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#PreMarket Primer: Friday, December 26: Americans Flock To Independent Theaters To See 'The Interview'

#PreMarket Primer: Friday, December 26: Americans Flock To Independent Theaters To See 'The Interview'

After the hacking group that stole confidential documents from Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE) threatened violence against theaters that showed “The Interview,” several large chains opted not to show the film. However on Christmas Day, around 300 smaller, independent theaters released the film to sold out crowds who wanted to exercise their right to free speech.

The movie’s controversial plot line, the assassination of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, has been called “an act of war” by North Korean officials and the hacking attack has also been linked to the nation. Though the White House has found it difficult to respond to the incident, President Obama praised the small theaters for their choice to show the film, saying that keeping the film from reaching the public would have set a dangerous precedent.

Top News

In other news around the markets:

  • The People’s Bank of China is planning to ease some of its lending rules for the nation’s banks in order to stimulate the China’s stalling growth. On Wednesday, the nation’s banking officials said they would relax loan-to-deposit ratios by allowing banks to expand their deposit bases. The decision is expected to add about 1.5 trillion yuan to the nation’s financial system.
  • Data out on Friday showed that Japanese inflation had fallen to its lowest level in more than one year in November. The figures showed that core consumer prices were down to 0.7 percent in November from 0.9 percent in October. The data will likely put more pressure on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose “Abenomics” have fallen under criticism lately due to deteriorating financials.
  • During a Christmas visit to U.S. Marines in Hawaii, President Obama praised U.S. troops on their progress in Afghanistan just one week before U.S. involvement is set to come to a close. Obama said that U.S. military presence there has ensured that the Middle Eastern nation will not become a source of terrorist activity again, but warned that there are still several other parts of the world in need of military support, including Iraq.

Asian Markets

Asian markets were up across the board; the NIKKEI gained 0.06 percent, the Shanghai composite rose 2.77 percent, the KOSPI was up 0.08 percent, the Shenzhen composite gained 1.43 percent and the Hang Seng index was up 0.07 percent.

European Markets

Europe’s markets were quiet; the STOXX 600 and the German DAX were both flat, the FTSE rose 0.28 percent and the CAC 40 was down 0.44 percent.


Energy futures were higher; Brent futures rose 0.60 percent and WTI futures were up 1.02 percent. Gold and silver gained 1.18 percent and 2.71 percent respectively, while industrial metals were mostly lower with the exception of tin, which gained 3.56 percent. Copper was flat, aluminum lost 0.43 percent and zinc was down 0.32 percent.


The euro made its way lower on Friday, trading at $1.2191. The common currency lost 0.11 percent against the pound and 0.06 percent against the yen. The dollar moved in the opposite direction, gaining 0.18 percent against the yen, and 0.16 percent against the franc, but losing 0.07 percent against the pound.


Markets were closed for Christmas on Thursday.


No notable earnings expected on Friday.


Friday’s economic calendar will be thin as trading begins after the Christmas holiday. Notable releases will include industrial production data from Singapore, and Mexico’s trade balance.

Tune into Benzinga’s pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here.


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