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03Apr2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Will Open Flat, Session Expected To Follow Previous Two Sessions And Trade Sideways, US Dollar And Crude Prices Steady, Fed Not Expected To Raise Rates Until June

Written by Gary

U.S. stock market futures pointed to a fractionally higher open this morning (SPY +0.02%), as the dollar is holding steady and the WTI crude index is mildly volatile in the 50 handle. Despite a pullback in March, equity investors are kicking off Q2 in a bullish mood following a strong first quarter for U.S. indices.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed today. The DAX is up 0.22% while the FTSE 100 gains 0.04%. The CAC 40 is off 0.29%.

Wall Street set to open cautiously higher as investors eye world stocks and fresh data

Market experts do not expect the Fed to raise interest rates again until June. Futures traders are pricing in around a 50% chance of a hike at the Fed's June meeting, according to's Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of a September increase was seen at about 75%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Second quarter off to a firm start for stocks as Trump-Xi meeting looms

LONDON (Reuters) - World stock markets and the U.S. dollar started the second quarter on a positive note on Monday, although caution also set in as the first meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping loomed.

Linde chairman ready to use casting vote for Praxair merger: FT

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The chairman of German industrial gases group Linde is prepared to use his casting vote to push through a $65 billion merger with U.S. rival Praxair in the face of worker opposition, he told the Financial Times.

Imagination Tech shares plunge as Apple abandons the firm

LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in Imagination Tech crashed more than 70 percent on Monday after the British company said its biggest customer, Apple , would stop using its graphics technology in iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

Tesla delivers quarterly record of 25,000 vehicles in first quarter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tesla Inc , the U.S. luxury electric car maker, said on Sunday first-quarter vehicle deliveries jumped 69 percent from a year ago to a quarterly record of 25,000 vehicles, bouncing back from delays in the previous quarter.

Burberry licenses beauty business to Coty in new drive to expand

LONDON (Reuters) - British luxury brand Burberry said on Monday it would license its fragrances and cosmetics to Coty in a deal totaling $225 million that will help it develop new products and benefit from the U.S. group's distribution.

Caterpillar shuts plant in Aurora, Illinois, that employs 800

(Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc said on Friday it will shut its Aurora, Illinois, plant, costing about 800 employees their jobs as the world's largest construction and mining equipment maker shifts production to other U.S. facilities.

Manufacturing growth caps strong first quarter, led by China

LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Factories across Europe and much of Asia posted another month of solid growth in March, rounding off a strong quarter for manufacturers, even though exporters fear a rise in U.S. protectionism could snuff out a global trade recovery.

Etihad Airways says bookings to U.S. healthy despite laptop ban

DUBAI (Reuters) - Etihad Airways' bookings to the United States are healthy despite last month's introduction of a ban on most electronics from the cabins of passenger flights to the United States, the Abu Dhabi carrier said on Monday.

German court rebuffs VW complaint over prosecutors' searches

MUNICH (Reuters) - A German court has rebuffed Volkswagen's attempt to prevent prosecutors from using information seized during searches of the law firm which the carmaker had hired to investigate its emissions scandal.

Dubai Police Arrest Hackers Who Broke Into "Highly Confidential" White House Emails

In a development that could have substantial implications to the ongoing "Russia hacked the US elections" narrative, United Arab Emirates media reports that Dubai police have arrested a group of foreign hackers that targeted five White House officials in an email blackmail scheme.

The Arabic-language Al Bayan newspaper and the television channel Dubai One reported the arrests on Monday according to AP. Dubai police did not answer repeated calls for comment.

The Al Bayan quoted Maj. Saud al-Khalidi of Dubai police as saying an "African gang", broke into the emails of the five senior officials and "got highly confidential information." He said the U.S. asked Dubai police for assistance. Al-Khalidi said that investigators tracked down the gang to an apartment in the emirate of Ajman and arrested three suspects. Those arrested are between 24 and 26 years of age and had a list of "5 million bank accounts," as well as hacking software and millions of dollars in assets, he said.

The major said the three people had entered the UAE on visitor visas a few years ago. The reports did not identify the White House officials targeted. Al-Khalidi reportedly said those suspects would be handed over to the United States for possible criminal trials.

The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi did not respond to requests for comment.

As we await more official details, the google translated report from Al Bayan report is below:

Dubai Police have arre ...

Gold and Silver Best Performing Assets In Q1, 2017

- Gold, silver two of the best performing assets in the first quarter of 2017 with gains of 8% and 14% respectively
- Gold outperforms benchmarks - S&P 500 up 6%, MSCI (All Country World Index) up 6.4% (see tables)
- Nasdaq and German DAX rise 11.8% and 7.6%
- Silver best performing currency in quarter
- Five best performing currencies in Q1 are in order - silver, bitcoin, Mexican peso, Russian ruble and gold
- Gold's biggest quarterly gain since Q1 16, when rose 16%
- Gold has seen gains in 8 of the last 10 first quarters
- Palladium and platinum gain 17.7% and 5.2% respectively
- Uncertainty over Trump's economic and foreign policies and geo-political risks from Brexit and elections in the EU lead to safe haven demand for gold and silver bullion

2017 Performance

Below are the tables and charts which show how markets and currencies have performed to date in 2017 - click on images to enlarge.

Frontrunning: April 3

Buying a Home This Spring Will Be Hardest in Years (WSJ)

Senate showdown likely over Gorsuch confirmation (Reuters)

'Nuclear' Bid to Confirm Gorsuch May Radically Change Washington (BBG)

Trump's son-in-law, Kushner, flies into Iraq with top U.S. general (Reuters)

Solid Asia factory growth caps a strong first quarter but outlook cloudy (Reuters)

Trump presses China on North Korea ahead of Xi talks (Reuters)

The Rising Retirement Perils of 401(k) 'Leakage' (WSJ)

Spain Tells U.K. to Keep Its Cool After Gibraltar Compared to Falklands (BBG)

U.S. backs out of Latam development fund in sign of policy shift (Reuters)

Here's What U.S. Farmers Will Plant More (and Less) of in 2017 (BBG)

Democrat Donnelly to support Trump pick for U.S. Supreme Court (Reuters)

Fed's R ...

Consistency Is in Fashion This Year at Retailers

Most investors will pay a premium for growth. In the volatile world of retail stocks, many are increasingly willing to pay up for consistency too.

Trouble Bubbling Under at Chinese Banks

Good results last year mask some worrying underlying trends for Chinese lenders.

Why ECB's Negative-Rate Policy Is Out of Order

The Fed stopped bond purchases and then raised rates. But that template might not be the right one for the ECB.

Which States Account For Our Trade Deficit With Mexico?

from the St Louis Fed

Trade between the U.S. and Mexico is currently a hot topic for discussion among policymakers.1 In 2015, the U.S. ran a $60.7 billion trade deficit with Mexico, equivalent to 0.34 percent of U.S. gross domestic product that year. In this blog post, we examined the current balance of trade with Mexico at the state level using U.S. Census Bureau data.

Market Extra: Imagination shares tank 72% after Apple pulls chip contract — but court battle may lie ahead

The chip designer revealed that Apple, its biggest customer, has said it will stop using its products and use its own independently developed graphics chip design — but it believes it would be challenging for Apple to do that without infringing patents.

FA Center: The reason underfunded pensions are a disaster waiting to happen

The needs of retirees, who are the ultimate investors, and the desires of investment advisers and managers aren't always aligned.

Suing Dunkin Donuts for 'fake butter' — and other bizarre food lawsuits

Class-action suits have created media buzz and, sometimes, big payouts.

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