- Stock futures turn slightly positive after headline surprises for housing starts and building permits; S&P and Nasdaq +0.2%, Dow +0.1%.
- Housing starts jumped 13% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.07M units, the best reading in six months, and building permits hit their highest level since 2008.
- The data didn't spark selling interest in the Treasury market; the 10-year note trades up 3 bps at 2.505%.
- European markets extend recent declines; Asian markets ended mixed, with Japan's Nikkei (-1.4%) pressured as the yen strengthened.
- In corporate news: Abbott Labs +1% after agreeing to buy Latin American generics company CFR Pharma, J.C. Penney +17.5% after reporting a smaller than expected loss and a bigger than expected rise in sales, and Verizon +1.2% after Warren Buffett, Daniel Loeb and John Paulson disclosed new stakes.
- Still ahead: UofM consumer sentiment.