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04May2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Fractionally Higher, Crude And Gold Slip, US Jobless Claims Fall, Continuing Claims Hit 17-year Low

Written by Gary

US stock market futures are set to open higher this morning (SPY +0.2%) after applications for U.S. jobless benefits fell more than expected last week and the trade deficit improved slightly. WTI crude has slipped into the 46 handle and gold continues to slip.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is up 0.96% while Germany's DAX is up 0.75% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.30%.

Futures point to higher open on Wall Street ahead of earnings and data

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.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. jobless claims fall, continuing claims hit 17-year low

WASHINGTON - New applications for U.S. jobless benefits fell more than expected last week and the

U.S. trade deficit improves slightly in March

WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit improved slightly in March amid broad declines in both imports

S&P 500 tech index edges toward $5 trillion while Apple steals spotlight

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - While some investors have been waiting for Apple's market capitalization to reach $1 trillion, those looking for big round numbers might be better off looking to the S&P 500 technology index as a whole, which is approaching the $5 trillion mark.

Viacom's profit, revenue beat estimates

(Reuters) - Viacom Inc , the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, reported quarterly profit and revenue that handily beat estimates, helped in part by the success of its latest movie "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage".

Apple to create $1 billion U.S. advanced manufacturing fund

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc plans to create a $1 billion fund to invest in U.S. companies that perform advanced manufacturing, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said on Wednesday, the iPhone maker's latest effort to show how it is creating U.S. jobs.

United Air to face second congressional grilling at Senate hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Airlines will be back in the hot seat on Thursday when the U.S. Congress holds its second hearing this week to examine the circumstances surrounding the forced removal of a passenger from a Chicago flight last month.

China's Ant set to ink $3.5 billion loan to help fund MoneyGram bid - Basis Point

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's Ant Financial, an affiliate of online shopping giant Alibaba Group , is close to signing a $3.5 billion loan a part of which will help fund its purchase of U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram International , Thomson Reuters Basis Point reported.

Spam campaign targets Google users with malicious link

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc warned its users to beware of emails from known contacts asking them to click on a link to Google Docs after a large number of people turned to social media to complain that their accounts had been hacked.

Macron, earnings hopes send European shares to 20-month high

LONDON (Reuters) - Signs that centrist Emmanuel Macron was heading for victory in France's presidential election and reassuring results from HSBC pushed European shares to a near two-year high on Thursday, despite some wary signals from China and commodity markets.

Marine Le Pen Slams Macron: "France Will Be Governed By A Woman... Either Me Or Madame Merkel"

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

The gloves came off in the final debate before the May 7 French presidential election.

It was a big mud-slinging affair, mostly by Le Pen, if one believes the mainstream media comments.

France24 had live coverage of the Acrimonious Final Debate translated into English.

France will be Governed by a Woman

The following France24 comments are in reverse order (last in, first out)

A poll conducted by Elabe says 63 percent of people polled found Macron more convincing than Le Pen in tonight's debate.

In his closing remarks, Macron notes that Le Pen used up her very last minutes by filling them up with lies "without saying what she wants for this country".

"France is in a deep crisis. It's a crisis of morale linked to the failed politics of the past 20 years, the failure to create unity because some play on people's anger. I have listened to this anger, doubts and grievances. I want to respond to it with courage."

Le Pen also says the French deserve better than being thrown into a war based on chasing profits.

Frontrunning: May 4

Trump faces major test as vote looms on healthcare (Reuters)

Trump's Threats to Break Up Banks Aren't Scaring Wall Street Yet (BBG)

Trump to ease ban on political activity by churches (Reuters)

Metals Extend Sell-Off on Mounting Concerns Over Demand in China (BBG)

Korean Stocks Hit Record Despite Scary Nuclear Rhetoric (WSJ)

Why the Retail Crisis Could Be Coming to American Groceries (BBG)

UK's Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband, to retire from royal duties (Reuters)

After North Korea criticism, China says wants to be good neighbor (Reuters)

In French Election, Youth Reject Establishment in Search for Jobs Cure (WSJ)

Poll Says Macron Wins Brutal French Debate With Le Pen (Bloomberg)

France's Macron accuses presidential rival Le Pen of spreading lies (

"A Nightmarish Picture For Iron Ore Prices" Has Emerged, Axiom Warns

As noted earlier, while European stocks and US equity markets have ignored the commodity crash in China, which in addition to iron ore plunging limit down, also saw rubber tumble 7% lower, and steel rebar, coke, coking coal plunge over 6% ...

... Axiom's Gordon Johnson warns (as we did a month ago) that the worst is yet to come, and in fact, the "backdrop of near-record/record iron ore inventories and aggressive domestic and seaborne iron ore supply, paints a nightmarish picture for iron ore prices over the coming months."

* * *

Here are the choice excerpts from his overnight note "Why We Feel Iron Ore Prices Are Slated For a Sharp N-Term Fall (Even From Here) & Why Iron Ore Stocks (FMG; RIO; CLF; X) Are Attractive Shorts Right Now"

SUMMING THE BELOW ANALYSIS UP: With China's April PMIs disappointing, suggesting China's tightening measures are beginning to take hold (i.e., demand for steel in China is now weakening), we expect steel supply in China to begin to moderate imminently; stated differently, this suggests iron ore demand is in the process of waning, which, against a backdrop of near-record/record iron ore inventories and aggressive domestic and seaborne iron ore supply, paints a nightmarish picture for iron ore prices over the coming months. On this trend, we would be adding to shorts in FMG, CLF, RIO, and X.


Irish Property Bubble - 38pc Believe Property Will Crash

Irish Property Bubble? Central Bank Governor Denies Is Bubble

Central Bank of Ireland governor Philip Lane yesterday rejected suggestions of an Irish property bubble and that the economy is on the brink of another housing bubble and said the recent increase in house prices is not indicative of a property bubble forming.

Minister for Finance Noonan & Governor of the Central Bank Lane. Source: RTE

However, this optimism is not shared by a large part of the Irish people as there are very high levels of concern about the risk of another property bubble and property crash according to the latest Sunday Independent/Kantar Millward Brown poll:

"A quite astonishing 38pc of people believe that the housing market is destined to collapse as it did during the last recession. That is a much larger share than those who believe the ...

Fed Will Fight Even a Slow Economy

The central bank is still on track to raise rates twice this year despite weak economic growth.

Iron Buckles Under Tighter Chinese Credit

Tough talk on curbing credit rippled through commodities markets Thursday. But the much more gradual slowdown in actual lending tells a different story.

Korean Stocks Hit Record Despite Scary Nuclear Rhetoric

South Korean shares reach all-time highs Thursday, brushing aside concerns about a potential military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

29 April 2017 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Insignificantly Worse

The market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Bloomberg / Econoday) were 245 K to 250 K (consensus 246,000), and the Department of Labor reported 238,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 242,250 (reported last week as 242,250) to 243,000. The rolling averages generally have been equal to or under 300,000 since August 2014.

Economic Report: U.S. trade deficit with Mexico highest since 2007

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. trade deficits with Mexico and Japan hit the highest levels in March in almost a decade, though the nation's trade gap overall was virtually unchanged.

MarketWatch First Take: Facebook follows Google in recognizing earnings reality

Facebook Inc. surprised investors Wednesday by suddenly embracing earnings that don't ignore stock-based compensation, the same move Alphabet Inc. made this quarter, but not following Google's lead in one important aspect of the change may have hurt Facebook's stock.

MarketWatch First Take: Elon Musk: Robot software will make Tesla worth as much as Apple

Elon Musk thinks his robot software can make Tesla worth as much as Apple. He has the chance to prove it very soon.

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