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BETWEEN THE HEDGES



Portfolio Manager's Commentary on Investing and Trading in the U.S. Financial Markets



Updated: 2017-04-25T23:14:11.755-04:00

 



Wednesday Watch

2017-04-25T23:14:11.772-04:00

Night Trading Asian equity indices are +.25% to +1.0% on average.Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 93.25 -2.0 basis points.  Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 22.75 -.25 basis point.Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.68 +.02%. S&P 500 futures +.03%. NASDAQ 100 futures +.07%. Morning Preview Links Earnings of Note Company/Estimate (ALK)/1.04(BAX)/.51(BA)/1.91(DPS)/.97(GD)/2.32(HES)/-1.07(IR)/.53(NSC)/1.36(NOC)/2.92(OC)/.61(PEP)/.92(PG)/.94(STX)/1.07(STT)/1.10(SUP)/.37(TWTR)/.01(UTX)/1.39(WYN)/1.10(BWLD)/1.67(FFIV)/1.97(GG)/.09(LVS)/.62(ORLY)/2.88(TER)/.38(TSCO)/.46(XLNX)/.54Economic Releases  10:30 am ESTBloomberg consensus estimates call for a weekly crude oil inventory decline of -1,135,910 barrels versus a -1,034,000 barrel decline the prior week. Gasoline supplies are estimated to rise by +140,450 barrels versus a +1,542,000 barrel gain the prior week. Distillate supplies are estimated to fall by -1,278,180 barrels versus a -1,955,000 barrel decline the prior week. Finally, Refinery Utilization is estimated to fall by -.11% versus a +1.9% gain the prior week.Upcoming Splits None of noteOther Potential Market Movers The Australia CPI report, President Trump's tax reform plan outline, FCC Chair speaking on internet regs, $34B 5Y T-Note auction, weekly MBA mortgage applications report, (BAC) annual meeting and the (AMD) annual meeting could also impact trading today.BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are higher, boosted by commodity and industrial shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open modestly lower and to rally into the afternoon, finishing mixed.  The Portfolio is 75% net long heading into the day.[...]



Stocks Surging into Final Hour on Tax Reform Hopes, Earnings Optimism, Yen Weakness, Financial/Restaurant Sector Strength

2017-04-25T15:27:56.894-04:00

Broad Equity Market Tone:Advance/Decline Line: Substantially HigherSector Performance: Almost Every Sector RisingVolume: Above Average Market Leading Stocks: OutperformingEquity Investor Angst:Volatility(VIX) 10.79 -.46%Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 126.82 +1.79% Emerging Markets Currency Volatility(VXY) 8.52 -.53% S&P 500 Implied Correlation 41.53 -.41%ISE Sentiment Index 96.0 +14.3%Total Put/Call .82 -21.90% NYSE Arms 1.12 +43.69% Credit Investor Angst:North American Investment Grade CDS Index 62.73 -3.30% America Energy Sector High-Yield CDS Index 375.0 +1.44%European Financial Sector CDS Index 74.48 -4.48%Western Europe Sovereign Debt CDS Index 9.24 -3.35%Asia Pacific Sovereign Debt CDS Index 22.86 -.74%Emerging Market CDS Index 197.84 -1.25%iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 137.13 +.09%2-Year Swap Spread 33.0 -.25 basis pointTED Spread 36.50 -.5 basis point 3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -26.25 +.75 basis pointEconomic Gauges:Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.65 -.08%3-Month T-Bill Yield .81% +3.0 basis pointsYield Curve 106.0 +1.0 basis pointChina Import Iron Ore Spot $66.07/Metric Tonne -.69%Citi US Economic Surprise Index 7.30 +6.5 pointsCiti Eurozone Economic Surprise Index 50.90 -.5 point Citi Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 38.6 +1.2 points10-Year TIPS Spread 1.92 +4.0 basis points69.7% chance of Fed rate hike at June 14 meeting, 72.6% chance at July 26 meetingOverseas Futures:Nikkei 225 Futures: Indicating +186 open in Japan China A50 Futures: Indicating +8 open in ChinaDAX Futures: Indicating +40 open in GermanyPortfolio: Higher: On gains in my biotech/retail/tech/medical sector longs  Disclosed Trades: NoneMarket Exposure: 100% Net Long[...]



