Chinese Capital Controls Aren't So Scary for AIA

The Asian insurer is beginning to look more fairly priced now that capital controls are getting tighter.

Don't Expect Fed to Clarify Its Plan

The Federal Reserve will almost certainly keep interest rates unchanged this week. Anyone hoping for a clear signal about December's meeting probably will be disappointed.

Economic Report: Consumer spending accelerates in September

Americans increased spending in September by the fastest amount in three months, but they were also more frugal in mid and late summer than they were in the spring.

The Margin: Whoops — clumsy waiter damages priceless 2,000-year-old statue of Venus

A story has recently come to light as to how a waiter managed to get too close to a priceless statue in London, breaking a thumb clean off.

Need to Know: 'Game changer' could derail a traditionally great stretch for stocks

Thanks to the FBI's fresh probe into Hillary's emails, it looks like that volatility traders have been missing is back, and there's nothing to suggest we won't see more of the same as we careen toward Election Day

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