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Monday Market Movement – No News is Good News

The Futures are up, of course.  

The Futures are always up on Monday morning as it's a low-volume event and "THEY" can start the week off on a good note.  Since lat night, at 6pm, the Dow was up at 24,550, down to 24,350 and now back to 24,450, which is 50-points better than Friday's crappy close so YAY!, I guess.  It's all total BS, of course and I don't even work Mondays anymore (this isn't me, this is PhilBot 3000, my AI work in progress that will take all of your jobs, starting with mine) so it just doesn't matter but, for the sake of having a post – we'll pretend that it does

Both the IMF and the World Bank had meetings this weekend in Washington, DC and the general consensus there was that the Global Economy is good but Debt and Trade Wars risk making it bad again.  Since Debt and Trade Wars are Donald Trump's go-to policy moves – we're probably screwed.  A communique by the IMF’s main advisory committee, released Saturday, represented a ratcheting-up of pessimism since the group’s last semiannual meeting in October.  “I don’t know where the trade dispute is going quite frankly,” Budget Secretary Diokno said in an interview. “President Trump keeps changing his mind.”   

Central bankers sounded the alert that a trade war would leave them worrying more about the economic fallout than any boost tariffs would give to inflation. Colombia’s central bank president said a trade war would be "catastrophic," his Paraguayan peer said it would be "bad for everyone," while Japan’s chief described protectionism as "very undesirable."  Across the board, 2019 growth forecasts are moving lower while debt is getting quickly out of control.

In particular, according to Bloomberg, the IMF is worried that markets might be underestimating the threat of an inflation shock in the U.S., where the Trump administration is increasing fiscal stimulus with the economy at or near full employment. A surge in inflation might force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than expected, a move that might cause turbulence in emerging market. The fund warned that global public and private debt has reached a record $164 trillion. A spike in interest rates would test the ability of borrowers to refinance all that debt.

All these concerns, of course, are reflected in this year's 25% jump in 10-year note yields and we may pop over 3% this week for the first time since Jan, 2014.  The German 10-year is still 0.6% indicating that yes, people have lost that much faith in the US economy and our ability to pay back debt during Trump's first year in office.  And that is coming WITH the stronger Dollar, which hit 90.50 this morning and is keeping a lid on rates, as well as commodity inflation – for the moment.  

We're heading into the meat of earnings season and, so far, though most of the 69 S&P 500 companies that have reported have beaten expectations – it has not been enough to keep them from selling off after the fact.  That's because expectations were already very high and valuations are very, very stretched so nothing less than perfection is acceptable to most investors.

We don't want to draw any conclusions with 431 S&P companies left but this week 180 of them will check in, so we'll probably have some conclusions by the end of this week – so stay tuned!  

That's right, it's a very busy earnings calendar this week with a lot of big tech names checking in on Thursday but GOOGL kicks things off this evening along with WHR (we're long) and ABX (we're long) but there are so many interesting reports heading our way this week, it will be all we can do to keep up:

There NO Fed speak this week as the Fed goes quiet ahead of next week's rate decision.  There's also not too much data but we do get Q1 GDP on Friday and that's going to be a disaster at MAYBE 2%, dramatically lower than last quarter's 2.9% which would be 33% below Team Trump's projections and a complete budget-buster on many levels.  The only thing that might save us is, ironically, rising inventories, since that's counted as a plus to GDP – even though it actually means that Christmas products died on the shelves last quarter.  

We'll also hear activity reports from the Chicago, Richmond and Kansas City Feds this week along with PMI and Consumer Cofidence and Sentiment but nothing earth-shaking, so the focus will be on earnings for sure:

Back on Feb 22st, we drew the following chart to illustrate the levels to watch on the S&P 500, as predicted by our fabulous 5% Rule and here we are, two months later, still watching the same lines with the S&P at 2,676 this morning.  We'll see how things settle out 180 earnings reports from now but my premise remains that 2,640 will become the top of a channel that goes all the way back down to 2,400 over the summer.  

Let's be careful out there!


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  1. Phil/CBI

    What’s your take?  Doesn’t seem like the bid is serious; yet, CBI down 20%.

  2. Good Morning… trade wars, rising debt… In the mean time, CBI down 14% pre-market, MDR up 20% pre-market, as MDR receives a buyout offer from Subsea 7 for $7 with a condition that the CBI merger not go through.  MDR has rejected Subsea's offer.  

    Phil, your thoughts? opportunity for a 2020 trade on CBI ? 

