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27Dec2017 Pre-Market Commentary: Stock Futures Edge Higher In Quiet Holiday Trading, Global Stocks Rise, Copper Soars In Thin Holiday Volumes, US Dollar Continues To Slide

Written by Gary

U.S. stock futures struggled for direction this morning (SPY +0.1%) amid seasonally low trading volume. Shares of Boeing Co. are rising after an announced deal with Royal Air Maroc.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed. The FTSE 100 is higher by 0.24%, while Germany's DAX is off 0.09%. Shares in France are unchanged with the CAC 40 at 5,365.07.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

No Trump windfall for private prisons yet, but some bet on gains

(Reuters) - Investors who bet on private prison operators as big winners from Donald Trump's tough line on crime and illegal immigration are looking back at a bruising year of high hopes and disappointment. Some, however, say the stocks still offer good value even though an anticipated windfall under the Trump administration so far has failed to materialize.

Apple faces lawsuits after saying it slows down aging iPhones

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc defrauded iPhone users by slowing devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance, according to eight lawsuits filed in various federal courts in the week since the company opened up about the year-old software change.

Stock futures edge higher in quiet holiday trading

(Reuters) - U.S. stock futures edged higher on Wednesday, tracking global equities, which were buoyed by a surge in commodity prices.

South Korea prosecutors seek 12 years jail for Samsung heir Lee in corruption case

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean prosecutors sought a 12-year jail term on Wednesday for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, in a corruption case that led to the ouster of the nation's president earlier this year.

Barclays expects $1.3 billion writedown from U.S. tax reform

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays expects to take a writedown of about 1 billion pounds ($1.34 billion) on its annual post-tax profit as a result of the U.S. tax overhaul, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

Japan manufacturing scandals haven't hurt image but have been powerful lessons: ministry official

TOKYO (Reuters) - A string of data-tampering scandals at Japanese manufacturers has not tarnished Japan's image, though it has been a powerful reminder to avoid sacrificing quality when under cost or delivery pressure, a senior economic official said on Wednesday.

In Pakistan, questions raised over GE's flagship power turbines

ISLAMABAD/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - General Electric's flagship gas turbines ran into problems in Pakistan earlier this year, leading to delays and lengthy outages at three newly built power stations, according to several senior Pakistani officials and power executives.

Russia's standards agency says Nissan to recall 106,340 cars

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co Ltd will recall 106,340 Nissan cars in Russia, Russia's technical safety watchdog Rosstandart said on Wednesday.

Huawei's China smartphone sales chief detained for suspected bribe-taking

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies , the world's third-largest smartphone maker, said on Wednesday that Chinese police are conducting an investigation, after the China sales head of its smartphone unit was detained on suspicion of accepting bribes.

Gold, Bitcoin and the Blockchain Replaces the Banks - Realists Guide To The Future

Gold, Bitcoin and the Blockchain Replaces the Banks - Realists Guide To The Future

- Futurist guide to 2028 shows a world of uncertainty and disruption
- One scenario suggests cybersecurity attacks will result in bitcoin and blockchain's dominance of financial systems
- Cybersecurity threat will still loom large and wreak havoc. Gold, silver and other real assets will benefit.
- Adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain will send gold price soaring
- Use of cryptocurrencies to take advantage of world systems will see investors turn to safe havens such as gold bullion and coins

The media is filled with predictions for 2018. Will Trump survive another year? How will Brexit negotiations play out? Can bitcoin recover from its recent fall? What fake news will create the next disruption to the apparent status quo?

New Trump Executive Order Targets Clinton-Linked Individuals, Lobbyists And Perhaps Uranium One

The Trump Administration quietly issued an Executive Order (EO) last Thursday which allows for the freezing of US-housed assets belonging to foreign individuals or entities deemed "serious human rights abusers," along with government officials and executives of foreign corporations (current or former) found to have engaged in corruption - which includes the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, and corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources.

Furthermore, anyone in the United States who aids or participates in said corruption or human rights abuses by foreign parties is subject to frozen assets - along with any U.S. corporation who employs foreigners deemed to have engaged in corruption on behalf of the company.

In fact, anyone in the world who has "materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material or technological support for, or goods or services" to foreigners targeted by the Executive Order is subject to frozen assets.

