Overnight Markets and News
Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH19 -0.91%) this morning are down -0.80% and European stocks are down -0.87% on global growth concerns. Eurozone Dec manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in 2-3/4 years and Eurozone Nov new car registrations declined for a third month. Weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data on Nov industrial production and retail sales also shows signs of slower global growth and weighed on stock prices. U.S. and European stocks recovered from their worst levels after China said it will remove the retaliatory 25% tariff on automobiles imported from the U.S. for three months starting Jan 1. Asian stocks settled mostly lower: Japan -2.02%, Hong Kong -1.62%, China -1.53%, Taiwan -0.86%, Australia -1.05%, Singapore -1.09%, South Korea -1.43%, India +0.09%. Signs of a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing activity weighed on Asian equity markets after China Nov industrial production rose a weaker-than-expected +5.4% y/y, the slowest pace of increase in 10 years.
Mar 10-year T-note prices (ZNH19 +0-085) are up +8 ticks as the slide in global equity markets boosts safe-haven demand for T-notes.
The Eurozone Dec Markit manufacturing PMI fell -0.4 to 51.4, weaker than expectations of no change at 51.8 and the slowest pace of expansion in 2-3/4 years.
Eurozone Nov new car registrations fell -8.0% y/y to 1.121 million and year-to-date are up +0.8% to 14.160 million,
Eurozone Q3 labor costs rose +2.5% y/y, the fastest pace of increase in more than 7 years.
The German Dec Markit/BME manufacturing PMI fell -0.3 to 51.5, weaker than expectations of -0.1 to 51.7 and the slowest pace of expansion in 2-3/4 years.
China Nov industrial production rose +5.4% y/y, weaker than expectations of +5.9% y/y and the slowest pace of increase in 10 years.
China Nov retail sale rose +8.1% y/y, weaker than expectations of +8.8% y/y and the slowest pace of increase in 15-1/2 years.
The Japan Q4 Tankan large manufacturing business conditions was unch at 19, stronger than expectations of -1 to 18.
U.S. Stock Preview
Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Nov retail sales (expected +0.1% and +0.2% ex autos, Oct +0.8% and +0.7% ex autos), (2) Nov manufacturing production (expected +0.3%, Oct +0.3%) and Nov industrial production (expected +0.3%, Oct +0.1%), (3) prelim-Dec Markit manufacturing PMI (expected -0.3 to 55.0, Nov -0.4 to 55.3) and prelim-Dec Markit U.S. services PMI (expected -0.1 to 54.6, Nov -0.1 to 54.7), (4) Oct business inventories (expected +0.6%, Sep +0.3%).
Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: none.
U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: Mercantil Bank Holding (AMTB).
Equity conferences during the remainder of this week: none.
Mar S&P 500 E-minis (ESH19 -0.91%) this morning are down -21.25 points (-0.80%). Thursday's closes: S&P 500 -0.02%, Dow Jones +0.29%, Nasdaq 100 +0.06%. The S&P 500 on Thursday closed lower on continued U.S.-China trade tensions after U.S. Commerce Secretary Ross said China will need to do more than what it has promised so far to ease trade tensions with the U.S. Stocks were also undercut by global growth concerns after the ECB cut its Eurozone 2018 GDP forecast to 1.9% from a prior estimate of 2.0% and cut its 2019 GDP forecast to 1.7% from 1.9%. There was weakness in airline stocks after Delta Air Lines forecast weaker-than-expected 2019 profit. Stocks found support on the -27,000 decline in U.S. weekly jobless claims to a 2-3/4 month low of 206,000, showing a stronger labor market than expectations of -5,000 to 226,000. There was also strength in energy stocks with crude oil prices up +2.80%.
Mar 10-year T-notes (ZNH19 +0-085) this morning are up +8 ticks. Thursday's closes: TYH9 unch, FVH9 +0.75. Mar 10-year T-notes on Thursday closed little changed. T-note prices were undercut by carry-over weakness from a drop in 10-year German bunds to a 1-week low after the ECB confirmed that it will end QE at the end of the month. T-note prices were also undercut by the larger-than-expected fall in U.S. weekly jobless claims to a 2-3/4 month low, which was hawkish for Fed policy. T-notes found some support from weakness in stocks that boosted safe-haven demand for T-notes.
