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30Mar2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Again Flat And May End Session In The Red, The US Dollar And Crude Prices Climbing Higher

Written by Gary

U.S. stock market futures pointed to a slightly lower open this morning (SPY -0.04%), with the Dow futures down around 0.1%, as traders eyed a few pieces of data and Fed speakers. Crudebprices pulled back from a three-week high today as a recent rally lost steam amid concern over swelling stockpiles in the U.S.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. The DAX is higher by 0.07%, while the FTSE 100 is leading the CAC 40 lower. They are down 0.11% and 0.05% respectively.


What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Euro dips as price data further dampens ECB hike expectations

LONDON (Reuters) - The euro dipped and bond yields hit multi-week lows on Thursday as easing inflation in Spain and Germany led investors to row back further on expectations of when the European Central Bank might tighten monetary policy.

Ackman apologizes for Valeant losses, calls bet a mistake

BOSTON (Reuters) - Billionaire hedge fund manager William Ackman has apologized to clients for betting on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc , telling them he was "deeply and profoundly sorry" for losing so much of their money on the investment.

Corporate America's top shareholder referee gets tougher on activists

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Institutional Shareholder Services Inc, the world's top proxy advisory firm, is making activist investors work harder than ever to earn its backing in corporate control battles in a shift being led by the new man in charge of its recommendations.

Unions threaten to scupper Linde-Praxair merger

FRANKFURT/MUNICH (Reuters) - Linde labor representatives threatened on Thursday to scupper the German industrial gases group's planned $65 billion merger with U.S. rival Praxair , urging their board members to vote against the deal and enlisting Berlin's support.

Exclusive: Bullying, bonuses and a red flag that BT missed in Italy - sources

MILAN (Reuters) - Three employees of BT Group's Italian unit warned their Madrid-based supervisor in November 2015 about possible accounting problems at BT Italy, one of the three said, a year before the phone company revealed financial irregularities at the division.

Toyota recalls 2.9 million vehicles globally over airbags

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp on Thursday said it was recalling a total of about 2.9 million vehicles in Japan, China, Oceania and other regions including its Corolla Axio sedan and RAV4 SUV crossover due to potentially faulty airbag inflators.

Saudi Aramco formally appoints banks to advise on share sale

LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco has formally appointed JPMorgan Chase & Co , Morgan Stanley and HSBC as international financial advisers for its initial public offering, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Westinghouse set to win UK reactor approval

LONDON (Reuters) - Toshiba's Westinghouse, which filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, is on track to win approval for its AP1000 reactor design by the end of March, Britain's nuclear regulator said.

German lawmaker warns U.S. exchanges against Deutsche Boerse bids

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. stock exchanges should not attempt to buy Deutsche Boerse , the German exchange whose bid to merge with its London counterpart has just collapsed, a senior German politician said on Thursday.

Here Are "The Most Profitable Corporations You've Never Heard Of"

Authorerd by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg

When I first started becoming aware of how sleazy, parasitic and corrupt the U.S. economy was, I only had expertise in one industry, financial services. Coming to grips with the blatant criminality of the TBTF Wall Street banks and their enablers at the Federal Reserve and throughout the federal government, I thought this was the main issue that needed to be confronted. What I've learned in the years since is pretty much every industry in America is corrupt to the core, more focused on sucking money away from helpless citizens via rent-seeking schemes versus actually producing a product and adding value. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is no exception.

Today's post zeros in on a particular slice of that industry. A group of companies known as Pharmacy Benefit Managers, or PBMs. Companies that seem to extract far more from the public than they give back. It's a convoluted sector that is difficult to get your head around, which is why we should be thankful that David Dayen wrote an excellent piece on the topic recently. What follows are merely excerpts from his lengthy and highly informative piece, The Hidden Monopolies That Raise Drug Prices. I strongly suggest you read the entire thing.

Below are a few highlights from the piece published in The American Prospect:

Like any retail outlet, Frankil purchases inventory from a wholesale distributor and sells it to customers at a small markup. But unlike b ...

After "Quite A Week", Trader Asks If There Has Been Any "Actual 'New' News"

Richard Breslow, a former FX trader and fund manager who writes for Bloomberg, summarizes what has been a particularly confusing week for traders in his latest overnight note.

Jeez Louise, it's only Thursday and it's been quite the week. We've actually learned a lot amid the deafening noise. Primarily because not all noise is equally deafening. The conclusions of Monday were called into question Tuesday and mostly repudiated Wednesday. Now we sit wondering if we're about to resume old trends or this is as tasty an opportunity to sell what most people were afraid to buy a mere three days ago.

