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26Jan2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Flat This Morning As Investors Take Another Look At The DOW's Historic Climb And New Corporate Earnings

Written by Gary

U.S. stock market futures pointed to a flat open this morning, with the Dow perhaps plowing further above the 20,000-level later today. Crude prices were driven higher by a weakening dollar, although gains were capped by bulging inventories.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 0.35% while London's FTSE 100 is up 0.19% and France's CAC 40 is up 0.02%.

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.

U.S. jobless claims rise, labor market still tightening

filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last

Johnson & Johnson to buy Actelion for $30 billion, spin off R&D unit

ZURICH (Reuters) - U.S. healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson will buy Swiss biotech company Actelion in a $30 billion all-cash deal that includes spinning off Actelion's research and development pipeline, the companies said on Thursday.

Futures higher after Dow closes above 20,000

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 20,000 milestone for the first time.

TransCanada has not yet broached Keystone XL with shippers: CEO

WHISTLER, British Columbia (Reuters) - TransCanada Corp has yet to discuss the Keystone XL oil pipeline with shippers and is not certain if all were still in support of it, the company's CEO said on Wednesday in his first public comments since President Donald Trump revived the project.

Volkswagen compliance chief to leave board after disagreement

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The compliance chief brought in to help Volkswagen recover from its emissions scandal is leaving the management board at the end of this month following differences of opinion over her role, the German carmaker said on Thursday.

Caterpillar forecasts much lower-than-expected 2017 profit

(Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc , the world's largest construction and equipment maker, forecast 2017 profit sharply below analysts' estimates, hurt by sluggish demand in the construction and energy industries.

Ford sees lower 2017 profits, takes hit from pensions, Mexico

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss, reflecting pension accounting and writedowns for abandoning a planned factory in Mexico, and reaffirmed its forecast that profits for 2017 would be lower.

Dow Chemical profit beats estimates as consumer focus pays off

(Reuters) - Seeds and chemical maker Dow Chemical Co reported a better-than-expected quarterly adjusted profit, helped by its focus on consumer markets such as agriculture and automotive, and a move to take full control of its Dow Corning venture.

Medical couple and butcher's boy win big from Actelion sale

ZURICH (Reuters) - The 70-year-old son of a Swiss butcher is among the biggest beneficiaries of Johnson & Johnson's $30 billion takeover of Actelion, Europe's biggest biotech company.

Trump's Expected Ambassador To EU Says "Short The Euro, Collapse May Come In 12 To 18 Months"

Submitted by Mike Shedlock via,

Professor Ted Malloch, Trump's expected ambassador to the EU says "The one thing I would so in 2017 is short the euro."

Partial Transcript

"I am not certain there will be a European Union in which to have negotiations... The one thing I would do in 2017 is short the euro. I think it is a currency that is not only in demise, but has a real problem and could in fact collapse in the coming year or year and a half."

It nothing else, Trump is sure to provide fodder for media discussion for four full years.

That aside, it is refreshing to hear such discussions. The breakup of the Eurozone or EU is a very distinct possibility.

Dow 20,000 Is Here: What Professional Investors Say Comes Next

After over a month of foreplay, Dow 20,000 is in the rearview mirror.

And yet in retrospect, it didn't take long. Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid looks at how Dow numbers were first achieved and how long it took between each 1000 increment. Firstly the Dow only hit 1000 for the first time in January 1987. 5000 was reached in November 1995, 10000 in December 2003 and 15000 in May 2013. This is the quickest ever between round number thousand point increments as it only took 64 calendar days to go from 19000 to 20000.

Of course, as the number gets bigger the % gains are smaller and therefore more achievable so this number is a little meaningless. Which is why DB also shows the graph of this and also one showing how long each 10% increase took working back from today's 20000 level. The data goes back to 1900. The average length of time has been 1.9 years. On 7 occasions it's taken more than 4 years and we've annotated these on the graph. Working backwards these were the 4.7 years to April 2011, 5.5 years to August 2003, 18.1 years to October 1982, 4.4 years to March 1950, 18 years to July 1942, 8.8 years to June 1924 and 10 years to September 2015.

And while the Dow 20,000 is nothing more than a "law of round numbers" milestone, it has bigger implications. What does it mean to professional investors, Bloomberg asked overnight

Trump Slams "Ungrateful Traitor" Chelsea Manning Who Should "Never Have Been Released From Prison"

Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning, where in his first tweet he lashed out at Chelsea Manning, calling her an "ungrateful traitor" who should have never been released from prison.

"Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!" he tweeted.

Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017

The reaction was prompted by Manning's first column since former President Obama commuted her sentence for leaking classified documents, in which Manning said Obama had "few permanent accomplishments."

"This vulnerable legacy should remind us that what we really need is a strong and unapologetic progressive to lead us. What we need as well is a relentless grassroots movement to hold that leadership accountable," she wrote in The Guardian. "The one simple lesson to draw from President Obama's legacy: do not start off with a compromise. They won't meet you in the middle."

As one of his last acts, Obama commuted the 35-year sentence of the former Army soldier, who was born Bradley Manning and began publicly identifying as a woman in 2013. The outgoing president said Manning had paid her debt to society.

"I feel very comfortable that justice has been served," Obama said at his last news conference.

"Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence," he said. "So the notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vit ...

Frontrunning: January 26

Trump heads to Philly to charm congressional Republicans (Politico)

Trump Set to Lay Out Plans for Safe Zones Inside Syria (WSJ)

Trump Wants to Build a Wall. Finding Workers Won't Be Easy (BBG)

Sanctuary cities face huge cuts by Trump policy (Reuters)

Trump Faces Criticism Over Prospect of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (WSJ)

U.K. Commons to Complete Article 50 Bill Debate in Two Weeks (BBG)

Blacklisting Muslim Brotherhood Carries Risks (WSJ)

Six shot during vigil for gunshot victim in Chicago (Reuters)

China Said to Order Banks to Curb New Loans in First Quarter (BBG)

U.K. Brexit Boom Still Sees Economy Plagued by Old Problems (BBG)

Dutch Regulator Accidentally Posts Soros's Short Positions (

Chinese Industry Starts to Feel the Chill

Slowing growth and rising costs hint that the party could be winding down.

Messaging Giant Line Shows No Easy Path to Profits

Japan's Line Corp. faces bulging costs and hard-to-navigate hurdles to growth.

Under Trump, U.S. Banks Could Get a British Makeover

Recent comments by Steven Mnuchin suggest the U.K. could be a model for banking regulation under President Donald Trump.

21 January 2017 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Continues To Improve

The market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Bloomberg / Econoday) were 244 K to 250 K (consensus 247,000), and the Department of Labor reported 259,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 247,500 (reported last week as 246,750) to 245,500. The rolling averages generally have been equal to or under 300,000 since August 2014.

Economic Report: Trade deficit dips in December, wholesale inventories surge, advanced report shows

An early look at U.S. trade patterns in December shows a small drop in the nation's trade deficit, while wholesale inventories surged.

This is another thing millennials are overconfident about

With so many financial hurdles, especially student debt, it isn't easy to put money in the bank.

Economic Report: Jobless claims jump 22,000 to 259,000

The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits climbed by 22,000 to a one-month high of 259,000 in late January, but the level of layoffs remained extremely low.

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