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25Sep2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Fractionally Lower, German Chancellor Angela Merkel Won A Fourth Term, WTI Crude In The Low 51 Handle

Written by Gary

US stock market indexes are flat and in the red (SPY -0.1%). WTI crude trends higher as does the US dollar index.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. The DAX is higher by 0.23%, while the CAC 40 is leading the FTSE 100 lower. They are down 0.24% and 0.21% respectively.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

ABB buys GE business for $2.6 billion in bet it can boost margins

ZURICH (Reuters) - Power grids maker ABB is buying General Electric's Industrial Solutions business for $2.6 billion in a bet it can improve the division's lackluster margins over the next five years, the Swiss engineering company said on Monday.

AIG to restructure operations into three business units

(Reuters) - American International Group Inc said on Monday it would reorganize into three new business units and will no longer have Commercial and Consumer businesses.

DR Horton cuts cash flow forecast 50 percent due to hurricanes

(Reuters) - D.R. Horton Inc , the No.1 U.S. homebuilder, slashed its 2017 cash flow forecast from operations by half, citing delays because of the recent hurricanes.

Exclusive: Toshiba tells banks chip deal delayed as Apple yet to approve

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp told its main banks on Monday it has not signed the $18 billion sale of its semiconductor business because Apple Inc , a member of the buyer group, has not agreed on key terms, two people involved in the deal said.

Target raises minimum hourly wage to $11, pledges $15 by end of 2020

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Target Corp said on Monday it would increase its minimum hourly wage this year by a dollar to $11, vowing to raise this by the end of 2020 to $15 an hour -- the so-called "living wage" labor advocates across the United States are campaigning for.

Apologizing to London, Uber CEO offers change to keep license

LONDON (Reuters) - Uber's new boss [UBER.UL] apologized to Londoners for the taxi app's mistakes and pledged to make changes as the Silicon Valley firm tries to overturn a decision to strip it of its license in one of its major markets.

Euro, bond yields drop as Germany's Merkel holds on

LONDON (Reuters) - The euro and European government bond yields slipped on Monday after the bloc's most powerful leader, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, won a fourth term but faced a fractured parliament as support for the far right surged.

P&G, Peltz vie for small investor votes in biggest-ever proxy fight

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The largest corporate proxy fight in history, between Procter & Gamble Co and activist investor Nelson Peltz, may ultimately be decided by small shareholders like Tom Neubecker.

Walt Disney threatens to pull ESPN, ABC from Optimum

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co has threatened to pull its programming from the fourth largest U.S. cable distributor, Altice USA, if the two parties cannot reach a deal before the end of the month, the cable company said on Sunday.

Trump Escalates War With NFL In Early Tweetstorm

After igniting an NFL firestorm over the weekend with a series of tweetstorms bashing players who refused to stand for the national anthem (something we covered in detail here), Trump is at it again this morning with new tweets highlighting the disgruntled crowds that booed the kneeling players.

"Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!"

"The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!"

Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017

The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017

Some of the loudest such 'boos' came for the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium when a number of Patriots kneeled for the anthem.

WTI Hits 4-Month Highs Over $51 Amid Kurdish Referendum Concerns

For the third time in 10 days, WTI Crude futures broke above $51 (this time running stops back to its highest level since May) amid growing concerns over the potential reactions to the results of the forthcoming Kurdish independence vote.

Positive comments from Russia and OPEC over clearing the global glut helped, but it is the potential for supply disruption from the Kurdish independence vote that is having the most impact on WTI and Brent.

President Tayyip Erdogan warned on Monday Turkey could cut off the pipeline that carries oil from northern Iraq to the outside world, intensifying pressure on the Kurdish autonomous region over its independence referendum.

The Kurds, which make up about one-fifth of Iraq's 38 million people, have long-standing grievances against the government in Baghdad. They won a large degree of autonomy under the post-Saddam Iraqi constitution adopted in 2005, and nationalism has deepened since Kurdish troops scored battlefield successes against Islamic State and brought the city of Kirkuk under their control. Turkey fears the independence vote could set back its own campaign to stamp out a Kurdish insurgency it's been battling for three decades.

Erdogan spoke shortly after Prime Minister Binali Yildirum said Ankara could take punitive measures involving borders and air space against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ...

Republicans Scramble To Revise Obamacare Repeal Bill As Defeat Looms

After Texas Senator Ted Cruz revealed Sunday that he wouldn't support Graham-Cassidy, effectively quashing the Republicans' chances of repealing and replacing Obamacare before the crucial Sept. 30 deadline, Bloomberg reported that the GOP senate leadership was scrambling late Sunday to revise the bill to win support from a small but critical group of holdout senators and secure the 50 votes needed to allow the tie-breaking vote in favor cast by Vice President Mike Pence.

Cruz, who had previously said he supported a system of scrapping the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in favor of providing block grants to states, the crux of the Graham-Cassidy, told a crowd in Texas that he had changed his mind, but didn't elaborate as to why. Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul took to the Sunday shows to reiterate that he's against the bill because he believes block grants would foster infighting over funding between the states.

Some of the changes, which come as the Sept. 30 expiration of the fast-track provision that forestalls a Democratic filibuster, are designed to appeal to moderate holdouts like Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, while others appeared tailored to lure conservative skeptics like Rand Paul of Kentucky. Trump has vowed to win the support of the Kentucky senator, although some theorize that, since the current system is popular in Paul's home state, that he will invent libertarian-sounding objections to any bill the Republicans present.

Commodities King Gartman Says Gold Soon Reach $1,400 As Drums of War Grow Louder

Commodities King Gartman Says Gold Soon Reach $1,400 As Drums of War Grow Louder

- 'Commodities King' Gartman sees $1,400 gold surge in months
- "Gold is the one currency that will do the best of all..."
- Pullback below $1300 "is relatively inconsequential"
- Use gold price weakness to be a buyer "no question"
- Bullish on gold due to central banks and easy monetary policy and gold will be even higher in euro terms
- Gold will be the best of all, as a result of QE and expansionary policies
- Dalio reconfirms belief that 'gold serves a purpose' and portfolios should have exposure

Ignore the Fed's Yield Sign at Your Peril

The Federal Reserve is telling investors it will flatten the yield curve. They should listen.

Natural Gas Poised to Light Up in China

Gas usage by the world's largest energy consumer has lagged the U.S. and other big economies for years. That is about to change.

China's Banks Don't Share Investors' Enthusiasm for Steel

The stock market has fallen in love again with China's beleaguered state-owned steel titans, which are up roughly 60% since the dark days of early 2016 due to higher steel prices. But China's banks don't share investors' enthusiasm.

Earnings Outlook: Nike earnings: Even Jordan can't clear hurdles in the athletic sector

Nike is facing a number of challenges this quarter, including a slowdown in the basketball category and a promotional athletic environment

The Wall Street Journal: Target plans on raising minimum wages in tightening labor market

Target Corp. said it is raising its minimum wage to $11 an hour starting next month and to $15 an hour within three years, as the retailer competes to fill low-wage jobs in a tighter labor market.

Deep Dive: More than half of these high-yield dividend stocks are on sale

These consistent dividend payers have yields ranging from 5% to 12.5%. By Phil van Doorn.

Earnings Summary for Today

Earnings Calendar provided by Investing.com.

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To contact me with questions, comments or constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated:

gary@econintersect.com

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