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30Jan2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Take A Back-Step Today Awaiting Further Clarity On Trump's Policies, Crude Prices Likely To Remain Higher While US Markets Slide

Written by Gary

US stock market index futures pointed to a moderately lower open (SPY -0.4%) and the DOW to fall back below the 20 K level this morning. Investors are eyeing key economic data, corporate earnings and are still uncertain how to bet on the President. The US dollar and crude prices stable, but volatile.

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 0.88% while Germany's DAX is off 0.82% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.80%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. consumer spending increases solidly in December

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending rose solidly in December as households bought motor vehicles and a range of services amid rising wages, pointing to sustained domestic demand that is likely to set the economy up for faster growth in early 2017.

Futures slip as Trump's travel bans spark uncertainty

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Monday as President Donald Trump's orders to curb immigration from certain countries triggered uncertainty and protests across the world.

Negative effective of currency rates on company results fall in third quarter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Currency market fluctuations in the third quarter of 2016 had the smallest negative impact on North American companies' financial results since 2014, FIREapps said in a report on Monday.

Goldman Sachs CEO says bank does not support Trump travel ban

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc CEO Lloyd Blankfein told employees that President Donald Trump's order to halt arrivals from seven Muslim-majority countries was not a policy the bank endorsed, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Starbucks CEO Schultz plans to hire 10,000 refugees after Trump ban

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said on Sunday that the company planned to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in 75 countries, two days after U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees from certain countries.

Citigroup to exit U.S. mortgage servicing operations by 2018

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc said on Monday it would speed up the transformation of its U.S. mortgage business by exiting servicing operations by the end of 2018.

Trump travel ban stirs faint corporate outcry beyond Silicon Valley

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) - Most U.S. corporate bosses have stayed silent on President Donald Trump's immigration curbs, underscoring the sensitivities around opposing policies that could provoke a backlash from the White House.

Back to zero: Companies use 1970s budget tool to cut costs as they hunt for growth

BOSTON (Reuters) - The number of U.S. companies using a budgeting tool made famous in the 1970s by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is surging as they turn their spending habits upside down to boost profits and to re-invest in their businesses.

Office Depot names Lenovo senior executive Gerry Smith as CEO

(Reuters) - Office Depot Inc , No. 2 U.S. office supplies retailer, appointed Lenovo Group Ltd senior executive Gerry Smith as its chief executive and board member Joseph Vassalluzzo as chairman from Feb. 27.

Why The Cold War Between Tech CEOs and Trump Is About To Go Nuclear

Over the weekend, openly defiant CEOs, particularly among the tech sector, expressed their displeasure with Trump's Friday executive order on travel from seven Muslim countries with both words and deeds, among which the following (summary courtesy of Axios):

VCs funding the ACLU: Several venture capitalists, as well as a few entrepreneurs, took turns soliciting donations to the American Civil Liberties Union through social media and personally matching those donations.

Airbnb volunteers to help provide housing for impacted immigrants: The home-sharing company said that it will work with travelers and organizations to provide housing for those impacted by the executive order, whether through volunteer hosts or by funding housing.

Lyft and Uber commit millions of dollars to legal aid: On Sunday, Lyft said it will donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years. Later in the day, Uber said it will create a $3 million legal defense fund for impacted drivers, as well as provide legal assistance and compensate their lost wages.

Google is setting up a $2 million crisis fund: The search giant has set up a fund that will donate to the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee, and UNHCR.

On Monday morning, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television, said that he is "gratified" by what he heard from the tech community. "As global businesses, they have a huge stake in the United States being a nation of the Statue of Liberty rather than being a nation of refugee camps." He added that "they have a huge stake in the United States supporting an open and tolerant global system, they have that stake for their employees, their customers, they have it for the reputation of the United States and they ...

Will The Euro Collapse In 2017?

Will The Euro Collapse In 2017?

2017 could be the year that the euro collapses according to Joseph Stiglitz writing in Fortune magazine and these concerns were echoed over the weekend by former Bundesbank vice-pr ...

Trump Blames Travel Chaos On Protesters, "Schumer's Tears"; Tweets "Nothing Nice About Searching For Terrorists"

In his first volley of tweets for the week, President Trump blamed protesters, Charles Schumer's "tears" and Delta's computer glitch for chaos at airports across the country in the aftermath of his executive order on immigration.He added that according to Secretary Kelly "all is going well with very few problems" and all-capped "MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN""

"Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning," the president tweeted early Monday. "Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage,.....protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer. Secretary Kelly said that all is going well with very few problems. MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN!"

Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage,.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017

protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer. Secretary Kelly said that all is going well with very few problems. MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017

He then followed up his latest defense of his immigration order, when in a later tweet Trump said there is "nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter our country. This was a bit part of my campaign. Study the world!"

There is nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter our country. This was a big part of my campaign. Study the world!

— Donald J. Trump ...

Key Events In The Coming "Big Week" For The US

Markets will again zero in on the U.S. this week, and not just because of Donald Trump in Bloomberg's opinion. The Federal Reserve meeting and nonfarm payrolls may set a clear direction for dollar and yields for the next few months. U.S. GDP data on Friday showed the largest negative contribution from net exports since 2010. This will give the president ammunition for his Twitter feed because it confirms his view on the evils of globalization. So prepare. Beyond Trump's rhetoric, it's going to be a big week for orthodox economic developments in the United States.

No one expects a policy shift at the Fed meeting Wednesday. The FOMC has remained silent on whether they are considering hiking rates in March; the market prices around a one-third chance. This low probability reflects last year's experience of perpetual rate hike delays. But if the Fed hints that a rate hike is a serious possibility for March, pricing should rise to between 50% and 75%. The dollar would obviously benefit. On the other hand, silence would likely lead yields and the dollar to fall. The dot plot in December showed a median expectation of three rate hikes this year. Nothing has happened since then to suggest this is too optimistic. Therefore, it seems likely the FOMC will acknowledge a March hike is a there is also an upside risk for the dollar and yields. However, watch out for Friday's payroll data as a possible sting in the tail. The Fed won't have access to the data when they announce policy, and it wouldn't be the first time the data threw a spanner into the Fed's intentions.

Other US data in addition to the FOMC and payrolls, include ISM, ADP, housing data, personal income & spending, vehicle sales and core PCE.

That said, in the US, the focus on politics will likely remain paramount, with every Trump tweet closely scrutinized.

In addition to the busy US week, we also have policy decisions from the Bank of Japan an ...

T-Mobile and Dish: Better Together?

Investors consider Dish Network and T-Mobile US to be takeover targets, but the most interesting merger possibility may be between the two companies.

Under Armour Is Under the Gun

After a long streak of beating analyst estimates, athletic-gear maker Under Armour is running out of ways to send its shares higher.

Markets' PostelectionCalm Is Eerie and Historic

The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, is at historic levels of complacency, a possible warning for investors.

Earnings Outlook: What to expect from Pfizer earnings: competition on two fronts

Competitive forces are expected to eat into Pfizer profits from a new major chemo drug.

Economic Report: Consumer spending jumps in December. So does inflation

Americans spent more on new cars and other big-ticket items in December to finish the year on a optimistic note, though a key level of inflation also hit the highest level in more than two years.

Netflix, Twitter, Starbucks and other company execs speak out against Trump immigration ban

Over the weekend corporate America joined in protesting President Donald Trump's immigration ban as masses around the country took to airports to demonstrate.

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