So we need to ask, is there actually "new" news, after only a very few days, we should we consider before flipping our coins anew? It really matters when updating your priors to sift through signal versus commotion. And accept that error terms haven't been shrinking.

Well, we've actually had an interesting insight into the potential direction of yield spreads between different sovereign curves. That's actually a biggie. Probably needs greater trader focus.

There've been a bunch of Fed speakers this week and they've stayed on message for rate hikes. Two more exceeds the one and one-half priced in. They didn't seem derailed by last Friday's events.

On the other hand, a rising euro and higher yields got someone's attention. Reuters reported that ECB sources say the hawkish rate interpretation from their March meeting was "way overinterpreted". Euribor futures have now taken out the extra 10 basis points of tightening added on March 10

And anyone thinking the BOJ is on the cusp of a snug should consult BOJ's Iwata comments in parliament earlier today.

The death of health care reform in the U.S., or more importantly, the entire fiscal agenda if you believe th ...

China's President To Meet Trump Next Week; Putin "Ready" For Meeting In Finland

Confirming recurring rumors from the past month, overnight both China's Foreign Ministry and the White House confirmed that China's president Xi Jinping will meet with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on April 6-7. It will be Xi's first meeting with Trump, a little over a month after Trump used the same venue to meet with Japan's PM Abe, and comes at a time when the two sides face pressing issues, ranging from North Korea and the South China Sea to trade disputes.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, who made the announcement at a daily news briefing on Thursday, did not give any more details of the meeting agenda, but spoke of the need to see the big picture while fostering mutual interests in trade relations.

"The market dictates that interests between our two countries are structured so that you will always have me and I will always have you," Lu said.

"Both sides should work together to make the cake of mutual interest bigger and not simply seek fairer distribution," he said in response to a question about trade frictions.

Beijing had previously said that preparatory work for the meeting was underway. But it had not yet confirmed the trip, despite western media reports on a scheduled meeting and an announcement by the Finnish government that Xi would make a brief stop in Finland on April 5.

The summit follows a series of other recent U.S.-China meetings and conversations aimed at mending ties after strong criticism of China by Trump during his election campaign. Rex Tillerson ended a trip to Asia this month in Beijing, agreeing to work together with China on North Korea and stressing Trump's desire to enhance understanding.

Among the most pressing recent issues, China has been irritated at being repeatedly told by Washington to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and by the U.S. decision to base an advanced missile defense system in South Korea. Beijing also remains suspicious of U.S. intentio ...

Frontrunning: March 30

Trump's Border Wall: A Tall Order (WSJ)

Trump's Hope for Rapid Reset With Russia Fades (WSJ)

China's Xi to meet Trump in Florida next week (Reuters)

U.S. Softens Call for Shift on Nafta (WSJ)

ESPN Has Seen the Future of TV and They're Not Really Into It (BBG)

Inside the Leadership Shakeup at Merrill Lynch (BBG)

States' Next Target on Sales Taxes: Sellers on Amazon (WSJ)

South Africa's Zuma considers stepping down early in deal to oust Gordhan (Reuters)

Zuma to Face Mass Cabinet Walkout If He Fires Gordhan (BBG)

U.S., Turkey Set on a Collision Course (WSJ)

Ackman Is 'Profoundly' Sorry for $4 Billion Valeant 'Mistake' (BBG)

'You Are All Liars': Toshiba Shareholders Vent After Westinghouse ...

Samsung Needs a New Structure Alongside Its New Phone

Samsung Electronics is hoping to move on with the unveiling of its latest model, the Galaxy S8, but the world's leading smartphone maker could gain lasting benefits from an uncluttering.

The Depressing Logic Supporting Standard Chartered's Shares

Profitability remains under pressure, though, like HSBC, bank could pay dividends despite limited growth

Investors Don't Have Too Much of a Good Thing

There are plenty of warning signs in today's market, but earnings growth isn't one of them.

Economic Report: Jobless claims dip 3,000 to 258,000 in late March

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.

Economic Report: Fourth-quarter GDP raised to 2.1%, corporate profits rise again

The U.S. grew slightly faster at a 2.1% pace in the fourth quarter and corporate profits continued to rebound, according to a fresh look at how the economy performed at the end of 2016.

The Wall Street Journal: Margin debt hit all-time high in February: Bullish indicator or warning?

Margin debt climbed to a record high in February, a fresh sign of bullishness for flummoxed investors trying to navigate the political and economic crosscurrents driving markets.

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