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31Jul2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Higher, Analysts Not Sure If Opening Gains Will Remain Intact, WTI Crude Slipping Off Fifty Dollar High Mark, US Dollar Stages Modest Rebound Off 13-month Lows

Written by Gary

US stock market indexes futures are pointing to another strong opening this morning (SPY +0.2%) as investors weigh up fresh China data and U.S. data still to come.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed today. The FTSE 100 is up 0.36% while the DAX gains 0.21%. The CAC 40 is off 0.09%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Discovery to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Discovery Communications Inc is acquiring Scripps Networks Interactive for $14.6 billion in a deal that is expected to boost the combined company's negotiating leverage with pay TV operators at a time when more people watch video online, the companies said on Monday.

Ford CEO Hackett reviewing future products, plants, countries: sources

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Jim Hackett is reviewing the automaker's operations in India and other markets, as well as Ford's future product programs including plans to build a self-driving commercial vehicle in 2021, according to company officials and other sources familiar with that review.

Charter Communications says 'no interest' in buying Sprint

(Reuters) - U.S. cable operator Charter Communications Inc said on Sunday it was not interested in acquiring U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp, leaving the latter's majority owner, SoftBank Group Corp, pondering how to orchestrate a merger.

HSBC, miners lift European shares as dollar holds near lows

LONDON (Reuters) - Forecast-beating profits at HSBC and strong gains for miners on the back of a two-year high in copper prices lifted European shares on Monday while the dollar edged up off 13-month lows against other major currencies.

Hot and cold: Euro zone grows but inflation slows

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Data in the coming week should confirm the euro zone economy is running hot, after the IMF upgraded growth forecasts and Greece returned to the debt market, although inflation figures could throw cold water on ECB plans to start tightening policy.

Exclusive: MSCI warns Chinese companies about suspending trading of shares

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Barely a month after approving the inclusion of Chinese shares in its benchmark emerging market index, MSCI is warning that companies in China that suspend trading in their shares for too long risk being dropped.

Audi targets 10 billion euros in cost cuts to fund electric-car push: sources

BERLIN (Reuters) - Audi aims to cut costs by 10 billion euros ($12 billion) by 2022 to help fund a shift to electric cars as it seeks to move on after the emissions scandal, sources close to the carmaker said.

Buyback and profit rise show progress as HSBC looks east

HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters) - A third share buyback in a year by HSBC underlined progress in the turnaround plan for Europe's biggest bank, with profit also growing by 5 percent in the first half of 2017.

Boeing expects India to order up to 2,100 aircraft over 20 years

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Boeing Co said on Monday it expects Indian airlines to order up to 2,100 new aircraft worth $290 billion over the next 20 years, calling it the highest-ever forecast for Asia's third-largest economy.

JPM Develops A.I. Robot To Execute High Speed Trades, Put Humans Out Of Work

With high-margin FICC revenues stick in a secular decline across the financial industry, banks are forced to extract as much profit as possible from existing product lines. Which explains why JPMorgan will soon be using a "first-of-its-kind robot" to do away with carbon-based traders altogether and execute trades across its global equities algorithms business, after a recent trial of JPM's new artificial intelligence (AI) program showed it was "much more efficient than traditional methods of buying and selling", the FT reports.

JPMorgan, the world's biggest bank by revenue, believes it is the first on Wall Street to use AI with trade execution and said it would take rivals 18 to 24 months and an investment of "multiple millions" to come up with similar technology.

The AI — known internally as LOXM — has been used in the bank's European equities algorithms business since the first quarter and will be launched across Asia and the US in the fourth quarter, Daniel Ciment, JPMorgan's head of global equities electronic trading, told the Financial Times.

In the latest victory for robot kind over humans, LOXM's job will be to execute client orders with maximum speed at the best price, "using lessons it has learnt from billions of past trades — both real and simulated — to tackle problems such as how best to offload big equity stakes without moving market prices."

