US Manufacturing PMI Near 3-Year Highs As Input Costs Soar Most In 28 Months

Despite lackluster 'hard' data (IP only helped by cold-weather-juiced Utility surge), 'soft' survey data post-Trump continues to shine as US Manufacturing PMI soared in December to 55.1 - the highest since March 2015 (and notably better than preliminary values and expectations). Despite the steepest increase in new orders in 28 months, export orders were stagnant and employment slipped.

Trump Is Keeping FBI Director Comey

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, told his top agents from around the country that he had been asked by President Trump to stay on the job running the federal government’s top law enforcement agency, The New York Times reports, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why Barclays Downgraded Apple

In an unexpected breach from the herd of sellside optimism, this morning Barclays downgraded Apple to Equal Weight from Overweight, putting some pressure on the stock which was down modestly in the premarket. This is what Barclays said to justify its contrarian view on the world's largest company.

Frontrunning: January 24

  • Dollar steadies after stumble, sterling rides out Brexit ruling (Reuters)
  • After U.S. exit, Asian nations try to save TPP trade deal (Reuters)
  • U.K. Court Rules Brexit Trigger Needs Parliamentary Vote (BBG)
  • Brexit plans unlikely to be slowed by Article 50 defeat (Reuters)
  • Health Secretary Nominee Proposed Bill Benefiting Puerto Rico Investments (WSJ)

Trump Says "Illegal" Voters Cost Him Popular Vote

Sparking his latest confrontation with the media, and mostly CNN and WaPo, overnight president Trump told members of Congress on Monday in a private reception that he lost the popular vote in the election because millions of undocumented immigrants cast votes for his opponent.

Johnson & Johnson Slides On Top-Line Miss, Disappointing Drug Sales, Soft Outlook

The reason why JNJ was over 2% lower in the pre-market, and pressuing the entire Dow average as a result, is because it took a page out of the IBM playbook, and beat EPS only thanks to a sharply reduced effective tax rate; furthermore, virtually all major drug sales posted weaker than expected sales in the fourth quarter.

US Futures, Oil Flat As Greenback Rises Despite Mnuchin's "Strong Dollar" Warning

US equity futures were flat, European stocks rose and Asia was mixed after the dollar posted a modest rebound overnight despite Mnuchin's "strong dollar" comments, while oil was flat and gold fell, as investors focused on President Donald Trump’s plans to boost growth. The pound fell after a U.K. court ruled that Parliament must vote on triggering Brexit.