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07Dec2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street To Open Flat, Bitcoin Blasts Through $15,000 Milestone, Congress Seems Set To Avert Weekend Government Shutdown

Written by Gary

US stock market index futures point to a flat / lower open as tax reform news takes center stage (SPY -0.06%). After a headline-heavy session yeasterday, investors will face a lighter schedule today.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. The DAX is higher by 0.04%, while the CAC 40 is leading the FTSE 100 lower. They are down 0.16% and 0.09% respectively.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Stock futures sluggish; eyes on tax bill talks and General Electric

(Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a dull opening on Thursday with technology stocks holding on to their modest gains as traders focus on progress in tax bill negotiations and General Electric's job-cut plan.

General Electric to cut 12,000 jobs in power business revamp

ZURICH (Reuters) - General Electric Co is axing 12,000 jobs at its global power business, the struggling industrial conglomerate's latest effort to shrink itself into a more focused company.

AT&T/Time Warner antitrust hearing to focus on trial date

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice and AT&T Inc will meet in court for the first time on Thursday as the antitrust regulator attempts to stop the U.S. No. 2 wireless company's $85 billion purchase of media company Time Warner Inc .

Bitcoin to start futures trading, stoking Wild West worries

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitcoin fans are salivating over the potential of long-awaited legitimacy for the cyptocurrency when futures trading launches this weekend, but experts worry the risks associated with bitcoin's Wild West-like nature could overshadow the debut.

Alibaba, Ford to cooperate in search for new retail opportunities

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has signed a deal with Ford Motor Co to explore cooperation in areas such as cloud computing, connectivity and retail which could involve the sale of Ford cars on Alibaba's online retail platform Tmall.

ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell paid no tax in Australia for 2016

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp paid no tax in Australia in the 2016 financial year, the third year in a row, despite reporting billions of dollars in income from operations in the country, a report from the tax office showed on Thursday.

Sharp to seek all-Japan OLED alliance to counter South Korea's Samsung, LG

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sharp Corp will ask the government to help it form an alliance with rival Japan Display Inc in OLED technology to better compete with South Korean makers, its chief executive said on Thursday.

German SPD leader takes aim at U.S. tech giants

BERLIN (Reuters) - The leader of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) took aim at U.S. technology firms Apple, Facebook and Google on Thursday, saying a strong Europe was needed to make sure they stick to the rules.

Soros-backed GlenPoint opens New York office, co-founder to relocate

LONDON (Reuters) - London-based hedge fund manager Glen Point Capital, which raised cash from billionaire George Soros, has opened an office in New York, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Finally, An Honest Inflation Index - Guess What It Shows

Authored by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,

Central bankers keep lamenting the fact that record low interest rates and record high currency creation haven't generated enough inflation (because remember, for these guys inflation is a good thing rather than a dangerous disease).

To which the sound money community keeps responding, "You're looking in the wrong place! Include the prices of stocks, bonds and real estate in your models and you'll see that inflation is high and rising."

Well it appears that someone at the Fed has finally decided to see what would happen if the CPI included those assets, and surprise! the result is inflation of 3%, or half again as high as the Fed's target rate.

New York Fed Inflation Gauge is Bad News for Bulls

(Bloomberg) - More than 20 years ago, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan asked an important question "what prices are important for the conduct of monetary policy?" The query was directly related to asset prices and whether their stability was essential for economic stability and good performance. No one has ever offered a coherent answer even though the recessions of 2001 and 2008-2009 were primarily due to a sharp correction in asset prices.

A new underlying inflation gauge, or UIG, created by the staff of the New York Fed may finally provide the answer. Its broad-based measure of inflation includes consumer an ...

Frontrunning: December 7



Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising (Reuters)

Arabs, Europe, U.N. reject Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital (Reuters)

Trump Jr. Refuses to Discuss Father-Son Talk With Investigators (WSJ)

L.A. Fires Halt Filming, Menace Crops, Send Edison Plunging (BBG)

North Korea says U.S. threats make war unavoidable as China urges calm (Reuters)

Goldman, BlackRock, and Blackstone: Will They Still Rule Wall Street in 10 Years? (BBG)

Bitcoin Soars Through $15,000, Up More Than 50% This Month (BBG)

Uber paid 20-year-old Florida man to keep data breach secret (Reuters)

Family Businesses Worry the Tax Overhaul Will Hurt Them (

Precious Metal Pounding Continues - Silver Now Red For 2017

Since Thanksgiving, precious metals have taken a beating (despite a collapse in speculative shorts).

Today is no different as both are under pressure with silver now back in the red for 2017...

The last two weeks have seen gold drop 3%, Silver down 7.5%, the dollar up around 0.75% and Bitcoin Soar 80%!

But it is notable how much more sensitive gold is to the dollar suddenly...

Having tagged $1300, gold has been a one-way street lower...

...

Hamas Leader Calls For Third Intifada Following Trump's "Declaration Of War"

Yesterday, President Trump officially announced his "new approach" to the Israel-Palestine conflict that, which instead of bringing peace to the region like he repeatedly promised during the campaign, appears poised to trigger the most destructive periods of Israeli vs Palestinian violence since 2005.

Early Thursday, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which recently relinquished absolute administrative control of Gaza but remains incredibly popular in what some have described as "the world's largest open-air prison", called for a third intifada - or uprising - against the Israelis to protest Trump's violation of the "Status Quo".

For nearly three centuries, the three major Abrahamic religions had an understanding that the nine Holy Sites in and around Jerusalem are subject to a policy of de facto neutrality. But by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital - and promising to legitimize that declaration by moving the US embassy - Trump has upset this order. The Israelis have long claimed all of Jerusalem as their capital, while Palestinians hope to claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Speaking in Gaza on Thursday, Hamas' leader Ismail Haniyeh said, "We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy." He also said, "We want the uprising to last and continue to let Trump and the occupation regret this decision," according to DW, Germany's public broadcaster.

Samsung's Rally Can't Keep Living on Memories

The Korean tech giant's stock price and profits have doubled in the past two years. Industry fundamentals suggest it will struggle to maintain that pace.

Pharma's Helping Hand May Pinch Investors

Scrutiny of patient-assistance charities, a key profit source for the drug industry, is increasing. That means it is getting harder for investors to forecast industry growth.

Don't Get Left Behind in Health-Care Deal Frenzy

Investors should expect health-care deal-making to continue in the wake of UnitedHealth's move to acquire DaVita Medical Group, days after CVS Health agreed to buy Aetna.

November 2017 Job Cuts Lowest Year-to-Date Total In 20 Years

from Challenger Gray and Christmas

U.S.-based employers announced 35,038 job cuts in November, up 30 percent from the same month last year, when 26,936 job cuts were announced. Employers have announced 17 percent more cuts than in October 2017, when 29,831 cuts were announced.

Economic Report: U.S. jobless claims fall to 5-week low of 236,000

Initial U.S. jobless claims fall 2,000 to 236,000 in week ended Dec. 2. The nation's jobs market is ending 2017 in the best health since early 2000s.

The Ratings Game: Amazon's apparel business could grow to as much as $85 billion in sales by 2020

Amazon's taking steps to grow its apparel market shares, with Instinet analysts drawing comparisons to other sectors where the e-commerce giant has become dominant.

ETF Investing: This new stock-market sector will impact billions of dollars of ETF assets

There's a fundamental change coming to the way Wall Street classifies companies, and the result of it could be major for a group of exchange-traded funds that together hold tens of billions of dollars in assets.

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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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