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01Feb2018 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Futures Slip After Fed Strikes Hawkish Tone, Microsoft Dips, WTI Crude Climbs Into The Mid 65 Handle, US Jobless Claims Fall As Job Market Strengthens

Written by Gary

US equities markets are pointing for a moderately negative opening this morning (SPY -0.2%) as the DOW and S&P 500 see their best month since March 2016.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 0.92% while London's FTSE 100 is off 0.24% and France's CAC 40 is lower by 0.11%.

Looking at the last three columns (below), the first one (Actual), is what was reported this morning. The second column (Forecast) is what analysts had forecast and the third column is the previous report. Full calendar HERE.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Bitcoin skids to lowest since November after worst month in three years

LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, skidded 9 percent on Thursday to its lowest level since late November, as a Facebook ban on cryptocurrency adverts and a growing regulatory backlash against the nascent market rattled investors.

Futures slip after Fed strikes hawkish tone, Microsoft dips

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Thursday after the Federal Reserve raised its inflation outlook and flagged "further gradual" interest rate increases, and Microsoft shares dropped despite its strong quarterly report.

U.S. pork demand strong, but trade disputes could hit exports

CHICAGO (Reuters) - American consumers are snapping up plentiful low-cost pork, but U.S. farmers are worried that trade spats with key export markets in China, Mexico and Canada could hurt a lucrative part of their pork business.

Shipping snags curb UPS profit growth in fourth quarter

(Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter net profit that was hurt by additional costs from surging shipping volumes during the peak holiday period, and its shares fell more than 3 percent.

Time Warner quarterly revenue rises 9 percent

(Reuters) - Time Warner Inc , which is in the process of being bought by AT&T Inc , reported a 9 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Thursday, helped by the success of its latest superhero movie "Justice League".

Facebook forecasts rising ad sales despite dip in usage

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc offered reassurances to investors on Wednesday that its digital ad business would remain highly profitable, despite a dip in usage on the social media network and an overhaul of its flagship News Feed.

Saudi Arabia steps up efforts to end $22-billion debt dispute: sources

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has accelerated steps to resolve a $22-billion debt dispute that is seen by investors as a litmus test of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's commitment to reforms, three sources familiar with the matter say.

Blackstone posts higher fourth-quarter economic net income

(Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP , the world's largest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and real estate, said on Thursday that its fourth-quarter economic net income rose 5 percent year-on-year to $850 million.

Alibaba revenue beats forecast, takes stake in affiliate Ant Financial

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , China's biggest e-commerce company, said on Thursday third-quarter revenue rose 56 percent, beating expectations as it shrugged off any concerns about a market slowdown.

DAX Breaks Key Technical Support As Bund Yields Soar

It's not just 'Murica where bonds and stocks are falling together. As German 10Y Yields spike to their highest since September 2015...

So the DAX has just broken down below its 50-day moving average...

The DAX is now up just 1.6% YTD after being up as much as 5.3% a week ago.

Get back to work Mr.Draghi.

It's Getting Lowly At The Top

Via Dana Lyons' Tumblr,

The number of stocks hitting new lows just saw a huge spike, especially considering the major indexes remain within arm's length of their 52-week high.

As we mentioned yesterday, the drop in stocks to begin the week has really shaken things up in the market. It's not that the decline has been that large. Rather, the relentless rally of late had conditioned investors in a way such that the moderate losses of the past 2 days served as a bit of a shock. And from the potential over-reaction by volatility traders to the profusion of both new highs and new lows on the NYSE on Monday, we are seeing some interesting developments in response. Yesterday brought another odd development among the new highs/new lows on the NYSE as we note in today's Chart Of The ...

FISA Memo Likely To Be Released Thursday: Administration Official

Republicans are reportedly planning to kick off the month of February by releasing the infamous FISA memo alleging "egregious abuses" of FISA surveillance powers by the FBI, Reuters reported citing a Trump administration official who said on Wednesday that the memo is "likely to be released on Thursday."

The four-page memo has circulated among the House, and has been seen by the president and his chief of staff, John Kelly. Trump has until Friday to decide whether the memo should remain classified.

The news comes after the FBI yesterday issued a "rare public statement" condemning the memo as factually inaccurate, saying it had "grave concerns" about its release, which it said could be detrimental to national security.

FBI Director Christopher Wray

Even Democrats, who initially said the memo was intended to challenge the Mueller probe are now admitting that its contents could be damning, and raise questions about the bureau's decision to wiretap Trump campaign aide Carter Page - evidence that was used to help justify the launch of the Trump investigation. Adam Schiff, the top Dem on the House Intel Committee, reportedly sai ...

Frontrunning: February 1

Republican memo likely to be released Thursday -Trump administration official (Reuters)

Ex-Trump Aide Page Was on U.S. Counterintelligence Radar for Years (WSJ)

FBI Knew of Clinton Emails Weeks Before Alerting Congress (WSJ)

Facebook Reversal Lifts Markets, Though FAANG Jitters Linger (BBG)

How trade disputes could hurt U.S. pork exports (Reuters)

Dollar weakens after Fed bounce proves short-lived (Reuters)

Bitcoin skids to lowest since November after worst month in three years (Reuters)

Worries Grow That the Price of Bitcoin Is Being Propped Up (NYT)

How GE Went From American Icon to Astonishing Mess (BBG)

Deluge of Influenza Patients Forces Hospitals to Creatively Cope (

No Bill Yet for Facebook's Fixes

The social network's changes slow user growth but financials stay strong.

AT&T Investors Are Skipping to the Courthouse

Next month AT&T faces a daunting trip to court, but shareholders are starting February off with a spring in their step.

Big Oil Finds Going Green Is Hard to Do

Oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell, which just reported strong results, are moving more decisively into gas and green energy. It's a strategy that is likely to pay off in the long run, but it could be bumpy along the way.

MarketWatch First Take: AMD earnings cap a stunning 2017, but there is still plenty to do

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the perennial underdog to Intel, just completed its first year of net profits since 2011, giving investors even more than they expected, but 2018 will be more important in its turnaround with as hopes pinned to a big potential upside from the server market

MarketWatch First Take: Microsoft earnings show Nadella is blazing the right path

Microsoft Corp. proved again that Chief Executive Satya Nadella's efforts to refocus the company on cloud computing as PC sales slumped was the right direction for the software giant.

Earnings Results: Qualcomm earnings show weak forecast amid massive fines, tax charge

Qualcomm Inc. managed to beat expectations with its earnings Wednesday, but the chip maker's outlook came up short and caused some concerns about Apple Inc.'s iPhone sales.

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