Commodities stage a record rally, Trump turns on Bannon, and winter storm to hit eastern U.S. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index is set for a 15th consecutive day of gains as metals and oil climb higher, supported by supply disruptions, a weaker dollar, and bullishness on global growth. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for February delivery was trading at $61.82 by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time after briefly topping $62 earlier in the session. Copper gained 1.5 percent in London trading as positive U.S. and euro-area factory data added momentum to global growth prospects.
Bannon under the bus
President Donald Trump said his former top strategist, Steve Bannon, had “lost his mind” after he was fired from the administration, after excerpts were published from a book in which the former White House strategist criticizes the president and his family. The dispute is seen as a positive by establishment Republicans who saw Bannon’s promotion of fringe candidates as a threat to their chances of retaining control of Congress at this year’s mid-term elections.
Thousands of flights have been canceled and weather warnings issued along the Eastern United States as a massive winter storm threatens the area with flooding, snow, ice and high winds. Schools in New York and Boston are closed, and the lock-up for today’s weekly jobless numbers has been canceled. Natural gas surged to a record, while electricity prices reached the highest prices in years.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 1.2 percent. Markets in Japan returned from a holiday with their biggest gains in more than a year with the Topix index jumping 2.6 percent and the Nikkei 225 surging 3.3 percent. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.5 percent higher at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time, in a broad-based rally. S&P 500 futures added 0.2 percent, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.471 percent, and gold was slightly lower.
Tesla Inc. has once again pushed back its target for assembling 5,000 Model 3s per week, this time to the end of June. The company reported 1,550 deliveries of the flagship car in the final three months of 2017, well below average analyst estimates. Shares in the company are more than 3 percent lower in pre-market trading. Tesla did exceed forecasts for deliveries of its Model S sedan and Model X crossovers, with a combined 101,312 of those models leaving the factory in the last year.