Morning Call For December 15, 2014

OVERNIGHT MARKETS AND NEWS

March E-mini S&Ps (ESH15 +0.72%) this morning are up +0.80% and European stocks are up +0.46% as energy producers gained after the price of crude oil rebounded from a 5-1/2 year low. An increase in M&A activity is also pushing stock prices higher as PetSmart jumped nearly 6% in premarket trading after it agreed to be purchased by a group led by BC Partners for $8.3 billion. The Russian ruble plunged to yet another record low of 59.7684 per dollar on concern that sinking oil prices and economic sanctions against Russia may tip the Russian economy into recession. Asian stocks closed mostly lower: Japan -1.57%, Hong Kong -0.95%, China +0.75%, Taiwan -0.46%, Australia -0.64%, Singapore -0.90%, South Korea -0.07%, India-0.11%. Japanese stocks fell after Japan's quarterly Tankan business conditions index for large manufacturers unexpectedly fell, while Chinese stocks rose, led by a rally in construction and railway companies, on speculation the government will take more steps to support growth. Commodity prices are mixed. Jan crude oil (CLF15 +0.81%) is up +0.61% and rebounded from a fresh 5-1/2 year low after Libya's National Oil Corp. declared force majeure at the ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf with a combined capacity of 560,000 bpd after clashes with rebels at the oil ports forced their closure. Jan gasoline (RBF15 +1.19%) is up +1.03%. Feb gold (GCG15 -0.78%) is down -0.89%. Mar copper (HGH15 +0.09%) is up +0.07%. Agriculture prices are mixed. The dollar index (DXY00 +0.15%) is up +0.15%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.24%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.01%. Mar T-note prices (ZNH15 -0.22%) are down -10 ticks.

The UAE energy minister said that OPEC will stand by its decision not to cut oil output even if crude prices fall as low as $40 a barrel and will wait at least three months before considering an emergency meeting.

The Japan Q4 Tankan large manufacturing business conditions unexpectedly fell to 12 from 13 in Q3, weaker than expectations of unchanged at 13.

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