Today's Headlines

2017-04-25T15:01:30.269-04:00

Bloomberg:Euro Area’s Budding Recovery May Be Almost Ready to Blossom. It’s looking good for the euro area right now and there’s every chance that’s how it will stay. Germany, the region’s largest economy, started the week off with a surge in business confidence, while Tuesday saw French manufacturing sentiment rise to a six-year high. With a damaging outcome in that country’s presidential elections seen as largely out of the way, the region’s top two economies might have just the environment they need to fully blossom.World’s Biggest Stock Markets Haven’t Been This Split Since 2008. (video)Betting Worst Is Over, Steelmakers Spending Again After Cuts. After years of losses, plant closings and job cuts, some of the world’s biggest steelmakers are ready to spend more on their businesses. Combined capital expenditure planned this year by top producer ArcelorMittal, South Korea’s Posco and Russia’s Novolipetsk Steel PJSC will be up 29 percent to $6.7 billion in 2017, the first increase since 2014, according to estimates by the companies. Increases also are planned by some American and European companies, including U.S. Steel Corp. and Thyssenkrupp AG. Investments will mostly be targeted at expansions in key markets and new technologies.Volvo AB Shares Hit 10-Year High on Construction-Equipment Sales. (video) The stock rose as much as 7.6 percent to 144 kronor, the highest intraday price since July 24, 2007, and was up 6 percent at 9:39 a.m. in Stockholm. Adjusted operating profit climbed to 7.03 billion kronor ($798 million). Orders for commercial vehicles and machinery for construction sites and mining also gained, Gothenburg, Sweden-based Volvo said Tuesday in a statement, boding well for future revenue.Perry Says Trump Should Keep Paris Climate Deal and Renegotiate. (video) U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the U.S. should renegotiate the Paris accord on climate change instead of abandoning it, criticizing Germany for allowing its fossil-fuel emissions to rise. “I’m not going to tell the president of the United States to walk away form Paris accord,” Perry said at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York on Tuesday. “I will say that we need to renegotiate it.”Netflix(NFLX) in Talks to License Shows in China to Baidu's IQiyi.Wall Street Journal:Bank of Japan Sends Message: Don’t Expect Higher Rates. Bank officials worry that prices aren’t recovering as quickly as the broader economy. Where College Seniors Are Falling Short. Expected graduates are ill-prepared for the job hunt and many coveted positions, a survey finds.Fox News: First 100 days: Trump team touts number of Obama rules they killed. (video)Turkish jets bomb US-backed forces in Iraq, Syria, US officials say. (video)North Korea reportedly holds live-fire drill as US nuclear-powered sub approaches. (video)CNBC: This chart shows the rally may have a lot more room to run. (video)Janet Yellen's successor at the Fed just might be Gary Cohn. (video)Zero Hedge:Here We Go Again: Another Futures Fund Is Caught In A "Short Gamma" Trap.Neil Ty - The Scientism Guy. (video)An Angry Canada Responds To Trump's Lumber Tariff... And What It Means For The Economy.Einhorn: "The Longs Say Stocks Can Only Go Up, Seemingly To Infinity And Beyond. We Have Seen This Before". Ivanka Trump Booed At Women's Conference In Berlin. (video)Consumer Confidence Stumbles As Stock Market Optimism Plunges Most In 15 Months. (graph)New Home Sales Jump, Tied For Highest Since 2008 As Median Selling Price Rebounds. (graph)EURUSD Spikes Above 1.09 After Reuters Telegraphs ECB Hawkish Turn.US Home Prices Rise At The Fastest Pace Since July 2014. (graph)Caterpillar(CAT), McDonalds(MCD) Shares Surge After Smashing EstimatesMarissa Mayer To Leave Yahoo With $186 Million From Verizon(VZ) Deal.Business Insider: Tyson Foods(TSN) is buying packaged-food maker AdvancePierre for $3.2 billion.'Wells Fargo(WFC) has been out of order for years!': Wells Far[...]



Bear Radar

2017-04-25T13:32:37.534-04:00

Style Underperformer: Mid-Cap Value +.9%Sector Underperformers: 1) Gold & Silver -3.6% 2) Homebuilders -1.2% 3) Utilities -.2%Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume: NGL, ESRX, R, NLSN, ABX, PHM, KPTI, ST, TROW, MAG and CDNS Stocks With Unusual Put Option Activity: 1) ESRX 2) OPK 3) T 4) FTR 5) HUM Stocks With Most Negative News Mentions: 1) HTLF 2) CAG 3) ORLY 4) DYN 5) FCN Charts: ETFs Falling on Unusual Volume Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume [...]



Bull Radar

2017-04-25T13:13:31.451-04:00

Style Outperformer: Small-Cap Growth +1.2% Sector Outperformers: 1) Restaurants +2.2% 2) Gaming +2.0% 3) Biotech +1.5% Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume:NORD, APFH, SYT, STRP, HSTM, BCR, QDEL, WHR, TITN, TUP, CAT, BHLB, UIS, NFLX, RDWR, AMRI, LOGI, CPLA, BDX, RLJ, EDGE, ATI, BITA, WIX, USNA, EPZM, WNC, AA, TEX, ATRA, WAT, UIS, FCX, MCD, MAS, NXTM, INSM, IONS, BIIB, IONS, GLW, BGG and CATMStocks With Unusual Call Option Activity: 1) XLP 2) JNPR 3) MMM 4) XLI 5) MXIM Stocks With Most Positive News Mentions: 1) AA 2) NCS 3) NFLX 4) MCD 5) WHR Charts: ETFs Rising on Unusual Volume Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume [...]



Morning Market Internals

2017-04-25T10:40:26.230-04:00

NYSE Composite Index:
(image)



