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09Nov2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Futures Point To Lower Open Amid U.S. Political Jitters, WTI Crude Steady In The 56 Handle, Gold Trends Upward

Written by Gary

US stock index futures were moderately lower earlier this morning with the SP 500 -0.6%. By 8:45 the 500 was trending upwards (SPY -0.5%) as investors fretted about possible obstacles to a tax bill.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Stock futures lower after Wall Street's record run

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Thursday, a day after Wall Street closed at a record high, as investors fretted about possible obstacles to a Republican tax bill that the lawmakers are debating.

Special Report: The decisions behind Monsanto's weed-killer crisis

(Reuters) - In early 2016, agri-business giant Monsanto faced a decision that would prove pivotal in what since has become a sprawling herbicide crisis, with millions of acres of crops damaged.

U.S., AT&T at odds over CNN in Time Warner deal

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. antitrust regulators and AT&T Inc sparred on Wednesday over whether the wireless carrier would be required to sell Time Warner Inc's CNN cable network as a condition of approval of its deal to buy the media company.

Trump's $250 billion China 'miracle' adds gloss to 'off-kilter' trade

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - President Donald Trump can return to the United States claiming to have snagged over $250 billion in deals from his maiden trip to Beijing. Whether those deals live up to the lofty price tag is another question altogether.

Boeing signs deal to sell 300 planes worth $37 billion to China

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Boeing signed an agreement on Thursday to sell 300 planes to China Aviation Supplies Holding Company worth $37 billion at list prices - one of a number part of deals announced during U.S. President Donald Trump's state visit to Beijing.

Wal-Mart gears up to compete on Black Friday

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Thursday its U.S. stores will feature color-coded sections for different product categories on Black Friday, as it prepares to compete for shoppers on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Lockheed to work with U.S. in bid to sell F-35s to Germany: CEO

KONGSBERG, Norway (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp will work with the U.S. government as it talks to Germany about a replacement for its Tornado fighter jets, its chief executive said on Thursday, adding she believed Lockheed's F-35 would be the "best choice" for Berlin.

'We're engaged': Alaska gets China backing for natural gas project

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's biggest state oil company Sinopec, one of the country's top banks and its sovereign wealth fund agreed on Thursday to develop a $43 billion natural gas project in Alaska, as the cash-poor U.S. state seeks to revive its dwindling energy industry.

Britain to provide Saudi Aramco with $2 billion credit guarantees

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will provide $2 billion in credit guarantees to Saudi Aramco so it can buy British goods and services more easily, but denied it was part of efforts to persuade the energy giant to list its shares in London.

Where Are Europe's Fault Lines?

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Beneath the surface of modern maps, numerous old fault lines still exist. A political earthquake or two might reveal the fractures for all to see.

Correspondent Mark G. and I have long discussed the potential relevancy of old boundaries, alliances and structures in Europe's future alignments. Examples include the Holy Roman Empire and the Hanseatic League, among others.

In the long view, Europe has cycled between periods of consolidation and fragmentation for two millennia, starting with the Roman Empire and its dissolution. Various mass movements of tribes/peoples led to new political structures and alliances, and a dizzying range of leaders rose to power and schemed their way through an equally dizzying array of wars, alliances and betrayals.

Regardless of the era or players, security is a permanent priority: this includes defensible borders, alliances to counter potential foes, treaties to end hostilities and whatever is necessary to secure access to resources and trade routes.

When consolidation served these priorities, then fragmented polities either consolidated by choice or by conquest. When smaller polities served these priorities, then imperial structures fragmented into naturally cohesive territories that were unified by language, culture and geography.

Security is also economic, as people support structures that keep their bellies filled and enable social stability and mobility.

For the sake of argument, let's say that the European Union is the high water mark of consolidation, and the next phase is fragm ...

