Morning Preview: December 19, 2017

Scott GreenDaily Market Report

Early Look
Tuesday, December 19, 17
Stocks futures are trending higher, adding on to another record setting performance on Wall Street Monday, that saw the S&P 500, Dow Industrials, Nasdaq Composite, Russell 2000 and Dow Transports all post record closing highs as market confidence grows the Republicans will succeed in getting a major tax bill passed this week. The Dow Industrial Averages posted its 70th record close of the year, topping the 69 records that occurred over 1995, while the S&P 500 has risen for 13 straight months through November, an unprecedented streak as well. Ahead of the Christmas holiday this weekend, all eyes remain fixed on Washington as Congressional Republicans look to conclude their six-week legislative stretch to overhaul the U.S. tax code and deliver a major policy victory for President Donald Trump before year’s end. The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the tax bill and Senate leaders intend to bring the measure up as soon as they get it. The House is poised to hold a vote around 1:30 p.m., according to a Republican leadership aide, Bloomberg reported, while the Senate vote is expected to follow either on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Markets also turn to a few data points with housing starts, building permits and the current account deficit all due at 8:30 AM EST. Bonds are flat after trading mixed yesterday, as long-dated yields rose, while short-dated yields fell, with the 30-year bond yield rising 5.9 bps to 2.745%, marking its largest one-day gain since Nov. 10. The 10-year note yield rose 3.9 bps to 2.392%, while the 2-year note yield slipped 0.8 bps to 1.832%
In Asian markets, The Nikkei Index slipped -33 points to settle at 22,868, the Shanghai Index rose 28 points to settle at 3,296 and the Hang Seng Index rose 203 points to close at 29,253. In Europe, the German DAX is down around -10 points at 13,300, while the FTSE 100 is up a few points around 7,550. Overall, European stocks are little changed near a six-week high as U.S. lawmakers move closer to passing a tax overhaul legislation.
Market Closing Prices Yesterday
·      The S&P 500 Index jumped 14.35 points, or 0.54%, to 2,690.16
·      The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 140.46 points, or 0.57%, to 24,792.20
·      The Nasdaq Composite spiked 58.18 points, or 0.84%, to 6,994.76
·      The Russell 2000 Index advanced 18.50 points, or 1.21% to 1,548.92
Events Calendar for Today
·      7:45 AM EST       ICSC Weekly Retail Sales
·      8:30 AM EST       Housing Starts MoM for Nov…est.
·      8:30 AM EST       Building Permits MoM for Nov…est.
·      8:30 AM EST       Current Account Balance for Q3…est.
·      8:55 AM EST       Johnson/Redbook Weekly Sales
·      4:30 PM EST        API Weekly Inventory Data
Earnings Calendar
·      Earnings Before the Open: CCL, DRI, FDS, NAV, WOR
·      Earnings After the Close: FDX, MU, RHT, SCS
World News
·      The World Bank raised its forecast for China’s economic growth in 2017 to 6.8% from 6.7% it projected in October, as personal consumption and foreign trade supported growth. But the Washington-based lender kept its forecast for China’s 2018 and 2019 GDP growth unchanged at 6.4% and 6.3%, respectively
·      German business confidence unexpectedly weakened in December, as the Ifo Institute’s gauge of business sentiment declined to 117.2 in December from a revised 117.6 the previous month, and vs. a reading of 117.5, unchanged from November’s original number
·      The Trump administration has publicly blamed North Korea for unleashing the so-called WannaCry cyber-attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the globe earlier this year. “The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,” Tom Bossert, homeland security adviser to President Donald Trump said
·      Japan’s government revised up its growth projections for the current and next fiscal years, forecasting the economy to expand 1.9% and 1.8% respectively on the back of steady improvement in domestic demand
Sector News Breakdown
·      Extended Stay (STAY) raises FY17 revenue view to $1.28B-$1.284B from $1.273B-$1.279B and raises FY17 adjusted EBITDA view to $614M-$618M from $610M-$615M
·      Cherokee Global Brands (CHKE) announced the resignation of Jason Boling as chief financial officer effective January 31, 2018
·      Regulators in Massachusetts and New York State said they are probing MetLife Inc (MET) after the insurer revealed last week it had failed to pay pensions to potentially thousands of people
·      Digital Power (DPW) files $100M mixed securities shelf
·      Marathon Patent Group (MARA) to sell 1.35M common shares in registered direct offering
·      Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AERI) said the FDA approved a medication developed to relieve pressure in patients suffering from glaucoma or ocular hypertension; CEO said that the company plans to hire a sales force for the drug early in the first quarter of 2018 and will seek to launch sales in by the middle of the second quarter
·      Flexion Therapeutics (FLXN) announced that it has enrolled the first patient in a clinical trial to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and safety of ZILRETTA in patients with osteoarthritis of the shoulder or hip
·      Novavax (NVAX) accelerates enrollment in its Phase 3 clinical trial assessing its RSV F protein recombinant nanoparticle vaccine for infants via maternal immunization
·      Madrigal Pharmaceuticals (MDGL) 1.5M share Secondary priced at $83.00
·      Akers Biosciences (AKER) 6M share Secondary priced at 15c
Industrials & Materials
·      McDermott International Inc. (MDR) and Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. (CBI) agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction where the companies estimated the enterprise value of the transaction at $6B, with MDR investors owning about 53% of the combined company and CBI the other 47% When the transaction is complete, CB&I shareholders will receive 2.47221 shares of McDermott for each CB&I share they own, unless McDermott completes a planned 3-to-1 reverse stock split ahead of the closing, which would reduce that number to 0.82407 shares.
·      Heico (HEI) Q4 EPS 62c/$421.2M vs. est. 57c/$408.41M; sees FY net sales +10% to +12% and sees FY net income growth +10% to +12%; sees net sales growth within the Flight Support Group’s commercial aviation and defense product lines
·      Navistar (NAV) Q4 EPS $1.36 on sales $2.60B; Q4 Ebitda $268M
·      Boeing (BA) accused Bombardier (BDRBF) of impeding its ability to sell 737s in the U.S. market at an International Trade Commission hearing regarding Boeing’s claims that its Canadian rival benefited from illegal government subsides and sold its newest jetliner in the U.S. below cost, Reuters reports
Technology, Media & Telecom
· (CRM) files mixed securities shelf
· Inc. (CARS) shares jumped after hours after the WSJ reported that activist investor Starboard had acquired a significant stake in the company saying shares were undervalued due to heavy short selling and is a potential buyout target for private-equity firms


Market commentary provided by Hammerstone Markets, a division The Hammerstone Group, a firm separate from and not affiliated with Regal Securities L.P.  Regal Securities L.P. has not participated in the creation of the content, and does not explicitly or implicitly endorse the content.

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