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Author: skywalker   |   Latest post: Wed, 23 May 2018, 07:43 AM

 

Wall Street Breakfast: Futures Swing Wildly Amid Global Selloff

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Following steep losses throughout the night, U.S. stock index futures are see-sawing between positive and negative territory, while the global selloff continues in Europe and Asia. The DJIA posted its largest-ever, single-day point decline yesterday, while the S&P 500 erased its gains for the year. According to the White House, President Trump is focused on "exceptionally strong" fundamentals in the U.S. economy, amid "strengthening growth, historically low unemployment and increasing wages for American workers."

Economy

The House of Representatives plans to vote on legislation today to keep federal agencies operating beyond Feb. 8. It will likely include a full year of defense spending, two years of funding for community health centers, but nothing related to DACA or a border wall. The measure would also mark the fifth short-term spending bill, known as a continuing resolution, that Congress will have considered since last fall.

After a busy week in the U.S. that showed accelerating wage growth, the economic calendar is slowing to a trickle. But investors will still get something to chew on today as the Commerce Department releases trade data amid a more protectionist stance being adopted by the Trump administration. Economists forecast another steep trade deficit of $52.9B for December, following a $50.5B deficit in November.

German factory orders surged in the last month of 2017, with the economy's solid performance helping the country's largest union - IG Metall - score a landmark labor deal. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, increased 3.8% after dropping a revised 0.1% in November. "German industry should start strongly into 2018," according to the Economy Ministry.

A new round of Brexit negotiations is set to kick off today after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told the U.K. that the time had come for the nation to make a choice on what kind of post-Brexit relationship it wanted with the bloc. The latest talks will also mean traders will be paying close attention to the moves in sterling and the euro.

Stocks

Bitcoin slid another 13% to below $6,000 overnight, bringing the cryptocurrency's losses to more than half since the start of 2018 following a peak of almost $20,000 in December. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing scheduled for today, the SEC and CFTC plan to ask Congress to consider federal oversight for digital-currency trading platforms, many of which have been operating in a regulatory gray zone.

Lululemon -3.2% premarket after CEO Laurent Potdevin resigned from the company after "falling short of the standards of conduct expected by all employees." Most recently, he had been spearheading the retailer's growth in the men's category, as well as a rapid expansion into China. Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) also said the departure won't impact its financial outlook for fiscal 2018.

Once the largest drilling rig operator by market value, Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) has again postponed an initial hearing on its restructuring plan, from Feb. 7 to Feb. 26, buying more time to consider alternative strategies. It's the third time the company has delayed a hearing on its disclosure statement, which must be approved by the court before creditors can vote on the plan of reorganization.

It would be the leading E&P company in the Mississippian Lime play. Midstates Petroleum (NYSE:MPO) has offered to merge with SandRidge Energy (NYSE:SD) in an all-stock deal that would see shareholders of each firm own 40% and 60% of the combined company, respectively. The deal would achieve "greater than $70M in annual synergies, projected annual free cash flow of over $100M and accretion to both sets of shareholders."

Overnight earnings roundup: BP +0.6% premarket after posting underlying replacement cost profit of $2.1B in Q4, or what CEO Bob Dudley cheered as the company's "best earnings in recent history." Lifting its full-year profit forecast by 10%, Toyota (NYSE:TM) shares rose 1.2% ahead of the open, helped by U.S. tax reform and surging sales of the updated Camry and RAV4 in the U.S.

"Uber made a decision that winning was more important than obeying the law," Waymo (GOOG, GOOGL) attorneys said during opening arguments of a high-profile trade secrets lawsuit, while UBER's lawyers called the portrayal "quite a story." The trial could have significant implications for the race to bring autonomous cars to the streets, with billions in damages or a possible injunction against Uber's self-driving car arm.

Despite delays in flight testing, COMAC is aiming to make the first delivery of its C919 passenger jet in 2021 following certification from global aviation regulators. COMAC also described the recent partnerships between Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) and Bombardier (OTCQX:BDRAF, OTCQX:BDRBF), as well as Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Embraer (NYSE:ERJ) as "normal," but said that they would affect the markets its C919 and ARJ21 planes want to compete in.

World's most powerful rocket... The maiden flight of SpaceX's (Private:SPACE) Falcon Heavy is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. from the Kennedy Space Center. Following liftoff, two of the rocket's cores will return to the landing pad, while the third core will land on a droneship at sea. As for the cargo? A cherry red Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Roadster will be launched into a heliocentric deep space orbit while blasting David Bowie's Space Oddity.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -4.8%. Hong Kong -5.1%. China -3.4%. India -1.6%.
In Europe, at midday, London -2.4%. Paris -2.2%. Frankfurt -2.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.3%. S&P +0.5%. Nasdaq +0.8%. Crude -0.5% to $63.81. Gold +0.8% to $1346.10. Bitcoin -8.6% to $6320.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -8 bps to 2.7%

Today's Economic Calendar

8:30 International Trade
8:50 Fed's Bullard: U.S. Monetary and Economic Policy
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
10:00 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
1:00 PM Results of $26B, 3-Year Note Auction

 

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