Tuesday Watch

2017-04-24T21:14:03.589-04:00

Evening HeadlinesBloomberg: China's Hidden Debt Stirs Investor Angst as Local Defaults Rise. Rising defaults in China are unearthing hidden debt at companies across the country. Small firms that can’t get loans by themselves have been winning banks over by getting other companies to guarantee their borrowings. The companies making those pledges exclude them from their balance sheets, leaving creditors in the dark. Borrowers often extend the guarantees for each other, raising the risk that failures could ricochet, at a time when increasing borrowing costs have already added to strains. China’s banking regulator has ordered checks of such cross-guaranteed loans, Caixin reported Friday. Scrutiny is mounting after a corn oil producer in the eastern province of Shandong said last month it had guaranteed debt of a neighboring aluminum product manufacturer which is now stuck in a cash crunch. Just days before that, a local government financing vehicle in China’s southwest had to repay an auto parts maker’s loans it had guaranteed after the latter defaulted.Banks Are Backing Out of $1.7 Trillion in Chinese Investments. A $1.7 trillion source of inflows into Chinese markets has suddenly switched into reverse, roiling the nation’s money management industry and sending local bonds and stocks to their biggest losses of the year. The turbulence has centered on so-called entrusted investments -- funds that Chinese banks farm out to external asset managers. After years of funneling money into such investments, banks are now pulling back in response to a series of regulatory guidelines over the past three weeks that put a spotlight on the risks. Critics have blamed entrusted managers for adding leverage to China’s financial system and reducing transparency.Inside China’s Plans for World Robot Domination.Asian Stocks Gain After Global Rally; Yen Steady. Asian equities edged higher, after a rally that swept across financial markets in the wake of French elections. The euro held on to its biggest advance since June while the yen was steady after Monday’s declines. Japanese equities rose for a fourth day, after the MSCI All-Country World Index closed at a record and European shares surged to a 20-month high. Markets jumped after Emmanuel Macron advanced as the favorite in the presidential runoff over nationalist Marine Le Pen, easing concerns that the country will leave the euro currency bloc. Australia and New Zealand are closed Tuesday for Anzac Day. Japan’s Topix rose 0.1 percent as of 9:12 a.m. in Tokyo, after jumping 1 percent on Monday. South Korea’s Kospi increased 0.2 percent.Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day.Trump Tax Plan Said to Call for Corporate Rate Cut to 15%. (video)Alcoa(AA) Earnings Sizzle Brings Life to Party After Share Surge. Alcoa Corp.’s first full quarter as a standalone company vindicates investors’ faith and signals even better times may be ahead. Profit excluding one-time items was 63 cents a share compared with a 62-cent loss a year earlier, New York-based Alcoa said Monday in a statement. That beat the 48-cent average profit estimated by seven analysts tracked by Bloomberg. Sales climbed to $2.66 billion from $2.13 billion.Fresenius Buys Akorn for $4.3 Billion in U.S. Expansion. In just 10 months at the head of Germany’s Fresenius SE, Chief Executive Officer Stephan Sturm has now inked the health-care provider’s two biggest-ever deals. With the $4.3 billion acquisition of Illinois-based generic drugmaker Akorn Inc., announced late Monday, Fresenius will get a stronger foothold in the U.S., with access to a network of retail pharmacies and outpatient clinics as well as the hospitals where it has traditionally marketed its products. Akorn will complement Fresenius’s Kabi medicines unit, which specializes in intravenous drugs.Caterpillar(CAT) Rises on Sales[...]



Stocks Surging into Final Hour on Less European/Emerging Markets/US High-Yield Debt Angst, Healthcare/Tax Reform Hopes, Earnings Optimism, Financial/Tech Sector Strength

2017-04-24T15:48:42.377-04:00

Broad Equity Market Tone:Advance/Decline Line: Substantially HigherSector Performance: Almost Every Sector RisingVolume: Slightly Above Average Market Leading Stocks: OutperformingEquity Investor Angst:Volatility(VIX) 11.07 -24.3%Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 124.50 +1.88% Emerging Markets Currency Volatility(VXY) 8.50 -5.76% S&P 500 Implied Correlation 42.21 -4.74%ISE Sentiment Index 82.0 +9.3%Total Put/Call 1.0 -2.91% NYSE Arms .71 -59.83% Credit Investor Angst:North American Investment Grade CDS Index 64.50 -4.21% America Energy Sector High-Yield CDS Index 373.0 +.28%European Financial Sector CDS Index 77.98 -13.50%Western Europe Sovereign Debt CDS Index 9.56 -18.64%Asia Pacific Sovereign Debt CDS Index 23.05 -4.08%Emerging Market CDS Index 200.41 -2.98%iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 137.0 -.02%2-Year Swap Spread 33.25 -1.5 basis pointsTED Spread 37.0 -.75 basis point 3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -27.0 +6.25 basis pointsEconomic Gauges:Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.68 +.05%3-Month T-Bill Yield .78% unch.Yield Curve 105.0 unch.China Import Iron Ore Spot $66.53/Metric Tonne -2.48%Citi US Economic Surprise Index .80 -2.0 pointsCiti Eurozone Economic Surprise Index 51.40 +2.1 points Citi Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 37.4 -2.4 points10-Year TIPS Spread 1.88 +2.0 basis points66.5% chance of Fed rate hike at June 14 meeting, 69.6% chance at July 26 meetingOverseas Futures:Nikkei 225 Futures: Indicating +60 open in Japan China A50 Futures: Indicating -12 open in ChinaDAX Futures: Indicating +42 open in GermanyPortfolio: Higher: On gains in my biotech/retail/tech/medical sector longs  Disclosed Trades: NoneMarket Exposure: 100% Net Long[...]



Bear Radar

2017-04-24T13:28:19.991-04:00

Style Underperformer: Mid-Cap Value +.9%Sector Underperformers: 1) REITs -1.1% 2) Gold & Silver -1.0% 3) Homebuilders -.1%Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume: MZOR, AKTX, KW and RLJ Stocks With Unusual Put Option Activity: 1) CBS 2) AKRX 3) GGP 4) SLCA 5) GME Stocks With Most Negative News Mentions: 1) CCLP 2) ICBK 3) SBH 4) TBK 5) GWW Charts: ETFs Falling on Unusual Volume Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume [...]