  3. Good Morning.

  4. We did enough to flatten the 50 DMA but not sure it's enough to stem the downtrend.

  5. So much for taking Monday's off Phil! You should postpone until after Trump is indicted for money laundering – should not be too long now… The drama that this guy brings is just fodder for the markets.

    Image result for they keep pulling me back in meme

  6. MAT down in sympathy with HAS.  Adding more short puts.

    Will sell some CBI puts.

  7. CLF

    ~~ Cleveland-Cliffs upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Clarksons Platou; tgt raised to $11 from $7.

  8. Good morning! 

    Wow, talk about running the same bot program – check out those two S&P charts at the end of the post, they are way too similar!  I guess if we want to know what will happen over the next two weeks, we should check out 2/22 on:

    Well, that's not very exciting – same range-bounce BS…  Still, it will be fun to see if that's how we play out.  

    GOOGL/Seer – Good, someone needs to save us.  There's a good $1-2Tn in waste in the system, minimum $1Tn so a company could make $200Bn a year and still save us 30%.  SHLD very sad.  

    CBI/DC, Learner – That's funny.  I love this kind of turmoil.  I think CBI doesn't NEED the MDR deal but it would be nice.  I hate to adjust pre-merger but we'll kind of have to roll our $15 calls to a lower strike if it gets cheap.  Keep in mind, CBI went DOWN on the MDR offer (12/20), not up:

    Oops, that ended very quickly:

    • After reviewing Subsea 7's (OTCPK:SUBCY) unsolicited proposal with its financial advisors and legal counsel, McDermott (NYSE:MDR) has rejected its $7 per share in cash bid, or an offer for up to 50% in Subsea 7 stock and the balance in cash.
    • The board concluded that the proposal was not in the best interests of the company or its stockholders as it significantly undervalued McDermott.
    • It was also not an attractive alternative to the proposed combination with CB&I (NYSE:CBI), which is expected to close in May 2018.
    • MDR +17%; CBI -15% premarket
    • Previously: Chicago Bridge -18% after McDermott gets Subsea 7 bid (Apr. 23 2018)
    • Previously: Subsea 7 looks to derail McDermott-CB&I deal (Apr. 23 2018)


    Big Chart – Failing those 50 dmas is – BAD!  

    Mondays/StJ – I never said I wouldn't work Mondays at all, just that people should not count on me being here Mondays as I intend to start using some for other activities.  If I'm not doing anything else, I'll still be here.  Actually now I have a thing Wednesday pm so the Webinar will be Thurs and I'll leave early Weds.

    Toys/Albo – A dying industry, they've lost half their consumers as kids over 10 only use apps.  

    CLF/Albo – I guess we might have to buy that spread now:

    Wow, we were talking about SHLD earlier but it turns out Eddie is simply transferring assets to benefit himself.  Yet no arrests will be made:

    • Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) says ESL Investment is advising that the company should pursue a divestiture of all or a portion of the Kenmore brand, the Sears home improvement business of the Sears Home Services division, and the PartsDirect business of the Sears home services division.
    • ESL advises other shareholders that Kenmore, SHIP, and PartsDirect have substantial value, and that divesting one or more of the assets would enable Sears to improve its debt profile and liquidity position.
    • ESL also suggests itself as a buyer, with a non-binding proposal to acquire SHIP and PartsDirect based on an enterprise value of $500M and bids for Kenmore and real estate at fair value.
    • Sears says the ESL letter from will be reviewed by a committee of independent board directors. – ROFL!  
    • SHLD +8.05% premarket to $3.26.
    • Source: Press Release

    Chicago Fed National Activity Index

    • Mexico has reached an "agreement in principle" to modernize an existing free trade deal with the European Union, seeking to diversify away from dependence on an increasingly hostile U.S.
    • The new deal will end Mexican tariffs on European food and beverages, allow the bloc to sell more services in Mexico and include a pledge by both sides to include protections for their workers and the environment.
    • Amid tensions between the world's two largest economies, China is welcoming plans by top U.S. officials to visit the country for talks on trade and economic issues.
    • "I am not going to make any comment on timing, nor do I have anything confirmed, but a trip is under consideration," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington.
    • SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR-7% pre-market as BofA Merrill Lynch downgrades shares to Underperform from Neutral with a $7 price target, cut from $8.50, citing concern over the impact of import tariffs to SPWR’s premium businesses.
    • BAML analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith also says he is concerned about SPWR's EBITDA recovery in 2019 and beyond, and he sees SPWR's Q1 earnings focusing on further restructuring.
    • On SPWR’s SolarWorld acquisition announced last week, Dumoulin-Smith says the market already assumes a full exemption on all panels.

