10 things you need to know today
The British pound is at a 5-1/2-year low. A one-two punch of disappointing data dropped the British pound to its lowest level since June 2010. November manufacturing production unexpectedly fell 0.4% month-over-month, missing the 0.1% gain that was expected. In addition, industrial production slid 0.7% MoM on expectations of a flat print. The British pound is down 0.8% at 1.4427.
The cost to borrow the Chinese yuan offshore exploded. The overnight Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate, or Hibor, exploded to an all-time high as intervention by the People's Bank of China to support the yuan drained liquidity from the system. The PBOC's action caused overnight borrowing costs to surge to 66.8% from around 5%. One dealer told Reuters the PBOC's actions were "comparable to steps taken by other central banks when they previously fought against international speculators, such as George Soros."
WTI crude oil held the $30 level. Early selling pushed West Texas Intermediate crude oil down to $30.41 a barrel, its weakest level in 12 years. WTI managed to hold the $30 level, however, and it has reclaimed the flat line. It is trading up fractionally at $31.43.
Some members of OPEC want an emergency meeting. Reuters reports that Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the president of OPEC, says conditions warrant the need for an emergency meeting. When asked whether anyone had requested such a meeting, Kachikwu said, "A couple of countries, I don't want to mention names."
Alcoa posted a mixed quarter. The aluminum maker earned an adjusted $0.04 a share, topping the $0.02 gain that was anticipated. Revenue tumbled 17.8% to $5.25 billion, a touch lighter than the $5.30 billion that was expected. "In 2016, Alcoa expects a global aluminum deficit of 1.2 million metric tons and a global alumina deficit of 2.8 million metric tons due to global curtailments," CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said. "The company also projects record global aluminum demand in 2016 of 60.5 million metric tons, up 6% over 2015."
CSX reports after the close. The railroad giant is expected to earn $0.46 a share on $2.85 billion in revenue, according to the Bloomberg consensus. Shares of CSX closed at $23.52 on Monday, their weakest since July 2013.
The Senate looks at Rand Paul's "Audit the Fed" bill. On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on Sen. Rand Paul's "Audit the Fed" bill. The bill has 25 cosponsors including Paul's fellow Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Sixty votes are needed to move the legislation forward.
Hillary Clinton wants to raise taxes on the wealthy. US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is calling for a 4% "surcharge" on anyone making an annual income of $5 million or more. Reuters reports the Clinton campaign says the tax hike on America's highest earners would bring in an additional $150 billion over 10 years.
Stock markets around the globe are mixed. Overnight, Japan's Nikkei (-2.7%) played catch-up after Monday's holiday, and China's Shanghai Composite (+0.2%) outperformed. In Europe, Germany's DAX (+2.3%) leads the gains. S&P 500 futures are higher by 11.50 points at 1,925.75.
US economic data is light. JOLTS - Job Openings will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.18%.
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