Wednesdays Market Prepper
- Fed to Pack Up Crisis Tool
- Bitcoin Price Hits $4,000
- Equifax Trouble
- Toys ‘R’ Us Will Live
- Melted Cheese Might Not Save Growth Woes
- Bed Bath & Beyond Craters
- Tesla’s ‘Beast’
- Few Jobs Have Come.
- Social Proof in the Markets
- Futures flat ahead of Fed meeting
- Margin pressure at General Mills
- Mortgage applications sharply lower
- FedEX sees big year for global trade
- Report: Toshiba selling chip unit to Bain
- Amazon working on 'smart glasses'
- U.K. prepares €20B EU budget offer
- Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel in major deal
- Peso on the move after Mexico quake
Yesterdays Unusual Option Volume:
A rate hike is very unlikely at today's Fed policy meeting, but investors will be looking for hints of a move that could come later this year and the path for further rises in 2018. Janet Yellen will also hold a news conference after the FOMC announces its decision and is likely to reveal details on how the central bank will wind down its $4.5T balance sheet.
Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea all got called during President Trump's UN speech on Tuesday, with him threatening to "totally destroy 'Rocket Man's' regime" if he threatens the U.S. or its allies. "It is time for North Korea to realize that its de-nuclearization is its only responsible future." Markets appeared to snooze through the speech, ending marginally in the green, but at all-time highs.
Theresa May is reportedly ready to fill a post-Brexit EU budget hole of at least €20B, the first attempt by London to meet European demands to settle its divorce bill. According to the FT, the offer will be included in her speech in Florence, Italy on Friday. The hope is that addressing the exit payment will encourage Brussels to move forward on talks about a post-Brexit trade relationship.
The peso fluctuated late into the night Tuesday, as the death toll from a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that collapsed scores of buildings in Mexico's capital and surrounding states grew to at least 226. The temblor struck on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed thousands and less than two weeks after another big quake struck the country.
Still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Irma, Puerto Rico is now bracing for a direct hit from Hurricane Maria. The Category 5 storm is expected to make landfall today with winds of up to 160 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. If Maria retains its strength, it would be the most powerful hurricane to hit the bankrupt island in 85 years.
The Trump administration fully supports a last-ditch Senate bill to gut and replace Obamacare, according to VP Mike Pence, and even Mitch McConnell has begun to throw his muscle behind the Graham-Cassidy bill. With 50 votes within reach, the Majority Leader called the effort an "intriguing idea," but was noncommittal about whether the measure would end up getting a vote on the Senate floor.
The drama goes on... Less than a day after reports that Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSYY) had swung back toward Western Digital's (NYSE:WDC) consortium, the Japanese conglomerate has selected the Bain Capital/SK Hynix group to buy its chip unit. According to Reuters, the talks with Western Digital broke down over the last minute due to disagreements on the limits to its future stake in the prized business.
Amazon is working on its first wearable device: a pair of "smart glasses" featuring its virtual assistant, FT reports. The device, which would tether wirelessly to a smartphone, has a bone-conduction audio system that would allow the wearer to hear Alexa without earphones. Google Glass (GOOG, GOOGL) founder Babak Parviz has apparently been working on the project following his hiring by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in 2014.
Under pressure to combat online extremism, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has taken down nearly 300,000 terrorist accounts in the first half of the year. The biannual Twitter Transparency Report also revealed that 95% of the suspended terrorism-related accounts were flagged for review by algorithms, rather than human users or reviewers, up from 74% in the previous six months.
Following on-and-off talks for years, Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) are in active merger negotiations again. The potential deal, according to CNBC, would be a stock-for-stock combination with T-Mobile-parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) emerging as the majority stakeholder over SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY), owner of Sprint. Shares in both companies helped lead the telecom sector to the top of the market in Tuesday's trade.
Shares of U.S. gun makers surged into the close following a Reuters report that the Trump administration was preparing to make it easier for the companies to sell small arms to foreigners: RGR +13.7%, AOBC +10.1%, VSTO +3.2%. Aides to President Trump are completing a plan to shift oversight of international non-military firearms sales from the security-focused State Department to the trade-focused Commerce Department.
Europe has a new No.2 steelmaker after ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT). Germany's Thyssenkrupp (OTCPK:TYEKF) and India's Tata Steel have struck a preliminary deal to merge their European steel operations in a 50-50 joint venture. The combination - Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel - will be headquartered in Amsterdam and is expected to lead to annual synergies of €400M-€600M.
In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong +0.3%. China +0.3%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow flat. S&P flat. Nasdaq flat. Crude +1.1% to $50.45. Gold +0.6% to $1318.50.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 2.22%