    Aluminum plunges as U.S. says may relieve Rusal sanctions if Deripaska exits

    • Metals prices are diving after the Treasury Department says the U.S. will provide sanctions relief to Rusal (OTC:RUALF) if CEO Oleg Deripaska relinquishes control of the Russian aluminum producer.
    • The DoT also extends the deadline for companies to wind down dealings with Rusal until Oct. 23.
    • Aluminum is the worst performing commodity this morning, -6.1% at $2,323/metric ton; among aluminum-related company names, AA -7.6%CENX -4.8%ACH -3.8%ARNC -3.4%premarket.
    • Just as U.S. sanctions sparked higher prices for aluminum and other metals, a change to those sanctions can pull them right back down again.

    GE: The Turnaround Strengthens 

    • Alaska Air (NYSE:ALK): Q1 EPS of $0.14 beats by $0.02.
    • Revenue of $1.83B (+5.2% Y/Y) in-line.
    • Shares +0.06% PM.
    • Press Release
    • Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) has been canceling 40 flights a day – about 1% of its nearly 4,000 daily flights – to conduct "accelerated" fan-blade inspections.
    • A passenger was killed last week when an engine broke apart and shattered a window on a flight from New York to Dallas.
    • showed more than 500 Southwest flights delayed Sunday, but it's not clear how many of those were due to inspections.
    • Stifel Nicolaus predicts a profit beat out of Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI) when the company reports on May 1.
    • The firm is confident enough to upgrade Hanesbrands to Buy from Hold, as well as push up the price target to $23 (34% upside potential).
    • Hanesbrands is up 2.27% premarket to $17.60.
    • The ownership stake of Helios and Matheson Analytics (NASDAQ:HMNY) in MoviePass is up to 91.8% as of April 16, according to a SEC filing.
    • The extra shares are a result of a reimbursement owed to Helios.
    • SEC Form 8-K
    • Shares of HMNY are up 1.32% premarket to $2.30.

    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is secretly working on robots for the home, according to Bloomberg sources.
    • The domestic robot, codenamed “Vesta,” is overseen by Lab126 hardware R&D division head Gregg Zehr. 
    • The sources didn’t specify what the robot does, though it could be a mobile Alexa that follows a user around the house using advanced cameras and computer vision software similar to how a self-driving car operates. 
    • The Vesta project began a “few years ago” with a recent aggressive ramp up in hiring. Sources say the robots could be in employee homes by year’s end and with consumers as early as next year. 
    • The consumer robot market could total about $15B a year by 2023, according to Research and Markets data, up from the $5.4B expected this year.
    • Amazon shares are up 0.7% premarket.

  9. Sold CBI may $12.50 puts for $1.20. I’d love to own CBI at $11.30

  10. Phil

     LABU maybe time for a BCS  ?


  11. UVXY calls

  12. Good call Den.  

    LABU/QC – I think, over earnings, there is much more chance of Biotech disappointment than upside surprise since the upside usually comes from studies that are not timed to earnings and buy-outs, also not really timed to earnings.  So, hopefully, we have some headline misses and can get in closer to $70, but I do want to get in.  

    Oil having trouble just getting back over $67.50 without any more talk to push it up.

    /NG with a wild ride

    Metals out of favor with a strong Dollar:

    Bonds very weak bouncing off 3%

    Indexes weak bouncing too:

    Finally, an analyst who's worth reading:

    • General Electric's (GE +0.6%) Q1 results "materially reduced" investor fears about the adequacy of the company's liquidity and the sustainability of its current $0.48 annual dividend, and owning GE shares likely will prove "very rewarding" for investors, says William Blair analyst Nicholas Heymann, reiterating his Outperform rating.
    • As Heymann sees it, GE reported much lower free cash flow use from a year ago, larger than expected structural cost reductions, great clarity on additional asset dispositions, better than anticipated sales and adjusted earnings, and clarity around the adequacy of GE Capital's liquidity.
    • While GE's challenges are "far from fully resolved," the risk of further downside due to liquidity constraints that might require equity sales or an additional dividend reduction no longer represents a material risk to the stock, Heymann says.

