Thursday’s Market Prepper

Thursday's Market Prepper









Seeking Alpha:

Snap Inc. sees its upcoming initial public offering priced at between $14 and $16 per share, according to new regulatory filings. That could value the owner of ephemeral messaging app Snapchat at $19.5B-$22.2B, near the low end of what the company had earlier targeted. The stock could get a final price as soon as March 1 and begin trading the following day on the NYSE under the ticker "SNAP."


Two days of testimony from a more hawkish Janet Yellen has cemented the idea that the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates by midyear if not sooner. Yellen also said she opposes an intrusion on the Fed's independence after House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling announced a plan to include congressional audits of interest rate policy. "It would result in poor economic performance," she said during the hearing.

With his confirmation looking increasingly imperiled, Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder has taken his hat out of the cabinet ring. The CEO of CKE Restaurants was at the center of a swirl of controversies, complaints and potential conflicts. Reports also suggest President Trump has offered his vacant national security adviser post to Vice Adm. Robert Harward, a former Navy SEAL and deputy commander of U.S. Central Command.

President Trump hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House yesterday, in their first talks since he took office. At a joint press conference, Trump asked Netanyahu to "hold back on settlements for a little bit," but stopped short of committing to a two-state solution, declaring his support for a peace agreement that both sides "like the best."

A three-week-old scandal may have cost conservative Francois Fillon his status as favorite to win the French presidency. The country's financial prosecutor announced today that a case involving €830K in taxpayers' money - brought against his wife for a "fake job" as her husband's parliamentary assistant - will remain open. The first round of the election is less than 10 weeks away.

Free trade deal resurrection? The European Parliament has approved a landmark global trade pact with Canada, backing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement by a vote of 408-254. Parts of the deal, such as tariff reduction, will come into force immediately, while more controversial aspects, such as the investor court system, will require ratification by EU member states.


A South Korean judge questioned Samsung Group (OTC:SSNLF) leader Jay Y. Lee and another executive behind closed doors today to decide whether they should be arrested over their roles in a corruption scandal that has engulfed President Park Geun-hye. The same Seoul court rejected a request for a warrant in January, but a spokesman said it had since expanded the charges to include hiding the proceeds of a criminal act.

According to CNBC, Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSYY) may delay the sale of its prized flash-memory chip unit after the conglomerate said it would consider selling most, even all, of the marquee business. Loosening the deadline would ease concerns about trying to hurry any antitrust reviews, increasing the number of potential buyers and improved offers. Among the possible bidders: MU, WDC, OTC:FXCOF, OTC:HXSCF and Bain Capital.

Production workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant have overwhelmingly voted not to join the Machinists, maintaining southern reluctance toward unionization. It was a high-profile test for organized labor in the nation's most anti-union state. The plant will get additional attention this week as President Trump visits the facility on Friday to mark the completion of the first 787-10, Boeing's (NYSE:BA) newest version of the Dreamliner.

"In most states and cities, there are no rules about driverless cars," said UBER's Emil Michael, explaining why the company doesn't always know who's going to be welcoming until after it puts test vehicles on the road. "Relationships are hard sometimes, so you have to invest in a lot of them," he added, citing the need to find more "friendly cities" and get more "real road miles to make the thing work."

Organic growth of 3.2% for 2016 was at the high end of the industry, but "there is no beating around the bush - it came in lower than we expected," said Nestle's (OTCPK:NSRGY) new CEO Ulf Mark Schneider. It was the fourth straight year Nestle had missed its 5-6% growth objective, known as the "Nestle Model." As a result, the company is stepping up "restructuring" and cutting its sales growth target to 2-4% for 2017.

Kombucha drinkers (or brewers) rejoice! Colorado lawmakers have introduced the KOMBUCHA Act in Congress, which would increase the tax limit on drinks from 0.5% ABV to 1.25%, making it exempt from federal alcohol tax and regulation. The trendy fermented tea is a growing industry, with an economic impact of $600M expected to be worth $1.8B by 2020. Related tickers: PEP, HAIN, SBUX, WFM, OTC:PUSH

Twitter's jump into live events has largely been about sports, but Sunday night's Grammy Awards attracted more viewers than any NFL game. Some 5.1M people tuned into the event, a number topped only by the presidential election and Donald Trump's inauguration. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) plans to double the amount of live programming it shows in 2017, as it attempts to boost engagement in a highly competitive online media world.

Shareholders of Time Warner have approved the company's $86B takeover by AT&T (NYSE:T). The OK came with 78% of outstanding shares in favor, and 99% of shares voted, but tough regulatory aprovals are seen ahead. The mega-merger would pair entertainment creators such as HBO, CNN and Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) with AT&T's wired and wireless networks and DirecTV.

Verizon's discount on its $4.8B deal to acquire Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) may amount to as much as $300M, WSJ reports. It follows weeks of tense talks after a pair of massive data breaches were revealed by Yahoo, affecting 500M and 1B users respectively. If the revision is quickly agreed to, Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) deal could close in April - though an SEC probe into the breaches could still slow that timeline.

Federal prosecutors are examining whether Fox News settlement payments for sexual harassment claims should have been reported to the shareholders of parent company 21st Century Fox (FOX, FOXA). The information first surfaced during a court hearing in which Judd Burstein, the attorney for Fox News personality Andrea Tantaros, said another one of his clients had recently been subpoenaed to discuss the matter.

Spotify is moving its U.S. headquarters to 4 World Trade Center in Manhattan, and adding more than 1,000 new jobs in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press release. Empire State Development will give Spotify (Private:MUSIC) up to $11M in rent credits as an incentive. It has also offered similar credits to other tech companies, including Snapchat (Pending:SNAP) and ETSY, to retain talent and expand across New York.

Wednesday's Key Earnings
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) +1.1% AH topping estimates.
Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) +1.8% AH hiking its dividend.
CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS) -0.9% on declining revenues.
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) -1.2% AH hit by a weak networking market.
Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) -2.4% AH expecting more cost-cuts.
Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) +23.3% with a good deal on LivingSocial.
Marriott (NYSE:MAR) inched up AH boosted by Starwood.
PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) -0.2% after guidance fell short.
SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) +4.6% accelerating sales.

Today's Markets
In Asia, Japan -0.5%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China +0.5%. India +0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.5%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.4%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq -0.1%. Crude +0.5% to $53.86. Gold +0.5% to $1238.80.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 2.47%

Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Housing Starts
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
8:30 Philly Fed Business Outlook
9:45 Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
4:30 PM Money Supply
4:30 PM 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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