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28Feb2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Down, Flat And Muted Before Opening, Crude Prices Slipping Sharply, US Dollar Mostly Unchanged And Investors Await Trump's Speech To Congress Tonight

Written by Gary

US stock market futures pointed to a flat open near all-time highs this morning (SPY -0.1%), as investors looked ahead to President Trump's speech to Congress tonight. The dollar is little changed and crude prices have crept lower into the mid 53 handle.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. The FTSE 100 is higher by 0.07%, while France's CAC 40 is off 0.05%. Shares in Germany are unchanged with the DAX at 11,821.77.

US futures point lower as investors eye Trump's speech to Congress

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Target forecasts surprise drop in 2017 comparable sales, shares sink

(Reuters) - Target Corp forecast a surprise drop in full-year sales at established stores on Tuesday and reported a steeper-than-expected fall in holiday-quarter sales due to "unexpected softness" at its stores.

With businesses split on U.S. border tax, wider reform looks shaky

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major U.S. corporations are going to war in Washington over a Republican 'border adjustment' tax proposal meant to boost exports over imports, with lawmakers in Congress coming under pressure from some of the nation's biggest employers.

Trump says 'revved up economy' will pay for budget proposals: Fox

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said he believes the extra $54 billion dollars he has proposed spending on the U.S. military will be offset by a stronger economy as well as cuts in other areas.

Futures flat ahead of Trump's address to Congress

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were flat on Tuesday but hovered near all-time highs as investors awaited President Donald Trump's speech for details on his agenda for the economy.

JPMorgan expects 2017 expenses to rise about 3.4 percent

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co , the biggest U.S. bank by assets, said it expected 2017 expenses to rise about 3.4 percent as it spends more on technology and in signing up new credit card accounts.

House Financial Services chairman sees Dodd-Frank reform this year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Reform of Wall Street rules and consumer protects imposed after the 2008 financial crisis is likely this year, and much of the law could be undone through a number of ways, the Republican chairman of a key House of Representatives committee said.

Samsung Group chief charged with bribery, corporate nerve center dismantled

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean prosecutors charged Samsung Group [SARG.UL] chief Jay Y. Lee with bribery and embezzlement on Tuesday as the top conglomerate announced the dismantling of its corporate strategy office, the latest developments in a graft scandal that has rocked the country.

Exclusive: ICE talking to former LME chief about new metals platform

LONDON (Reuters) - Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is looking into setting up a London-based metals trading system, industry sources familiar with the matter said, more than four years after its ailed attempt to buy the London Metal Exchange

Wells Fargo robo-adviser to target young, first-time investors

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co's wealth management business said on Tuesday it would launch its new robo-adviser Intuitive Investor later this year in a bid to develop a new revenue stream from existing Millennial customers who may be looking to open their first investment account in a crowded online market.

In Latest Tightening Move, China To Cut Money Supply Growth To 12%

For a majority of China watchers, while Beijing's goalseeked GDP reports are largely dismissed as politburo propaganda, most of the attention falls on the PBOC and banking sector's credit creation, and particularly, how this translates into broad money supply, or M2, growth: after all, in a nation which has roughly $35 trillion in bank assets, the biggest variable is how much cash is being injected into the system, and what happens with said cash.

Which is why a Reuters report overnight that China plans to target broad money supply growth of around 12 percent in 2017, down from 13 percent in 2016, has been promptly noted as the latest signal to contain debt risks while keeping growth on track. The M2 growth target was endorsed by leaders at the closed-door Central Economic Work Conference in December, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting outcome.

As a reminder, yesterday even the NY Fed released a note in which central bank researchers warned about the unsustainability of Chinese debt. Under the PBOC's new "prudent and neutral" policy, the central bank has adopted a modest tightening bias in a bid to cool torrid credit expansion, though it is treading cautiously to avoid hurting the economy.

"It's not necessary to maintain last year's high money supply growth," said a source who advises the government. "A money supply rise of 11 percent should be enough for supporting growth, but we probably need to have some extra space, considering risks in the process of deleveraging."

