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OVERNIGHT MARKETS AND NEWS
March E-mini S&Ps (ESH16 +0.85%) are up +0.87% and European stocks are up +0.31% as technology stocks rose with Apple up over 1% in pre-market trading and Ericsson AG up 7% after Apple settled a patent dispute with Ericsson AB and agreed to a 7-year licensing agreement with the company. Also, Disney rose nearly 2% in pre-market trading after its "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" movie collected a record $238 million in weekend ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada. On the negative side, Spain's benchmark IBEX 35 Stock Index is down more than 2% and the yield on the 10-year Spanish government bond jumped to a 5-week high of 1.88% after Prime Minister Rajoy lost his majority in Sunday's election, which threatens Spain with a period of instability. Asian stocks settled mostly higher: Japan -0.37%, Hong Kong +0.17%, China +1.77%, Taiwan +0.30%, Australia +0.05%, Singapore -0.26%, South Korea +0.31%, India +0.85%. China's Shanghai Composite rallied to a 3-week high on signs the government may boost stimulus measures after a statement from the government's Central Economic Work Conference said that monetary policy must be more "flexible" and that the country's fiscal policy must be more "forceful" as leaders create "appropriate monetary conditions for structural reforms."
The dollar index (DXY00 +0.07%) is up +0.05%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.04%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.19%.
Mar T-note prices (ZNH16-0.04%) are down -2 ticks.
ECB Executive Board member Praet said that "seeping pessimism" is a key risk for Eurozone prospects in coming years and that the ECB "will pursue an accommodative monetary policy for as long as necessary."
The German Nov PPI that fell -0.2% m/m and -2.5% y/y was weaker than expectations of -0.2% m/m and -2.4% y/y with the -2.5% y/y drop the largest annual decline in 5-3/4 years.
U.S. STOCK PREVIEW
Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Nov Chicago Fed national activity index (expected +0.14 to 0.10, Oct +0.25 to -0.04).
There are 3 of the Russell 3000 companies that report earnings today: Cintas (consensus $1.00), Steelcase (0.33), Neogen (0.26).
U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.
Equity conferences this week: none.
OVERNIGHT U.S. STOCK MOVERS
Apple (AAPL-2.71%) is up 1.6% in pre-market trading after it settled a patent dispute with Ericsson AB and agreed to pay Ericsson royalties as part of a 7-year licensing agreement.
Disney (DIS-3.83%) gained nearly 2% in pre-market trading after the company said its "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" movie had topped ticket sales of $100 million on Friday alone, the first time a movie had surpassed $100 million in a single day, and that weekened ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada were a record $238 million.
General Dynamics (GD-1.05%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at Drexel Hamilton LLC with a 12-month price target of $153.
Ross Stores (ROST-1.69%) were upgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Market Perform' at Cowen with a 12-month price target of $63.
The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Ratheon (RTN-1.66%) a $2.35 billion award modification to deliver SM-3 Block IB missiles and related support and recertification.
Merck (MRK-1.94%) said that its Keytruda drug had won expanded FDA approval for treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.
Century Aluminum (CENX +7.91%) rose over 2% in after-hours trading after saying it will keep its Goose Creek plant operating at half capacity while the South Carolina legislature pursues a "long-term solution" to access market power for all of its power supply.
Syngenta (SYT +0.93%) climbed over 2% in after-hours trading after China National Chemical improved its offer to purchase the company.
40 North Management said it raised its stake in Mattress Firm (MFRM +1.36%) to 8.3% from 6.9%.
Sunstone Hotel Investors (SHO-2.51%) rose nearly 2% in after-hours trading after it sold its leasehold interest in the 468-room Doubletree Guest Suites in Times Square for $540 million.
Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH16 +0.85%) this morning are up +17.25 points (+0.87%). Friday's closes: S&P 500 -1.78%, Dow Jones -2.10%, Nasdaq -1.81%. The S&P 500 on Friday closed sharply lower on year-end tax selling, weakness in energy producers after crude oil fell to a new 6-3/4 year low, and the-2.4 point decline in the U.S. Dec Markit services PMI to 53.7, weaker than expectations of -0.2 to a 1-year low of 55.9.
Mar 10-year T-notes (ZNH16-0.04%) this morning are down -2 ticks. Friday's closes: TYH6 +11.50, FVH6 +7.75. Mar T-notes on Friday closed higher on safe-haven demand with the sharp sell-off in stocks and the weaker-than-expected Dec Markit services PMI which slowed to its slowest pace in a year.
The dollar index (DXY00 +0.07%) this morning isup +0.047 (+0.05%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0004 (-0.04%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.23 (+0.19%). Friday's closes: Dollar Index -0.567 (-0.57%), EUR/USD +0.0042 (+0.39%), USD/JPY -1.40 (-1.149%). The dollar index on Friday closed lower on the weaker-than-expected U.S. Dec Markit services PMI. Meanwhile, USD/JPY which retreated from a 2-week high and closed lower after details of the BOJ's new stimulus measures indicated a fine-tuning rather than an extensive expansion of stimulus, which was supportive for the yen.
Jan crude oil (CLF16-1.38%) this morning is down -36 cents (-1.04%) and Jan gasoline (RBF16-3.37%) is down -0.0315 (-2.47%). Friday's closes: CLF6 -0.40 (-1.14%), RBF6 +0.0001 (+0.01%). Jan crude oil and gasoline on Friday settled mixed with Jan crude at a fresh 6-3/4 year low. Crude oil prices were undercut by (1) an increase in U.S. oil rigs as Baker Hughes reporting that active U.S oil rigs rose by 17 rigs in the week ended Dec 18 to 541, the first increase in 5 weeks, and (2) the ongoing crude oil glut as U.S. oil inventories are 130 million bbl above the 5-year seasonal average. Crude oil prices received a boost as Congress approved legislation dropping the 40-year old U.S. export ban on crude oil exports, which expands demand for U.S. oil.
GLOBAL EVENT CALENDAR12/21/2015
Nov Chicago Fed national activity index expected +0.14 to 0.10, Oct +0.25 to -0.04.
USDA weekly grain export inspections.
German Nov PPI expected -0.2% m/m and -2.4% y/y, Oct -0.4% m/m and -2.3% y/y.
UK Dec CBI reported sales expected +14 to 21, Nov 7.
UK Dec GfK consumer confidence expected +1 to 2, Nov 1.
Eurozone Dec consumer confidence expected unch at -5.9.
China Nov leading economic index (Conference Board).