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16Jun2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Fractionally Higher, Selling Of Tech Stocks Has Abated For Now, Crude Prices Up Fractionally

Written by Gary

US stock index futures are pointing to a higher opening (SPY +0.1%) as technology shares steadied after being repeatedly slammed this week over concerns about stretched valuations.

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 0.70% while London's FTSE 100 is up 0.52% and Germany's DAX is up 0.24%.

Wall Street expected to open higher as tech tries to rebound

Thursday's Key Earnings

Kroger (NYSE:KR) -18.9% after cutting guidance.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan +0.6%. Hong Kong +0.2%. China -0.3%. India -0.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.7%. Paris +0.7%. Frankfurt +0.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude +1.1% to $44.95. Gold +0.3% to $1258.60.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.17%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 Housing Starts
10:00 Atlanta Fed's Business Inflation Expectations
10:00 Consumer Sentiment
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Companies reporting earnings today »

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.

Stock futures steady as tech wreck looks to ease

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged up on Friday as technology shares steadied after being repeatedly slammed this week over concerns about stretched valuations.

Global stocks reboot after another tech sell-off

LONDON (Reuters) - World shares steadied on Friday after selling in the tech sector triggered their biggest fall in over a month, while the yen slid to a two-week low as the Bank of Japan signaled its stimulus was staying in place.

U.S. acts to seize stolen assets, Picasso in probe of Malaysian fund

WASHINGTON/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has taken legal action to recover an additional half a billion dollars in assets stolen from an investment fund established by Malaysia's prime minister, bringing the total claims to more than $1.7 billion.

Fiat Chrysler CEO says 2018 targets unaffected by diesel woes

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler does not expect its diesel woes in the United States to have an impact on its business targets to 2018, the carmaker's Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Friday.

Is the Fed ready to consider lifting its inflation target?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Years of tepid economic recovery have Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other central bankers considering what was once unthinkable: abandoning decades-long efforts to hold inflation down and allowing price expectations to creep up.

BOJ upgrades view on consumption, rules out early exit from stimulus

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Friday and upgraded its assessment of private consumption for the first time in six months, signaling its confidence in an export-driven economic recovery that is gaining momentum.

VW brand CEO sees new models driving profit and sales

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen is making headway with efforts to raise profitability at its troubled core brand and expects strong business next year thanks to a raft of new models, the division's top executive said.

Airbus to add winglets to boost A380 sales: sources

PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's Airbus plans to upgrade its A380 superjumbo with fuel-saving wingtip devices, or winglets, in an effort to boost slow sales of the mammoth jet, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Rolls-Royce sees demand for a new mid-market jet

PARIS (Reuters) - Engine maker Rolls-Royce believes there is a market for a new mid-priced jet such as the one Boeing is currently exploring and would consider working with Boeing on it, an executive said on Friday.

Can We See A Bubble If We're Inside The Bubble?

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

We want this time to be different so badly, we can almost taste it.

If you visit San Francisco, you will find it difficult to walk more than a few blocks in central S.F. without encountering a major construction project. It seems that every decrepit low-rise building in the city has been razed and is being replaced with a gleaming new residential tower.

Parking lots have been ripped up and are now sprouting condos and luxury rental flats.

This boom is not overly surprising, given the centrality of San Francisco and the S.F. Bay Area in the Hipster-Techie Mental Map which I have sketched here for those who may still suffer from delusions that Washington D.C. and New York matter--(hint: they don't.)

The influx of mobile/software tech into the S.F. Bay Area has triggered not just a boom in tech but in all the service sectors that cater to well-paid techies. This mass of new people has created traffic jams that last virtually all day and evening, and overloaded the area's BART transit rail system such that trains at 11 pm are as jammed as any during rush hour.

This phenomenal building boom is truly something to behold, as it has spread from S.F. to the East Bay as workers priced out of S.F. move east across the Bay, driving up rents to near-S.F. levels.

Yes, rents and home prices are starting to soften, but this hasn't changed the general view that this is only a moderation of a long-term uptrend with no end in sight.

This is of course a modern analog of the Gold Rush in the 1850s, and the previous tech/building boom in the late 1990s: an en ...

In Stunning Announcement, DOJ Warns Not To Trust Stories Based On "Anonymous Sources"

In a move that stunned many members of the media, on Thursday night Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Russia probe due to Jeff Sessions' recusal and who earlier this week confirmed only he has authority to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, released an unorthodox statement to be "skeptical about anonymous allegations" following the relentless barrage of news reports emerging from the WaPo and the NYT about the evolving probe into Russia's "election interference" and possible collusion with Trump, all based on "anonymous sources."

"Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials,' particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated. Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.

Rosenstein, who many had seen as a Trump foil at the DOJ, did not cite specific reports. The DOJ released Rosenstein's statement after 9 p.m., shortly after The Washington Post reported that the special counsel was investigating the business dealings of Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's son-in-law and adviser. That report was attributed to unnamed American officials.

As we said, the media and punditry was "stunned" by the official statement: the NYT' Maggie Haberman said "Have literally never seen a statement like this." The new leader of the Trump "resistance", Preet Bharara also chimed in, tweeting "Americans should also exercise caution before accepting as true lies about firing of FBI Director & defamation of a war h ...

Invest in the Highest Value Asset: Personal Skills

Via The Daily Bell

That's what this world needs: skills. Raw resources are useless without the skill to properly apply them.

There are skills for financial gain, skills for personal gain, and skills for a backup plan. Most of them overlap; something once a hobby can become a career, for instance becoming a tennis instructor. Or a skill that is a "backup plan" can become the bread and butter in an emergency, like keeping bees or growing a garden.

Tangible assets are a needed hedge when it seems everything-the stock market, real estate, bonds-are overvalued or in a bubble. A good useful skill is as tangible an asset as they get. And unlike resources, a skill cannot so easily be taken from you.

Most people understand the need to acquire some sort of work skills in order to make money, be productive, and create wealth. But a lot of people decide to be trained in skills that other people, organizations, society, or those in power tell them they should desire. And then, they usually stop after acquiring on ...

Frontrunning: June 16

Russia may have killed ISIS leader Baghdadi (Reuters)

About 4,000 more US troops to go to Afghanistan (AP)

Insurers Look to Ramp Up Premiums in Health Law Exchanges (WSJ)

U.N. envoy urges North Korea to explain why freed U.S. man is in coma (Reuters)

Wal-Mart Offers a Refuge for Sellers Tired of Amazon (BBG)

Trump to limit Cuba travel, restrict business deals with military: U.S. officials (Reuters)

Private-Equity Firms Stand to Benefit From Court's Curb on SEC (WSJ)

The $31 Billion Hole in GE's Balance Sheet That Keeps Growing (BBG)

Facebook Boosts A.I. to Block Terrorist Propaganda (WSJ)

Whole Foods CEO Calls Activist Investor 'Greedy Bastards' (BBG)

Kroger Rattles Nerves in Grocery Section (

Who Might Eat Up Nestlé's Baby Ruth and Butterfinger?

Ulf Mark Schneider's first strategic move as chief executive of Nestlé is sweet but small. It supports heady expectations for now—but before long investors may need something meatier.

MacKenzie's Special Sauce Could Make BHP Taste Better

BHP'S new chairman has proven turnaround chops and the support of activist investor Elliott. But replicating his stellar performance at Amcor in the mining sector could prove challenging.

Investors Ignore Easy Money in Huntsman-Clariant Deal

U.S. chemicals company is persistently trading at a puzzling discount to its value in the merger.

Rail Week Ending 10 June 2017: Economically Intuitive Sectors Expanded Marginally

Week 23 of 2017 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) improved according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. The economically intuitive sectors expanded marginally.

May 2017 Import and Export Sea Containers Show Slowing Economy

Written by Steven Hansen

The May import and export container counts are showing a slowing USA and global economy - and a worsening trade balance.

Economic Report: Home builders cut back for third straight month

Construction on new houses fell in May for the third month in a row even though builders are optimistic about the economy, perhaps a sign a shortage of skilled workers is holding the industry back. The pace of so-called housing starts declined by 5.5% to an annual rate of 1.09 million.

Market Extra: Will quadruple witching spook the market this time?

It is so-called quadruple witching day, but it may not be as frightful as it sounds. The spooky-sounding term occurs on the third Friday of the past month of every quarter, in March, June, September, and December, and refers to the simultaneous expiration of options and futures tied to individual stocks and stock-indexes.

Capitol Report: Senate likely to miss its Obamacare repeal deadline | Trump transition team ordered to save Russia-related files

Senate likely to miss Obamacare repeal deadline; Trump transition team ordered to preserve Russia files; Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein issues warning about anonymous sources; and more.

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