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21 Dec 2016 07:44 GMT+0 - Opening Wrap

In Asian Equity Markets Japan's Nikkei index edged down on Wednesday in choppy trade ahead of the holidays as investors locked in gains after the market hovered at more than one-year highs earlier. The Nikkei ended 0.3 percent lower at 19,444.49 after trading in positive territory in the morning. The broader Topix fell 0.5 percent at 1,544.94, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.4 percent to 13,850.89. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan inched up 0.3 percent on Wednesday, but that followed a string of losses. Australia's main index finished at its best level in 17 months after Wall Street racked up more records.

 

In Currency Markets the dollar hovered near a 14-year high against the euro on Wednesday, supported by expectations of U.S. interest rates rising more rapidly during the incoming Trump Administration. In thin trading ahead of year-end holidays, the euro last stood at $1.0413 after falling below $1.0352 on Tuesday, a level last seen in January 2003. The dollar was at 117.67 yen, coming within reach of its 10 1/2-month high of 118.66 touched on Dec 15. The British pound fell to one-month low of $1.2313 on Monday, pressured by renewed uncertainty over the process by which Britain will leave the European Union. The dollar index was last at 103.30.

  

In Commodities Markets oil prices nudged higher on Wednesday on expectations of a U.S. crude inventory draw, although trading activity was muted as markets start to wind down ahead of the Christmas weekend. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were trading at $53.58 per barrel, up 28 cents from their last settlement. International Brent crude oil futures were at $55.57 a barrel, up 22 cents. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,135.83 an ounce. It fell 0.6 percent in the previous session. Among other precious metals, silver edged 0.1 percent higher to $16.10 an ounce. Platinum gained 0.4 percent to $919.40. Palladium shed 0.2 percent to $662.50 an ounce. It touched a near 1-1/2-month low of $660.22 earlier in the session.

 

In US Equity Markets  the Dow and Nasdaq Composite rose to record highs on Tuesday in a rally fueled by optimism about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's policies. The Dow Jones industrial average  rose 0.46 percent, to end at 19,974.62 points, a record high close. The S&P 500 gained 0.36 percent, to finish at 2,270.76 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.49 percent, to 5,483.94. Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors rose, with the financial index's 1.12 percent rise leading the advancers.  The consumer discretionary index rose 0.78 percent. General Mills fell 2.55 percent after the Cheerios cereal-maker's quarterly results missed expectations. After the bell, Nike rose 3 percent on a strong quarterly report from the sports apparel seller.

  

In Bond Markets Japanese government bond prices edged higher in thin trading on Wednesday, as investors wound down for the upcoming holidays. The benchmark 10-year yield fell 0.5 basis point (bp) to 0.060 percent, while 10-year JGB futures finished up 0.08 point at 149.81. In the superlong zone, the 20-year JGB yield fell 1 bp to 0.555 percent, while the 30-year JGB yield shed 0.5 bp to 0.660 percent. Benchmark 10-year U.S yields have climbed almost 80 basis points since early November to reach 2.57 percent.

 

 

Economic Calendar

  • 16:30 GMT+0 US Crude Oil Inventories

 

US Equity Upgrades

  • ALCOA (AA) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT MACQUARIE
  • AMD (AMD) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT MIZUHO
  • AMERICAN AXLE (AXL) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM SECTOR PERFORM AT RBC CAPITAL
  • AMERICAN WATER (AWK) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT JANNEY CAPITAL
  • CATERPILLAR (CAT) UPGRADED TO POSITIVE FROM MIXED AT OTR GLOBAL
  • CLOVIS (CLVS) UPGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM SELL AT CHARDAN
  • DANA HOLDING (DAN) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM SECTOR PERFORM AT RBC CAPITAL
  • EVERSOURCE (ES) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM HOLD AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • F.N.B. (FNB) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • FIRST REPUBLIC (FRC) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • HD SUPPLY (HDS) UPGRADED TO OVERWEIGHT FROM EQUAL WEIGHT AT MORGAN STANLEY
  • HUBBELL (HUBB) UPGRADED TO OVERWEIGHT FROM EQUAL WEIGHT AT MORGAN STANLEY
  • HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES (HBAN) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT BMO CAPITAL
  • KOSMOS (KOS) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM NEUTRAL AT CITI
  • NVIDIA (NVDA) UPGRADED TO CONVICTION BUY FROM BUY AT GOLDMAN
  • PEOPLE'S UNITED (PBCT) UPGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM UNDERPERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • PSEG (PEG) UPGRADED TO BUY FROM HOLD AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • REGENERON (REGN) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • TECK RESOURCES (TECK) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT MACQUARIE
  • VERSARTIS (VSAR) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM NEUTRAL AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • VERSARTIS (VSAR) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM UNDERPERFORM AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • WESTERN DIGITAL (WDC) UPGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM SELL AT GOLDMAN
  • ZIONS BANCORP (ZION) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM MARKET PERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL

 

US Equity Downgrades

  • ACUITY BRANDS (AYI) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OUTPERFORM AT BAIRD
  • AMGEN (AMGN) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OUTPERFORM AT CREDIT SUISSE
  • ANNALY CAPITAL (NLY) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT (AI) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • CBOE HOLDINGS (CBOE) DOWNGRADED TO SELL FROM HOLD AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • CEMPRA (CEMP) DOWNGRADED AT SUNTRUST
  • CYPRESS ENERGY (CELP) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM BUY AT JANNEY CAPITAL
  • DONEGAL GROUP (DGICA) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT KEEFE BRUYETTE
  • DYNEGY (DYN) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • FIRST BUSEY (BUSE) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • FIRST FOUNDATION (FFWM) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • FIRSTENERGY (FE) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • FRANCO-NEVADA (FNV) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • GRANITE REAL ESTATE (GRP) DOWNGRADED TO SECTOR PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT RBC CAPITAL
  • HOMESTREET (HMST) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM FROM OUTPERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • INOVALON (INOV) DOWNGRADED TO SECTOR WEIGHT FROM OVERWEIGHT AT KEYBANC
  • LENNOX (LII) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERWEIGHT FROM EQUAL WEIGHT AT MORGAN STANLEY
  • OAKTREE CAPITAL (OAK) DOWNGRADED TO HOLD FROM BUY AT DEUTSCHE BANK
  • PROSPERITY BANCSHARES (PB) DOWNGRADED TO MARKET PERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • WATSCO (WSO) DOWNGRADED TO UNDERWEIGHT FROM EQUAL WEIGHT AT MORGAN STANLEY
 

US Equity Initiations

  • 8POINT3 ENERGY (CAFD) INITIATED WITH AN OUTPERFORM AT FBR CAPITAL
  • ADAMIS PHARMACEUTICALS (ADMP) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT B. RILEY
  • ADP (ADP) INITIATED WITH AN OVERWEIGHT AT BARCLAYS
  • AMPLIFY SNACK BRANDS (BETR) INITIATED WITH A NEUTRAL AT WEDBUSH
  • ASTEC (ASTE) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT DOUGHERTY
  • ATMOS ENERGY (ATO) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT UBS
  • BAIDU (BIDU) INITIATED WITH A HOLD AT EVERCORE ISI
  • CIENA (CIEN) INITIATED WITH AN OVERWEIGHT AT PIPER JAFFRAY
  • COMMSCOPE (COMM) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT CITI
  • CORCEPT THERAPEUTICS (CORT) ASSUMED WITH A SELL AT JANNEY CAPITAL
  • COSTAR GROUP (CSGP) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT CITI
  • DHT HOLDINGS (DHT) RESUMED WITH A BUY AT MAXIM
  • ETSY (ETSY) INITIATED WITH A HOLD AT STIFEL
  • GATX (GATX) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT CITI
  • INC RESEARCH (INCR) INITIATED WITH AN EQUAL-WEIGHT AT FIRST ANALYSIS
  • JD.COM (JD) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT EVERCORE ISI
  • LANCASTER COLONY (LANC) ASSUMED WITH AN OUTPERFORM AT WEDBUSH
  • LANDEC (LNDC) ASSUMED WITH A NEUTRAL AT WEDBUSH
  • MACROGENICS (MGNX) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT SUNTRUST
  • MARCUS & MILLICHAP (MMI) INITIATED WITH A NEUTRAL AT CITI
  • NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS (NAT) INITIATED WITH A SELL AT MAXIM
  • NORTHWEST NATURAL GAS (NWN) INITIATED WITH A SELL AT UBS
  • OFS CAPITAL (OFS) INITIATED WITH AN OUTPERFORM AT BAIRD
  • ONCOMED (OMED) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT SUNTRUST
  • PAYCHEX (PAYX) INITIATED WITH AN EQUAL WEIGHT AT BARCLAYS
  • PENNANTPARK (PNNT) INITIATED WITH A NEUTRAL AT JANNEY CAPITAL
  • PYXIS TANKERS (PXS) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT MAXIM
  • SAREPTA (SRPT) INITIATED WITH A NEUTRAL AT GOLDMAN
  • SQUARE (SQ) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT NOMURA
  • TRINITY INDUSTRIES (TRN) INITIATED WITH A NEUTRAL AT CITI
  • TSAKOS ENERGY (TNP) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT MAXIM
  • TWILIO (TWLO) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT DREXEL HAMILTON
  • UPS (UPS) INITIATED WITH A HOLD AT LOOP CAPITAL
  • WGL HOLDINGS (WGL) INITIATED WITH A SELL AT UBS
  • XENETIC (XBIO) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT LADENBURG
  • ZOETIS (ZTS) INITIATED WITH A BUY AT DEUTSCHE BANK

 

 

 


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