Equities are off to a strong start this week. In the US Dow and S&P futures are up 0.4% and NASDAQ futures up 0.6%. In Europe, Spain's IBEX is up 1.4% with the DAX up 0.8% and the FTSE up slightly. In Asia the Hang Seng rose 1.0%.
A number of factors have come together to send stocks higher today. In the US, AT&T announced it has agreed to acquire Time Warner for $107.50 per share. If the shares trade above that level it would suggest that traders are expecting other suitors may step in or a higher bid may be needed.
A poll released over the weekend showing Hillary Clinton with a 12 point lead has been getting a lot of attention and may be contributing to risk-off sentiment. Traders should note, however that a number of other polls put them in a virtual tie and some have Trump with a small lead. This happened during Brexit where polls showing Remain leading were amplified and polls showing Leave leading were downplayed. We all know how that turned out. Now is not the time to be complacent, a lot can happen in the next few weeks.
In Europe today, a number of developments are moving markets. In Spain it looks like PM Rajoy will be able to serve a second term with the Socialists standing down their opposition ending 10 months of indecision about the next government following two close elections. DBRS maintained Portugal's investment grade credit rating helping confidence. The FTSE is underperforming a bit following a mixed CBI retailer survey which showed soft business conditions, rising inflation but a rebound in business confidence.
Flash PMI reports, the first look at the world economy in October have been very positive with Japan, France and Germany all improving and beating expectations. The mid-morning US report could have an influence on trading.
Also today, we could see traders positioning for this week's earnings reports with Apple Tuesday, Tesla Motors Wednesday and Google Thursday with a lot of Dow components like Boeing and Caterpillar also on the program. It also will be interesting to see if last week's pattern of strong starts and weak finishes to trading days (a sign of distribution) continues or not.
Time Warner agrees to be acquired by AT&T for $107.50 per share or $85.4B.
Japan flash manufacturing PMI 51.7 vs previous 50.4
France flash manufacturing PMI 51.3 vs street 50.0
France flash service PMI 52.1 vs street 53.0
Germany flash manufacturing PMI 55.1 vs street 54.4
Germany flash service PMI 54.1 vs street 51.5
UK CBI total orders   (17) vs street (5)
UK CBI selling prices 8 vs previous 5
UK CBI business optimism (8) vs previous (47)
Upcoming significant economic announcements include:
9:45 am EDT US Markit flash manufacturing PMI street 51.5
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