Monday Morning Reads

Monday Morning Reads





U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a muted open ahead of this morning's release of the Fed's preferred inflation gauge - the PCE deflator - with any slowing in core prices likely to boost market bulls following Friday's strong Q1 GDP reading of 3.2%. Data overnight also showed profits from China's industrial firms growing in March before the next round of U.S.-China trade talks kicks off tomorrow. A rate decision from the Fed on Wednesday could also cement its dovish tilt, and coupled by a series of solid earnings and outlooks from U.S. tech giants could send equity indices to their next run of record highs.

Trump wants cheap oil, Saudis need higher prices

Crude futures fell 0.7% to $62.87/bbl overnight, extending a 3% slump from Friday that ended weeks of rallying, after President Trump demanded that OPEC raise output to soften the impact of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Supply cuts have been supported by some non-OPEC producers, most notably Russia, but analysts said this cooperation may not last beyond an OPEC+ gathering scheduled for June. Complicating the meeting is fresh data from the IMF showing that Saudi Arabia needs prices at about $85 a barrel to balance its budget this year, up from a forecast of $73 in September.

Boeing CEO to pitch 737 Max comeback

Boeing (NYSE:BA) CEO Dennis Muilenburg is set to hold his first press conference since the worldwide grounding of the 737 MAX, which led to investigations, lawsuits and a sharp loss in shareholder value. The event starts at 10:00 a.m. EDT following the planemaker's annual general meeting in Chicago. While reports over the weekend suggested that pilots have warned draft 737 MAX training proposals did not go far enough to address their concerns, the FAA may clear the plane to fly in late May or the first part of June.

'Endgame' highest-grossing movie of all time?

Avengers: Endgame has become the first movie to gross more than $1B in its debut at the worldwide box office, putting a stamp on a dominant Marvel franchise that has been a feather in Disney's (NYSE:DIS) cap. Powered by record-setting hauls in the U.S. and China, the film collected an estimated $1.2b in its first five days of release. An estimated $350M of that total came from the U.S. and Canada, an amount that blew past the previous opening-weekend record set last year by Avengers: Infinity War by about $92M.

What to watch - Alphabet earnings

The latest numbers from Google parent Alphabet (GOOGGOOGL) are due after Wall Street closes this evening. The consensus EPS estimate is $10.17 (+2.4% Y/Y), while revenue is expected to come in at $37.36B (+19.9% Y/Y). YouTube is likely to continue being a financial black box, but Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) may be biting at Google's dominance in digital advertising. It also has the upper hand in cloud computing (AWS), voice-activated devices (Alexa) and some 54% of people looking for a product now begin their search directly on

Walmart teases one-day free shipping

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) has fired the latest blow in the all-out delivery war in the retail sector. "One-day free shipping...without a membership fee. Now THAT would be groundbreaking. Stay tuned," tweeted the retail giant just before the weekend. The tease follows Amazon's (AMZN) disclosure during its earnings call that it plans to roll out one-day Prime shipping this year through what's anticipated to be a heavy investment in the company's in-house delivery infrastructure.

Things are getting hot in the Permian Basin

Anadarko's (NYSE:APC) board of directors has decided that Occidental Petroleum's (NYSE:OXY) $38B cash-and-stock bid could lead to a deal that would be superior to the one it has with Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Reuters reports. The E&P company will now kick off negotiations to see if it can finalize a deal, though a $1B break-up fee is on the line. The acquisition would add nearly a quarter million acres to Occidental's holdings in the Permian shale basin, while doubling its global oil and gas production to 1.4M barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Bayer's board backs CEO for now

Despite a vote of no-confidence, Bayer's (OTCPK:BAYRY) board is sticking with CEO Werner Baumann as two of the drugmaker's largest investors - Deka and Union Investment - said management needed to stay at the helm for now to avoid further upheaval. "A hasty replacement of the CEO would only increase the risk of a break-up and therefore can't be in the interest of long-term oriented investors." Bayer shares have tumbled about 36% over the past year as the company faced a wave of lawsuits claiming that Roundup - the weedkiller acquired through its $63B takeover of Monsanto - can cause cancer.

Spanish economy in focus

For the third time in four years, Spaniards have elected a new government and although Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will most probably remain in office, how he gets there is the key question. While a pact with liberals Ciudadanos would be seen as a positive for investors, a partnership with anti-austerity party Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties may be a less market-friendly option. Spain's Ibex 35 is only up 11% this year, making it one of Europe's worst performing stock indexes.

Big boost for Belt and Road Initative

President Xi Jinping raised a glass to his signature foreign policy project at a Belt and Road conference in Beijing on Saturday, touting "open, clean and green" infrastructure deals worth more than $64B. In a separate statement, China said it signed a memorandum of understanding with various countries including Italy, Peru, Barbados, Luxembourg, Peru and Jamaica. Data from Refinitiv shows the total value of projects in the New Silk Road at $3.67T, spanning countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and South America.

What else is happening...

Contributor Jeff Miller breaks down the information avalanche for the week ahead.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) explains parental control app removal.

As U.S. tightens sanctions, IMF sees risk of 50% Iran inflation.

Jaguar Land Rover (NYSE:TTM) drivers could earn cryptocurrency for sharing data.

Poland is unlikely to leave the EU, according to Jean-Claude Juncker.

Airbnb (AIRB) makes big push into traditional hotel space.

Measles outbreak has Merck (NYSE:MRK) boosting U.S. supply of MMR vaccine.

Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) chair against investment bank strategy change.

President Trump says Japan will invest $40B in U.S. car factories.

Today's Markets 
In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong +1%. China -0.8%. India +0.9%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -0.3%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow flat. S&P flat. Nasdaq flat. Crude -0.7% to $62.87. Gold -0.4% to $1284.10. Bitcoin -1.1% to $5137.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.5%

Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Personal Income and Outlays
10:30 Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey

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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