The EO, based on the 2016 Global Human Rights Accountability Act, immediately added 13 foreign individuals to a list of "Specially Des ...

Global Stocks Rise, Copper Soars In Thin Holiday Volumes

European stocks are steady in post-Christmas trading if struggling for traction after a mixed session in Asia, amid trading thinned by a holiday-shortened week and ongoing worries about the tech sector; however a strong rally in commodities - including copper and oil - buoyed expectations for a strong 2018 and helped offset concerns over the technology sector triggered by reports of soft iPhone X demand.

U.S. equity futures nudged higher while the dollar weakened against most G-10 peers as investors await the release of U.S. consumer-confidence data, with much of the spotlight falling on commodity currencies. The OZ dollar holds onto gains as copper surges to a three-year high; oil retreats after reaching the highest close in more than two years following a pipeline explosion in Libya on Tuesday. Treasuries and core European core bond yields are a touch lower.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged lower, with tech stocks hit for the third day amid rumors of weak iPhone demand and leading the decline as chipmakers slumped after analysts lowered iPhone X shipment projections, sending the Nasdaq Composite Index lower overnight. While mining and oil stocks strengthened due to a surge in copper prices to a 3.5 year high (see below), the European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.1% as European tech stocks tumbled on reports that demand for Apple's iPhone X may be weaker than expected. The equity benchmark index is poised for an annual gain of 8.1%, the best advance in four years. Elsewhere, Volvo rose as China's Geely bought Cevian's stake in the truckmaker, making it Volvo AB's largest stakeholder. IWG surged the most since 2009 after confirming it has received a a non-binding takeover offer from a consortium backed by Brookfield Asset Management and Onex.

In Asia earlier Japanese equity benchmarks posted slight gains ...

To Avoid Liquidation Panic, HNA Assures Deutsche Shareholders It's A "Long-Term Investor"

The notoriously acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA - which recently had a sharp falling out with Beijing resulting in a margin call "shocksave" - is facing a serious cash crunch in 2018 as nearly a quarter of its $100 billion in debt - a large chunk of which was accumulated during a multi-year buying spree that saw it become a major shareholder in Deutsche Bank, Hilton Worldwide and a large portfolio of international holdings - comes due.

But even as the company resorted to loaning out shares and entering into arcane derivative financing agreements to finance its debt-service payments, it is quickly finding that traditional avenues of financing are disappearing or becoming too costly.

Despite being one of China's largest conglomerates, HNA has been shut out of stock and bond markets as lenders worry about its outsized debt load, forcing the company to pledge some of its core holdings as collateral for short-term loans, as the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.

This has forced the conglomerate to explore other options. To wit, the bank recently pledged some of its Deutsche Bank shares to UBS as collateral for a loan worth roughly $117. It also executed an options strategy known as a collar. This strategy involves purchasing out-of-the-money puts to protect against a large drop in the stock while simultaneously selling out-of-the money calls to offset the cost of the puts.

On Dec. 20, HNA& ...

What Can Dislodge Tencent as King of the Videogames?

Predicting the success of videogames is a bit like predicting how movies will fare—much relies on the fickle winds of public taste. How, then, has China's Tencent—now the world's largest games company—survived and prospered?

Is This as Good as It Gets for Retailers?

It is almost a Christmas miracle. Retailers have taken a beating in the last year, with falling stocks and gloomy predictions of their impending death. Yet in the weeks leading up to Christmas, retail stocks rallied.

What's Good for Reliance Could Be Good for India

A high-profile debt resolution at one of India's most storied companies, Reliance Communications, could signal a big change for India's corporate-debt problem.

Case-Shiller 20 City Home Price Index October 2017 Now at 6.4 % Year-over-Year Growth

Written by Steven Hansen

The non-seasonally adjusted Case-Shiller home price index (20 cities) year-over-year rate of home price growth grew from 6.2 % to 6.4 %. The index authors stated "Since home prices are rising faster than wages, salaries, and inflation, some areas could see potential home buyers compelled to look at renting."

Why Apple may have lost the plot with the $1,000 iPhone X

Is this what iPhone fatigue looks like?

Why so many women still take their husband's last name

A recent study suggests men whose wives keep their name are viewed as more feminine

Will colleges become more equal in 2018?

Experts share what they'll be watching for in the new year

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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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