In 2016 China's money supply target was 13%, roughly double the country's GDP , though it ultimately grew just 11.3% due to the effects of the central bank's intervention to support the yuan currency, which effectively drained yuan liquidity from the economy. Last year's M2 target reflected Beijing's focus on meeting its economic growth targets, but top leaders have pledged this year to shift the emphasis to addressing fina ...

Trump Accuses Obama Of Being Behind Protests, Leaks

In an interview with Fox & Friends that aired early Tuesday morning, President Trump blamed former President Obama for protests against him and other Republicans, as well as "possibly" some of the leaks from the White House: "I think President Obama's behind it, because his people are certainly behind it."

Trump was asked if he believed Obama was responsible for the town hall protests against Republicans this month: "It turns out his organization seems to do a lot of these organizing to some of the protests that these Republicans are seeing around the country against you. Do you believe President Obama is behind it and if he is, is that a violation of the so-called unsaid presidents' code?" Trump was asked.

"No, I think he is behind it, because his people are certainly behind it. I also think it is politics, that's the way it is," Trump replied.

Trump on protests: "I think that President Obama is behind it"

— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 28, 2017

Trump discussed the leaks that have disrupted his first month in office: "You never know what's exactly happening behind the scenes. You know, you're probably right or possibly right, but you never know. No, I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it. And some of the leaks possibly come from that group, which are really serious because they are very bad in terms of national security. But I also understand that is politics. In terms of him being behind things, that's politics. And it will probably continue."

Trump did not offer any evidence for his claim in the clip released by Fo ...

Frontrunning: February 28

Trump Puts the Final Touches on His Speech (BBG)

Trump to Make Case for Higher Military Spending, Lay Out Vision in Speech (WSJ)

Trump on Hook to Clarify Policies With Speech to Congress (BBG)

Traders Are Glued to These Stocks Ahead of Tonight's Trump Speech (BBG)

Trump Regulation Rollback May Threaten U.S. Firms' EU Access (Reuters)

GOP Health Plan Suffers Blow With Rejection by Key Republican (BBG)

White House Dismisses Calls for Russia-Ties Investigation (WSJ)

Bitcoin's Top Rival Is Up 90% and Ready to Ditch Mining (BBG)

Inside Harvard's Radical Plan to Reverse a Decade of Poor Returns (WSJ)

JPMorgan Software Does in Seconds What Took Lawyers 360,000 Hours (BBG)

Importance of Hiding Gold Creatively and Securely If Taking Delivery

Importance of Hiding Gold Creatively and Securely If Taking Delivery

  • Why gold retains value?

    Interesting unknown gold facts

    "Prepare your jaws for a sizeable drop!"

    History, finite, rare and peak gold

    "It is beautiful to look at..."

    'Heavy metal' - Thud sound of a gold bar (kilo)

    'Going for gold' - Olympic gold medals to Chelthenham 'Gold Cup'

    Peak gold ... "Hard work to get gold out of the ground..."

    How much an Oscar is actually worth?

    Importance of hiding gold creatively and securely if taking delivery

    Owning a safe - "hidden away and bolted down"

    Owning gold in secure storage in Zurich, Singapore and Hong Kong


Beijing Needs To Do More To Lift Its Bonds Appeal

China's latest effort to attract more foreign investors to its bond market likely won't open the floodgates.

The New Normal for Drug Makers

There were fewer double-digit price increases during the annual beginning-of-the-year price hikes as the pharmaceutical industry fights a wave of bad publicity.

Chinese Stocks: Don't Get Fooled Twice

The rally has more fundamental support than last time around, but has yet to prove it can survive tighter credit, weaker real estate and rising protectionism.

Market Extra: Will the Ides of March bury the stock market?

The question for stock-market investors is 'Will March be the month that buries a run of records?'

Economic Report: Fourth-quarter GDP left at 1.9% despite bigger pop in consumer spending

The growth in the U.S. economy in the final quarter of Barack Obama's presidency was left at 1.9%, held down by a bigger trade deficit even as consumer spending rebounded strongly.

The Wall Street Journal: Intelsat to merge with satellite startup OneWeb

Intelsat is merging with U.S. satellite startup OneWeb, with Softbank injecting $1.7 billion into the combined company.

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