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08Nov2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Will Open Slightly Lower As Investors Track Progress On Tax Bill, WTI Crude Slips Fractionally, But Remains In The 57 Handle While The Gold Index Trends Higher

Written by Gary

US stock market index futures are fractionally lower (SPY -0.1%), but the BTFDers are counting on another record high session. Some investors are watching closely Republican efforts to pass the tax bill.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. Shares in France are lower with the CAC 40 off by 0.24%. The CAC 40 and FTSE 100 are uchanged.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

A year in: U.S. stock market under Trump's shadow

NEW YORK (Reuters) - One year ago, when it became clear that Republican Donald Trump had pulled a historic upset to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton to the U.S. presidency, futures in the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled nearly 900 points.

Stock futures slightly lower as investors track progress on tax bill

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Wednesday, a day after the Dow closed at a record high for the fourth straight day, as investors closely watch Republican efforts to pass the tax bill.

Peak oil? Majors aren't buying into the threat from renewables

HOUSTON/LONDON (Reuters) - Two decades ago, BP set out to transcend oil, adopting a sunburst logo to convey its plans to pour $8 billion over a decade into renewable technologies, even promising to power its gas stations with the sun.

China's Tencent buys 12 percent stake in Snapchat owner

(Reuters) - China's Tencent now holds a 12 percent stake in Snapchat operator Snap Inc, Snap said on Wednesday, turning over a 20 percent slide in the U.S. company's share price after badly received third quarter results.

Qualcomm buy may pit Broadcom against Intel in 'connected car' fight

(Reuters) - If Broadcom Ltd's unsolicited $103 billion bid for Qualcomm Inc succeeds, it could set up a battle with Intel Corp for dominance in the production of the next generation of communications chips, which will play a vital role in so-called connected cars.

Airbus knew of software vulnerability before A400M crash

PARIS/SEVILLE (Reuters) - Airbus and European safety authorities were warned in late 2014 of a software vulnerability in the A400M military plane that was similar to a weakness that contributed to a fatal crash seven months later, Spanish investigators have found.

ConocoPhillips aims capex at $5.5 billion/year for rest of decade

NEW YORK (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips , the largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer, said on Wednesday it will spend an average of $5.5 billion annually for the rest of the decade on capital projects as long as oil prices stay above $50 per barrel.

Ford, China's Zotye Auto invest $756 million in electric vehicle JV

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Ford Motor and China's Anhui Zotye Automobile have agreed to invest a combined $756 million to set up a 50-50 joint venture in China to build electric passenger vehicles, both companies said on Wednesday.

Germany's FlixBus to take on Greyhound in the United States

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German long-distance bus firm FlixBus plans to expand to the United States next year, taking on rivals such as Greyhound and Megabus from a base in Los Angeles, it said on Wednesday.

Trump Warns North Korea Of "Grave Danger" In Rousing Speech

President Donald Trump departed for China this morning, the third leg of his 12-day tour of Asia - his first visit to the continent since taking office - but not before delivering a "rousing speech" to South Korean lawmakers where he warned the North not to "underestimate" the US - a sharp change in tone from yesterday, when he encouraged the North to "make a deal" with the US that he said would be in their mutual interest. During his address in Seoul, Trump directed his words at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, warning him that "the weapons that you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face." More details on Trump's speech from Reuters:

"This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past," Mr. Trump said in an address to South Korean lawmakers Wednesday. "Do not underestimate us, and do not try us."

The president called on Mr. Kim to abandon his country's nuclear-weapons program as he contrasted the successful capitalist economy of South Korea with that of the North, whose economy is many times smaller. Both countries' output was similar in 1953, when the end of the Korean War left the peninsula divided.

"North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned—it is a hell that no person deserves," Mr. Trump said, referring to North Korea's founding leader, Kim Il Sung. "We will offer a path to a much better future," he continued. "It b ...

Platinum Bullion 'May Be One Of The Only Cheap Assets Out There'

Platinum Bullion 'May Be One Of The Only Cheap Assets Out There'

Platinum "may be one of the cheap assets out there" and "is cheap when compared with stocks or bonds" according to Dominic Frisby writing in the UK's best selling financial publication Money Week.

Platinum Bullion in USD (15 years)

Frisby writing in Money Week laments the total absence of value in today's markets. He then identifies an asset that is both cheap (on a relative basis) and is valuable and the article is well worth a read:

The value investor's lament - where have all the cheap assets gone?

Harvey Weinstein Used Undercover Ex-Mossad Agents To Silence Accusers, Halt Publications

Submitted by iBankCoin

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein - who sources tell Page Six is about to be indicted for rape by the Manhattan DA - used a network of attorneys, private detectives and a firm run by former Israeli Mossad agents in a failed attempt to silence his accusers and prevent The New York Times and The New Yorker from publishing allegations of sexual harassment, assault and rape - according to an explosive New Yorker article by journalist Ronan Farrow.

One of the firms employed by Weinstein, referred to him by Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, was UK based Black Cube - which promotes itself as "a select group of veterans from the Israeli elite intelligence units," set up a fake London wealth management firm and sent a female ex-Mossad agent posing as women's rights advocate "Diana Filip" to befriend and spy on actress Rose McGowan.

"I took her to the Venice boardwalk and we had ice cream while we strolled," McGowan told Farrow, adding that Filip was "very kind."

Ronan Farrow writes in The New York ...

Snapchat Soars, Reversing Earlier Crash, After Tencent Buys 10% Stake

Just as an avalanche of SNAP sellside downgrades was unleashed by Wall Street analysts (JPM and UBS both downgraded to Sell with $15 and $7 price targets, respectively), the proverbial Hail Mary emerged early on Wednesday morning, when hours after reporting atrocious earnings which sent its stock crashing, in its just released 10-Q, Snapchat reported that Tencent, the company behind China's popular messaging platform WeChat, had built a more than 10% stake in Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, through open market purchases. The 10-Q said that Tencent notified Snap that it built a position of 145.78MM non-voting shares in the Los Angeles-based company in recent months.

From the filing:

In November 2017, Tencent Holdings Limited notified us that it, together with its affiliates, acquired 145,778,246 shares of our non-voting Class A common stock via open market purchases. As a result of our ownership structure, Tencent and Snap are not obligated to disclose changes in Tencent's ownership of our Class A common stock, so there can be no assurance that you, or we, will be notified of any such changes.

The company added:

Our long-term shareholder Tencent Holdings Limited ("Tencent"), a global Internet company based in Shenzhen, China, has notified us that it has recently acquired 145,778,246 shares of our non-voting Class A common stock via open market purchases. We have long been inspired by the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Tencent and we are grateful to continue our longsta ...

Snap Gets Popped Again

Social network's battered valuation still looks pricey considering user growth slowdown.

Tax Reform Creates Big Winners and Just Winners Among Banks

The banking industry will be among the biggest winners from a lower corporate tax rate, but some lenders stand to benefit much more than others.

Cognac Shortage Won't Keep Rémy on Top Shelf Forever

The world's supply of cognac is running low. Paying a high price for the stock of specialist distiller Rémy Cointreau may leave a sour taste.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in Ethereum frozen in 'accidental' coding mistake

More than $100 million in ether, the cryptocurrency on the Ethereum platform, was locked down Tuesday in a potentially catastrophic coding mistake.

LendingClub shares tumble on plan to tighten credit scores

Wall Street does not seem to like the plan to tighten originations in order to better manage risk.

The Conversation: How does Apple's money get from California to Bermuda anyway?

These 5 nations — mostly European— are the biggest conduits for evading taxes.

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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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