Friday Morning Reads

Friday Morning Reads, Open Interest, Futures, Earnings, Charts





Tweet of the morning:

Open Interest Changes:


Unusual Option Action:





Healthcare investors will be looking for direction today as President Trump gives a highly anticipated speech about drug prices. The plan will reportedly require Medicare Part D plans to share a portion of discounts they receive from drug manufacturers with patients, as well as including ways to allow the government to better negotiate. Amid concerns over regulation, the S&P 500 healthcare sector has declined about 1% in 2018, underperforming the broader index by more than two percentage points.


U.S. and Chinese officials will meet in Washington today to discuss trade disputes ahead of a visit next week by China's Vice Premier Liu He. "I think they agreed to the concept of a trade deficit reduction," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross declared. "Our approach has been to request individual products on which we could sell more to them, as opposed to them selling us less."

"The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12," President Trump announced on Twitter. The meeting will be the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting U.S. president, though former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter traveled to Pyongyang after leaving office.

The U.S. Treasury has imposed penalties on nine Iranian companies and individuals for allegedly operating a currency exchange network that - with the help of Iran's central bank - transferred millions of dollars to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force. The step represents a further move toward cutting off the Islamic Republic's access to U.S. currency.

Iraqis will head to the polls tomorrow to vote for their next prime minister. Haider al Abadi, in power since 2014, is running for re-election with his newly formed "Victory" coalition on a bid to reach across sectarian lines. The country of 37M has seen huge swathes of its infrastructure destroyed, as well as an expansion of Iranian influence and a failed Kurdish independence referendum.

Theresa May has split her cabinet into two working groups to hammer out their differences on the U.K.'s post-Brexit customs arrangement, intensifying speculation that she's preparing to delay her decision on the issue. Both sides will report back on her preferred customs partnership model and the maximum facilitation option at next Tuesday's meeting of her inner Brexit cabinet.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has set a May 17 deadline for the Trump administration to submit a new NAFTA deal if it wants lawmakers to vote on the revised pact this year. "We have to have the paper, not just an agreement," he added. A spokeswoman clarified that he was referring to a notification of intent to sign the trade accord, not necessarily the full text.


Blockchain Week New York is catching media headlines, with 8,000 people expected to descend on NYC today for the start of the industry conferences. The week-long event includes some of the biggest movers and shakers in the crypto world, such as St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard, European Parliament member Eva Kaili and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey.

In related news, Kodak (NYSE:KODK) has partnered on a blockchain project - called KODAKOne - seeking to raise $50M in a combined public and private token offering. The idea, put forth by Wenn Digital, has been designed to protect the copyright of images or photographs registered on the platform. Initially scheduled for January, the public offering of KODAKCoin will begin on May 21.

Heavy metal... Russian aluminum giant Rusal (OTC:RUALF) has warned of expected harm to its business from U.S. sanctions, pushing shares down more than 7% overnight despite the company reporting a 20% core profit jump in Q1. Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT+2.5% premarket after reporting higher-than-expected Q1 earnings as the world's largest steelmaker was helped by a pick-up in metal prices.

The $600,000 that AT&T agreed to pay to President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen was to go for advice on the company's buyout of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), The Washington Post reports. Internal documents show AT&T (NYSE:T) reached out to Cohen three days after Trump was sworn into the presidency to seek help on a wide portfolio of issues, including the $85B proposed merger opposed by Trump.

Cisco has paused advertising on YouTube (GOOGGOOGL) amid worries about its ads appearing on sensitive content, according to a blog entry that was later removed from its site. The decision comes after an April CNN report that said ads from more than 300 companies, including Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), were running on extremist channels on the video streaming platform.

According to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review, some Panasonic (OTCPK:PCRFY) executives are expressing hesitation about new battery manufacturing investments with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). The two were expected to set up a new factory together in China, where they would make cars and lithium ion battery cells under one roof. They already have a similar arrangement in the U.S. - the Tesla Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

Next bold prediction from Elon Musk: The latest configuration of his rocket - the Falcon 9 Block 5 - is designed to fly as many as 10 times without any scheduled maintenance, and ultimately could be refurbished and blast off at least 100 times. The strategy would cut the price of orbital launches to around $5M, from about $50M currently. SpaceX (SPACE) is set to launch the latest rocket for the first time this afternoon.

British regulators have fined Barclays (NYSE:BCS) CEO Jes Staley a total of £642,430, about 10% of his annual income, for his attempts to unmask a whistleblower in 2016. While it draws a line under a scandal some insiders had feared might cost him his job, Staley is the first sitting CEO of a major bank to face such a penalty.

Standing by its pledge to stop financing civilian assault weapons, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) suggested it may be preparing to exit a loan for Remington Outdoor that sparked criticism of the lender. The statement by Vice Chairman Anne Finucane follows a report that the bank was participating in a $193M credit facility that would help stabilize Remington's business when it emerges from bankruptcy.

Burberry has set its sights on the Target (NYSE:TGT) bullseye, accusing the retailer of copying its iconic plaid pattern and seeking $2M for each alleged trademark infringement. Making matters worse, the British fashion house said it's not the first time it's tried cracking down on Target's use of the print. In early 2017, Burberry (OTCPK:BURBY) sent the company a cease and desist letter.

Healthcare disruption? Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is building a health and wellness team inside Alexa, CNBC reports. The group is targeting areas like diabetes management, care for mothers and infants, and aging, but it faces challenges navigating regulations and privacy requirements that are part of HIPAA. If the hurdles can be cleared, Alexa could be integrated with a number of third-party apps.

Apple has teamed up with Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) on a joint venture aimed at smelting aluminum without emitting greenhouse gases. "We look forward to one day being able to use aluminum produced without direct greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacturing of our products," Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook declared. The method allows oxygen to be released instead of carbon dioxide.

Thursday's Key Earnings
Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK+0.7% AH topping expectations.
Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX-4.1% AH despite beating targets.
Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA-2.9% AH seeing fewer crypto miners.
Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC-19.3% AH disclosing an internal probe.
Yelp (NYSE:YELP-4.6% AH posting a narrower Q1 loss.

Today's Markets 
In Asia, Japan +1.2%. Hong Kong +1%. China -0.4%. India +0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris -0.4%. Frankfurt -0.4%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.2%. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude +0.1% to $71.46. Gold +0.2% to $1325.30. Bitcoin -3% to $8743.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 2.96%

Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Fed's Bullard: U.S. Monetary and Economic Policy
8:30 Import/Export Prices
10:00 Consumer Sentiment
1:00 PM Baker-Hughes Rig Count

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.

More Posts by UPB: View All | Private Twitter Feed: Access Now! (For Diamond Members)

Leave a Reply