    PMI Composite Flash

    • April U.S. PMI Composite Flash54.8 vs. 54.6 consensus, 54.3 prior.
    • Services PMI 54.4 vs. 54.5 consensus, 54.1 prior.
    • Manufacturing PMI 56.5 vs. 55.2 consensus, 55.7prior.
    • Stocks are off to a flattish start, as investors warily eye rising government bond yields; S&P and Dow flat, Nasdaq -0.1%.
    • Investors have been selling U.S. Treasury bonds this month amid expectations of rising inflation, and this morning the benchmark 10-year T-note yield hit a high of 2.996%, threatening to piece the 3% barrier for the first time since January 2014; the yield has since slipped to 2.968%, which still puts it 2 bps above Friday's close.
    • Dollar demand has increased amid the rise in Treasury yields, sending the U.S. Dollar Index 0.4% higher to 90.44, its highest level in more than seven weeks.
    • European bourses also show little movement, with U.K.'s FTSE +0.2%, France's CAC +0.1%and Germany's DAX flat; in Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed -0.3% and China's Shanghai Composite finished -0.1%.
    • In U.S. corporate news, Hasbro -0.5% after missing Q1 earnings and revenue estimates, but Caterpillar +0.6% following an upgrade at Citigroup and Merck +1.7% following an upgrade at Goldman.
    • Most sectors are little changed, with the energy sector (-0.4%) an early laggard while industrials (+0.4%) and technology (+0.3%) exhibit relative strength.
    • U.S. WTI crude oil -1.5% at $67.38/bbl.
    • Still ahead: existing home sales

  13. OLED/Albo – looks like they flushed out the close stops this morning..

  14. Scott – Interesting.  BTW, I know their chairman, Sherwin Seligsohn.  He was a founder of IDCC before he started OLED.  Very smart man.  How smart ?

    He sold 50,000 shares of OLED at 200.

  15. how does the money supply go up by a factor of 4 and we don't see any inflation?

    I feel like there's something fundamental about fractional reserve fiat banking (currency) that I simply don't understand (and quite possibly, lots of people don't), and we may see the shocking readjustment of this misunderstanding at this point any time now. Or not. *shrugs*

  16. Keep in mind my pet theory that we are seeing a categorical global economic shift from an individual nation-state, law-based fiat System of Trust (fiat currency, based on the manufacturing and real estate economy) to the Knowledge Economy (based on 3rd party-less algorithmic System of Trust).

    It's not the manufacturing and real estate are important, it just that they have significantly less value in comparison. So the money supply I linked to above is inflationarily decoupled completely because it is servicing this new, much larger, economic mechanism. The $220T global fiat currency money supply is a fraction of the $1.5Q+ derivative market which can therefore absorb a 4X US money supply without an inflationary care in the world. This larger knowledge economy, which has the ability to bring 1M people out of poverty PER DAY, could easily be worth $5-10Q total (or more).

    That's my theory. Until I hear a better one, both my near-term and long-term personal investing premise will be based at least somewhat on it.

  17. Phil,

    Thoughts on shorting /RB at 2.10?

  18. Money supply/BDC – No velocity is how.  All the money goes to the Top 1%, who don't spend it and so the supply can go up 100x but it doesn't help the main economy.  You can make a case that the money goes to the "new" economy but we've had massive derivative markets for decades and the relationship has never decoupled because if it before.  Maybe "this time is different", but I kind of doubt it.  So far, there's nothing surprising about what's happening – I've been saying for a decade there won't be inflation until we have wage inflation and the wage inflation is only just beginning it's decade-long process. 

    How do 1M people a day get out of poverty with knowledge?  Not clear what that mechanism is?   

    Knowledge economies risk leaving the poor behind – SciDev.Net

    Knowledge Economy Index – COMSTAT Data Portal

    AAPL breaking lower on yet another report that IPhone X sales are weak. 

    /RB/Japar – Well, it's sure tempting but also too dangerous for my taste.  

    Oddly enough, we were down earlier as Iran said there may be no need to extend production cuts but maybe now they said something else – haven't seen it yet.  

    Now that the May cycle is over, there's no rollover pressure for a couple of weeks so it's a random bet unless a clear story comes into focus.

