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09Aug2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Lower Because Of Geopolitical Tensions, Oil Is Rising Back Towards $50 A Barrel Ahead Of The EIA Inventory Report

Written by Gary

US stock market index futures are pointing to a down opening (SPY -0.3%) after President Trump warned of "fire and fury" in response to N. Korea's saber rattling.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are broadly lower today with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 1.72% while Germany's DAX is off 1.40% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.80%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Trump's 'fire and fury' warning hits stocks, lifts Swiss franc and gold

LONDON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's warning North Korea faced "fire and fury" and Pyongyang's threat of possible retaliation drove investors out of stocks on Wednesday and into the yen, Swiss franc, gold and government debt.

U.S. push for freer NAFTA e-commerce meets growing resistance

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A U.S. proposal for Mexico and Canada to vastly raise the value of online purchases that can be imported duty-free from stores like and eBay is emerging as a flashpoint in an upcoming renegotiation of the NAFTA trade deal.

U.S. card firm Vantiv clinches $10 billion deal to buy Worldpay

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. credit card processing company Vantiv moved closer to creating a $29 billion global payments powerhouse on Wednesday with a formal offer to buy Britain's Worldpay for 8 billion pounds ($10 billion).

Google's firing of memo writer strikes nerve in Silicon Valley

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A Silicon Valley culture war pitting liberal-leaning tech firms against a small conservative cohort took on new intensity on Tuesday after Google fired a male engineer for a memo that decried the company's commitment to hiring women.

Tribune Media's profit misses as programming costs rise

(Reuters) - U.S. broadcaster Tribune Media Co , which agreed to be bought by Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc , reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by higher programming costs.

Qatar Airways evaluates routes opened by boycotting countries

DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar Airways is evaluating whether it will use air routes which media reports said were opened this week by countries embroiled in a political dispute with Qatar, the airline's chief executive said on Wednesday.

Shorting the short: Investors bet against Icahn's oil refiner after biofuel trade

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors have built up a large short position in investor Carl Icahn's oil refining company, CVR Energy , in the past three months, according to Reuters data, as evidence mounts that the company's gamble on the biofuels market is going sour.

VW workers want new car model for Germany to boost flagging output

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen's powerful labor unions have called on the company to create more work for its German plants by increasing investment there and creating a new model for local production.

Scant oversight, corporate secrecy preceded U.S. weed killer crisis

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the U.S. growing season entered its peak this summer, farmers began posting startling pictures on social media: fields of beans, peach orchards and vegetable gardens withering away.

Trump Boasts Of America's "Most Powerful" Nuclear Arsenal Ever

While Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is quietly tamping down the flames of nuclear armageddon rhetoric, it appears President Trump is more than willing to play 'bad cop' with his bombing bragadocio. In a first tweet, he takes credit for "renovating" America's nuclear arsenal...

My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017

And then, while appearing to suggest he wouldn't press the big red button, makes it very clear how he feels about America's position in the world...

...Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017

All of which should be put in the context of his 1999 discussion with Tim Russert on what he would do to North Korea (pre-emptive strike)....

Tim Russert interviewing @realDonaldTrump in 1999 about launching a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.
Could be key to his thinking.

— Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) June 20, 2017

North Korea Releases Canadian Prisoner As Tillerson Talks Down "Imminent Threat"

In two welcome signs of de-escalation after yesterday's sudden spike in bellicose rhetoric, moments ago North Korea released a Canadian man from prison on humanitarian grounds, the Korean Central News Agency reported on Wednesday. He was serving a life sentence in the country for anti-state activities. As CGTN adds, Rim Hyon Su, also known as Rev. Lim Hyeon-soo was sentenced to life in prison with hard labor in December 2015.

The release was expected following yesterday's news that Canadian special envoy, Daniel Jean, national security advisor to the prime minister of Canada, and his party had arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday.

As the WSJ adds, and as we said yesterday, the release of Rev. Lim Hyeon-soo could also lower tensions between North Korea and the Western world. However, hours before Lim was released, North Korea and Donald Trump exchanged heated public threats, which unleashed a "risk off" shockwave around the globe.

Lim's Toronto-area church has said he visited the North more than 100 times since 1997 and helped set up an orphanage and nursing home. Last year, Lim told CNN he spent eight hours a day digging holes at a labor camp where he had not seen any other prisoners. Lim, 62, was arrested by North Korea in 2015 and given a lifetime sentence of hard labor in December that year for conducting "hostile deeds" against the state. Lim's detention of more than two years ...

Car Rams Into Group Of Soldiers In Paris; Six Injured In "Deliberate Act Of Terrorism"

In the latest car-ramming terrorist attack in France, at least six French soldiers were injured, three of them seriously, after being rammed by what was described as a black BMW in a Paris suburb, French Armed forces confirmed, adding that the police were searching for the driver in what prosecutors are treating as the latest act of terrorism.

???? Incident à Levallois Perret : intervention de #Police en cours. Un véhicule est recherché

— Préfecture de police (@prefpolice) August 9, 2017

Patrick Balkany, the local mayor for the suburb of Levallois-Perret, said on French television that it was "without a doubt a deliberate act." Quoted by the WSJ, he said the vehicle involved was a black BMW. The driver waited in an alley near the local city hall before driving his car into the men as they walked out of a building toward their vehicle around 8 a.m. local time, Mr. Balkany added. He also said that the incident took place not far from the town hall.

"I find this shameful," Balkany said, calling the incident an "intolerable aggression."

Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly condemned the incident as a "cowardly act,"saying that the investigation is yet to determine the motives of the attacker. The counter-terrorism unit of the Paris prosecutor's office has launched an investigation into the ...

Chipotle Is a Recipe for Trouble

To justify its high stock price, Chipotle needs to keep growing like crazy while simultaneously regaining customers' trust. That will be difficult to pull off

Apple's Expensive Game of Catch-Up

Apple has spent more than $11 billion on R&D in the last 12 months, pointing to possibly big new things on the horizon. But expenditures by the world's richest company also lag top rivals Google, Microsoft and Amazon—which means even more investments are likely.

Disney Thinks It Is Better Off Alone

Disney's decision to pull its content from Netflix isn't going to drive the media company's share price over the next few years. It also may not matter much for Netflix shares.

2Q2017 (Preliminary): Headline Productivity Shows Significant Gain

Written by Steven Hansen

A simple summary of the headlines for this release is that there was significant growth of productivity while the labor costs grew less. There was too much backward revision which completely reversed trends making one wonder wtf is going on.

Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures pull back as North Korea threatens Guam

U.S. stock futures on Wednesday point to a decline at the open, as premarket drops by Priceline, Netflix and Disney weighed, and as analysts also blamed the retreat on worries about escalating tensions with North Korea.

Called to Account: This company found a unique way to skirt SEC accounting rules

Videogame maker Activision Blizzard is playing a numbers game with its earnings reports that seems to directly flout Securities and Exchange Commission rules.

Economic Report: U.S. productivity picks up a bit in second quarter

U.S. productivity rose at a 0.9% annual rate in the second quarter, up from a 0.1% gain in the prior three months, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

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