Thursday Morning Market Prepper

Thursday Morning Market Prepper

Morning Chatter

Faster Growth?

Home Sales Hit a High

Bet on Biotech?

Top Themes for 2017

The Impossible Dream

China’s Epic Short Squeeze 

OPEC’s Cuts Are Starting to Bite

Bitcoin Is an Escapist Safe Haven

FED Minutes Lesson

An Economic Feast  on the Menu


Squeezing to Start The Year



Daily Recap

Top Themes for 2017

What's In Store for 2017?

Morning Watchlist



Head and Shoulders

Breaking Out?

Top 28 Charts

Trending Higher

Topping Out?


The International Consumer Electronics Show revs up today in Las Vegas. Captivating product categories expected to receive plenty of attention include self-driving cars, 4K televisions, wireless audio, smart home systems and drones. While tech heavyweights Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are the early leaders in connected home platforms, there's a host of startups and consumer product majors looking to piggyback off the trend. Chinese companies are also hoping to make a large splash at this year's tech Super Bowl with 1,300 registered as exhibitors. Notable keynote speakers this week include Carnival (NYSE:CCL) CEO Arnold Donald, Huawei Chief Marketing Officer Richard Yu, Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) Chairman Carlos Ghosn, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) CEO Steve Mollenkopf and Under Armour (NYSE:UA) CEO Kevin Plank.


Stocks gear up for another run at the elusive Dow 20K mark today after the S&P 500 Index closed just off its record high yesterday. Yesterday's ho-hum reaction to the report on FOMC minutes shows that investors are taking their cues from factors outside of the sport of Federal Reserve watching, according to economists. "Janet Yellen is not the Wizard of Oz anymore," noted Voya Financial market strategist Karyn Cavanaugh. Asian stocks rose earlier today and the Stoxx 600 Index is up 0.11%. U.S. stock futures are mixed in early action.

U.K. services PMI rose at its fastest pace since July of 2015 with a jump in December to 56.2 from 55.2 a month previous. Economists expected a mark of 54.7. Composite PMI came in at 56.7 vs. 55.0 consensus.

China says it will invest $361B into renewable fuels by 2020 as part of a five-year plan to combat pollution. The National Energy Administration said it's targeting wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power as part of the program. The announcement follows several weeks of choking smog in Beijing.

Iraq is beginning to take measures to cut back on crude oil output, according to oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi. The nation agreed as part of the OPEC decision to reduce output by 200K barrels per day to 4.351M in an effort to support prices. Oil prices have cycled higher this morning on confidence the OPEC cuts will hold. WTI crude oil futures -0.06% to $53.29/bbl at last check. Brent crude +0.02% to $56.47/bbl.

The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Russian cyber threats in what could be a closely-watched event. Sources indicate that Chairman John McCain will delve into the issue of Russia's alleged hacking during the election season. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Security Agency and Cyber Command Chief Admiral Mike Rogers and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel Lettre are on the slate to testify.

The economic calendar today includes reads on ADP employment and jobless claims. The ADP report sizzled for November with a jump to 216K jobs added to the U.S. economy. Economists expect 172K job adds for December. Jobless claims are forecast to come in at 260K vs. 265K prior. Also keep an eye on the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index which has been in an uptrend since the U.S. election.

The Energy Information Administration is holding an event to publicly release findings of its "Annual Energy Outlook 2017." Detailed forecasts on U.S. energy supply, demand and prices are expected to be disclosed. Last year's report included projections all the way out to 2040.


Costco reported sales rose 5% in December off of broad strength across regions. Comparable sales were up 3% at Costco (NASDAQ:COST) during the month, despite the drag of a strong U.S. dollar on international results. Analysts expected comparable sales growth of 1.3% on concerns over store traffic.

The retail sector is on watch after Macy's (NYSE:M) and Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) cut earnings estimates due to weak holiday sales. Macy's also added details on its previous announcement to close 100 stores, saying the moves will result in 10K job cuts and a $575M reduction in 2017 sales. Department store names Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), Dillard's (NYSE:DDS) and Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) are all lower premarket, while Coach (NYSE:COH), Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS), Kate Spade (NYSE:KATE), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) could also see selling pressure.

The ride-hailing war is heating up as Lyft (Private:LYFT) takes aim at cutting into Uber's (Private:UBER) ridership lead by offering discounts and credits. The company reported that it more than doubled the number of rides it logged in Q4 to 52.6M. Looking ahead, co-founder John Zimmer said Lyft wants to take down its cash burn rate and stay on track toward overall profitability.

GoPro plans to bring its Karma drone back to the market after it had been withdrawn last November due to power loss issues related to securing the device's battery. A global restart is expected at some point this year after more testing is completed. Shares of GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) are up 1% premarket.

Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $95M to resolve a U.S. government lawsuit accusing it of tax fraud for using "insolvent" shell companies to hide significant tax liabilities from the IRS in 2000. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed against Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) in 2014 that had sought to recoup more than $190M in taxes, penalties and interest. It marks the latest step in Deutsche Bank's bid to resolve legal matters that has caused concern about whether the bank lacked capital; last month, DB reached a $7.2B settlement in principle to resolve a U.S. probe of its sale of toxic mortgage securities

Automaker stocks hope to extend on yesterday's rally after December U.S. auto sales came in at a selling rate of 18.4M annual units to beat the forecast from analysts for a 17.7M pace. Solid months for GM (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY), Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Honda (NYSE:HMC) also pushed the auto parts sector into rally mode. Both Ford and GM reported solid inventory positions, although inventory spending was elevated.

Corporate events: Shareholders at Datalink Corporation (NASDAQ:DTLK) are scheduled to vote at a special meeting on the company's proposed merger with Insight Enterprises (NASDAQ:NSIT). Datalink closed yesterday just a penny above the buyout price of $11.25. There's also an annual meeting for Cantel Medical Corp. (NYSE:CMN) to keep a watch on.

Today's Markets
In Asia, Japan -0.4% to 19,520. Hong Kong +1.5% to 22,456. China flat at 10,133. India +0.9% to 26,878.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris -0.1%. Frankfurt -0.2%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.3%. S&P -0.1%. Nasdaq -0.1%. Crude +0.1% to $53.29. Gold +0.7% to $1173.80.
Ten-year Treasury Yield Flat at 2.45%

Today's Economic Calendar
Chain Store Sales
7:30 Challenger Job-Cut Report
8:15 ADP Jobs Report
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 Gallup Good Jobs Rate
9:45 PMI Services Index
9:45 Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
10:00 ISM Non-Manufacturing Index
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
11:00 EIA Petroleum Inventories
4:30 Money Supply
4:30 Fed Balance Sheet

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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