Prosecutors Push Plea Deal In Investigation Of Manafort Son-In-Law

After he was named in the grand jury indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, many in the media speculated that Special Counsel Robert Mueller might also be pursuing an indictment against Manafort's estranged son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, who memorably accused his one-time father-in-law and financial backer of 'conspiring' to mislead a federal bankruptcy court back in September.

While the speculation wasn't wrong, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that prosecutors in a separate probe are seeking a plea deal with Yohai, though the exact nature of the charges being pursued - and any relationship they might have to the charges listed in the indictment - are not yet known. It's unclear if Yohai is also still being investigated by Mueller.

Here's WSJ:

The Justice Department is seeking to reach a plea deal in its criminal investigation of the former son-in-law of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's one-time campaign chairman, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investigation into Jeffrey Yohai—who hasn't been charged with any crime—by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles is separate fr ...

Prepare For Interest Rate Rises And Global Debt Bubble Collapse

Prepare For Interest Rate Rises And Global Debt Bubble Collapse

- Diversify, rebalance investments and prepare for interest rate rises
- UK launches inquiry into household finances as £200bn debt pile looms
- Centuries of data forewarn of rapid reversal from ultra low interest rates
- 700-year average real interest rate is 4.78% (must see chart)
- Massive global debt bubble - over $217 trillion (see table)
- Global debt levels are building up to a gigantic tidal wave
- Move to safe haven higher ground from coming tidal wave

Editor: Mark O'Byrne

Source: Bloomberg

Trump Slams China For Unfair Trade But Praises XI, Blames Predecessors; Unveils $250BN In Deals

President Trump held a press conference with one of the most powerful people in the world and the event was... underwhelming. It didn't last long, the two stood fairly far apart at their lecterns and afterwards ignored questions from reporters (presumably in case one asked Xi about press freedoms again). In brief, we were informed about improving Sino-US relations, progress being made on the trade balance and co-operation on the North Korean issue and both leaders said it was a great success. On another sensitive subject, Xi's asserted that the Pacific Ocean is big enough for both countries.

Here is how the press conference was characterised by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Trade and North Korea predictably topped the bill, but they also discussed security cooperation and the relationship between their citizens. The joint press conference lasted less than 15 minutes, with both leaders staying on-script to speak about further cooperation on a range of bilateral issues, from security on the Korean peninsula to Sino-US trade tensions. Both heralded the trip as a success. The joint press conference ends, with both leaders ignoring shouted questions from reporters. Journalists were told ahead of the conference that they would not be allowed to ask questions, after a New York Times reporter embarrassed Xi during Barack Obama's 2014 visit with a question about press freedom in China.

In one of the more memorable statements by Trump, the US President said China is taking advantage of American wo ...

Markets Are Cooking Up Recipe for a Clash

Financial markets have spent a good deal of time fretting about the withdrawal of the extraordinary monetary policy measures taken by central banks. Yet as the Federal Reserve and the ECB have taken action, investors have hardly blinked.

Sina Shows Its Disregard for Shareholders

The U.S.-listed Chinese company has given its chairman extra voting rights to fend off activist investors.

Another Blow to Online Lenders

Lenders should be judged not on how fast they grow during good times, but how they perform in periods like today when consumer defaults are ticking up. On that basis, LendingClub looks unprepared and investors are right to be skeptical of the online lender.

Capitol Report: Senate Republicans poised to unveil tax plan | Republicans' anxiety rises over midterm elections

Senate Republicans poised to unveil tax plan Thursday; Republican anxiety rises over midterm elections; Steve Bannon dismisses Tuesday's losses; and more.

Bond Report: Treasury yields inch higher as Wall Street awaits Senate tax-bill details

U.S. Treasury yields edge slightly higher on Thursday, but moves were mostly muted, as investors await details on a Republican tax plan later in the session.

Asia Markets: Nikkei tops 23,000 for first time since 1992, pulls back at close

Strong Japanese corporate results had Tokyo stocks extending their rally early Thursday though the rest of Asia was quieter after mild gains on Wall Street overnight.

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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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