Friday Morning Reads

Friday Morning Reads









Following a strong month in April, when the jobless rate dropped to 4.4% - the lowest level in more than a decade - economists expect payrolls to increase by 185K in May and the unemployment rate to remain steady. Hourly wages are anticipated to rise by 0.2%, bringing the year-over-year increase to 2.6%. Today's report is also among the last pieces of critical data Fed officials will see before meeting later this month.


Italy, France and Germany regret President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, dismissing his suggestion that the pact could be revised. "This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the U.S.," Trump said from the Rose Garden. The move also prompted an outcry from business leaders as Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Bob Iger and Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Elon Musk resigned from several presidential councils.

Crude prices have fallen almost 3% amid fears that the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord will trigger more American drilling. Is it already happening? The U.S. oil industry exported a record 1.3M barrels of crude per day onto the world market last week - just a half million barrels less than the cuts OPEC and Russia agreed to make to daily production.

President Trump is poised to roll back another of his predecessor's signature accomplishments - the re-normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba. There is no set timeline for the curtailment of travel and commerce, but sources say it may happen sometime in June. U.S. cruise operators and airlines could lose around $712M in annual revenues if restrictions are reinstated, according to lobby group Engage Cuba. Related tickers: JBLU, AAL, DAL, ALK, CCL, NCLH, RCL

While U.S. stocks hover at all-time highs, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average has breached 20,000 for the first time since December 2015. "Equities in Japan are doing better than what dollar-yen is suggesting it should do," said Ken Peng, an investment strategist at Citi Private Bank. "It's an improvement and people are looking more macro-bullish of Japan."

Illinois is on the verge of becoming the first state with a junk-bond rating following downgrades from Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings. Partisan gridlock is to blame. The state hasn't had a budget in place for the past two years because of a standoff between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-run legislature.

The Trump administration late Thursday asked the Supreme Court to revive its plan to temporarily bar travelers from six largely Muslim countries. "The Constitution and acts of Congress confer on the president broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens outside the U.S. when he deems it in the nation's interest," the DOJ said in a petition. The ban would last 90 days while the government implements stricter passport checks.


Snapchat's Spectacles are making their way across the Atlantic. Through its Snapbots (bright yellow vending machines) the firm has made the glasses available in London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Venice. SNAP's hardware will cost £129.99 in the U.K., €149.99 in continental Europe, and can also be purchased on in three different colors.

In a rare slowdown, attendance declined at 13 of 14 Disney (DIS) theme parks around the world in 2016, according to a report by the Themed Entertainment Association and Aecom. Attendance, of course, does not equal profit. Disney's theme park unit had operating income of $3.3B in fiscal 2016, a 9% increase from the year before, in part because of a new peak pricing strategy.

Spotify has no immediate plans for a stock market listing, although sources say the music streaming service could still be floated within a year. Reuters reported last month that Spotify (Private:MUSIC), which most recently was valued at $13B, will be the first major company to carry out a direct listing on the NYSE later this year or in early 2018.

An EU report notes that social media companies have improved handling of hate speech online in response to European pressure to shape up. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) drew particular praise for improving speed and volume to remove abusive language, though the report's positive notes apply to others including Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), YouTube (GOOG, GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Wal-Mart is testing a program that sends store employees to deliver online orders at the end of their shifts, a new push by the world's biggest retailer to use its large physical footprint to match Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) services. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) workers can opt in to earn extra money by making deliveries using their own vehicles on their commute home.

Investors are keeping a watchful eye on the Italian banking sector after the European Commission and Italian authorities reached an agreement on restructuring ailing lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena (OTCPK:BMDPY). "It would allow Italy to inject capital into MPS as a precaution, in line with EU rules, whilst limiting the burden on Italian taxpayers," said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

KKR has raised $9.3B for its third Asia fund, amassing the biggest ever pool by a private equity firm in the region. KKR set a previous record for Asia private equity fundraising with its $6B Asian Fund II in 2013, which has been fully deployed and posted a net internal rate of return of 20.6% through March 2017.

In the latest step by Western banks, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has applied to Saudi Arabia's capital markets regulator for a license to trade equities in the kingdom. Citigroup (NYSE:C) recently obtained a Saudi investment banking permit 13 years after it left the country, while Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) is seeking a license to build an onshore private banking business.

Canada is hopeful for a resolution to its ongoing spat with Boeing (NYSE:BA) but will not shy away from protecting national interests, Minister of National Defense Harjit Sajjan told CNBC. In May, Boeing launched a trade complaint against Bombardier (OTCQX:BDRAF, OTCQX:BDRBF), alleging the Montreal-based firm receives government subsidies that allow it to sell planes at below-market prices.

A power supply unit at the center of last weekend's British Airways (OTCPK:ICAGY) fiasco was in perfect working order but was inadvertently shut down, according to The Times. The disclosure was made as the airline was accused of ignoring warnings about outsourcing work, cost-cutting and the loss of experienced skilled staff.

After half a year on the market, only 6,529 Chevy Bolts (NYSE:GM) have found their way out of dealerships and into the wild. That's far less than sales of the all-electric Nissan Leaf (OTCPK:NSANY) and either of the existing Tesla (TSLA) models over the same period. But the car saw its best sales month yet with 1,566 units delivered in May, topping the Leaf's 1,392 sales.

Just when it looked like Volkswagen's (OTCPK:VLKAY) Dieselgate scandal was coming to a close, the German government has alleged Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF) cheated on emissions tests for nearly 24,000 A7 and A8 models. Audi was quick to respond to the allegations and announced it will recall around 24,000 vehicles because they can emit excess NOx emissions during "certain driving conditions."

Thursday's Key Earnings
Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) +4.7% AH after impressive profits.
Dollar General (NYSE:DG) +6.5% topping expectations.
Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) +16.1% AH on a strong outlook.
Mobileye (NYSE:MBLY) flat after beating estimates.
VMware (NYSE:VMW) -0.5% AH with weak billings guidance.
Workday (NYSE:WDAY) -1.2% AH despite raising its outlook.
Today's Markets
In Asia, Japan +1.6%. Hong Kong +0.4%. China +0.1%. India +0.4%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.9%. Frankfurt +1.5%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.3%. Crude -2.9% to $46.98. Gold -0.4% to $1265.50.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.21%Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Non-farm payrolls
8:30 International Trade
12:45 PM Fed's Harker: Economic Outlook
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count
1:00 PM Fed's Kaplan speech

Known to most as Uranium Pinto Beans, Jason has more than 15 years under his belt of trading stocks, options and currencies. His expertise primarily lies in chart analysis, and he has a strong eye for undervalued stock. Because he’s got the ability to identify great risk/reward trades he usually enjoys taking the path less traveled and reaping the benefits from the adventure.

He is a co-founder of Option Millionaires, and he is best known for his weekly webinars with Scott, as well as his high level training webinars and charts found in the forums.

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