"Such customisation was previously implemented by humans, but now the AI machine is able to do it on a much larger and more efficient scale," said David Fellah, of JPMorgan's European Equity Quant Research team. Mr Ciment said that, so far, the European trials showed that the pricing achieved by LOXM was "significantly better" than its benchmark.

Opposition Threatens "War In The Streets" As Maduro Claims Victory In Venezuela Assembly Vote

Despite US threats of "strong and swift economic sanctions" that the WSJ reported overnight could cut off a crucial source of revenue for Venezuela's financially distressed state oil company, PDVSA, the socialist state's leader Nicolas Maduro is claiming victory in a vote to create a new "constituent assembly," a vote that US government officials have labeled a "sham."

The ruling Socialist party's candidates purportedly won all 545 seats in the vote. Venezuela electoral council head Tibisay Lucena said more than 41% of the country's registered voters participated, a number that is being widely discreditr by outside sources. Per press reports, the assembly will now replace the opposition controlled Congress, which was annulled by the Maduro-allied Supreme Court in March, allowing Maduro to rewrite the country's constitution, cementing his hold on power as his favorability rating with the public falls below 30%.

The U.S., Colombia, Spain, Peru, the EU and Argentina have already said they will not recognize the results of the vote, which was boycotted by the country's opposition parties.

According to Bloomberg, opposition leader Henrique Capriles claimed the real participation in the vote was closer to 15% of registered voters. An unofficial referendum held by the opposition several weeks ago received more than 7.6 million votes against the current regime. Torino Capital's Francisco Rodriguez said the firm's exit polls recorded 3.6 million votes.

Frontrunning: July 31

HSBC, miners lift European shares as dollar holds near lows (Reuters)

Republicans Face Tough Choice: Repeal Obamacare or Cut Taxes (BBG)

Trump's Decisions Deepen Divide Among Republicans (WSJ)

Koch Brothers Move to Back White House's Tax-Cut Plan (BBG)

Maduro Waits for U.S. Response After Violent Venezuela Vote (BBG)

OPEC Has a Crippling Problem: Its Members Can't Stop Pumping (WSJ)

Catalan Separatist Chief Is Ready to Go to Jail (BBG)

Saudi Arabia says that calls for internationalization of holy sites 'a declaration of war' (Reuters)

China Asks Waldorf Owner Anbang to Sell Assets Abroad, Sources Say (BBG)

China's overall debt levels still high, central bank official says (Reuters)< ...

Bitcoin Fork, Hyped ICOs - Immutable Gold and Silver

Bitcoin Fork, Hyped ICOs - Immutable Gold and Silver

- Latest developments show risks in crypto currencies
- Confusion as bitcoin may split tomorrow
- SEC stepped into express concern over ICOs
- ICOs have so far raised $1.2 billion in 2017
- ICOs preying on lack of understanding from investors
- Physical gold not vulnerable to technological risk
- Beauty and safety in simplicity of gold and silver

Chinese Banks' Dash for Capital Gets Under Way

Ping An Bank said last week that it plans to issue $3.9 billion of convertible bonds, and it is unlikely to be the last bank seeking fresh capital.

China's Industrial Dragon Burning Less Hot

After months of strength, China's manufacturing purchasing managers index showed signs of faltering momentum in July.

These Booming Chip Makers Have a Long Memory

A handful of key earnings reports last week suggest the peak in memory prices isn't yet at hand.

The Wall Street Journal: Four activist shareholders are challenging plans to carve up DowDuPont after merger

Jana Partners and Trian Fund Management join ranks of big-name investors challenging Dow Chemical CEO Liveris on post-merger plans.

'Game of Thrones': The 4 biggest takeaways from 'The Queen's Justice'

Dignity, always dignity.

Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks poised to squeeze in a gain as strong July closes out

A strong July is about to close out, and U.S. stock futures are hinting of just a few more gain in store for Monday, as investors weigh up fresh China data and U.S. data still to come.

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