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31Oct2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Futures Higher With Earnings, Fed In Focus, Gold Going Soft, WTI Crude Continues To Trade In The 54 Handle

Written by Gary

US stock market index futures are slated to open fractionally higher (SPY +0.2%), after following new earnings reports. Investors also waited for an announcement on the new Federal Reserve head.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are higher today as French and British shares show gains. The CAC 40 is up 0.17% while the FTSE 100 is up 0.08%. The German DAX is closed.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Apple could drop Qualcomm components in next year's iPhones, iPads: sources

(Reuters) - Apple Inc has designed iPhones and iPads that would drop chips supplied by Qualcomm Inc , according to two people familiar with the matter.

U.S. business group worries Trump unprepared for commercial talks with China

BEIJING (Reuters) - A top U.S. business lobby in China said on Tuesday it was concerned U.S. President Donald Trump's administration was not making sufficient preparation for talks on imbalances in the bilateral economic relationship ahead of his November visit.

Mastercard's profit rises on higher consumer spending

(Reuters) - Mastercard Inc posted a quarterly profit on Tuesday that was higher than Wall Street's expectations, fueled by increased consumer spending globally and maintaining market share over other payment channels.

Kellogg posts higher quarterly sales

(Reuters) - Kellogg Co reported Tuesday higher quarterly sales on increased demand for frozen foods and Kashi snacks, even as sales of cereals and snacks in the United States declined.

World stocks head for record 12th month of gains

LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks headed for a record twelfth month of gains on Tuesday, as a 5 1/2-month high in European stocks and records elsewhere underscored one of the most robust bull markets on record.

Google ditched autopilot driving feature after test user napped behind wheel

ATWATER, Calif. (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit stopped developing features that required drivers to take control in dangerous situations, its chief executive said Monday, as autopilot reliance left users prone to distractions and ill-prepared to maneuver.

Pfizer beats profit estimates, raises 2017 earnings forecast

(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc's quarterly profit beat market estimates, partly helped by higher-than-expected sales of its blockbuster pneumonia vaccine Prevnar, and the company also raised its full-year earnings forecast.

Futures higher with earnings, Fed in focus

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Tuesday following a fresh set of earnings reports, while investors waited for an announcement on the new Federal Reserve head.

Shopify posts strong revenue growth, adjusted profit

TORONTO (Reuters) - Shopify Inc posted a 72 percent increase in third-quarter revenue as the fast-growing Canadian retail software company reported an adjusted profit for the first time as a public company and increased its fourth quarter forecasts.

Why Is Bitcoin A Big Deal?

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Centralized banking and all other forms of intermediary rentier skims are presented as solid. If history is any guide, these supposedly solid entities may well melt into air.

Why is bitcoin considered such a big deal? Why has it grabbed so much mind-share, and why is it skyrocketing? And why is the cryptocurrency sector going bonkers?

The short answer is that cryptocurrency is the first major innovation in money in 300+ years, back when central banks first emerged in the late 1600s as centralized clearing houses for international payments and sole issuers of national bank notes/currency.

(Those who trace central banking to the Bank of Amsterdam's founding in 1609 might say it's the first major innovation in 400 years.)

Why is it an innovation? There are four basic reasons:

1. It's a form of private-sector issued money. It is not issued or controlled by any government or central bank.

2. It is structured in a completely different manner than conventional central-bank issued currency: it is a digital form of money that is issued as payment for those who maintain the database (the blockchain) on their privately owned computers. Since the blockchain is distributed over numerous computers, it is decentralized and distributed rather than centralized.

3. It enables trusted transactions between parties without requiring the services of an intermediary, i.e.a bank which acts as a trusted clearing house for transactions.

4. In the case of the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, its issuance of tokens (coins) is limited by its design to 21 million coins. No central authority can issue more bitcoins, nor does the structure of the bitcoin blockchain allow for further issuance.

To grasp t ...

Frontrunning: October 31

Mueller's Moves Signal Broad Scope (WSJ)

Spain awaits next move by ousted Catalan leader from Belgium (Reuters)

China, South Korea agree to mend ties after THAAD standoff (Reuters)

For Manafort, Questionable Airbnb Sublets Became a Family Affair (BBG)

U.S. business group worries Trump unprepared for commercial talks with China (Reuters)

Google's Dominance in Washington Faces a Reckoning (WSJ)

Tech Giants Disclose Russian Activity on Eve of Congressional Appearance (WSJ)

Collapse at North Korea nuclear test site 'leaves 200 dead' (Telegraph)

Tech executives head to U.S. Congress under harsh spotlight (Reuters)

Another China Company Defaults on Bond Payment as Borrowing Costs Jump (

Tony Podesta Threatens Tucker Carlson After Bombshell Report On Russian Influence Peddling

Submitted by iBankCoin

Tony Podesta sent a Cease and Decist letter to "Tucker Carlson Tonight" hours after resigning from his role at the Podesta Group - a D.C. lobbying firm accused by a former executive of pedaling Russian influence along with fellow lobbyist and short-lived Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Tony Podesta threatened "Tucker Carlson Tonight" after resigning. Wanted our reporting shutdown. #Tucker @FoxNews

— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) October 31, 2017


Manfort was indicted over the weekend on 12 counts ranging from tax fraud, money laundering and giving false statements between 2006 and 2015, and is currently under house arrest after turning himself over to the FBI Monday morning - fueling speculation as to whether Tony Podesta's sudden departure from his firm is connected.

Of note, Monday's indictment lists "Company A" and "Company B" as firms involved in the investigation - which NBC reports are the Podesta Group and DC public relations firm Mercury Public Affairs.

Last week

Eurozone Inflation Unexpectedly Cools

In the latest headache for Mario Draghi, the Eurozone's closely watched CPI weakened to 1.40% year-on-year in October 2017 versus expectations of 1.50% and a reading of 1.50% the previous month. As a reminder, according to the ECB's September forecast, HICP inflation is expected to rise to 1.5%, leaving little margin for deflation in the next few months, especially if Draghi's tightening overtures are to be taken seriously.

The miss in core CPI (excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco) was bigger, with core prices printing at 0.90% , below expectations of 1.10% and down from 1.10% in September.

In contrast, data on growth of the Eurozone economy beat expectations, with Q3 GDP growth rising 0.6% Q/Q versus the consensus of 0.5%. Eurozone unemployment for September 2017 was 8.9%, below both the consensus of 8.9% and the prior month of 9.0%.

More details from Bloomberg which notes that "Euro-area inflation unexpectedly slowed in October despite the bloc's strengthening economy, underlining why the European Central Bank last week kept its exit from mo ...

Startups That Never Grow Up

The flood of cash into startups has allowed companies to stay private for far longer than in the past, raising the question of whether many companies are worth the $1 billion-plus values private investors have attached to them.

A Stock Market Where the Rally is Actually Deserved

European stocks have rallied sharply this year, but based on companies actually making more money, not investor appetite for ever increasing earnings multiples.

The Savings Rate Is Too Low

Heard on the Street: Americans' low rate of personal saving is remarkable and a return to a higher level could be unpleasant for investors.

Mark Hulbert: Smart money will buy large-cap stocks now and small-caps in January

Bigger stocks are better for fund managers through year-end, writes Mark Hulbert.

Metals Stocks: Gold struggles even as the strong dollar takes a breather

Gold retreated slightly Tuesday, putting a third-straight climb at risk, as the yellow metal fought its way off the more than two-month lows hit late last week.

Obamacare enrollment begins this week

Don't get confused by the tumult — the death of the Affordable Care Act has been greatly exaggerated.

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