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20Apr2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Will Open Higher, But May Slip After Some Corporate Earning Are Reported, WTI Crude Remains In The High 50 Handle, US Dollar Down -0.4 Percent

Written by Gary

US stock market futures pointed to a fractionally higher open (SPY +0.3%) this morning, as investors looked ahead to corporate earnings and continued tension with North Korea. Crude prices are higher after a 4% drop, but are looking weak along with the US dollar.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 0.76% while the DAX gains 0.03%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.07%.

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.

Wednesday's Key Earnings

Abbott (NYSE:ABT) +0.4% propped up by St. Jude acquisition.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) +2.3% AH sailing past estimates.
BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) -1.7% despite record ETF inflows.
CSX Corp. (NYSE:CSX) +2.5% AH boosted by coal shipments.
eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) -1.9% AH following light guidance.
Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) -0.2% AH on mixed results.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) +2% posting a strong Q1.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) +2.8% AH topping expectations.
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) -0.2% as revenues met estimates.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Futures higher on optimism around earnings

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, with the earnings season getting off to a strong start and oil prices rebounding after steep losses a day earlier.

Verizon results miss Wall Street estimates as it loses subscribers

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc on Thursday reported quarterly results that missed estimates and said it lost subscribers who pay a monthly bill despite the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier's re-launch of unlimited data plans.

Exclusive: Buffett likely voted shares to back Wells Fargo board

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co's largest investor, Warren Buffett, has likely already voted his shares to support the bank's recommendations at its contentious annual shareholder meeting next week, a representative told Reuters on Wednesday, which include reinstating most of the board's directors.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait signal likely extension of oil supply cuts

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Leading Gulf oil producers Saudi Arabia and Kuwait gave the clearest signal yet that OPEC plans to extend into the second half of the year a deal with non-OPEC producers to curb oil supplies.

Worries over Trump policies cloud start of IMF, World Bank meetings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - World finance leaders are gathering on U.S. President Donald Trump's home turf on Thursday to try to nudge his still-evolving policies away from protectionism and show broad support for open trade and global integration.

ConocoPhillips takes slow, steady route in race for oil profits

HOUSTON (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips has beaten its 2017 asset sales target less than four months into the year, after shedding $30.8 billion worth of energy assets in six years.

Adidas CEO says fat China margins to stabilize as thin U.S. margins grow

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - German sports apparel brand adidas AG expects its huge operating margin in China to shrink slightly in the long term, while its small U.S. margin grows markedly in the near term, its new chief executive officer said on Thursday.

Elliott releases private letters after Arconic CEO's departure

(Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Elliott Management released the private letter written by Arconic Inc's former chief executive, Klaus Kleinfeld, which consequently led to his resignation, and their response to the letter and Arconic's statement on April 17.

U.S. House banking chairman unveils Dodd-Frank replacement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. House of Representatives' banking panel has unveiled the Republicans' most ambitious plan so far to loosen financial regulations, a 600-page bill to replace the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

George Soros Accused Of "Puppeteering" Government In New Lawsuit

Authored by Mark Melin via,

When an investment asset has potential to deliver returns for 100 years, the competition to be the sole owner can be intense. Such is the case with mining rights to the Simandou iron ore deposit in the West African nation of Guinea, where George Soros is involved in one of several lawsuits over the past few years. The dispute is aggressive, with Soros being called out as anti-Israeli in the suit, which dredges up well-worn charges the former hedge fund managers engages in a global conspiracy to manipulate numerous governments. The feud with Israeli mining magnate Beny Steinmetz dates back to 1998 and involves charges of manipulation and bribery.

From court document

BSGR Lawsuits fight against a "racketeer billionaire" who "puppeteered" government

The cost to develop Simandou is estimated at $20 billion, according to a Bloomberg report, and is estimated to have enough iron ore to deliver returns through the next generation and beyond. The fight brought by BSG Resources Ltd. (BSGR) involves some of the most successful billionaires and mining companies in the world.

BSGR filed suit against Soros and his Open Society Foundations in court Friday, opening the ...

Venezuela Seizes General Motors Car Plant

While the US has a habit of invading or attacking sovereign nations any time the president's approval rating dips below a certain threshold, Venezuela has a similar, if less dramatic mechanism to provide a brief boost to Maduro's popularity: it nationalizes foreign plants on its soil.

