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13Feb2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street On Track For New Historical Highs, US Dollar Rose To A Two-week High, WTI Texas Tea Slipped, Tax Reform Plans Excite Investors

Written by Gary

US stock market futures pointed to a higher open this morning (SPY +0.2%), on pace to continue record-highs, as investors bet that the US president's tax reform plans will boost economic growth and corporate profits.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are broadly higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is up 1.28% while Germany's DAX is up 1.05% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.18%.

The dollar rose to a two-week high against the yen on Monday, with the market breathing a sigh of relief after a closely watched two-day U.S.-Japan summit held over the weekend was seen to have ended smoothly.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Stock futures hit record highs as 'Trump trade' rekindles

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures hit record highs on Monday as the so-called "Trump trade", which sent Wall Street to record highs last week, looked set to pick up speed after a brief lull.

Samsung chief appears for second round of questions in graft probe

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee appeared at the South Korean special prosecutor's office for questioning on Monday as part of a wider investigation into an influence-peddling scandal that could topple President Park Geun-hye.

Toshiba prepares to unveil nuclear hole, other perils threaten

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp will on Tuesday detail a writedown of close to $6 billion after bruising cost overruns at its U.S. nuclear arm, turning investor attention to the Japanese group's efforts to fix that and other balance sheet headaches.

Boeing, machinists face off over union at South Carolina plant

NEW YORK/NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - Boeing Co faces its first union vote on Wednesday at its aircraft factory in South Carolina, a high-profile test for organized labor in the nation's most strongly anti-union state.

Citing Trump and Brexit, EU sees euro zone economy risk, sharp drop in UK growth

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Monday that uncertainty about U.S. policies, Brexit and elections in Germany and France would take their toll on the euro zone economy this year.

Allergan agrees to buy Zeltiq for about $2.48 billion

(Reuters) - Allergan Plc on Monday said it would buy Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc for about $2.48 billion to gain access to its flagship body contouring technology.

DuPont settles lawsuits over Teflon-making chemical leak

(Reuters) - DuPont said on Monday it agreed to pay $670.7 million in cash to settle several lawsuits related to a chemical leak from a plant in West Virginia.

U.S. trial set over bitcoin exchange linked to JPMorgan hack probe

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Florida software engineer and a New Jersey pastor are expected on Monday to face trial in a case stemming from an investigation into a bitcoin exchange and a data breach at JPMorgan Chase & Co .

VW talks with union break down, leaving costs deal in limbo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen's talks with unions over the implementation of its turnaround plan were broken off on Monday, both sides said, leaving in limbo a deal on cost-cutting following the carmaker's damaging diesel emissions scandal.

Why Donald Trump Needs The Next Recession To Start As Quickly As Possible

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

A new recession is coming, and Donald Trump needs it to begin sooner rather than later. As I explained last week, most American voters tend to care about their pocketbooks more than anything else. If the next recession were to officially start during the first quarter of 2017, it would be very easy for Trump to blame it on Obama, and then he could portray himself as the one that pulled the U.S. economy out of recession in time for the 2020 election. But if the next recession does not begin until 2018 or 2019, everybody is going to blame it on Trump even if it is not his fault. In politics, who gets the blame for whatever goes wrong is often the most important thing, and if Trump wants to avoid blame for the next recession he needs for it to start as quickly as possible.

For most of 2016, the mainstream media was warning that a new recession was probably coming no matter who won the election. For one example, just check out this Bloomberg article.

And for once, the mainstream media was precisely correct. Barack Obama left us with an enormous economic mess, and it would take an economic miracle of unprecedented proportions to keep the U.S. economy from going into a recession at this point.

During the Obama years, the U.S. went on a debt binge unlike anything we have ever seen before.

The U.S. national debt ...

Oroville Dam Evacuations: Here Are The Latest Updates

Following a woefully belated response by California authorities' to the dangerous situation unfolding at the Lake Oroville Dam in Northern California over the weekend, an evacuation order forcing some 200,000 people living below the tallest dam in the US remained in place early on Monday after residents were abruptly told to flee when a spillway appeared in danger of collapse.

