Wednesday’s Market Prepper

Wednesday's  Market Prepper








While Tax Day passed a little over a week ago, the nation is gearing up for another event that could be called by the same name. President Trump's big tax plan today is expected to reduce the corporate rate from 35% to 15%, outline a sharp cut in the top rate on "pass-through" businesses, and propose a repatriation tax on offshore earnings of 10% versus the current 35%. The proposal, however, will not likely include a "border-adjustment" tax on imports.


How will equities react? Analysts seem divided over the tax plan, with some saying stocks could be vulnerable to a selloff, while others see it as a catalyst higher, along with earnings momentum. Future values are meanwhile predicting a much flatter open today, following yesterday's strong finish for U.S. markets. It included a triple-digit gain for the Dow and a record close above 6,000 for the Nasdaq.

Speculation is building on Wall Street that - should President Trump choose to replace Fed Chair Janet Yellen when her term expires next year - a likely replacement to run the central bank would be Gary Cohn. He's director of the National Economic Council and Trump's closest economic advisor. Cohn is also a former chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

For the third time in two months, a federal judge has knocked down an immigration order by President Trump, which sought to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that don't cooperate with immigration officials. "This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge," read a statement from the White House.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told President Trump in a phone call that he "refuted the baseless allegations" that persuaded Washington to slap a 20% tariff on softwood lumber from Canada. Next move, with NAFTA talks on the horizon? "Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!" Trump wrote in a tweet.

Amid high tensions on the Peninsula, the U.S. military has started moving key parts of its controversial THAAD anti-missile defense system to a deployment site in South Korea. The move, which has angered North Korea, China and Russia, prompted protests by hundreds of local residents and was denounced by the frontrunner in South Korea's presidential election.


European earnings roundup: Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) +3% premarket after announcing a 4B Swiss Franc capital hike and posting its best quarterly profit since starting its restructuring plan. A Brazil recovery drove up Santander's (NYSE:SAN) profits, which rose 14% in the first quarter. BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) slashed full year production guidance for copper and coking coal and put its U.S. shale gas assets on the block again.

Call it Twitter TV or The Twitter Network... The company, which reports Q1 results today, plans to air 24/7 live video inside its apps and desktop site, Twitter's (NYSE:TWTR) Anthony Noto told BuzzFeed News, building on the 800+ hours it aired in the first three months of 2017. The announcement follows Twitter's recent loss of a cornerstone NFL deal to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

A Thai man broadcast a video of himself hanging his baby daughter on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) then committing suicide, with the footage available to view for 24 hours before being taken down. The latest incident increases pressure on the platform to deal with inappropriate content following a string of other horrific videos. Mark Zuckerberg said last week his company had "a lot of work" to do on the problem.

Coming - in a while - to a theater near you... Disney (NYSE:DIS) has set some much-anticipated big film release dates. Star Wars: Episode IX, the completion of a nine-film saga, will head into theaters May 24, 2019. The next Indiana Jones picture (the fifth one) will be delayed a year to July 10, 2020, and its first date will go to live-action The Lion King instead. Frozen 2 will hit theaters Nov. 27, 2019.

ESPN could start issuing pink slips at its flagship cable sports channel today, and according to several reports, the layoffs may be more numerous than expected. Some 70 employees from the ranks of anchors, reporters, analysts and online writers may lose their jobs in coming weeks, while at least a few dozen had been anticipated. The struggles have been a drag on parent Walt Disney (DIS).

The FCC will begin a comprehensive review of its media regulations, starting at its May 18 meeting, with a large focus on overhauling its much-criticized media ownership restrictions. Many of them don't match current market conditions, announced Chairman Ajit Pai. The agency is also expected to unveil a strategy today for overturning net neutrality rules, a battle that will determine the future of the internet. Related tickers: CBS, CCOI, CHTR, CMCSA, CTL, CVC, DIS, DISH, ELNK, FOX, FOXA, FTR, SNE, T, TWX, VIA, VIAB, VZ

It's still safe to wear or buy the Flex 2 fitness tracker, Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) declared, as it investigates claims of a Wisconsin woman who said the band gave her second-degree burns. "I was literally just sitting and reading when my Fitbit exploded," Dina Mitchell told ABC News. "The bracelet melted and I got pieces of plastic burned into my arm."

Marking the latest legal setback for the firm, a South Korean court has ruled that UBER illegally used private vehicles for commercial purposes in Asia's fourth largest economy. It comes after Uber announced ambitious plans to roll out a network of VTOL aircraft, which will act as flying taxis, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Dubai by 2020.

Air passenger arrivals in the U.S. dropped by 4.3% in first quarter of the year, according to data from ForwardKeys, while arrivals in Canada and Mexico rose 6.1%. Travelers from the Middle East and Europe were possibly deterred by uncertainty over President Trump's travel ban, the travel analysis company said, as well as a strong dollar. Related tickers: AAL, ALK, DAL, JBLU, LUV, SAVE, UAL

Toshiba wants to replace auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers to resolve an impasse over full-year earnings and remain listed. The two have been at odds since a surprise $6.3B writedown at its Westinghouse unit, but the conglomerate needs shareholder approval to sack its auditor. PwC replaced Ernst & Young in June last year following Toshiba's (OTCPK:TOSYY) $1.3B accounting scandal.

McDonald's is shelving plans to sell a stake in its Japan unit that's seen a turnaround since it went on the block more than a year ago. "We believe the market is poised to maintain its strong momentum," CFO Kevin Ozan declared. The decision won't impact McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) long-term financial targets or its goal of having 95% of restaurants franchised over the long term.

Overshadowing Chipotle's Q1 results, the company told investors it had detected "unauthorized activity" on a network that supports payment processing at its restaurants. Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) believes it has taken the proper steps to stop the activity, which occurred between March 24 and April 18. Shares pulled back from earlier gains, but still posted an almost 3% advance in after-hours trading.

A victory for the vaping industry? A bill expected this week, from Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, would reverse the Obama administration's "Deeming Rule." The law deems e-cigarettes to be tobacco products and subjects them to the same strict regulations governing traditional cigarettes. Hunter's bill would also exempt vaping devices from many of those rules. Related tickers: MO, BTI, LO, PM, VPCO, RAI

Tuesday's Key Earnings
3M (NYSE:MMM) +0.5% raising outlook for 2017.
AT&T (NYSE:T) -0.3% AH as wireless equipment sales slid.
Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) +3.6% exceeding expectations.
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) +7.9% crushing estimates.
Chipotle (CMG) +2.9% AH increasing comparable sales.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) -0.4% with flat organic revenues.
Corning (NYSE:GLW) +3.7% posting strong sales growth.
DuPont (NYSE:DD) +3.6% beating expectations.
Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) -2.7% lowering EPS guidance.
Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) +7.1% seeing big cash flows.
Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) -2.2% trimming outlook.
McDonald's (MCD) +5.6% growing comparable sales.
Realty Income (NYSE:O) +1.1% AH beating estimates.
Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) +6.4% following an earnings beat.
U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) -17% AH after a shocking loss.
Valero (NYSE:VLO) -1.5% expecting higher biofuel costs.
Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) +4.1% AH getting nod for a lagoon-theme park.

Today's Markets
In Asia, Japan +1.1%. Hong Kong +0.5%. China +0.2%. India +0.6%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.2%. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude -0.2% to $49.45. Gold -0.1% to $1266.20.
Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 2.32%

Today's Economic Calendar
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
1:00 PM Results of $15B, 2-Year FRN Auction
1:00 PM Results of $34B, 5-Year Note Auction

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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