It did so last July, when the country was once again suffocating under a wave of violent protests, when just hours after Kimberly-Clark said it will shutter its Venezuela operations after years of grappling with soaring inflation and a shortage of hard currency and raw materials, Venezuela retaliated by announcing it would seize the factory.

It did so again overnight, when General Motors said on Wednesday that Venezuelan authorities had illegally seized its plant in the industrial hub of Valencia; as a result the carmaker said it would immediately halt operations in Venezuela.

"Yesterday, GMV's (General Motors Venezolana) plant was unexpectedly taken by the public authorities, preventing normal operations. In addition, other assets of the company, such as vehicles, have been illegally taken from its facilities," the company said in a statement.

The automaker said the seizure showed a "total disregard" of its legal rights. "[GM] strongly rejects the arbitrary measures taken by the authorities and will vigorously take all legal actions, within and outside of Venezuela, to defend its rights."

GM's subsidiary in the country - General Motors Venezolana - has operated in Venezuela for nearly 70 years. It employs nearly 2,700 worker ...

Oil Stumbles Back To $50 Handle As Saudi/OPEC Jawboning Fails

Oil prices limped higher overnight as desperate jawboning of OPEC production cut deal extensions by the Saudis supported a recovery from yesterday's post-inventories plunge. However, confirming the market's lack of faith in OPEC (and Saudi's ability to hold the deal together), WTI prices are sliding back towards a $50 handle as jawboning half-lives slump.

As The FT reports, oil producers are moving closer towards agreement on extending the Opec-led deal to limit output, Saudi Arabia's energy minister said on Thursday, as the cartel battles excess stockpiles and a resurgent US shale industry that have weighed on prices. Khalid al-Falih said the deal could be run for another three to six months beyond the end of June. Under the terms of the existing accord, Opec members and countries outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed to cut their output by about 1.8m barrels a day throughout the first half of 2017. A preliminary agreement to extend the deal had been reached by most, but not all, producers, he said.

"Consensus is building, but it is not done yet," Mr Falih told reporters on the sidelines of an energy industry event in Abu Dhabi. "We are still in consultations."

But the market is not buying it...

Noitably, as Bloomberg reports, when OPEC and Russia meet next month to assess the impact of their oil cuts they face a surprising outcome: stockpiles are even higher th ...

Frontrunning: April 20

White House to risk shutdown as Trump searches for "win" (Politico)

Saudi Minister Wants OPEC Oil-Production Deal Extended, Perhaps for Less Than 6 Months (WSJ)

Russia denies Reuters report think tank drew up plan to sway U.S. election (Reuters)

Fed's Kaplan: Three rate rises this year 'still a good baseline' (Reuters)

Ex-Arconic CEO Sent Vague Threat to Hedge-Fund Boss (WSJ)

Can, kicked: IMF may fund Greek bailout with small amount, for one year (Reuters)

Hard Dose of Reality Hits Anti-Brexit Campaigners (BBG)

Egypt says air strikes kill Islamic State leaders in Sinai (Reuters)

Bose headphones spy on listeners: lawsuit (Reuters)

French Industrial Decline Fuels Le Pen's Rise (WSJ)

China's Stocks Refuse to Drop More Than 1% (BBG)

Ch ...

Let's Make a Deal, for TV Stations

The U.S.'s Federal Communications Commission is expected to reinstate a discount that could spur a new round of deal-making among U.S. TV station owners.

Too Soon for MSCI to Give Chinese Stocks Its Blessing

Investors should be wary if MSCI includes domestically-listed Chinese stocks in its key indexes.

Morgan Stanley Makes CaseWhy Banks Can Go Higher

Morgan Stanley capped earnings season for top U.S. banks by turning the focus back on capital requirements.

Outside the Box: This is what the next generation of tech-augmented work for humans will look like

People will still be essential on the factory floors, even as robots become more common.

Economic Report: Number of people collecting unemployment checks hits 17-year low, jobless claims show

The number of out-of-work people collecting unemployment checks fell to a 17-year low in April, underscoring the strongest U.S. labor market in years.

Need to Know: How Amazon will become the first $1 trillion stock

Stocks look set to rebound this morning after their two-day skid, as some traders gripe about Mr. Market's aimless action lately. But here's something that really has been moving:'s stock. Today's call says more gains are ahead.

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