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15Feb2018 Pre-Market Commentary: Wall Street Has Another A Solid Open, Brushing Off Increases To U.S. Inflation, US Weekly Jobless Claims Rebound From Near 45-year Lows

Written by Gary

Dow soars more than 200 points at the opening (SPY +0.7%) as rally continues. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded from a near 45-year low.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are broadly higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is up 1.41% while Germany's DAX is up 0.55% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.39%.

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.

U.S. weekly jobless claims rebound from near 45-year lows

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded from a near 45-year low last week, but remained below a level that is associated with a tightening labor market.

Futures roll higher, brushing aside inflation worries

(Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Thursday, reclaiming further ground ceded during last week's sell-off, as investors brushed aside inflation data and preferred stocks over bonds for the fifth day in a row.

Gasoline, healthcare lift U.S. producer prices in January

WASHINGTON(Reuters) - U.S. producer prices accelerated in January, boosted by strong gains in the cost of gasoline and healthcare, offering more evidence that inflation pressures were building up.

Hedge fund Bridgewater makes $22 billion bet against European firms

LONDON/FRANKFURT/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bridgewater has shown its hand in Europe with a $22 billion bet against some of the continent's biggest companies, filings reviewed by Reuters show, part of a bigger shift by the world's largest hedge fund manager.

Berkshire buys Teva, feels IBM blues as Apple becomes top investment

(Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Wednesday disclosed a new stake in generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and said it bought more shares of Apple Inc , which surpassed Wells Fargo & Co as its largest common stock investment.

Qualcomm meets Broadcom to discuss $121 billion acquisition offer

(Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc said on Wednesday it met with Broadcom Ltd earlier in the day to discuss the latter's revised $121 billion bid, the first time the chipmakers have discussed what would be the technology sector's largest ever acquisition.

Google's app network quietly becomes huge growth engine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google makes ads show up in more smartphone apps than any other technology company. That is the core of a resurgent business for parent Alphabet Inc.

VW looks at Apple for electric-car design guidance

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen is looking at Apple products for guidance on how to style its new generation of electric cars, its top designer said, as the automaker aims to turn profits on battery-powered vehicles when they launch in 2020.

U.S. ITC details why it rejected CSeries duties, says Boeing not hurt

MONTREAL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An independent U.S. trade body on Wednesday said it rejected hefty U.S. duties on Bombardier's CSeries jets partly because Boeing lost no sales or revenue when Delta Air Lines ordered the aircraft in 2016 from the Canadian planemaker.

Producer Prices Rise More Than Expected In January, Markets Shrug

Following yesterday's hotter than expected Consumer price inflation (and rise in Core CPI), Producer prices confirmed the hotter-than-expected trend, rising 2.7% YoY (vs 2.4% exp). However, unlike CPI, PPI actually rose from December.

While YoY CPI did actually slow in January, YoY PPI actually re-accelerated

A major factor in the January increase in prices for final demand services was the index for hospital outpatient care, which rose 1.0 percent. The indexes for apparel, footwear, and accessories retailing; health, beauty, and optical goods retailing; residential real estate services (partial); long-distance motor carrying; and hospital inpatient care also moved higher. In contrast, margins for chemicals and allied products wholesaling declined 2.3 percent. Prices for wireless telecommunication services and airline passenger services also fell.

Nearly half of the January increase in the index for final demand goods is attributable to prices for gasoline, which climbed 7.1 percent. The indexes for residential electric power, iron and steel scrap, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and fresh and dry vegetables also moved higher. In contrast, prices for chicke ...

Shock, Anger After Florida Teen Charged With 17 Counts Of Murder; FBI Was Warned

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old orphan with a troubled past, a fascination with weapons and resistance groups, and an AR-15 rifle, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning after being questioned for hours by state and federal authorities following the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years.

Nikolas Cruz

Fourteen wounded survivors were hospitalized as bodies were recovered from inside and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the AP reports.

Nikolas Cruz, still wearing a hospital gown after being treated for labored breathing, and weighing in at 5-foot-7 and 131 pounds, was ordered held without bond and booked into jail.

Cruz's former classmates thought they were having another drill Wednesday afternoon when a fire alarm sounded, requiring them to file out of their classrooms. That's when Cruz, equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition, opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets.

...

Frontrunning: February 15



Global Stocks Power Ahead, Unfazed by U.S. Inflation (WSJ)

Florida community seeks answers after 17 killed (Reuters)

Florida Teen Charged With 17 Murder Counts in School Attack (BBG)

Shooting suspect was 'crazy about guns' (Reuters)

Hedge fund Bridgewater makes $22 billion bet against European firms (Reuters)

Number of crypto hedge funds soars amid bitcoin volatility (Reuters)

Publishers Warm to Google's Ad Blocker—but Cautiously (WSJ)

Shifting Alliances Make Syria's Tangle of Wars More Dangerous (WSJ)

Trump's Tax Law Could Make Divorces Bitterer (BBG)

EU tells Facebook, Google and Twitter to do more for users (

The Zuma Era Is Over: Ramaphosa Declared President Of South Africa

The scandal-hit era of Jacob Zuma officially ended moments ago, when the South African parliament voted to make Cyril Ramaphosa the country's new president. Ramaphosa, the ANC's leader, now faces a daunting task of reviving Africa's most industrialised economy following nine years of Zuma governance that was characterized by stagnant growth, graft allegations and sliding support for the ruling party.

As noted yesterday, Ramaphosa, who replaced Zuma as leader of the ANC in December, became acting president after Zuma stepped down in a late-night television address on Wednesday night. Today's parliamentary vote made his ascension to the leadership official, and he is expected to be sworn in later in the day.

Zuma's transition was surprisingly uneventful, with some expecting a worst case scenario in which Zuma would pull a Mugabe and refuse to step down. In the end, Zuma's nine years of rule came to a sudden end on Wednesday night as he resigned with immediate effect during a televised address — abruptly reversing course after he had resisted weeks of intense pressure from the ANC to stand aside for Ramaphosa.

The speaker of parliament received Mr Zuma's letter of resignation on Thursday.

In the face of his defiance, the party had bee ...

Health-Care Deals: An Offer They Can't Refuse

The health-care industry is in the throes of a major shake-up. That creates a situation in which companies face a greater risk by standing pat than possibly overpaying for an acquisition.

Cisco Switches Back On

The network giant's old businesses help revive growth.

What Markets Tell Us About Jacob Zuma's Demise

South Africa's rand has already performed strongly this year, while President Jacob Zuma's departure may help keep the country's bonds in an elite club that investors all but have to own.

January 2018 Producer Price Final Demand Year-over-Year Inflation Marginally Grew

Written by Steven Hansen

The Producer Price Index year-over-year inflation marginally grew from 2.6 % to 2.7 %.

Members of Congress likely paid a lot less for college than you

So much for working your way through school.

Key Words: Onion writer's routinely recycled mass-shooting headline hits close to home

After every mass shooting since 2014 satirical news outlet the Onion repeats the same mock story calling out U.S. gun policy divergence with the rest of the industrialized world.

Economic Report: Inflation components of Philly, Empire manufacturing gauges vault in February

Two gauges of manufacturing sentiment showed continued solid growth in February, according to data released Thursday.

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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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