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02May2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Slated To Open Flat, Fed Expected To Hold Rates Steady, US Crude Production Increasing, Gold Plunging

Written by Gary

US stock market futures are flat (SPY +0.03%) hanging back ahead of Apple earnings and Fed meeting. US crude prices moved higher into the 49 handle, but is slipping rapidly on rising U.S. crude production.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 0.68% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.42% and Germany's DAX is up 0.25%.

US stocks set for cautious open as Federal Reserve meeting kicks off

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Strong earnings power global shares higher

LONDON (Reuters) - Stocks rose in Europe and Asia on Tuesday after technology industry shares hit record highs on Wall Street and investors focused on strong corporate earnings while shrugging off weaker-than-expected Chinese factory activity data.

Fed set to leave interest rates unchanged, may hint at June hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates steady at its meeting this week as it pauses to parse more economic data but may hint it is on track for an increase in June.

Merck profit tops estimates as margins rise; Co raises 2017 forecast

(Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher gross margins, and the drugmaker also raised its revenue and profit forecasts for 2017.

Pfizer revenue misses estimates as top drugs disappoint

(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc , the largest U.S. drugmaker, reported quarterly revenue that missed estimates as sales of its key drugs fell short of expectations.

Health insurer Aetna's adjusted profit breezes past estimates

(Reuters) - Aetna Inc reported an adjusted quarterly profit on Tuesday that blew past estimates, helped primarily by strength in its commercial unit even as the U.S. health insurer continued to face pressure in its Obamacare business.

Drugstore chain CVS reports better-than-expected profit

(Reuters) - Drugstore chain and pharmacy benefits manager CVS Health Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by demand for high-margin specialty pharmacy services.

Taking a Toll: How Japan Post's big global bet unraveled

TOKYO/SYDNEY (Reuters) - In February 2015, bankers working on Japan's biggest IPO in three decades woke to news that left them shaken. Their client had just closed a multi-billion dollar deal - but had kept them firmly out of the loop.

Dow, Dupont planned merger gets conditional nod from China

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has conditionally approved the proposed merger between Dow Chemical Co and Dupont , the country's Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday, a step forward for the deal whose closing has been repeatedly delayed by regulatory hurdles.

U.S. lawmakers to grill United Airlines on passenger removal

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Airlines Inc executives will visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday to face lawmakers' questions about the forcible removal of a passenger on an overbooked flight last month, an incident that provoked international outrage.

London Property Bubble Vulnerable To Crash

London Property Bubble Vulnerable To Crash

- London property market vulnerable to crash
- House prices in London are falling
- London property up 84% in 10 years (see chart)
- House prices have risen over 450% in 20 years
- Brexit tensions as seen over weekend and outlook for U.K. economy to impact property
- Global property bubble fragile - Risks to global economy
- Gold bullion a great hedge for property investors

Wilbur Ross: Trump's Syria Strike Was "After Dinner Entertainment"

In a statement that has sent shockwaves across the diplomatic establishment, Donald Trump's decision to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against Syria last month was just "after-dinner entertainment," which "did not cost the president anything," US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said, shortly after President Trump called the attack a "tough decision." Ross delivered the controversial comment while speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday, according to Variety.

This is how Ross recalled Trump's April 6 meeting with Xi at the President's Mar-A-Lago luxury resort in Palm Beach:

"Just as dessert was being served, the president explained to Mr. Xi he had something he wanted to tell him, which was the launching of 59 missiles into Syria," Ross said. "It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment."

As the crowd laughed, Ross added: "The thing was, it didn't cost the president anything to have that entertainment" despite unofficial estimates that the cost of the strike ranged from roughly $60 million to $100 million depending on which Tomahawk missile modification was used.

Ross, a former billionaire hedge fund manager, is new to government service as his remarks suggest. In the Milken lunchtime conversation with David Rubenstein, co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, Ross reflected on his first impressions of public service.