Bull Radar

2017-04-24T13:13:05.899-04:00

Style Outperformer: Small-Cap Value +1.5% Sector Outperformers: 1) Banks +2.8% 2) Construction +1.8% 3) Alt Energy +1.8% Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume:BCR, E, HAS, CAI, NOBL, TOT, APFH, EZU, CYTK, SNY, CADE, BMRN, TX, DB, ITW, RACE, POL, OPB, KNOP, SRPT, XLNX, IXUS, MAN, PRMW, BIP, SONC, WING, KNX, WERN and CTRLStocks With Unusual Call Option Activity: 1) GIS 2) HUN 3) VMW 4) KMB 5) MCD Stocks With Most Positive News Mentions: 1) SONC 2) WING 3) NUE 4) GD 5) XLNX Charts: ETFs Rising on Unusual Volume Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume [...]



Morning Market Internals

2017-04-24T10:47:35.912-04:00

NYSE Composite Index:
(image)



Monday Watch

2017-04-23T20:36:49.410-04:00

Today's Headlines Bloomberg: Macron, Le Pen in French Runoff as Establishment Crashes Out. (video) Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen won the first round of the French presidential election, triggering a runoff on May 7 between two radically different visions of the country’s future. Macron, a first-time candidate and political independent, was on course to take 23.8 percent in Sunday’s election, with National Front leader Le Pen on 21.7 percent, according to projections from the Interior Ministry based on more than 90 percent of votes counted. A snap poll released late Sunday suggested Macron would defeat Le Pen by more than 20 percentage points in the second round.Fillon Concedes Defeat in French Presidential Election. (video) Republican candidate Francois Fillon conceded defeat in the first round of the French presidential election, endorsing his centrist rival Emmanuel Macron. Macron is set to face nationalist Marine Le Pen in the final-round of voting.Live Coverage of France's Presidential Election Results. Euro Rises to Five-Month High as Le Pen, Macron Lead French Vote. (video) The euro jumped against the dollar after early counting of ballots in the first round of the French election showed that centrist Emmanuel Macron and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen were on course to reach next month’s run-off. The shared currency traded 1.7 percent higher at $1.0913 by 9:05 p.m. London time, paring gains of as much as 2 percent that took the shared currency to the highest since November. A place for Macron in the second round avoids investors’ nightmare scenario of a contest between the anti-euro Le Pen and the Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon.What Markets Should Conclude From France's Election by Mohamed A. El-Erian.Risk Is Back On After French Election; Euro Jumps. The euro climbed 1.5 percent to $1.0884 as of 7:03 a.m. in Tokyo. The yen fell 1 percent to 110.27 per dollar. Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.9 percent. Contracts on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average traded in Chicago increased 2 percent. Gold slipped 1 percent to $1,272.01 an ounce. Treasury 10-year futures dropped, with contracts for June delivery falling 3/4 to 125 10/32.Israel Strikes Weapons Depot in Southern Syria, Al Jazeera Says. Israeli airstrikes killed an unknown number of Syrian soldiers at a weapons depot in rural Quneitra province, Al Jazeera TV reported. An Israeli army spokeswoman declined to comment. Sunday’s strike came after several projectiles from Syria hit the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on Friday and the army returned fired at areas where the launching originated. Since violence in Syria began in 2011 and devolved into civil war, Israel has been accused of carrying out occasional strikes targeting weapons convoys destined for Lebanon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the military acts to limit the transfer of “game-changing” weapons to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.Saudi Stocks Rally as Return of State Bonuses May Boost Spending. The Tadawul All Share Index climbed as much as 1.7 percent, before paring the gain to 1 percent at the close in Riyadh.Wall Street Journal: Live: French Election Results.French Presidential Runoff Heralds New Political Era. Advance of EU advocate Emmanuel Macron and euroskeptic Marine Le Pen makes Europe, globalism defining issues of election.Cheaper Mortgages Could Spur Housing Market. Drop to 3.97% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage could encourage home buyers.States Seek to Shore Up Health Insurance Markets. Amid uncertainty over the ACA, Idaho, Oklahoma and Minnesota aim to blunt insurers’ costs for covering costly customers.Fox News: Carter Page: Media, 'corrupt Clinton regime' kept tying me [...]



Weekly Outlook

2017-04-23T20:34:43.715-04:00

Wall St. Week Ahead by Reuters.Weekly Economic Calendar by Briefing.com.BOTTOM LINE: I expect US stocks to finish the week modestly higher on less European/Emerging Markets/US High-Yield debt angst, earnings optimism, commodity strength, healthcare/tax reform hopes, diminished government shutdown fears and technical buying. My intermediate-term trading indicators are giving neutral signals and the Portfolio is 100% net long heading into the week.[...]