    Click for
    Current Session Prior Day Opt's
    Open High Low Last Time Set Chg Vol Set Op Int
    Jun'18 68.22 68.45 67.14 68.20 12:50
    Apr 23


    -0.20 569330 68.40 567940 Call Put
    Jul'18 68.05 68.28 67.02 68.03 12:50
    Apr 23


    -0.15 170715 68.18 233949 Call Put
    Aug'18 67.50 67.80 66.62 67.58 12:50
    Apr 23


    -0.08 83860 67.66 167445 Call Put
    Sep'18 67.00 67.17 66.07 67.00 12:50
    Apr 23


    -0.05 58212 67.05 229319 Call Put
    Oct'18 66.28 66.57 65.51 66.38 12:50
    Apr 23


    -0.05 38393 66.43 125393 Call Put

  19. WSJ agrees with me:

    Main Street’s Gain May Be Wall Street’s Pain

    These days, the biggest companies have high profit margins. There’s a vital question for investors: Will those margins fall now that wage pressures are on the rise?


    The Next Winners From the Oil Rally

    Oil-field-service providers like Halliburton, Schlumberger and Baker Hughes haven’t benefited from the shale boom as much as investors hoped, but that will change.

  20. Watching Ira Sohn, kind of dull:  Updates from the Ira Sohn Conference

    Good note on SKT:  

    Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (NYSE:SKT): High Quality Retail on the Cheap / 10x FFO / 6.5% Yield

    • Tanger owns a diversified portfolio of 44 outlet centers located in 22 states coast to coast and in Canada. I believe that outlet centers are likely to remain more resilient to the growth of e-commerce, and this is why I favor Tanger relative to other large retail REITs such as Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG), Macerich Co. (NYSE:MAC), GGP, Inc. (NYSE:GGP) and Taubman Centers (NYSE:TCO).
    • Outlet centers do not lease space to struggling department stores such as Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) or Macy's (NYSE:M)… and rather, are occupied by highly desirable brands such as Gap (NYSE:GPS), Nike (NYSE:NKE), CK (NYSE:PVH), Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) and Under Armour (NYSE:UAA). Outlets have proven to remain relatively resilient to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) type firms as they offer very competitive pricing and create a "treasure-hunting" experience that customers may not get elsewhere.
    • Over the last 20 years, Tanger has been one of the strongest performers of the entire REIT market and massively outperformed the broad REIT indexes as well as equity indexes (SPY). It is also a constituent of the S&P High-Yield Dividend Aristocrat Index, having increased dividends every year since 1993, and this even includes the Great Financial Crisis. Moreover, the increases have historically been very substantial with an annual average of 12% in the past three years.
    • The high desirability of outlets is well reflected in the financial performance. Tanger has historically achieved strong internal growth, as tenants are literally lined up to lease space at its properties – allowing for strong rent increases and a high occupancy.
    • The shares are currently being offered on the cheap due to excessively high fears that I don't expect to ever materialize. Tanger is currently trading at a bargain valuation of just 10x expected FFO. The 6.5% dividend yield is very well covered and we see significant upside to patient long-term investors.
    SKT Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. -2000 3/16/2018 38 $-44,500 $22.25 $-0.75 $-22.25     $21.50 $-0.02 $1,500 3.4% $-43,000
    Short Call 2020 17-JAN 20.00 CALL [SKT @ $21.50 $-0.02] -20 2/26/2018 (634) $-8,100 $4.05 $-1.00     $3.05 - $2,000 24.7% $-6,100
    Short Put 2020 17-JAN 22.50 PUT [SKT @ $21.50 $-0.02] -20 2/1/2018 (634) $-5,400 $2.70 $0.73     $3.43 $-0.46 $-1,450 -26.9% $-6,850

    They pay another 0.3425 dividend on 4/27, that's $1.40/yr on what is now a $21.50 stock (6%)!

  21. Was the $VIX April Settlement Manipulated?

  22. Trump Job Approval (Weekly)

  23. Don’t blame the election on fake news. Blame it on the media.

  24. /RB/Phil- May contracts expire end of this week. Shouldn’t there be some pressure on RB?

  25. Phil looking at your SKT stock position it shows 2000 stock short. Surly you bought the stock in this play?

  26. Commentary: Tariffs and the unseen victims and costs of political privilege

  27. Jeffrey Gundlach- He advised investors to plow money into the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production exchange-trade fund (XOP) , which trades at $38.9 per share. He said the energy sector would outperform the broad market S&P 500 going into a recession. (Are we really going into recession in 2018?)

