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OVERNIGHT MARKETS AND NEWS
March E-mini S&Ps (ESH16 +0.05%) are down -0.05% and European stocks are down -0.15% in thin uninspired holiday trade. The U.S. equity markets shut early today at 1300 EST for Christmas Eve and markets in the U.K., France and Netherlands also close early, while Germany, Switzerland and Italy are closed all day. Weakness in crude oil is pushing energy producers lower, while miners and raw-material producers are weaker after a +1,525 MT increase in LME copper inventories to a 2-week high undercuts copper prices. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan -0.51%, Hong Kong +0.44%, China-0.65%, Taiwan +0.10%, Australia +1.28%, Singapore +0.49%, South Korea -0.49%, India -0.04%. China's Shanghai Composite closed lower, led by weakness in health-care and property companies, on speculation that new initial public offerings (IPOs) will divert funds away from existing stocks. Japan's Nikkei Stock Index closed lower as the yen rallied to a 1-3/4 month high against the dollar, which reduces the earnings prospects of exporter stocks and pushed them lower.
The dollar index (DXY00-0.24%) is down -0.36% at a 1-week low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.29%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.45% at a 1-3/4 month low.
Key U.S. news today includes: (1) weekly initial unemployment claims (expected -1,000 to 270,000, previous -11,000 to 271,000) and continuing claims (expected -38,000 to 2.200 million, previous -7,000 to 2.238 million), and (2) the Treasury's announcement of next week's sale of 2, 5 and 7- year T-notes. The NYSE closes early today at 1:00 PM ET, CME equity and interest rate futures close early at 1:15 PM ET, and CME energy and metals products close early at 1:45 PM ET.
None of the Russell 3000 companies report earnings today.
U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.
Equity conferences this week: none.
OVERNIGHT U.S. STOCK MOVERS
Freeport-McMoRan (FCX +16.04%) is up over 1% in pre-market trading on positive carryover from Wednesday's 16% surge.
Spark Energy (SPKE +1.65%) was cut to 'Hold' from 'Buy' at Wunderlich.
TransMontaigne Partners LP (TLP +4.59%) was raised to a 'Buy' at Stifel with a price target of $27.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn reported a 12.1% stake in Pep Boys Manny Moe & Jack (PBY +3.02%) .
Hyatt Hotels (H +2.96%) dropped over 1% in after-hours trading after it said it found malware on its payment processing computers.
Caesars Entertainment (CZR +1.75%) climbed over 2% in after-hours trading after an appeals court in Chicago ruled that two lower-court judges used faulty reasoning to deny Caesars’s request to halt a series of New York lawsuits that threaten to put its parent company into bankruptcy.
Cal-Maine Foods (CALM +1.72%) slipped nearly 4% in after-hours trading after it reported Q2 EPS of $2.26, below consensus of $2.40.
Norfolk Southern (NSC +0.91%) declined over 1% in after-hours trading after it said it rejected a higher bid from Canadian Pacific Railway saying the offer was "grossly inadequate."
MannKind (MNKD +2.67%) named Duane DeSisto, previous CEO of Insulet from 20013-2014, as its new CEO.
Agenus (AGEN +1.58%) rose over 3% in after-hours trading after it acquired PhosImmune for $9.9 million.
Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH16 +0.05%) this morning are down -1.00 point (-0.05%). Wednesday's closes: S&P 500 +1.24%, Dow Jones +1.06%, Nasdaq +0.77%. The S&P 500 on Wednesday closed higher on (1) the as-expected +0.3% increase in U.S. personal spending and the +0.3% increase in Nov personal income, stronger than expectations of +0.2%, and (2) the +0.8 point increase in the final U.S. Dec University of Michigan consumer sentiment to 92.6, stronger than expectations of +0.2 to 92.0 and a 5-month high. Stocks also received a boost from strength in energy and commodity producers after crude oil prices rallied sharply.
Mar 10-year T-notes (ZNH16 unch) this morning are up +1.5 ticks. Wednesday's closes: TYH6 -5.50, FVH6 -2.00. Mar T-notes on Wednesday closed lower on reduced safe-haven demand with the rally in stocks and on the sharp rally in crude oil prices that boosted inflation expectations as the 10-year T-note breakeven inflation rate rose to a 1-1/2 week high.
The dollar index (DXY00-0.24%) this morning is down -0.250 (-0.36%) at a 1-week low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.0032 (+0.29%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.55 (-0.45%) at a 1-3/4 month low. Wednesday's closes: Dollar Index +0.106 (+0.11%), EUR/USD -0.0045 (-0.41%), USD/JPY-0.15 (-0.12%). The dollar index on Wednesday closed higher on (1) the stronger-than-expected U.S. Nov personal income report (+0.3% vs. expectations of +0.2%), which bolsters the case for the Fed to keep raising interest rates, and (2) the stronger-than-expected U.S. Dec University of Michigan consumer sentiment that rose to a 5-month high.
Feb crude oil (CLG16 +0.69%) this morning is down -7 cents (-0.19%) and Feb gasoline (RBG16 +1.44%) is up +0.0037 (+0.30%). Wednesday's closes: CLG6 +1.75 (+4.84%), RBG6 +0.0840 (+7.08%). Feb crude oil and gasoline on Wednesday settled sharply higher on the unexpected -5.88 million bbl decline in weekly EIA crude inventories, and the +1.11 million bbl increase in EIA gasoline supplies (vs expectations of +1.50 million bbl).
GLOBAL EVENT CALENDAR12/24/2015
Weekly initial unemployment claims expected -1,000 to 270,000, previous -11,000 to 271,000. Weekly continuing claims expected-38,000 to 2.200 million, previous -7,000 to 2.238 million.
USDA weekly Export Sales.
Treasury announces amount of 2-year T-notes (previous $26 billion), 5-year T-notes (previous $35 billion) and 7-year T-notes (previous $29 billion) to be auctioned Dec 28-30.
NYSE closes early.
Early closes for CME equity and interest rate futures markets.
Early closes for CME energy, metals and DME products.
Japan Nov overall household spending expected -2.2% y/y, Oct -2.4% y/y.
Japan Nov jobless rate expected +0.1 to 3.2%, Oct 3.1%. Nov job-to-applicant ratio expected unch at 1.24.
Japan Nov national CPI expected +0.3% y/y, Oct +0.3% y/y. Nov national CPI ex-fresh food expected unch y/y, Oct -0.1% y/y. Nov national CPI ex food & energy expected +0.8% y/y, Oct +0.7% y/y.
Japan Dec Tokyo CPI expected +0.1% y/y, Nov +0.2% y/y. Dec Tokyo CPI ex fresh food expected +0.1% y/y, Nov unch y/y. Dec Tokyo CPI ex food & energy expected +0.6% y/y, Nov +0.6% y/y.
Japan Nov PPI services expected +0.4% y/y, Oct +0.5% y/y.