Today's Headlines

2017-04-22T21:25:28.725-04:00

Bloomberg: U.S. Stocks End Two-Week Losing Streak as Industrials Rally. U.S. stocks posted their first weekly advance since the end of March as bond yields rose amid gains in industrial and financial companies. While the “Trump Trade” may not be the force it was in the months after the election, it showed some signs of life as the S&P 500 Index rallied 0.9 percent in its biggest weekly gain in two months. Eight of 11 industry groups climbed, with industrial stocks advancing 2 percent and financials gaining more than 1 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Index increased 0.5 percent, weighed down by earnings-related declines in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and IBM Corp.French Head to Polls to Select Finalists After Grueling Campaign. French voters cast their ballots Sunday to select two presidential candidates for the runoff round of the 2017 election, whose results have the potential to determine how far the populist wave in Europe will go. In a campaign that has remade the nation’s political landscape, four candidates with radically different visions are in a position to qualify for the next round, according to dozens of public opinion surveys. They are Marine Le Pen, who wants to pull France out of Europe’s single currency, Jean-Luc Melenchon, who wants to remake the rules that govern that monetary union, Francois Fillon, a former prime minister who wants tough economic reforms and Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year-old centrist pro-European who has held a narrow but expanding lead for the past week.France Votes: An Hour-by-Hour Guide to the Presidential Election. (video) France goes to the polls on Sunday for the first round of the presidential election, with four candidates capable of reaching the May 7 runoff. In what is arguably the most surprising and controversial election campaign in the 59-year-old Fifth Republic, voters’ choices include a centrist who has never run for office, a far-right candidate who wants to leave the euro, a center-right candidate battling a corruption scandal and a Communist-backed leftist who uses holograms of himself in his campaign rallies.India Tax Reform May Help Accelerate GDP Growth Above 8 Percent. India’s economic expansion is tied to the global economy, but it could grow faster than 8 percent as the nation prepares to implement a national sales tax from July, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. The goods and services tax will eliminate multiplicity of taxes and make India a single common market, Jaitley said, addressing G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Washington Friday night. India’s growth is resilient, he said.Trump's Infrastructure Plan a Boon for Iron Ore, Cormann Says.Ryan Tells Colleagues House Will Act in Time to Avoid Shutdown. Speaker Paul Ryan told House Republican colleagues that a spending bill will be ready in time to avert a potential government shutdown at week’s end, and keep agencies running and financed through the end of September. Ryan provided few details of that bill, though, during a Saturday afternoon conference call with rank-and-file members, according to three members who participated.Health Care Vote Likely in Early May, House Conservative Says. A key House Republican lawmaker expects a vote during the first week in May on a new version of a health bill to be negotiated between Congress and the White House, even though the measure would not amount to a repeal of Obamacare. “I think the odds of that are pretty good,” Representative Dave Brat of Virginia, a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, said in a radio interview Friday with a Richmond radio station.Wall Street Journal: China Pressure on North Korea Gives Peace a[...]



Market Week in Review

2017-04-21T19:25:34.027-04:00

S&P 500 2,349.15 +.85%* The Weekly Wrap by Briefing.com. *5-Day Change[...]



Weekly Scoreboard*

2017-04-21T15:51:29.310-04:00

IndicesS&P 500 2,349.15 +.85%DJIA 20,574.10 +.56%NASDAQ 5,914.62 +1.82%Russell 2000 1,81.264 +2.68%S&P 500 High Beta 36.81 +.66% Goldman 50 Most Shorted 123.05 +.06% Wilshire 5000 24,414.40 +1.14%Russell 1000 Growth 1,145.08 +1.36%Russell 1000 Value 1,118.81 +.49%S&P 500 Consumer Staples 565.37 +.25%Vanda Cyclicals-Defensives 1.276 +.21% Morgan Stanley Technology 1,382.52 +1.56%Transports 9,143.80 +3.03%Utilities 707.24 +.50%Bloomberg European Bank/Financial Services 94.97 +2.12%MSCI Emerging Markets 39.33 +.05%HFRX Equity Hedge 1,180.67 +.05%HFRX Equity Market Neutral 995.86 -.13%Sentiment/InternalsNYSE Cumulative A/D Line 286,081 +.83%Bloomberg New Highs-Lows Index 283 +162Bloomberg Crude Oil % Bulls 52.94 +43.7% CFTC Oil Net Speculative Position 437,043 +7.02% CFTC Oil Total Open Interest 2,193,567 -.88% Total Put/Call 1.0 +9.28%OEX Put/Call 1.48 -23.6%ISE Sentiment 67.0 -24.14%NYSE Arms 1.67 -14.09%Volatility(VIX) 14.87 -4.07%S&P 500 Implied Correlation 45.0 -3.27%G7 Currency Volatility (VXY) 9.27 -.32%Emerging Markets Currency Volatility (EM-VXY) 9.02 -2.91% Smart Money Flow Index 19,251.54 +.28%ICI Money Mkt Mutual Fund Assets $2.627 Trillion -.64%ICI US Equity Weekly Net New Cash Flow -$2.985 BillionAAII % Bulls 25.7 -11.3%AAII % Bears 38.7 +3.5% Futures Spot PricesCRB Index 181.87 -3.27%Crude Oil 49.61 -6.61%Reformulated Gasoline 164.41 -5.12%Natural Gas 3.10 -4.01%Heating Oil 155.48 -5.83%Gold 1,287.20 -.2%Bloomberg Base Metals Index 172.98 -.35% Copper 254.15 -1.26%US No. 1 Heavy Melt Scrap Steel 258.33 USD/Ton -9.47%China Iron Ore Spot 68.22 USD/Ton -.67%Lumber 398.80 +3.06%UBS-Bloomberg Agriculture 1,083.25 -1.49%EconomyAtlanta Fed GDPNow Forecast +.5% unch.ECRI Weekly Leading Economic Index Growth Rate +6.5% -60.0 basis pointsPhilly Fed ADS Real-Time Business Conditions Index -.0964 -8.8% US Economic Policy Uncertainty Index 98.90 -19.8% S&P 500 Blended Forward 12 Months Mean EPS Estimate 134.68 +.32%Citi US Economic Surprise Index 2.80 -36.0 pointsCiti Eurozone Economic Surprise Index 49.30 +10.4 pointsCiti Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 39.80 +12.1 points Fed Fund Futures imply 88.9% chance of no change 11.1% chance of 25 basis point hike on 5/3US Dollar Index 99.94 -.66%MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index 1,582.31 -.08% Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 121.86 +1.18% Yield Curve 105.0 +2.0 basis points10-Year US Treasury Yield 2.23% -1.0 basis pointFederal Reserve's Balance Sheet $4.440 Trillion -.12%U.S. Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 26.15 +4.83% Illinois Municipal Debt Credit Default Swap 394.0 -.06% Western Europe Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap Index 11.75 -11.9%Asia Pacific Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap Index 23.97 +2.04%Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt CDS Index 49.1 -5.4%Israel Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 68.91 -.11% South Korea Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 55.28 -7.5% Russia Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 163.79 -3.3% iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 137.03 +.28%10-Year TIPS Spread 1.86% -7.0 basis pointsTED Spread 37.75 +2.25 basis points 2-Year Swap Spread 34.75 +2.0 basis point 3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -33.25 -2.25 basis pointsN. America Investment Grade Credit Default Swap Index 67.46 -.13% America Energy Sector High-Yield Credit Default Swap Index 373.0 +4.68% European Financial Sector Credit Default Swap Index 90.20 -3.55%Emerging Markets Credit Default Swap Index 207.31 -1.90%CMBS AAA Super Senior 10-Year Treasury Spread to Swaps 144.0 unch.M1 Money Supply $3.418 Trillion -2.33% Commercial Paper Outstanding 974.90 -1.0%4-Week Moving Average of Jobless Claims 243,000 -4,250Continui[...]



