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17Apr2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Higher, But May Not Stay In The Green As Geopolitical And Economic Concerns Weigh Heavily On Investors, Crude Prices Climb As The US Dollar Sinks

Written by Gary

US stock index futures were fractionally higher this morning (SPY +0.2%) as geopolitical concerns and weak economic data weighed on investors. Shares and the U.S. dollar dipped while US bond yields slumped to five-month lows after recent soft US economic data.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets finished lower on Thursday with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is down 0.59% while Germany's DAX is off 0.38% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.29%.

Asian shares end mixed, dollar weaker as investors focus on China GDP, eye Korea tensions

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Futures dip on soft U.S. data, geopolitical risks

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Monday as geopolitical concerns and weak economic data weighed on sentiment, while the first-quarter earnings season gathered pace.

The long, rough ride ahead for 'Made in America'

RUSTON, Louisiana (Reuters) - Mini motorcycle and go-kart maker Monster Moto made a big bet on U.S. manufacturing by moving assembly to this Louisiana town in 2016 from China.

Steel, stimulus drive China's strongest economic growth since 2015

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economy expanded faster than expected in the first quarter as higher government infrastructure spending and a gravity-defying property boom helped boost industrial output by the most in over two years.

Stocks, dollar under pressure after soft U.S. data

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares and the U.S. dollar dipped on Monday while U.S. bond yields slumped to five-month lows after soft U.S. economic data hurt investor sentiment already frayed by worries over North Korea and coming French elections.

Undaunted by oil bust, financiers pour billions into U.S. shale

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Investors who took a hit last year when dozens of U.S. shale producers filed for bankruptcy are already making big new bets on the industry's resurgence.

China's Ant hikes MoneyGram bid by more a third, beats rival U.S. offer

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Ant Financial has sweetened its bid for MoneyGram International Inc by over a third, beating a rival offer to gain approval from the U.S. electronic payment firm's board, although it still faces regulatory hurdles.

Oil slides as U.S. pumps more, but OPEC and North Korea loom

LONDON (Reuters) - Crude oil slid lower on Monday on signs that the United States is continuing to add output, largely counteracting strong economic growth in China and OPEC efforts to cut production.

Daewoo Shipbuilding bondholders accept bailout plan after pension fund's agreement

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd on Monday won near unanimous approval for a debt-to-equity swap plan in the first two of five bondholder meetings, as the world's largest shipbuilder battles to stay afloat.

CalPERS looks at changing how it invests in private equity: WSJ

(Reuters) - CalPERS, the largest pension fund in the United States, is considering changes in how it invests in private equity that could slash payments to fund managers, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Trump Considering "Kinetic Military Action" On North Korea Including "Sudden Strike"

Following Sunday's failed medium-range missile test by Kim Jong-Un, President Donald Trump has been evaluating his response options and according to Bloomberg, which cited a "person familiar with his thinking", is willing to consider ordering "kinetic" military action, including a sudden strike, to "counteract North Korea's destabilizing actions in the region"

However, before launching another offensive campaign - or war as some would call it - Trump's preference is for China to take the lead on dealing with North Korea, according to the source.

While still afforded the luxury of time, Trump may be forced to decide soon how to respond: on its take on the ongoing North Korea crisis, the New York Times said in a front-page article that "what is playing out, said Robert Litwak of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, ... is 'the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion,' but the slow-motion part appears to be speeding up."

That said, Trump's reported strategy isn't a radical departure from long-standing U.S. policy. As Bloomberg writes, "he isn't particularly interested in toppling the regime of leader Kim Jong Un and isn't looking to force a reunification of the two Koreas, the person said. He instead wants to push for their long-term cooperation."

Furthermore, Trump's national security team had already thought through various scenarios that North Korea might take, and how the U.S. would react. So when the medium-range missile test failed right after launch early Sun ...

