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08Mar2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Quiet After Losing Momentum At The End Of Last Week, Crude Prices Taking A Nose Dive Into The 52 Handle, US Dollar Trading In The 102 Range

Written by Gary

US futures pointed to a flat open (SPY -0.03%) as market players remained on edge ahead of next week's Fed policy decision and seemed reluctant to place big bets ahead of monetary policy decisions. ADP employment are up 8 K above what was forcast.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. The DAX is higher by 0.17%, while the FTSE 100 is leading the CAC 40 lower. They are down 0.15% and 0.03% respectively.

Global equities remained in a holding pattern near record highs as investors waited for key labor market data from the U.S.

Oil prices were under pressure on Wednesday, nearing a four-week low after data overnight showed another massive increase in U.S. crude supplies.

U.S. stock futures look a bit soft.

The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq have now slipped in two consecutive trading sessions. U.S. stocks had been on a massive winning streak before they lost.

Looking at the last three columns (below), 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.

A string of remarks from policy makers since the end of February have spiked the odds for a rate hike from near 20% to above 80%, according to's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Watchdog to ask U.S. lawmakers to probe Icahn's role with Trump

(Reuters) - A government watchdog group, Public Citizen, said on Wednesday it will ask lawmakers to investigate whether billionaire investor Carl Icahn should have been subject to lobbying disclosure laws when he advised President Donald Trump to overhaul the U.S. biofuels program.

'It's like kumbaya:' Trump's genial private meetings with CEOs jar with public attacks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When the bosses of some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies headed to Washington in January to meet U.S. President Donald Trump, it had all the makings of a potentially hostile meeting.

Elon Musk to join Trump Wednesday at infrastructure meeting: source

(Reuters) - Elon Musk, who heads Tesla Inc and Space X, will take part in a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and business leaders Wednesday on the administration's plans to boost infrastructure spending, a White House official told Reuters.

Fiat Chrysler's merger options dwindle as Volkswagen rejects overtures

GENEVA (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne's attempts to find a partner were frustrated for a second time in as many days on Wednesday, as Volkswagen (VW) joined General Motors (GM) in dismissing any interest in talks with their smaller rival.

Industry questions higher insurance costs under Republican plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The House Republican health insurance plan suggests health insurance after Obamacare will be less affordable, investors, insurers and industry sources said on Tuesday, raising questions about future enrollment and insurance company participation.

Exclusive: Airbus may ditch A380's grand staircase as sales tumble

(Reuters) - Airbus is considering doing away with one of the hallmarks of its A380 superjumbo, a "grand staircase" echoing the era of cruise ships, as it looks to revive sales of the world's largest airliner, industry sources said.

German court names lead plaintiff in Volkswagen diesel test case

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A German court named Frankfurt-based Deka Investment on Wednesday as lead plaintiff for 1,470 damages claims against Volkswagen totaling 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion).

Fed to make sequential hikes until 'something breaks': Gundlach

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer at DoubleLine Capital, said on Tuesday he expects the Federal Reserve to begin a campaign this month of "old school" sequential interest rate hikes until "something breaks," such as a U.S. recession.

Are Australia's banks going bust in a loud boom? All of the signs point that way!

As 2016 drew to a close, even as US bank stocks posted some of the biggest gains since Mr. Trump got elected, it seemed their counterparts down-under aren't doing that well! All signs point to a huge weakening in Aussie bank stocks in 2017. But the bigger question is: Will we hear a loud boom as banks down under go bust?


There are ominous performance lags in Australia's premier stock index, the S&P ASX/200 (AS51:IND), when compared to the iShares MSCI ACWI ex-US ETF (ACWX:US). If you plot the two over a graph and analyse performance over a 5-year period, you can clearly see that they are moving in harmony - not necessarily in convergence, but definitely in the same direction.

These lock-step moves indicated that there was a strong co-relationship between the two comparators. The equity market down under seemed to be working in tandem with most of the world. All was well until now!

A shorter term (1-year) view of these same two comparators reveals a whole new story, however. While the lock-step journey continued until around mid-December 2016, with the AS51:IND even outperforming the ACWX:US for a brief while; all that came to an abrupt end by mid-January 2017. There now appears a clear divergence, with the AS51:IND racking up a -26.88 differential as of the time of this writing.

The tight co-relation between the ASX and the rest of the world is clearly decoupling!


The underlying causes for this apparent divergence can be summed up in two words: Australia's banks!

Australia's financials index (AXFJ), which comprises over a 3rd of the ASX 200, had been ticking along merrily over the last 1 year or so, gaining a healthy 12.22 ...

Gold Investing 101 - Beware Unallocated Gold Accounts With Indebted Bullion Banks and Mints (Part II)

Gold Investing 101 - Beware Unallocated Gold Accounts With Indebted Bullion Banks and Mints (Part II)

  • Investors looking to gold again but gold buyers need to exert caution

    Royal Mint - a royally expensive way to help the government

    Unallocated gold - unsecured creditor of a bank?

    If you cannot hold it, you do not own it

    Own gold bullion coins as insurance, to reduce counter party risk and to preserve wealth

    Conclusion - Reduce counter parties, Don't over complicate


    Yesterday we pointed out how the gold market is seeing renewed interest from new, first time gold buyers and gold investors. Concern unites them - they are concerned about the current trajectory of the world - politically, financially, economically, monetarily and environmentally.

Frontrunning: March 8

GOP Disagrees on How—and Whether—to Pay for Tax Cuts (WSJ)

'It's like kumbaya:' Trump's genial private meetings with CEOs jar with public attacks (Reuters)

New Health Plan Sparks Debate Over Obamacare Comparisons (WSJ)

China Grants Preliminary Approval to 38 New Trump Trademarks (BBG)

Questions About Loyalty to Trump Stall Treasury Picks (BBG)

Women in U.S. plan to stay off the job, rally in anti-Trump protests (Reuters)

CEOs Widen Income Gap Over Staff as Survey Shows 5.5% Pay Jump (BBG)

Investors Who Missed Bitcoin Rally Go for Dash, Ether, Monero (BBG)

Stocks Have Tripled Since Crisis, but Low Rates Are Still Squeezing Savers (WSJ)

China Shuts Hershey-Lotte Plant in Latest Missile Spat Response (BBG)

Swift Banking System B ...

Air Products-Yingde: Why it's Hard for the U.S. to Buy Big in China

Air Products looks to be getting outmaneuvered in its bid for Chinese rival Yingde Gases.

U.S. Reflation Moves to Asia

Don't be fooled by February figures showing a surprise Chinese trade deficit. Buoyant U.S. consumption still means happy Asian exporters—and a disgruntled Donald Trump.

Health-Care Overhaul Gets a Shrug From Wall Street

Provisions of the proposed Obamacare replacement aren't as tough as they appear.

Economic Report: U.S. productivity left unchanged at 1.3% in fourth quarter

The increase in productivity among American firms and workers was left unchanged at 1.3% in the final quarter of 2016 despite a much stronger performance by manufacturers than initially reported.

FA Center: These markets are where advisers should consider active management

Passive-only portfolios may not always provide investors with the best possible outcomes in the coming years, writes Mercer's Beverley Sharp.

What the House Republican bill gets wrong about the health insurance market

The policy could lock uninsured people out of the health insurance market.

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