Stocks Slightly Lower into Final Hour on European Election Concerns, Less Economic Optimism, Oil Decline, Biotech/Oil Service Sector Weakness

2017-04-21T15:02:14.963-04:00

Broad Equity Market Tone:Advance/Decline Line: Slightly LowerSector Performance: MixedVolume: About Average Market Leading Stocks: Performing In LineEquity Investor Angst:Volatility(VIX) 15.04 +6.3%Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 121.98 -.26% Emerging Markets Currency Volatility(VXY) 9.02 -.33% S&P 500 Implied Correlation 45.44 -.59%ISE Sentiment Index 69.0 -25.8%Total Put/Call 1.04 +15.6% NYSE Arms 1.38 +45.6% Credit Investor Angst:North American Investment Grade CDS Index 67.30 -1.26% America Energy Sector High-Yield CDS Index 373.0 +.48%European Financial Sector CDS Index 90.82 -1.01%Western Europe Sovereign Debt CDS Index 11.75 -1.38%Asia Pacific Sovereign Debt CDS Index 24.0 -3.28%Emerging Market CDS Index 206.60 -1.41%iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 137.02 unch.2-Year Swap Spread 34.75 +1.25 basis pointsTED Spread 37.75 +2.0 basis points 3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -33.25 -3.25 basis pointsEconomic Gauges:Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.13 -.15%3-Month T-Bill Yield .78% unch.Yield Curve 105.0 +1.0 basis pointChina Import Iron Ore Spot $68.22/Metric Tonne +4.38%Citi US Economic Surprise Index 2.80 -3.5 pointsCiti Eurozone Economic Surprise Index 49.30 +10.8 points Citi Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 39.8 -.4 point10-Year TIPS Spread 1.86 -1.0 basis point50.2% chance of Fed rate hike at June 14 meeting, 54.3% chance at July 26 meetingOverseas Futures:Nikkei 225 Futures: Indicating +45 open in Japan China A50 Futures: Indicating -40 open in ChinaDAX Futures: Indicating +55 open in GermanyPortfolio: Slightly Lower: On losses in my biotech/retail/tech sector longs  Disclosed Trades: NoneMarket Exposure: 100% Net Long[...]



Bear Radar

2017-04-21T13:20:47.855-04:00

Style Underperformer: Small-Cap Growth -.3%Sector Underperformers: 1) Oil Service -1.6% 2) Computer Hardware -1.5% 3) Gaming -1.0%Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume: XBIT, EFII, MAT, MANH, ACRS, MXIM, FIZZ, SLCA, NCR and AQMS Stocks With Unusual Put Option Activity: 1) NBR 2) EXPE 3) RSX 4) MAT 5) YELP Stocks With Most Negative News Mentions: 1) MAT 2) FIZZ 3) MANH 4) VREX 5) FMSA Charts: ETFs Falling on Unusual Volume Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume [...]



Bull Radar

2017-04-21T12:58:54.773-04:00

Style Outperformer: Large-Cap Growth unch. Sector Outperformers: 1) Utilities +.8% 2) Road & Rail +.7% 3) Software +.6% Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume:CAI, BGG, PFPT, ASPS, PPC, MZOR, BITA, TSC, HA, LION, LSXMA, WERN, RHI, SWK, COL, HON, EWBC, STS, MRTN, AAOI, CYOU, CVTI, SNE and SOHUStocks With Unusual Call Option Activity: 1) V 2) BHI 3) MDCO 4) UTX 5) HD Stocks With Most Positive News Mentions: 1) PPC 2) GIMO 3) HA 4) SWK 5) FTNT Charts: ETFs Rising on Unusual Volume Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume [...]