The dollar index (DXY00 +0.52%) this morning is up +0.552 (+0.57%) at a 1-month high, EUR/USD (^EURUSD -0.57%) is down -0.0071 (-0.62%) at a 2-week low, and USD/JPY (^USDJPY unch) is down -0.03 (-0.03%). Thursday's closes: Dollar Index +0.020 (+0.02%), EUR/USD -0.0008 (-0.07%), USD/JPY +0.34 (+0.30%). The dollar index on Thursday closed higher on signs of strength in the U.S. labor market that is hawkish for Fed policy after weekly initial unemployment claims fell more than expected to a 2-3/4 month low (-27,000 to 206,000). There was also weakness in EUR/USD after the ECB cut its Eurozone 2018 and 2019 GDP forecasts.
Metals prices this morning are weaker with Feb gold (GCG19 -0.41%) -5.2 (-0.42%) at a 1-week low, Mar silver (SIH19 -1.18%) -0.170 (-1.14%), and Mar copper (HGH19 -1.08%) -0.029 (-1.03%). Thursday's closes: Feb Comex gold (GCG19) on Thursday closed down -2.6 (-0.21%) and Mar Comex silver (SIH19) closed up +0.004 (+0.03%). A stronger dollar Thursday weighed on metals prices along with Thursday's confirmation by the European Central Bank (ECB) that it will end its bond-buying quantitative easing (QE) program at the end of this month. A larger-than-expected -27,000 decline in U.S. weekly jobless claims to a 2-3/4 month low of 206,000 is another negative for metals prices since that is hawkish for Fed policy. Mar silver climbed to a 5-week high on speculation that an easing of U.S.-China trade tensions will boost economic growth that leads to increased demand for industrial metals. Silver prices fell back from their best levels after the ECB cut its Eurozone GDP forecast for 2018 and 2019, which implies reduced demand for industrial metals. In addition, fund selling of silver continues as long silver positions in ETFs fell to a 5-1/2 month low Wednesday. Losses in gold were contained as recent stock market volatility has boosted demand for gold as a store of wealth after long gold positions in ETFs rose to a 4-1/2 month high Wednesday.
Jan WTI crude oil prices (CLF19 -0.59%) this morning are down -30 cents (-0.57%) and Jan gasoline (RBF19 -1.50%) is down -2.25 cents (-1.52%). Thursday's closes: Jan WTI crude oil (CLF19) on Thursday closed up by +$1.43 per barrel (+2.80%) and Feb Brent crude (CBG19) closed up +$1.30 (+2.16%). Jan RBOB gasoline (RBF19) closed up by +5.78 cents per gallon (+4.07%). Crude prices erased early losses Thursday and moved higher on a report from Genscape that crude inventories at Cushing, the delivery point of WTI futures, will decline by -821,985 bbl the week ended Dec 11. A sign of strength in the U.S. economy was also supportive for crude prices after weekly jobless claims fell to a 2-3/4 month low. Crude prices opened lower Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that while crude production cuts announced last week by OPEC+ "may go some way towards restoring balance to the world market," there's still potential for "significant oversupply." A stronger dollar Thursday was another negative for crude prices. Gasoline prices found support on strength in the crack spread that rose to a 3-session high, which may push refiners to purchase more crude to refine into gasoline.
Overnight U.S. Stock Movers
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA -0.15%) was downgraded to 'Sell' from 'Neutral' at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $68.
Universal Health Services (UHS +0.53%) was downgraded to 'Sell' from 'Neutral' at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $125.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN +0.15%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $472.
Adobe (ADBE +1.03%) gained 0.5% in after0hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of $1.90, better than consensus of $1.88.
Costco Wholesale (COST -0.57%) slid 2% in afterhours trading after it reported an unexpected $43 million charge related to its co-branded credit card program
Procter & Gamble (PG +2.62%) was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Equal-Weight' at Morgan Stanley with a price target of $106.
Autoliv (ALV -2.46%) was rate a new 'Sell' at Deutsche Bank with a price target of $61.
Starbucks (SBUX +1.18%) fell nearly 3% in after-hours trading after CFO Grismer forecast 1% to 3% growth in China over the long-term, slower than the 3% to 4% growth seen for the U.S. and the rest of the world.
BorgWarner (BWA -1.94%) was rated a new 'Buy' at Deutsche Bank with a price target of $47.
Veoneer (VNE -3.99%) was rated a new 'Sell' at Deutsche Bank with a price target of $21.
Alliant Energy (LNT +0.50%) lost more than 2% in after-hours trading after it announced that it plans to sell $326 million of its common stock in an underwritten public offering.
CytomX Therapeutics (CTMX -1.00%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $21.
Ford Motor (F -1.62%) was rated a new 'Buy' at Deutsche Bank with a price target of $12.
Civitas (CIVI -4.10%) may move higher initially this morning after it reported Q4 adjusted Ebitda of $43.5 million, higher than consensus of $40.1 million.