Mid-Morning Look: December 27, 2018

Scott GreenDaily Market Report

Mid-Morning Look

Thursday, December 27, 2018

U.S. equities open the day lower, pulling back a day after major averages posted their best percentage daily gain since 2009, and rebounding after more than a week of 1.5% declines for the S&P 500 index. Despite yesterday’s exuberant rally, anxiety over global growth persist and uncertainty out of Washington related to the government shutdown (currently into a 6th day of shutdowns) also weighed on investor sentiment. Energy among the top decliners on a crude pullback, while technology prices underperform in what has been a quiet day of news. The Dow on Wednesday soared 1,086 points, or 4.98%, to 22,878, the S&P jumped 4.96% and the Nasdaq climbed 5.84% as stocks more than made up the steep losses suffered in a Christmas Eve plunge. Markets remain active on recent reports of stronger-than-expected holiday spending, signals from the White House that Donald Trump wouldn’t be firing either Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and a Bloomberg report of a trade delegation heading to China for talks with Beijing early next week. In negative data overnight, China’s industrial profit dropped for the first time in almost three years in November, slipping -1.8% from a year earlier in November, compared with a 3.6% increase in October. Lighter volume than what we have seen over the last week, amid quiet corporate news.

Economic Data

· Weekly Jobless Claims fell 1K to 216K, in-line with estimates while the 4-week moving average fell 4,750 to 218K in the latest week; prior week claims revised up to 217K from 214K; Continuing claims fell 4k to 1.701m in the week ending Dec. 15

· Consumer confidence in December fell to 128.1 from 136.4 in prior month and was also below the 133.5 estimate; the present situation confidence fell to 171.6 vs 172.7 last month while the consumer confidence expectations fell to 99.1 vs 112.3 last month

· The 30-Yr fixed mortgage rate fell to 4.55% from 4.62%, Freddie Mac said; the 15-year rate avg 4.01%, down from 4.07% a week earlier

Treasuries, Currencies and Commodities

· In currency markets, the dollar slipped early, with the euro pushing higher and the greenback sliding vs. the safe-haven yen; the dollar is higher vs. the Canadian dollar as oil prices resume their decline while the Pound is little changed around 1.2635; gold prices edge higher while Treasury market’s rally as yields fall further given the flight to safety once again with stocks down for a 5th day in the last six

Stock movers

· BTAI +63%; as its investigational drug BXCL501, for the treatment of acute agitation – has been granted Fast Track Designation by the FDA

· JD +3%; to restructure JD Mall into three business departments, WSJ reported

· WATT +57%; after announcing its first customer product approval from the FCC

· ASH -1%; after updating fiscal 2019 adjusted EPS to $3.10-$3.40 from prior view of $4.20-$4.40 as new guidance reflects the pending divestiture of its composites business and BDO manufacturing facility in Marl, Germany (was upgraded to overweight at JPMorgan earlier)

· ESV -8%; after Piper Jaffray suggests RDC shareholders might be less likely to approve the deal after the recent selloff

· SNP -6%; Chen Bo, president of Chinese oil trading giant Unipec, and Zhan Qi, co.’s communist party secretary, have been suspended, according to state-run parent co. Sinopec

· VIAB -3%; trades new 52-week lows

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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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