Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

At least that’s the hope after a WSJ report on Thursday said the U.S. may ease China tariffs to facilitate a trade deal.

“Although, the Treasury didn’t confirm this…the market has bought this for now and if this turns out to be a junk, the selloff would be intense,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK, tells clients in a note.

And of course, one tweet from you-know-who (President Donald Trump) could also spoil the mood ahead of the long weekend, that will see U.S. markets shut Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. On that note, it’s worth checking out the Heisenberg Report, which says POTUS, after pushing the Fed to sing like a dove, is boxed in a corner when it comes to the stock rally he so badly wants.

“If he wants the fledgling stock surge to be some semblance of sustainable, he needs to either end the shutdown, strike a trade deal or, preferably, both,” said The Real Heisenberg.

You’d think earnings releases were a sideshow these days, though some bad news from Tesla this morning is definitely garnering attention (see Buzz). Our call of the day from analysts at Piper Jaffray looks at an important big name that reported late Thursday— Netflix — and they say the latest results reveal the huge feather in the cap of the video streamer and point to a prime reason to own its shares.

“The single most important metric to investors…is international subscriber additions and that was ahead of expectations for the quarter and the guide,” said analysts Michael Olson and Yung Kim.

While domestic subscriber numbers slightly missed the market at 1.53 million, on the international side, that number jumped to 7.3 million, well above the Street’s forecast of 6.13 million. For the first quarter of 2019, Netflix expects 7.3 million adds again on that international side. In other words, global domination, and while Netflix shares look set to take a hit Friday over some revenue and margin disappointment, Piper Jaffray has set a new price target at $440 (from $430), which makes the current $353 a bit of a bargain.

As for latest price hikes, which had some fans fuming, Piper Jaffray says its own research finds go to $15.50/mo without balking.

“There has been a change, in my opinion, in the perception of Netflix among investors. No longer is the company a startup looking to disrupt the current media sector. It’s already done this,” added Jordan Hiscott, chief trader at Ayondo Markets, who sees Netflix hitting $423 by summer.

Obviously, Netflix has a lot of pull on direction where the larger market is concerned, and that’s maybe a case of watch this space. “We think a solid result and follow-through for NFLX shares will be important for risk appetite in general, which has started the year on an upswing,” said Rob Sanderson, managing director at MKM Partners, in a note to clients ahead of those results.

Plus: Why Netflix feels more threatened by Fortnite than HBO

Read: The stock market hasn’t started a year this strongly since 1987 — uh-oh!

The market

The Dow

DJIA, +0.61%

S&P 500

SPX, +0.62%

 and Nasdaq

COMP, +0.53%

are all higher this morning.

Check out Market Snapshot for more

Risk appetite is driving up crude prices


with the dollar

DXY, +0.06%

slightly softer, but gold


was enduring a bigger hit.

Europe stocks

SXXP, +1.57%

 are up across the board, while the Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +1.42%

 led a rally for Asia stocks on those trade hopes.

Opinion: Jack Bogle even towered over Warren Buffett as the most influential investor

Heads up for Monday. While markets are closed, China will roll out fourth-quarter GDP late Sunday New York time. Any disappointment could be a huge downer for global equities.

The buzz

Tesla shares

TSLA, -7.75%

 are taking a huge hit over a profit warning from the company’s CEO Elon Musk, who also announced the electric-car maker will cut 7% of its workforce in an update on the company’s website ahead of the open. He says it’s getting tough to make those cards cheap enough for average Joes and Janes.


TIF, +2.73%

is down after a drop in holiday sales and a downbeat outlook. Regions Financial

RF, -3.27%

and Schlumberger

SLB, +4.85%

 also reported.

Exclusive: Fast-fashion giant Primark has explored a major e-commerce sales push

Check out : Bank stocks are flying high in 2019, but here’s why the party might not last

Shares of American Express

AXP, -2.35%

 is down after a narrow miss on revenue expectations and Atlassian

TEAM, +5.68%

 is moving up on earnings and outlook beats.

More gloom on the Apple

AAPL, +0.38%

 front after Japan’s Nidec

6594, -1.13%

a big supplier of iPhone components and other consumer products, slashed its earnings forecast, blaming the trade war.

Also getting attention this morning is a BuzzFeed report that claims Trump instructed then-attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build a Moscow-based Trump Tower. Rudy Giuliani responded that he’s got a “great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge,” for anyone who believes Cohen. But some Democratic lawmakers are fired up over that.

And the global elites will have to get by with a few less as Trump and co. will skip the Davos gathering later this month to stay home and sort out the shutdown. That comes after POTUS stopped House speaker Nancy Pelosi from taking an overseas trip on a military jet, but perhaps gave the all-clear for first lady Melania to jet down to Mar-a-Lago.

As for data, we’ll get industrial production and the University of Michigan consumer-sentiment gauge for this morning.

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GOP lawmaker says sorry for yelling ‘Go back to Puerto Rico’ at colleague

More beans, less beef: The global diet the planet needs

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