  28. Yodi:  This is one of Phil ´s trades I chose and is BUYING the stock.

  29. What is driving /RB up so much?  It's Monday and it's acting like it's Thursday after a big draw report………

  30. advill Obviouly thisis the right way

  31. Aren't you glad you didn't short /RB, Japar?  

    /RB/Ravi – Gasoline contracts don't have pressure like oil because we actually do consume it and there's a lot of fudge factor at retail (gas stations with empty tanks, tanker trucks can be empty or full…) so there's no accurate way to get a count in a country that consumes 10Mb/d with 150,000 gas stations with 12-24,000 gallons (300-600 barrels) of storage in each (67Mb) plus the tanker trucks that supply them (10Mb) and the trains that supply them (10Mb) and, of course, 200M cars that hold half a barrel each so that's another 100M barrels that may or may not be in cars at any given time.  That's why it's idiotic that the price reacts to up and down 2Mb in inventory.

    SKT/Yodi – Good catch, I fixed that.

    Gundlach/Dave – Do the opposite of what he says if you want to get rich.  

    /RB/Ult – People are playing for summer driving season now:

    Indexes not looking too pretty.  

  32. OLED/Albo – smart indeed. CEO and Legal guy selling last couple weeks…

  33. Barrick Gold Cut to Hold From Buy by Canaccord Genuity

  34. why are my comments awaiting moderation? 

  35. Looks like GOOG had a big beat

  36. Jabo – Your comments were in moderation because there were no FU in them! :-)

  37. FU stjean!!!!


  38. nope— still 

    [Your comment is awaiting moderation.]

    [Your comment is awaiting moderation.]


  39. /RB/Phil- thx

  40. Nice reversals in CBI & MAT.

  41. jabobeast – not sure what happened, I'll see if I can find out. 

  42. thx ilene! it did that friday too.

  43. Barrick Reports First Quarter 2018 Results 


    5:01 PM ET 4/23/18 | GlobeNewswire

  44. Oh yeah, I forgot I was ignoring Jabob.  Well, we got a lot accomplished and my mood is better and the conversation on the board has been elevated.  

    Nope, not changing my mind on that one….

  45. Congrats to the GreenCoin players.  If we can get this stuff to be liquid – we'll be in great shape!  

  46. Water… it has always been a function of energy:

    not a new problem at all.

  47. Good morning!

    Getting a little pop into the open and we're back to test 6,700 on /NQ, so we'll see if it sticks.  Lined up with 24,550, 2,685 and 1,572.50 with oil right at $69, /RB 2.13, /NG $2.82.

    There's no particular news driving this move so it's very tempting to short but no particular reason to do that so: Watch and Wait!

    • Following breakout Q1 results from General Electric and Honeywell on Friday, earnings from the industrial sector are kicking into high gear.
    • Investors will see scorecards today from Caterpillar, 3M, United Technologies and Lockheed Martin, while Boeing and other aerospace/defense firms will report the rest of the week.
    • While the demand environment remains strong for industrials, input cost inflation and growing worries of a trade war pose risks.

    Yen Drop Buoys Japan Stocks as Dollar Holds Gain: Markets Wrap. The greenback held on to gains, with the 10-year Treasury yield remaining just below its highest level since 2014. As the yen retreated, equities in Japan climbed. Stocks nudged higher in Australia and in South Korea, despite SK Hynix Inc. continuing a pattern seen from a string of semiconductor makers where earnings disappointed investors. Aluminum prices plunged after the U.S. softened its position on sanctions against Russia’s United Co. Rusal. Japan’s Topix index added 0.8 percent as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.2 percent. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.1 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.2 percent after the underlying gauge closed little changed on Monday.


    • It's another big step for the Belt and Road Initiative.
    • The Shanghai Stock Exchange has signed an MoU with the UAE to open an international exchange alongside the Abu Dhabi Global Market.
    • Specifics weren't given about which instruments the new venture would trade – or when it might open – but the platform intends to offer "endless opportunities" to support businesses and investors along the Belt and Road.


    • German business sentiment slipped further in April, suggesting the choppiness from the first quarter may be sticking around.
    • The newly revamped Ifo business climate index, which now includes the services sector, fell to 102.1 from 103.3, marking the fifth straight decline in the monthly indicator.
    • "The upbeat mood in Germany's executives' suites is evaporating," said Ifo President Clemens Fuest.
    • The bitcoin bounce (BTC-USD) has now hit about 50%, with the crypto higher by another 4% today to $9.3K.
    • Bitcoin made its first appearance at the Ira Sohn conference yesterday, with John Pfeffer making its case as a better alternative to gold on every front. Should bitcoin displace 25% of forex reserves, says Pfeffer, it would have a network value of $6.4T, or $700K per coin.


    Rent-A-Rebel:  Saudi Media Claims Houthis Are Holding 19 Oil Tankers Hostage Off Yemeni Coast.