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08Sep2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Lower, Oil Steady As Irma Heads For Florida, Saudi Arabia Cuts Supply, Gold Has 2 Percent Weekly Gain,18 Percent Higher YTD

Written by Gary

US stock market index futures are lower on this last day of the week (SPY -0.2%) as Hurricane Irma bores down on Florida. WTI crude price steady in the low 49 handle.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. The DAX is higher by 0.02%, while the FTSE 100 is leading the CAC 40 lower. They are down 0.40% and 0.21% respectively.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

U.S. stock futures drop as Irma heads toward Florida

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Friday as Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida even as Texas struggles with the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Will Saudi Aramco deliver world record profit for next year's IPO?

LONDON (Reuters) - When oil giant Saudi Aramco discloses its financials for the first time next year, it must either surprise investors with world record profits or reduce its aspirations for a $2 trillion valuation in its initial public offering (IPO). [IPO-ARMO.SE]

Exclusive: ECB policymakers agreed on stimulus cut at meeting - sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymakers meeting on Thursday were in broad agreement their next step would be to cut bond purchases, with four options under consideration, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussion said.

Oil steady as Irma heads for Florida, Saudi Arabia cuts supply

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied on Friday after almost a week of sharp rises as Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms in a century, drove towards Florida after tearing through the Caribbean.

Uber to stop using diesel cars in London by end 2019

LONDON (Reuters) - Uber [UBER.UL] will cease using diesel cars in London by the end of 2019 and the vast majority of rides will be in electric or hybrid vehicles by then, the taxi app said on Friday.

FBI probing if Uber used software to interfere with rivals: Wall Street Journal

(Reuters) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing to see if Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] had used software to illegally interfere with its competitors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

New York City comptroller wields new clout in boardroom diversity drive

BOSTON (Reuters) - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is wielding more clout as he presses more than 150 U.S. companies to detail plans to diversify their boardrooms.

French probe alleges 2 million PSA cars had engine cheats: Le Monde

PARIS (Reuters) - The French investigation into alleged emissions cheating by PSA Group found that suspect software had been used on almost 2 million vehicles sold by the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, Le Monde reported on Friday.

Fresh China worries hit Hyundai, suppliers even as plant restarts

SEOUL/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shares in Hyundai Motor and its suppliers slid on Friday on fresh worries over their position in China after highly critical state newspaper comments, even as the South Korean automaker managed to get a Chinese car plant restarted.

Frontrunning: September 8

Hurricane Irma threatens power losses for millions in Florida (Reuters)

Back-to-Back Hurricanes to Test FEMA Reforms (WSJ)

How Would the U.S. Defend Against a North Korean Nuclear Attack? (BBG)

Russia says too early to decide on U.N. resolution on North Korea: Interfax (Reuters)

Strongest Quake in a Century Hits Mexico, 15 Reported Dead (BBG)

Ryan Bears Brunt of GOP Anger Over Trump's Deal With Democrats (BBG)

Trump's Debt Deal Moves Forward, With Help From Democrats (WSJ)

Houston CEOs Race to Mend a Storm-Battered Workforce (WSJ)

Consumers Struggle to Get Answers From Equifax After Hack (BBG)

Irma Batters Reinsurance Mutual Fund as Hurricane Nears Florida (

Gold Has 2% Weekly Gain,18% Higher YTD - Trump's Debt Ceiling Deal Hurts Dollar

Gold Has 2% Weekly Gain,18% Higher YTD - Trump's Debt Ceiling Deal Hurts Dollar

- Gold hits $1,355/oz as USD at 32-month low -concerns about Trump, US economy
- Silver and platinum 2.3% and 1.2% higher in week; palladium 3% lower
- Euro Stoxx flat for week - S&P 500, Nikkei down 0.65% and 2.2%
- Geo-political concerns including North Korea, falling USD push gold 2.1% in week
- Gold prices reach $1,355 this morning following Mexico earthquake
- Safe haven demand sees gold over one year high, highest since August 2016
- ...

US Army Prepares Troops Deployed In South Korea For WMD Attack

On Thursday, amid de-escalation chatter, President Trump once again insisted that US military action in North Korea remains a possibility should the North continue its threatening behavior against the US and its allies. If the US were to strike, it would be a "sad day" for the isolated North, Trump promised, adding that while "it would be great" if the issue of containing the North's nuclear program could be resolved without military action, "nothing is inevitable." Not peace, not war.

Meanwhile, instead of remorse, Kim Jong Un has only expressed what appears to be frustration that global financial markets aren't taking his threats more seriously, and has vowed to continue. With its neighbor and client state threatening to upset the global apple cart, China on Thursday hinted that it could support tighter UN economic sanctions, but also pushed the two sides to begin a dialogue. Meanwhile, Russia Today reports that the US military is continuing to prepare for another ground war on the continent. A recent procurement posting suggests that the US Army is seeking a contractor to train its forces in South Korea to respond to potential attacks involving a weapon of mass destruction.

According to a contract proposal posted by the Army on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the Army's 718th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company (EOD) in South Korea should be taught to identify hazardous mate ...

Israel Launches Air Strikes On Syria And Assad's "Waiting Game"

Immediately after Israel's latest unprovoked strike on Syria we posed the question, did Benjamin Netanyahu just panic? The answer is yes, Israel is now acting from a position of desperation as it has failed in its goal of regime change in Syria. Overnight (Wed. evening/Thursday early morning), Israel attacked a Syrian military base near the town of Masyaf at about 3:00 a.m. which Syria has now confirmed in a statement that warns of "serious repercussions". Syria reported two troop deaths in the attack. It appears to have been a massive strike - grainy photos show a large fireball lighting up the night sky outside of Masyaf.

Israel appears to have timed its attack to occur on the very night a controversial U.N. report was released earlier in the day (Wednesday) which blames the Assad government for using chemical weapons against civilians at Khan Sheikhoun in April. A number of Israeli analysts and media reports purport the Masyaf base to be a site for chemical and non-conventional weapons storage (such as "barrel bombs") while claiming the attack was motivated by "humanitarian" concern for Syrian civilians.

First image produced from Israeli strike on Al-Tala'i facility near Masyaf. Via Twitter.

But this is the reason for Israeli media and defense officials quickly claiming that the strike at Masyaf was on a chemical weapons facility: they know the "humanitarian" angle sells in the West, especially when coupled with allegations of civilians being gassed.

Miners Risk Falling Down Same Old Hole

Mining firms are riding high as metal prices touch their loftiest levels in years. But rebounding investment in copper and iron mines could spell trouble next year.

Ambarella's Newest Vision Worth a Look

Chip maker Ambarella has floundered with weak GoPro, drone sales. But computer vision chips offer a promising turnaround

Ailing Akzo Nobel Keeps Deal Talk Alive and Well

Akzo Nobel seems less and less likely to retain its independence.

Vitaliy Katsenelson's Contrarian Edge: This should be your No. 1 criterion when buying stocks now

Quality is the foundation of an all-terrain portfolio, writes Vitaliy Katsenelson.

Mark Hulbert: What the lesson of Lehman Brothers means for investors nine years later

Stock market investors have been conditioned to expect big returns year in and year out, says Mark Hulbert.

Outside the Box: Trump's debt deal with Democrats is anything but normal

Even Republicans now see the president can't be trusted, writes Chris Edelson.

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