Fridays Market Prepper
- Its the Buybacks
- It’s Going to Stay a Yellen
- Behavioral Economics
- What Worries?
- America Loves Trucks
- Amazon Threat
- The Cloud Bubble!
- Own Your Data?
- Do Not Invest In Bitcoin, Trade It
- Tesla reportedly slashing parts orders
- J.C. Penney plunges on outlook cut
- Department stores hit by JCP warning
- Clariant, Huntsman abandon merger
- Spain to strip Catalonia of powers
- iPhone X available for pre-order
- Venezuela default in under 24 hours?
- Earnings take Alphabet to new high
- Amazon soars after earnings smasher
Yesterdays Unusual Option Action:
U.S. futures are pointing to a firm open, with the Nasdaq set to rally following solid results from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). The booming growth from three of the world's biggest companies will extend their reach in industries from advertising to retail to business software, driving the economy's technological transformation. The tech giants added a combined $80B in market value in AH trading, with Alphabet and Amazon's stocks surging past $1,000.
U.S. economic growth is expected to have slowed in Q3 as hurricanes restrained consumer spending and undercut construction activity, but underlying momentum likely remained strong amid robust equipment investment. Harvey and Irma probably shaved about one-fifth off of U.S. economic growth, with the Commerce Department likely to report today that GDP grew about 2.5% during the quarter.
The dollar has extended its rally after the U.S. House narrowly passed a budget that brings tax cuts a step closer as Republicans overcame internal divisions to approve the resolution. Across the Atlantic, the euro is still under pressure after the ECB largely met expectations as it unveiled the beginning of the exit process from its quantitative easing program.
Catalonia's standoff with Madrid could reach a tipping point today, with the latter expected to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, authorizing direct rule over the region and the dissolution of its government. Hopes of a possible solution to the Catalan independence crisis were dashed on Thursday evening after the regional president, Carles Puigdemont, ruled out a snap election.
The Trump administration has taken initial steps toward imposing sanctions targeting Moscow under a new U.S. law by sending Congress a list of entities linked to the defense and intelligence arms of the Russian government. It comes as Vladimir Putin personally oversaw the launch of four nuclear-capable ballistic missiles last night as part of a test for Moscow's strategic nuclear forces.
The once-unthinkable club, stock exchanges without trading floors, has a new member. Floor traders in Hong Kong will vacate the city's trading hall for the final time today as the exchange operator permanently shuts its premises. The bourse follows in the footsteps of Tokyo, Singapore and London, which have all closed their doors amid a shift toward electronic trading.
Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA faces an $842M do-or-die debt repayment today as the country labors under a severe cash crunch. Venezuela has already missed coupon repayments worth nearly $600M in recent weeks, but today's repayment has no grace period, entitling holders of bonds and credit default swaps to declare default.
Apple opened its online store at 3 a.m. ET for pre-orders of the iPhone X (NASDAQ:AAPL). Within 30 minutes, orders promising to arrive on launch day, Nov. 3, dried up for buyers in the U.S., with shipping estimates slipping to 5-6 weeks. Analysts will monitor how the wait times for delivery develop throughout the day, giving insight into demand.
European earnings roundup: UBS +2.2% premarket after profits rose despite a hit to its U.S. wealth management division. Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) also swung to a profit as the bank sought to draw a line under the financial crisis. Total (NYSE:TOT) +1% premarket as net earnings were lifted by strong output and cost savings.
Abandoning plans for a $15B chemicals giant, Clariant (OTCPK:CLZNY) and Huntsman (NYSE:HUN) have terminated their proposed merger after facing pressure from U.S. activist investors. "There is simply too much uncertainty as to whether Clariant will be able to secure the two-thirds shareholder approval that is required to approve the transaction," the companies said in a statement.
CVS Health has made an offer to acquire Aetna (NYSE:AET) for more than $200 per share, or over $66B, according to the WSJ. A tie-up would merge one of the nation's largest pharmacy operators with one of its oldest health insurers. Reports suggest the deal was prompted by the threat of Amazon (AMZN) entering the healthcare industry. AET shares surged over 11%yesterday on the news, while CVS shares fell 3%.
Calling opioid abuse the worst drug crisis in U.S. or world history, President Trump has declared a nationwide public health emergency. Drug overdoses, he said, are "by far" the top cause of unintentional death, and the government will consider lawsuits against "bad actors." The order will expand access to telemedicine in rural areas and shift some federal grants towards combating the crisis.
AIG is suing Walt Disney, looking to avoid reimbursement costs tied to a settlement over the ABC News "pink slime" case. In a complaint filed in a New York state court, AIG Specialty Insurance (NYSE:AIG) urged a judge to reject Disney's (NYSE:DIS) $25M reimbursement demand - related to its larger June 28 settlement with Beef Products Inc. - under an insurance policy that excluded coverage for claims alleging malice.
With most space tourism headlines going to SpaceX (Private:SPACE) and Blue Origin (Private:BORGN), what's going on with Virgin Galactic? The company was forced to suspend operations following a test flight tragedy in October 2014, but it's looking to blast off once again following a $1B investment from Saudi Arabia. The deal was announced by Richard Branson and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at a three-day event dubbed "Davos in the Desert."
Shares in Subaru fell 3% in Tokyo overnight after the automaker said it had failed to follow proper vehicle inspection procedures for more than 30 years. Subaru's (OTCPK:FUJHY) revelation follows a similar issue at Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) and comes as Japanese manufacturers grapple with wider compliance problems with Kobe Steel (OTCPK:KBSTY), which said on Thursday it had found more possible cases of data fabrication.
In Asia, Japan +1.2%. Hong Kong +0.8%. China +0.3%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.3%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.7%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.6%. Crude -0.2% to $52.56. Gold -0.1% to $1268.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.45%