"I've been heartened," he said. "I thought the quality of people in the government was not as high as it has turned out to be. There are actually quite a lot of very good, very serious, very intelligent people wanting to do their best. It's just they've been trapped ...

Italy's National Carrier Alitalia Files For Bankruptcy

As was widely expected, on Tuesday Italy's national carrier Alitalia filed for its second bankruptcy in 9 years, after its board decided to formally ask the ministry of economic development to put the money-losing carrier, partly owned by UAE's Etihad, under special administration after workers rejected its latest rescue plan meant to unlock much-needed financing.

As discussed previously, a majority of the company's workers last week voted against a restructuring plan that envisaged cuts to jobs and salaries, making it impossible for the loss-making airline to secure funds to keep its aircraft flying. In retrospect, many more workers will now lost not only much of their compensation but also their jobs, even if for the time being the airline's flight schedule would remain unchanged.

Once Alitalia is put under administration, the Rome government will appoint one or several commissioners who will assess whether it can be overhauled - either as a standalone company or through a partial or total sale - or should be wound up.

A worst-case scenario was presented by Italy's Economic Development Minister, who on Sunday said that a sudden collapse of the loss-making national carrier "would be a great shock for Italy's economy." Rome has given the crisis-hit airline a short-term lifeline, a bridge loan of up to 400 million to see it through a process whereby an administrator will decide if it can be sold as a going concern or should be liquidated.

However, it is the worst case outcome that has I ...

"There Was White Smoke": Greece Reaches Deal With Lenders, Promising Even More Austerity

Greek government bond yields fell after Greece and its lenders said they reached a long-awaited deal on reforms required to release further bailout funds. With a promise to further cut pensions and give taxpayers fewer breaks, Greece paved the way for the disbursement of further rescue funds from international lenders and possibly opened the door to reworking its massive debt Reuters reported.

The deal was reached early on Tuesday morning, when officials from both sides said they had agreed on a package of bailout-mandated reforms, ending six months of staff-level haggling. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos announced it with a term associated with papal elections. "There was white smoke," he told reporters.

As part of the reforms, Athens has promised to cut pensions in 2019 and cut the tax-free threshold in 2020 to produce savings worth 2 percent of gross domestic product. If Greece outperforms targets, it will be allowed to activate a set of measures offsetting the impact of the additional austerity, which includes mainly lowering taxes. Athens also agreed to sell coal-fired plants and coal mines equal to about 40% of its dominant power utility Public Power Corp's capacity.

On the budgetary target level, the lenders are now likely to decide among themselves on Greece's medium-term primary surplus targets, a key element for granting further debt relief.

In a draft document seen by Reuters, the IMF says Greece can reach a primary surplus - the budget balance excluding debt repayments - of 2.2 percent in 2018 and aim at 3.5 percent annually in ...

Investment Banking's Winners and Losers---In Europe, Mostly Losers

The signs were that a great investment banking rebound was coming. But with the big five U.S. banks and four of Europe's largest having reported, the revenue recovery doesn't look as strong as investors might have hoped.

Coach Browses the Sale Rack

As Coach's turnaround takes shape, a buying spree might be next.

Macron, Renault and the Future of French Capitalism

The likely next French president has a striking record of interventionism at the country's largest car maker.

March 2017 Leading Index Review: Trends Remain Mixed

Written by Steven Hansen

This post is a review of all major leading indicators follows - and their trends remain mixed.

Key Words: Jimmy Kimmel's tearful monologue about son's birth hits on gravity of health decisions

"Don't let their partisan squabbles [on health care] divide us on something every decent person wants," said a tearful and politically fired up Jimmy Kimmel Monday night, days after his newborn son's emergency heart surgery.

Why Neurocrine is charging twice as much for its new drug as it said it would

Patients on the recommended dose will pay double — about $5,300 more a month.

Why the lifetime earnings of American men are on a slow, inexorable decline

The median income by male employees has declined as much as 19%.

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