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21Dec2016 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Flat, Crude Prices Slipping, Gold Inching Higher, Trump Rally Cooling

Written by Gary

U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open today (SPY -0.1%) as investors eyed the DOW 20K level on a light economic calendar day that would see only the release of November existing home sales. Investors have opted to take profits in the dollar and crude prices are dropping.

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 0.47% while London's FTSE 100 is off 0.14% and Germany's DAX is lower by 0.10%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Dollar retreats from 14-year high, banks drag Europe shares lower

LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar eased from 14-year highs on Wednesday, giving back some of the gains chalked up since Donald Trump's U.S. election victory, while concerns over banks pulled European shares lower.

Coke moves away from AB InBev with Africa bottling deal

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co has reached a deal to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev's majority stake in their African bottling venture for $3.15 billion and hold onto it until it finds a new owner, the companies said on Wednesday.

Nintendo's mobile Mario game sets download record but pricing proves sticking point

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd's first Mario smartphone title has set a download record but gamers baulked at the one-time cost of unlocking content, prompting investors to push the Japanese game makers' stock to a one-month low.

Rolls-Royce denies UK media report over past Iran sales

LONDON (Reuters) - British engineering company Rolls-Royce denied a report in The Guardian newspaper on Wednesday that it had in the past sold equipment to Iran by exploiting a series of loopholes in U.S. sanctions.

Apple's new AirPods tough to recycle: report

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's new wireless headphones could be a problem for recyclers, according to an electronics firm that took apart the device to review its component parts.

Actelion shares gain on report of progress in Sanofi talks

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss biotech group Actelion's shares rose by more than 3 percent on Wednesday following a report that talks with Sanofi are making progress, increasing optimism that the two will strike a deal.

Union calls new strikes at Amazon's German warehouses

BERLIN (Reuters) - Workers at German warehouses of U.S. online retailer Inc were called out on strike by labor union Verdi on Wednesday as part of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Volkswagen gets final clearance from KBA watchdog for diesel fixes

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen said on Wednesday it has received all clearances from Germany's motor vehicle authority KBA to fix diesel cars fitted with illicit emission-control software.

Oil prices lifted by expected fall in U.S. inventories

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil rose on Wednesday, driven by expectations for a decline in U.S. crude inventories and bringing price gains for December to 10 percent, which would be the strongest performance in the final month of the year in six years.

European Banking Bloodbath Spreads To Spain After Italy Fires 20 Billion "Bazooka" At 360 Billion Problem

Total chaos reigns in European banking stocks this morning as Monte Paschi shares crash, soar, and plunge amid on-again, off-again bail-in, bail-out headlines (and stocks and bonds hit record lows). However, Italy is now not alone as Spanish banks are also bloodbathing following a European Court ruling on mortgage fraud went against them.

As's Michael Shedlock explains, bondholder bail-ins are on the way in Italy as private investors pulled the plug on a bank rescue. Rome plans a 20 billion bank bailout, but under eurozone rules junior bondholders have to take a hit.

Please consider Italy braces for Monte dei Paschi Rescue.

On Monday night, Italy's finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan confirmed Italy is readying a 20bn rescue fund for MPS and other weak lenders as the chances of a successful 5bn private recapitalisation of the Siena-based bank recede.

By the evening of Thursday at the latest, it should be clear whether MPS, which was founded in 1472, will have been rescued by the private sector via a 4.5bn debt-for-equity swap and funds from anchor investors including the Qatar Investment Authority. As of Monday only 200m had been committed to the swap, suggesting the chances of pulling off the rescue are slim, said people close to the deal.

MPS's debt-for-equity swap will close at 2pm Italian time on Wednesday. If it goes badly MPS could already ask the government to step in, said one Italian official.

According to an Italian official only about 2bn of the 20bn will be used for liqui ...

Merkel Government Still In Denial

Submitted by Vijeta Uniyal via The Gatestone Institute,

Islamic State took responsibility for the December 19 Berlin truck-ramming attack that killed 12 people, similar to the July 14 attack in the French city of Nice, and countless car-rammings in Israel. Now Europeans feel what Israelis live with every day.

This month, the police union in the German state of Thuringia issued an open letter to the state's Interior Minister, describing the crumbling law-and-order situation amid the rising migrant crime: "[You] are abandoning us completely helpless to a superior force... But what changes? Nothing. One instead gets a sense of uninterest."

Meanwhile, representatives of Arab community were reported telling the police in Ruhr, "The police will not win a war with us because we are too many."

Chancellor Merkel, Germany's ruling elites and the media can continue putting a happy face on uncontrolled mass-migration from Arab and Muslim lands, or suppress news reporting on rising migrant crime, but they cannot wish away the country's deteriorating law and order situation.

It should be evident to even a casual observer that her government still does not care about the victims of its own failed "refugee" policy.

Monday's terrorist attack on a Berlin Christmas market killed at least 12 people and injured 50 others. Islamic State took responsibility for the truck-ramming attack, as recommend by the al-Qaeda magazine, Inspire, ...

Frontrunning: December 21

Futures little changed after Dow, Nasdaq hit records (Reuters); Europe Stocks' Rally Dims as Banks Drop; Oil Gains (BBG)

Monte dei Paschi says could run out of liquidity after four months (Reuters)

Spanish Banks Lose EU Case on Mortgage Interest Repayments (BBG)

Russia says trust needed for global oil output deal to be success (Reuters)

U.S. plays down absence from Moscow talks on Syria, says not 'sidelined' (Reuters)

Leadership rivalry threatens ambitions of Italy's 5-Star Movement (Reuters)

Germany Rethinks Reluctance Toward Conspicuous Policing (WSJ)

Clinton lawyer blasts FBI after email search warrant release (Reuters)

PBOC's Shadow Banking Curbs Risk Deepening Junk Bond Rout (BBG)

Oil Extends Its Gains as Report Shows U.S. Stockpile Drop (

The Highly Charged Way to Play Electric Cars

Utilities have received little attention compared with companies like Tesla in the electric vehicle revolution. It presents them with both an opportunity and a burden.

Property Investors Need to Step Out of Their Comfort Zone

The future of property could be niche. Specialist buildings typically offer higher returns than the old staples of commercial property investment.

U.S. Is Now the Problem Market for Swiss Watchmakers

Swiss watch exports to the crucial U.S. market are worsening even as Hong Kong shows signs of recovery.

'El Gordo' and its $2.4 billion jackpot draw crowds to Spain's luckiest lottery shop

Would-be players will stand for up to three hours to buy a ticket for Spain's Christmas lottery at Madrid's Doña Manolita, which is drawn Thursday.

Moneyism: Want to bet on Thursday's Eagles game? Call this bank

To bet on football games, fans generally have to call their bookies. Now they just can call a banker.

Outside the Box: Millennials need to put on gloves and fight now for their retirement

These tools can help millennial investors handle bear markets, inflation, taxes, and emotions, writes Mark Avallone.

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