Frontrunning: April 17



Trump's Renewed Focus on Health Bill Vexes GOP Tax Strategy (WSJ)

Wall Street banker Cohn moving Trump toward moderate policies (Reuters)

Trump Rejects Protests Over Tax Returns (WSJ)

Merkel Calls on Erdogan to Open Talks in 'Deeply Split' Turkey (BBG)

Turkish Opposition Plans Challenge to President Erdogan's Referendum Victory (WSJ)

Simsek Rules Out Turkey Elections Before 2019 on Erdogan Promise (BBG)

Trump Is a Global 'Instability Factor,' Fillon's Top Aide Says (BBG)

Behind United Airlines' Fateful Decision to Call Police (WSJ)

This Is a Dangerous Time to Own Emerging-Market Stocks (WSJ)

Undaunted by oil bust, financiers pour billions into U.S. shale (Reuters)

Bullish Oil Bets Gain on Signs OPEC Cuts to Outdo U.S. Boom (

Facebook Responds To Murder Broadcast Live On Its Platform

Facebook has responded to reports that a Cleveland man, 37-year-old Steve Stephens, shot and killed an elderly man while broadcasting on the social media's live platform.

"This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook," Facebook said in a statement issued to CNN. "We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety."

Facebook statement on Cleveland shooting video: "This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content" https://t.co/G8mpL2QxfI

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 16, 2017

It was not immediately clear what steps the global arbiter of "fake news" would take to prevent such events from recurring.

Meanwhile, Cleveland police are still searching for Steve Stephens, who according to a live Facebook video was seen killing a 74-year-old man. On Sunday night, Cleveland police identified the victim as Robert Godwin Sr. and urged Stephens to turn himself in.

The Facebook video of the shooting remained on the platform for nearly three hours before it was removed, according to Cleveland.com. Stephens' personal profile has also been deactivated but not before several copies of the original video have been shared on Facebook and Twitter.

Stephens claimed in his broadcast that he killed several other people, but police have only confirmed one victim. The full report of this heinous crime can be found here.

Mike Pence Visits The DMZ, Says "Era Of Strategic Patience" With North Korea Is Over

In the midst of a 10-day Asia trip, Vice President Pence made an unannounced visit to the 4km-wide heavily-mined demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas where he met with troops, encouraged China to take action against North Kore, and warned Pyongyang that after years of testing the U.S. and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over."

As the brown bomber jacket-clad vice president was briefed near the military demarcation line, two North Korean soldiers watched from a short distance away, one taking multiple photographs of the American visitor, according to AP.

Pence said he was "heartened" by early signs from China and hoped its leaders would "use the extraordinary levers they have" to prod Kim into giving up his nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. He repeated President Donald Trump's warning that the U.S. would act without China if necessary. "Either China will deal with this problem or the United States and its allies will," Pence said on Monday. "We want to see change. We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path."

a few more scenes from the dmz pic.twitter.com/lqBwrt0pzm

— Justin Sink (@justinsink) April 17, 2017

"President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out and we want to see change," Pence told reporters. "We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path of the developme ...

China Gets Bailed Out by Its Consumers

A big ramp up in consumer debt is keeping growth chugging along in China, which has helped slow a dangerous buildup in corporate borrowing. But goosing household debt to bail out struggling firms is a risky growth strategy.

What Is Tesla Really Worth?

By market cap, it rivals Ford and GM. To get anywhere close by profits will be a stretch.

United Continental Will Get Some Much-Needed Good News

Earnings should be healthy at the airline, but investors will be watching bookings and the outlook.

Economic Report: Empire State manufacturing survey slows in April

A gauge of New York area manufacturing slowed considerably in April, a sign that the euphoria of the business community after the election of President Donald Trump is beginning to wear off.

Futures Movers: Oil prices push lower on U.S. supply, and as investors cash in on recent gains

Analysts say buying was suppressed by data showing that U.S. oil rig count rose for the 13th straight week in the week of April 13, with the current tally the highest in two years.

Why pizza restaurants don't want to post calories on menus inside their stores

Instead of boards listing calories, pizza companies want to list calories online.

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To contact me with questions, comments or constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated:

gary@econintersect.com

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