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Thursday, March 6th, 2014View Older Reports
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OVERNIGHT MARKETS AND NEWS
March E-mini S&Ps (ESH14 +0.19%) this morning are up +0.09% at a fresh all-time high and European stocks are up +0.46%. As expected, the BOE maintained its benchmark interest rate at 0.50% and kept its asset purchase target unchanged at 375 billion pounds. The markets now await the ECB interest rate decision later this morning along with the press conference from ECB President Draghi. European stocks found support on the stronger-than-expected German Jan factory orders. Asian stocks closed mostly higher: Japan +1.59%, Hong Kong +0.55%, China +0.45%, Taiwan +0.94%, Australia -0.01%, Singapore +0.40%, South Korea +0.13%, India +1.11%. Japan's Nikkei Stock Index posted a 5-week high as a slide in the yen to a 1-1/2 week low boosted exporter stocks, while China's Shanghai Stock Index shook off early losses and closed higher after property developers rallied when government officials speaking at the National People's Congress in Beijing said the housing market was stable and will get long-term support from urbanization. Commodity prices are mixed. Apr crude oil (CLJ14 -0.64%) is down -0.26%. Apr gasoline (RBJ14 -0.02%) is up +0.07%. Apr gold (GCJ14 -0.41%) is down -0.47%. May copper (HGK14 +0.09%) is up +0.02%. Agriculture and livestock prices are mixed. The dollar index (DXY00 -0.07%) is down -0.02%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.15%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.43% at a 1-1/2 week high. June T-note prices (ZNM14 -0.15%) are down -5.5 ticks.
Speaking Wednesday evening at Seattle University, San Francisco Fed President Williams said recent weakness in the U.S. economic data probably means GDP growth will be "closer to 2.5%" for this year, compared with an earlier expectation of "closer to 3.0% expansion."
German Jan factory orders rose +1.2% m/m and +8.4% y/y, stronger than expectations of +0.9% m/m and +7.5% y/y with the +8.4% y/y gain the largest annual increase in 2-1/2 years.
UK Feb Halifax house prices surged +2.4% m/m, over three times expectations of +0.7% m/m and the fastest pace of growth in 4-3/4 years. On a 3-month y/y basis, prices rose +7.9%, higher than expectations of +7.3% and the fastest pace of increase in 6-1/3 years.U.S. STOCK PREVIEW
Today's weekly initial unemployment claims report is expected to show a decline of -12,000 to 336,000, reversing most of last week's increase of +14,000 to 348,000. Meanwhile, continuing claims are expected to show an increase of +6,000 to 2.970 million, adding to last week's increase of +8,000 to 2.964 million. Today's Jan factory orders report is expected to show a decline of -0.5%, adding to December's decline of -1.5%. There are 5 of the Russell 1000 companies that report earnings today: Joy Global (consensus $0.65), Costco Wholesale (1.17), Staples (0.39), Kroger (0.72), H&R Block (-0.11). Equity conferences during the remainder of this week include: Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Mon-Thu, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Refining Conference on Thu, and Jefferies Industrial Leaders Day on Thu.OVERNIGHT U.S. STOCK MOVERS
Yum! Brands (YUM +0.23%) was upgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Neutral' at RW Baird.
Lowe's (LOW -0.55%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Outperform' at Wedbush.
Tiffany (TIF -0.30%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Citigroup.
Staples (SPLS -0.52%) reported Q4 EPS of 33 cents, below consensus of 39 cents.
Bob Evans (BOBE -8.18%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at Miller Tabak.
Joy Global (JOY +0.90%) reported Q1 EPS of 49 cents, weaker than consensus of 65 cents.
Costco Wholesale (COST -0.15%) fell nearly 3% in European trading after it reported Q2 EPS of $1.05, below consensus of $1.17.
Universal American (UAM -1.20%) reported a Q4 adjusted EPS loss of -5 cents, a bigger loss than consensus of -3 cents.
Barron's reported that General Electric's (GE +1.09%) CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, invested his bonus in 104,900 shares of the company's stock at a price of $2.64 million.
Gabelli reported a 17.66% stake in Griffon (GFF +1.27%) .
LHC Group (LHCG +0.53%) lowered guidance on fiscal 2014 EPS to $1.15-$1.35, below consensus of $1.43.
Spartan Stores (SPTN +0.13%) reported Q3 adjusted EPS of 40 cents, well above consensus of 25 cents.
Boyd Gaming (BYD +1.22%) reported a Q4 adjusted EPS loss of -24 cents, a smaller loss than consensus of -25 cents.MARKET COMMENTS
Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH14 +0.19%) this morning are up +1.75 points (+0.09%). The S&P 500 on Wednesday posted a new record high but then fell back and settled little changed. The Feb ADP employment change rose +139,000, less than expectations of +155,000, and the Feb ISM non-manufacturing index showed a larger-than-expected decline of -2.4 to a 4-year low of 51.6. A positive factor for stock prices was the upbeat Fed Beige Book that said 8 of the Fed's 12 districts last month reported modest to moderate improved levels of activity, even with the effects of the harsh winter weather. Closes: S&P 500 -0.01%, Dow Jones -0.22%, Nasdaq 100 +0.20%.
Jun 10-year T-notes (ZNM14 -0.15%) this morning are down -5.5 ticks. Jun 10-year T-note futures prices on Wednesday fell to a 1-week low on reduced safe-haven demand after the S&P 500 posted a record high, but prices recovered after the Feb ADP employment report showed less hiring than expected and after the Feb ISM non-manufacturing index fell to a 4-year low. Closes: TYM4 unch, FVM4 -1.00.
The dollar index (DXY00 -0.07%) this morning is down -0.017 (-0.02%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.0021 (+0.15%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.44 (+0.43%) at a 1-1/2 week high. The dollar index on Wednesday closed slightly lower after the Feb ADP employment and the Feb ISM non-manufacturing index reports were weaker than expected. EUR/USD found support on stronger-than-expected Eurozone Jan retail sales and the upward revision in the Eurozone Feb PMI composite to a 2-3/4 year high. Gains in EUR/USD were limited, however, ahead of Thursday's ECB meeting. Closes: Dollar index -0.059 (-0.07%), EUR/USD -0.0001 (-0.07%), USD/JPY +0.092 (+0.09%).
Apr WTI crude oil (CLJ14 -0.64%) this morning is down -26 cents (-0.26%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ14 -0.02%) is up +0.0021 (+0.07%). Apr crude and gasoline prices on Wed closed lower on bearish weekly EIA inventory data. Crude inventories rose +1.429 million bbl to a 2-1/4 month high of 363.8 million bbl, more than expectations of +1.078 million bbl and distillate supplies unexpectedly rose +1.414 million bbl, more than expectations for a -1.033 million bbl draw. Losses in gasoline were limited after weekly EIA gasoline stockpiles fell -1.604 million bbl, nearly double expectations for a -880,000 bbl decline. Closes: CLJ4 -1.88 (-1.82%), RBJ4 -0.0450 (-1.51%).GLOBAL EVENT CALENDAR03/06/2014
U.S. STOCK CALENDAR03/06/2014