With the economy expanding to 3% and with interest rates at low levels, many companies are tempted to expand through mergers. With funding rates at historically low levels, a merger or acquisition may be the fastest route for a company to increase its size and market share.
In US the budget committee warned that the proposed Republican tax reform would increase the public deficit by more than 300,000 M.USD than estimated by this proposal. Accordingly, the deficit threshold approved by the Senate (1 500 000 000 M.USD) would be exceeded. Today’s session is expected to be conditioned by the behavior of oil, the presentation of the results of some retailers such as Kohl’s and Macy’s (which signals the end of the earnings season), possible developments regarding the tax reform and news related to the visit President Trump to China.
Last Friday European markets resumed trading under selling pressure. The bottom line of this downward movement is more about more technical factors (the profit taking after strong gains in recent weeks) than on macro or microeconomic issues.
European stock markets ended lower, with most sectors reporting this behavior. The financial sector was among the worst performers, with investors worried about US tax reform. In Paris, EDF depreciated, after lowering the estimates of results and cash flow for 2018 due to the lower expected energy consumption, the lower availability of some of its nuclear reactors at the beginning of 2018 and a decrease in the capacity of compensation in Great Britain. Meanwhile, oil prices traded slightly higher, after OPEC raised its prospects for oil demand in 2018.
Mario Draghi will be present today at an important forum organized by the ECB, which will also include the Governor of the Bank of England, the Governor of the Bank of Japan and the Governor of the FED Charles Evans. Mario Draghi's intervention is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Mario Draghi's words could be a catalyst for debt markets and could dictate the yield trend today.
Oil declined after the International Energy Agency cut its oil demand projections to 2017 and 2018. These projections slightly cool the positive sentiment that was being built around it but also serves as a justification for several investors to realize capital gains after the strong gains accumulated in recent weeks. In fact, from 9 October to 7 November, Brent appreciated 16%. The weakness of oil is also negatively affecting other industrial commodities, so the mining sector may also be under pressure.
At the sectoral level, the oil stocks could be one of the highlights of the session. Yesterday, DJStoxx Oil & Gas suffered sharp losses after the Norwegian sovereign fund informed it would withdraw its oil stocks from its benchmark. Norge Bank is the largest sovereign fund in the world, managing around 1 000 000 M.USD. The fund is fueled by oil revenues and aims to generate returns (through investment in financial assets) for future generations, when oil exploration is gradually losing ground.
The week of Thanksgiving is usually favorable to stock markets. In fact, since 1945, the S&P ended that week up in 75% of that period, with an average valuation of 0.64%. Interestingly, in the years that the S&P has accumulated gains over 10% (as in the current year), the average Thanksgiving week gain rises to 0.84%.
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