The Oroville dam is nearly full following winter storms that brought relief to the state after four years of drought. Water levels were less than 7 feet (2 meters) from the top of the dam on Friday. State authorities and engineers on Thursday began releasing water from the dam after noticing that large chunks of concrete were missing from a spillway.

California Governor Jerry Brown asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday to declare the area a major disaster due to flooding and mudslides brought on by the storms.

.@JerryBrownGov Issues Emergency Order to Help Response to #OrovilleSpillway

— Gov. Brown Press Ofc (@GovPressOffice) February 13, 2017

As reported last night, authorities issued the evacuation order on Sunday, saying that a crumbling emergency spillway on Lake Oroville Dam in north California could give way and unleash floodwaters onto rural communities along the Feather River. "Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream is ordered," the Butte County sheriff said in a statement posted on social media.

The video below summarizes the situation at the damaged ...

Frontrunning: February 13

'Trump trades' on boost to economic growth come back with a bang (Reuters)

Trump's national security adviser Flynn trying to survive crisis (Reuters)

White House Is Sifting Options on Immigration Ban (WSJ)

North Korean Nuclear Ambitions to Be Defining Issue for Trump (BBG)

Netanyahu opposes Palestinian state, Israeli minister says ahead of U.S. visit (Reuters)

Speed Limits on Trump's Infrastructure Drive: Federal Laws, Rare Species and Nimbys (WSJ)

Germany's New Trump-Critic President Sees Stormy U.S. Ties Ahead (BBG)

Oil Slips as U.S. Drilling Gains Counter OPEC Production Cuts (BBG)

Employers Balk at Curbs on Generous Health Plans (WSJ)

China upset at disputed islands mention in Japan-U.S. meeting (Reuters)

China Calls for Restraint on North Korea as UN Prepares to Meet (

French Election Could See Euro Break Up - Unleash Financial Chaos

David McWilliams - Print Punts As French Election Could See Euro Break Up

David McWilliams, economist, writer and journalist, has warned that the coming French election may lead to the euro breaking up and that Ireland should have a 'plan B' and 'print punts' in order to be ready for the collapse of the "single currency."

David McWilliams at Ireland's Banking Inquiry

McWilliams writes

This time last year, only a few of us were suggesting that Brexit was likely. The mainstream view was that it couldn't possibly happen. But it did. And so too did Trump. When this column argued in June that "we should prepare for President Trump", one or two local talk shows chuckled and sneered at the mere suggestion that such a creature could inhabit the White House. But he is there.

In December, the Italian electorate revolted against its government - again the view of 'sensible' people was that bolshie Italians would se ...

The Coming Drought in Corporate Bonds

House Republicans' plans to let companies repatriate foreign profits and deny deductions on interest could cut into bond issuance.

Investors Have Second Thoughts About Trump Trade

Inflation expectations have stalled heading into a slew of data and Janet Yellen's semiannual testimony before lawmakers.

China's Steel Capacity Cuts Obscured by Smog

Chinese steel capacity may—or may not—have fallen, but output is still rising. Global markets will feel the pressure again when the real-estate cycle turns down.

Wealth Gaps Grow With Educational Attainment

from the St Louis Fed

While family wealth generally increases with education, not all races and ethnicities see gains the same way, according to an article in The Regional Economist.

The Wall Street Journal: Steven Spielberg-backed startup is creating VR experiences to get people into Malls

As Silicon Valley giants battle each other to dominate virtual reality in the home, some in Hollywood are hoping to use the technology to get people out and about.

In One Chart: This little-noticed phenomenon could make stock picking great again

Investors are writing the obituary for the "risk on, risk off" trading environment. Stock pickers are ready to dance on its grave.

In One Chart: How one key Trump trade has regained its fizz — in one chart

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks just scored its first record close of the year.

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