Morning Market Internals

2017-04-21T10:40:47.105-04:00

NYSE Composite Index:
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Friday Watch

2017-04-20T21:10:28.778-04:00

Evening HeadlinesBloomberg: Ignore China's Credit Risks at Your Peril, Says Top Bond Manager. Investors in Chinese debt aren’t paying enough attention to rising credit risks, according to a top bond fund manager. Some market participants have focused on the impact of an improving economy and rising money-market rates, while overlooking the possibility that defaults will increase, said He Qian, manager of Fortis Haitong Pure Bond Fund at HFT Investment Management Co. "It’s interesting that investors were paying more attention to credit risks this time last year, when there were not as many credit events," said He, whose $895 million fund has beaten 99 percent of its competitors since 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg show. "Such risks seem to have faded from investors’ memories.”Asian Stocks Gain on Kuroda, U.S. Tax Reform Hopes. Asian stocks climbed on optimism for a U.S. tax overhaul. Weakness in the yen pushed Tokyo shares higher after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he will keep accommodative policy in place. Japanese and Australian shares climbed, while futures contracts in Hong Kong were flat. The S&P 500 Index had its second best day since March as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said plans to reform taxes have progressed. The euro was steady after a police officer was shot in Paris just days before France’s presidential election starts. The yen traded at 109.35 per dollar as of 9:08 a.m. in Tokyo after dropping 0.4 percent on Thursday. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.8 percent, heading for its first weekly gain in more than a month. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.6 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.5 percent. Hang Seng futures were up less than 0.1 percent.Your Evening Briefing.Drinking Too Much Soda May Be Linked to Alzheimer’s. Two new scientific studies raise questions about whether both regular and diet drinks cause brain disease.Wall Street Journal: Trump Administration Launches National-Security Probe on Steel Imports. President unveils broad investigation that could lead to new tariffs.Fox News: Paris attack: 1 police officer killed, 2 seriously injured in shooting on Champs-Élysées‬‬; ISIS claims responsibility. (video)MarketWatch:  Apple(AAPL) expected to ship 250 million phones in 2018.CNBC:  Trump to sign 'financial-related' executive actions on Friday: Sources.Trump: 'I think we'll get both' a vote on health care and keeping government open next week. (video)Trades to make as the retail sector pops. (video)Senate may ‘jam’ health-care bill through really fast after House passage: Kudlow. (video)JPMorgan(JPM) believes a $100 billion deal may happen After-hours buzz: V, MAT, OCN & more.Zero Hedge: Police Officer, Kalashinikov-Yielding Shooter Killed In Paris "Terrorist" Attack; ISIS Claims Responsibility.OMB Director Mulvaney Budgets "Leveraged" $200 Billion For Trump Infrastructure Plan. U.S. Preparing Charges To Arrest Julian Assange.Deutsche Bank(DB) Fined $157MM After Its Traders Were Found To Still Use Chat Rooms To Rig FX Trading.Goldman(GS) Begs Clients To BTF Oil Dip. Shorts Smoked - Stocks End 'High' As Dollar Dumps'n'Pumps. (graph)Business Insider: Visa's(V) adjusted profit soars 27%.Telegraph:  Options market shows insider alarm on 'Frexit' upset.Night Trading  Asian equity indices are +.25% to +.75% on average.Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 100.50 -2.5 basis points.  Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 24.75 unch.Bloomberg E[...]



Stocks Surging into Final Hour on Healthcare/Tax Reform Hopes, Subsiding European Election Fears, Earnings Optimism, Financial/Transport Sector Strength

2017-04-20T15:33:29.399-04:00

Broad Equity Market Tone:Advance/Decline Line: Substantially HigherSector Performance: Almost Every Sector RisingVolume: Above Average Market Leading Stocks: OutperformingEquity Investor Angst:Volatility(VIX) 13.93 -6.7%Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 122.35 +.53% Emerging Markets Currency Volatility(VXY) 9.02 -1.53% S&P 500 Implied Correlation 45.35 -4.41%ISE Sentiment Index 87.0 +14.47%Total Put/Call .88 +18.92% NYSE Arms .92 -36.51% Credit Investor Angst:North American Investment Grade CDS Index 67.74 -1.82% America Energy Sector High-Yield CDS Index 373.0 +.99%European Financial Sector CDS Index 90.82 -1.01%Western Europe Sovereign Debt CDS Index 11.92 +.46%Asia Pacific Sovereign Debt CDS Index 24.60 -.32%Emerging Market CDS Index 209.39 -1.23%iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 137.02 +.08%2-Year Swap Spread 33.5 +.75 basis pointTED Spread 35.75 +1.25 basis points 3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -30.0 -1.0 basis pointEconomic Gauges:Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 72.24 +.24%3-Month T-Bill Yield .78% -2.0 basis pointsYield Curve 104.0 +1.0 basis pointChina Import Iron Ore Spot $65.36/Metric Tonne +1.18%Citi US Economic Surprise Index 6.30 -.1 pointCiti Eurozone Economic Surprise Index 38.50 +.2 point Citi Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 40.2 +1.1 points10-Year TIPS Spread 1.87 +1.0 basis point59.3% chance of Fed rate hike at June 14 meeting, 62.0% chance at July 26 meetingOverseas Futures:Nikkei 225 Futures: Indicating +205 open in Japan China A50 Futures: Indicating +4 open in ChinaDAX Futures: Indicating +50 open in GermanyPortfolio: Higher: On gains in my biotech/medical/retail/tech sector longs  Disclosed Trades: Covered some of my (IWM)/(QQQ) hedges Market Exposure: Moved to 100% Net Long[...]



