Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH17 +0.20%) are up +0.14% and European stocks are up +0.54% at an 11-1/2 month high. M&A activity is boosting European stocks with Actelion up over 8% after people with knowledge of the matter said Sanofi is in talks to acquire the company. According to Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit, equity funds globally saw “huge” investment flows in the latest week as the “great rotation” out of bonds into stocks accelerated. Their data shows that since the U.S. Presidential election, $ 63 billion have gone into equity funds following net outflows of $ 151 billion in the Jan-Oct period. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan +0.66%, Hong Kong -0.18%, China +0.17%, Taiwan -0.36%, Australia -0.10%, Singapore +0.24%, South Korea +0.42%, India -0.11%. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Index rose to an 11-3/4 month high as USD/JPY held just below Thursday’s 10-1/2 month high, which fueled gains in exporter stocks and led the overall market higher.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.17%) is down -0.07%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.36%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.05%.

Mar 10-year T-note prices (ZNH17 unch) are up +2 ticks.

At the Economic Work Conference in Beijing, the Xinhua News Agency reported that policy makers said monetary policy in 2017 will be kept “prudent and neutral” and that the country will establish a market-oriented and long-run mechanism that can curb a real estate bubble and prevent erratic fluctuations in the real estate market.


Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Nov housing starts (expected -7.0% to 1.23 million, Oct +25.5% to 1.323 million) and Nov building permits (expected -1.6% to 1.24 million, Oct +2.9% to 1.260 million), (2) Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker (non-voter) speaks on a panel at the Charlotte Chamber’s 2016 Economic Outlook Conference.

Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: none.

U.S. IPO’s scheduled to price today: travel none.

Equity conferences today include: none.


AvalonBay Communities (AVB -0.25%) was upgraded to ‘Buy’ from ‘Neutral’ at Mizuho Securities USA with a 12-month target price of $ 190.

Waste Management (WM +0.09%) boosted its quarterly dividend to 41.5 cents a share from 41 cents, and authorized a stock buyback of up to $ 750 million.

Scientific Games (SGMS +2.64%) was downgraded to ‘Neutral’ from ‘Outperform’ a Macquarie Research.

Adobe Systems (ADBE -0.67%) reported Q1 adjusted EPS of 87 cents, above consensus of 85 cents, although Q1 revenue of $ 1.625 billion was less than consensus of $ 1.65 billion.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS -2.63%) was rated a new ‘Buy’ at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $ 68.

Oracle (ORCL -0.05%) slid 2% in after-hours trading after it reported Q2 adjusted revenue of $ 9.07 billion, below consensus of $ 9.12 billion.

Jabil Circuit (JBL +0.33%) climbed 10% in after-hours trading after it reported Q1 core EPS of 69 cents, higher than consensus of 64 cents.

Finisar (FNSR +4.57%) dropped over 6% in after-hours trading after it proposed a $ 450 million offering of convertible senior notes due 2036.

Merck (MRK +0.92%) gained over 1% in after-hours trading after it won a $ 2.54 billion patent judgement against Gilead in Hepatitis C royalties. Gilead (GILD -0.21%) fell over 1% on the news.

Centene (CNC +1.96%) slid over 1% in after-hours trading after it said it sees 2017 adjusted EPS of $ 4.40-$ 4.85, lower than the consensus range of $ 4.56-$ 5.04.

Eagle Bulk Shipping (EGLE +16.83%) jumped 10% in after-hours trading after Goldentree, the second-largest holder of Eagle Bulk Shipping stock, entered into a pact to buy 2.5 million shares of the company’s stock.

Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO +5.33%) slumped 20% in after-hours trading after it ended development of its AG-519 drug for early-stage anemia after the FDA put the program on a clinical hold due to safety concerns.


Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH17 +0.20%) this morning are up +3.25 points (+0.14%). The S&P 500 on Thursday closed higher: S&P 500 +0.39%, Dow Jones +0.30%, Nasdaq +0.25%. Bullish factors included (1) the +13.9-point increase in the Dec Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey to 21.5, stronger than expectations of +1.5 to 9.1 and the fastest pace of expansion in 2 years, (2) the unexpected +7-point increase in the U.S. Dec NAHB housing market index to 70, stronger than expectations of unch at 63 and the highest in 11-1/2 years, and (3) optimism that the U.S. economy is strong enough to withstand tighter Fed monetary policy.

Mar 10-year T-notes (ZNH17 unch) this morning are up +2 ticks. Mar 10-year T-notes on Thursday slumped to a contract low and the 10-year T-note yield soared to a 2-year high of 2.639%: TYH7 -15.50, FVH7 -12.25. Bearish factors included (1) negative carry-over from Wednesday’s FOMC meeting where policy makers projected three 25 bp rate hikes in 2017 versus the previous estimates of two hikes, and (2) stronger-than-expected U.S economic data that boosts the chances of faster-than-expected Fed interest rate increases after the Dec Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey rose to a 2-year high and the Dec NAHB housing market index posted an 11-1/2 year high.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.17%) this morning is down -0.070 (-0.07%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.0038 (+0.36%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.06 (-0.05%). The dollar index on Thursday rallied sharply to a 13-3/4 year high and closed higher: Dollar index +1.260 (+1.24%), EUR/USD -0.0122 (-1.16%), USD/JPY +1.14 (+0.97%). Bullish factors included (1) carry-over from Wednesday’s projection by the FOMC that it plans for three 25 bp rate hikes in 2017 versus its previous projection of two hikes, and (2) stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data that bolsters the case for faster Fed rate hikes after the Dec Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey expanded its fastest pace in 2 years and the Dec NAHB housing market index climbed to an 11-1/2 year high.

Jan WTI crude oil prices (CLF17 +0.71%) this morning are up +5 cents (+0.10%) and Jan gasoline (RBF17 +0.54%) is -0.0014 (-0.09%). Jan crude oil and gasoline in Thursday settled mixed: Jan crude -0.14 (-0.27%), Jan gasoline +0.0096 (+0.63%). Bearish factors included (1) the surge in the dollar index to a 13-3/4 year high, and (2) the statement from Libya, who is exempt from OPEC’s production cuts, that it plans to reopen its biggest oil fields that have a combined capacity of 450,000 bpd and were closed for the past 18-months. Bullish factors included (1) comments from Kuwait Petroleum that it will make bigger cuts in crude supplies to U.S. and European customers than to Asian buyers, and (2) the increase in the crack spread to a 2-week high, which may boost refinery demand for crude to refine into gasoline and distillate products.

Friday, Dec 16
US0830 ETNov housing starts expected -7.0% to 1.23 million, Oct +25.5% to 1.323 million. Nov building permits expected -1.6% to 1.24 million, Oct +2.9% to 1.260 million.
1230 ETRichmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker (non-voter) speaks on a panel at the Charlotte Chambers 2016 Economic Outlook Conference.
Monday, Dec 19
US0945 ETDec Markit services PMI, Nov -0.1 to 54.7.
1100 ETUSDA weekly grain export inspections.
U.S. STOCK CALENDAR 12/16/2016
CompanyTickerTimeEvent DescriptionPeriodEstimate
MetLife IncMET US8:00Business Update Call
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals IncALNY US8:00R&D DayY 2016
AGCO CorpAGCO US8:30Analyst BriefingY 2016
Colfax CorpCFX US8:30Q4 2017 Guidance CallQ4 2017
Centene CorpCNC US8:30Investor MeetingY 2016
Honeywell International IncHON US9:00Q4 2017 Guidance CallQ4 2017
Wells Fargo & CoWFC US9:00November 2016 Sales and Revenue Release2016
Wells Fargo & CoWFC US10:00November 2016 Sales and Revenue Call2016
Cardinal Health IncCAH US10:00Investor DayY 2016
Akorn IncAKRX US11:00Special Meeting
Copart IncCPRT USAnnual General Meeting