U.S. equities are back on the defensive
U.S. equities are back on the defensive after recent swings in oil prices, first sharply higher yesterday amid hints that Russia might join the output freeze and then lower as skepticism crept in. News that Samsung is abandoning the Note 7 after the recall and repeated battery fires knocked the KOSPI 200 1.6% lower overnight, while the HK Hang Seng was 1.2% lower and Japan's N-225 rallied nearly 1% on the dollar's probe over 104.00. In contrast, Europe is moderately firmer across the board after a bounce in German ZEW confidence. The Dow is 45-point lower, S&P sank 6-points and NASDAQ sank 7-points ahead of the opening bell. Apple rallied 1.7% yesterday thanks to the woes of its rival Samsung, with Wall Street open, and is trading another 1.2% higher in pre-market trade. Q3 corporate earnings season kicks into high gear with the release of Alcoa earnings today.