Today's Headlines

2017-04-20T15:03:15.118-04:00

Bloomberg:Kuroda Says Current Purchase Pace to Continue for Some Time. (video) The Bank of Japan will continue with very accommodative monetary policy and maintain the current pace of asset purchases for some time, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in an interview. While Japan’s economy is doing better than thought a few months ago, the inflation rate is still quite sluggish, Kuroda said in New York on Thursday. Speaking a week before the BOJ’s next policy meeting, when the board will also update its estimates for growth and consumer prices, he said the exchange rate could affect inflation in the short term and that if the yen appreciates, there is a chance of a delay in hitting Japan’s 2 percent price goal. He added that depreciation would have the opposite effect.Treasuries Fall as Haven Bid Ebbs Ahead of French Election. (video) Treasuries fell, lifting yields further off year-to-date lows reached on Tuesday, amid steeper declines for most European government bond markets ahead of the French election on Sunday. Yields were higher by two to three basis points at 10:30 a.m. in New York, with the 10-year at 2.24 percent. Most of the move off session lows occurred during European trading hours, concurrently with the move in European yields led by Spain, where demand was soft for a multi-part debt auction. U.S. yields extended their climb during U.S. trading, tracking the dollar-yen rate after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the current pace of bond purchases would continue for some time.Major Oil Producers Reach Initial Deal to Extend Output Cuts. (video)Subway Shuts Hundreds of U.S. Stores. The company lost 359 U.S. locations in 2016, the first time that Subway had a net reduction. The store count dropped 1.3 percent to 26,744 from 27,103 in 2015, but Subway remains the nation’s most ubiquitous eatery.Wall Street Journal: U.S. Farmers, Who Once Fed the World, Are Overtaken by New Powers. Bumper soybean and wheat harvests in Brazil and Russia push down global prices, imperiling America’s growers; ‘hard for our psyche’.CNBC: Treasury's Mnuchin: We're 'pretty close' to bringing forward 'major tax reform'. (video)Hedge fund assets reach new high of $3.1 trillion as positive returns trump outflows.Full interview with former Fed Chairman Greenspan on stagflation, Trump's deregulation.The pause in the Trump rally should end soon, says strategist who recently sold his short-term positions.US steel stocks skyrocket as Trump launches probe on foreign products. (video)Zero Hedge: China Puts Bombers On High Alert.The Best 'Unknown' Indicator. (graph)Record Buyside Takedown In TIPS Auction Breathes New Life In Reflation Trade. (graph)Tesla(TSLA) Tumbles After Recalling Over 50,000 Vehicles; Faces "Demonstrably Dangerous" Autopilot Lawsuit.China Escalates Pressure On North Korea: Crude Oil Supply Halt On The Table.Bill O'Reilly Gets $25 Million From Fox News As Final Payout.Trump Signs Order Granting Steel Import Sanctions On "National Security" Grounds.French Stocks Surge Off Technical Support After Overnight Poll. (graph)Republicans Said To Near New Healthcare Deal.Continuing Jobless Claims Collapse. (graph)'Soft' Data Slumps - Philly Fed Plunges Most In Over 2 Years As Trumphoria Fades.Oil Stumbles Back To $50 Handle As Saudi/OPEC Jawboning Fails. (graph)The Telegraph: Theresa May's Britain will become Europe's haven of order and calm.Euro hits three-week high against dollar and French stocks[...]



Bear Radar

2017-04-20T13:59:30.567-04:00

Style Underperformer: Large-Cap Value +.9%Sector Underperformers: 1) Hospitals -1.4% 2) Homebuilders -1.0% 3) Utilities -.6%Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume: WSR, WR, MD, PFPT, URI, PLXS, AQMS, TSRO, IDTI, TCBI, EVHC, ASPS, SYNT and INVA Stocks With Unusual Put Option Activity: 1) OCN 2) URI 3) EBAY 4) GE 5) PXD Stocks With Most Negative News Mentions: 1) PFPT 2) TCBI 3) NSTG 4) RTK 5) WINS Charts: ETFs Falling on Unusual Volume Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume [...]



Bull Radar

2017-04-20T13:27:15.893-04:00

Style Outperformer: Small-Cap Growth +1.1% Sector Outperformers: 1) Steel +3.4% 2) Road & Rail +3.1% 3) Retail +2.1% Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume:KCG, SCSS, MZOR, VIRT, GBNK, FL, IEX, SPA, DGX, SXCP, HTHT, APFH, SNA, SLM, CSX, KALU, ALOG, POOL, PERY, BATRK, EWBC, FNX, BX, LTXB, HMHC, GCO, SC, AXP, BWLD, APTI, SHW and GPSStocks With Unusual Call Option Activity: 1) VHC 2) OCN 3) FL 4) DRI 5) DHI Stocks With Most Positive News Mentions: 1) OLED 2) GPS 3) AXP 4) SCSS 5) LEA Charts: ETFs Rising on Unusual Volume Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume [...]