Thursday Morning Reads
- Top Picks for 2018
- Once a Cash Cow Now Verges on Collapse
- The Bull Market Got Real
- South Korea Clamps Down on Bitcoin
- Bitcoin Tumbles
- Final 2017 Push
- Top Trades for 2018
- It Might Not Pay Off
- Here’s What Retailers Have to Prove in 2018
- So Excited for 2018…
During the last few days of 2016, the talk on Wall Street centered around when the Dow Jones Industrial Average would top 20,000. A year on, the discussion has shifted to when the blue-chip index will hit 25,000, with only two more days in 2017 to claim the milestone. Dow futures are currently up 44 points in premarket trade, making the goal a real possibility. At that level, the DJIA's gain would total about 25% YTD.
The U.S. dollar index has slipped to as low as 92.36, its weakest level in three months. "I think people have been long dollars into the [Fed's December] rate hike, into the passage of the tax bill, and right now people are just pulling back," said Lee Jin Yang, research analyst for Aberdeen Standard Investments. The index has dropped more than 9% this year, putting it on track for its biggest annual slide since 2003.
Indian bond yields spiked today after the government said it would borrow an additional 500B rupees ($7.8B) for the current fiscal year to March 2018. That figure that could lead to the breaching of the government's fiscal deficit target for the first time in four years, and could spook investors, who worry that the resulting inflationary impulse could prompt the central bank to raise rates.
The blast that ripped through a Christmas market in St. Petersburg yesterday was a "terrorist act," according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The explosion injured at least 13 shoppers, although no group has yet claimed responsibility. Russian equities were higher at the close on Wednesday, propelled by mining shares and commodities, but the MOEX is now down 0.4%to 2,098.
Dramatic gains, dramatic declines... Bitcoin plunged as much as 11%overnight to $13,613, as South Korea - the ground zero for crypto interest - eyed new regulations that would include prohibiting anonymous trading accounts and could give authorities the ability to shut down exchanges. The head of the country's financial regulation agency also told reporters that the "bubble in bitcoin will burst later."
Cracking down on unwanted use of some of its graphics cards, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has confirmed a key change to the licensing agreement for driver software that goes with its GeForce and Titan graphics processing units. The update, which was made when Nvidia introduced the Titan V GPU earlier this month, is intended to deter the use of those GPUs inside data centers.
A year after delivering an unusual pay cut, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) gave CEO Tim Cook a major boost in compensation for fiscal year 2017 as the company exceeded annual sales and profit goals. His pay jumped 47% to $12.8M, up from $8.7M in 2016. Celebrity status? For his safety, Apple's board also implemented a policy requiring Cook to "use private aircraft for all business and personal travel."
A power outage that lasted for several hours hit Disneyland (NYSE:DIS) on Wednesday, disrupting several popular rides during one of the peak weeks of the year. An issue with a transformer that supplies power to Toontown and Fantasyland caused the electrical failure. The 85-acre theme park averages about 44,000 visitors a day, and holiday weeks are among its busiest times of the year.
With Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman looking to give the kingdom a high-tech makeover, Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are in licensing discussions with Riyadh on investing in Saudi Arabia, sources told Reuters. Both companies already sell products in the kingdom - which has been easing regulatory impediments for the last two years - via third parties, but they have yet to establish a direct presence there.
A former lawyer for Martin Shkreli's companies might be heading to prison after a jury convicted him of scheming with the former biotech executive to defraud a pharmaceutical firm. The verdict came after a different jury in August found Shkreli guilty of deceiving hedge fund investors but not guilty of conspiring with Evan Greebel to steal from Retrophin (NASDAQ:RTRX).
South Africa will start to tax sugary drinks next year, which could have an impact on $5M worth of U.S. beverage exports, according to the USDA. Thailand moved ahead with a tax in September, while Mexico introduced one in 2014 and the U.K. is rolling out a similar levy. A handful of U.S. regions introduced them in 2016, but Big Soda scored a victory when Chicago's home county voted for a repeal. Related stocks: KO, PEP, DPS, MNST, PG
In Asia, Japan -0.6%. Hong Kong +0.9%. China +0.6%. India -0.2%.
In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt -0.2%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude +0.2% to $59.73. Gold +0.2% to $1294.50. Bitcoin -11% to $13690.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +2 bps to 2.43%
Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 International trade in goods
9:45 Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
11:00 EIA Petroleum Inventories
1:00 PM Results of $28B, 7-Year Note Auction
3:00 PM Farm Prices
4:30 PM Money Supply
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet