Morning Call For Thursday, Dec. 8

OVERNIGHT MARKETS AND NEWS

Dec E-mini S&Ps (ESZ16 +0.10%) are up +0.02% and European stocks are up +0.30% at an 11-month high as the markets expect the ECB later today to announce an extension of its QE program. Government bond prices fell and EUR/USD rose to a 3-week high on speculation the ECB may also announce a slower pace of asset purchases and that this will be the last extension of QE before the ECB starts to taper its bond buying. The weaker dollar has boosted crude oil prices with Jan WTI crude up +0.78%, which has also lifted energy producing stocks. Stock markets around the world also rose on signs of economic strength in China after China Nov exports unexpectedly rose for the first time in 8 months and after China imports posted their largest increase in 2 years. Asian stocks settled mostly higher: Japan +1.45%, Hong Kong +0.27%, China -0.21%, Taiwan +1.21%, Australia +1.20%, Singapore -0.03%, South Korea +2.21%, India +1.74%. Japan's Nikkei Stock Index climbed to an 11-month high as strength in Chinese Nov imports boosted exporter stocks.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.34%) is down -0.28% at a 3-week low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.31% at a 3-week high. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.29%.

Mar 10-year T-note prices (ZNH17 -0.18%) are down -7 ticks.

China Nov exports unexpectedly rose +0.1% y/y, stronger than expectations of -5.0% y/y and the first increase in 8 months. Nov imports unexpectedly rose +6.7% y/y, stronger than expectations of -1.9% y/y and the biggest increase in 2 years.

U.S. STOCK PREVIEW

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) weekly initial unemployment claims (expected -13,000 to 255,000, previous +17,000 to 268,000) and continuing claims (expected -33,000 to 2.048 million, previous +38,000 to 2.081 million), (2) USDA weekly Export Sales.

Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Toro (consensus $0.22), Cooper Cos (2.25), Broadcom (3.36).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: Ichor Holdings (Pending:ICHR), Athene Holding (Pending:ATH).

Equity conferences during the remainder of this week include: Citi Global Health Care Conference on Wed-Thu, Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference on Wed-Thu, Bernstein Consumer Summit on Wed-Thu, Capital One Southcoast Energy Conference on Wed-Thu, ACI European Biopolymer Summit on Thu.

OVERNIGHT U.S. STOCK MOVERS

L-3 Communications Holdings (LLL +1.96%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Buy' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch with a price target of $170.

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Disclosure: None.

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