Benzinga Market Primer: Friday, February 8
Futures Flat as Draghi Talks Down Euro
U.S. equity futures were flat in pre-market trading as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi spoke after the bank's interest rate decision. Although no one comment abruptly signaled that the ECB was set to weaken the euro, the series of comments made at the press conference and hints given suggested that the bank is indeed worried about the strength of the euro.
In other news around the markets:
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is set to legalize online gambling in the state, making it only the third state to do so.
- Chinese inflation cooled in January as the Consumer Price Index grew 2.0 percent from the same time last year, slower than the 2.5 percent annual gain seen in December. Also, Producer Prices showed less of a contraction in the month.
- Japanese Finance Minister Aso spoke overnight saying that the recent yen moves may have been too fast and the yen recouped some of its recent losses against the dollar.
- S&P 500 futures were flat at 1,505.30.
- The EUR/USD was slightly higher at 1.3406.
- Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 5.36 percent.
- Italian 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.54 percent.
- Gold fell 0.01 percent to $1,671.20 per ounce.
Asian shares were mixed overnight on the Aso comments, the Chinese inflation data, and also Chinese trade data which showed that exports and imports grew faster than expected in January. The Japanese Nikkei Index fell 1.8 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.57 percent while the Hang Seng Index rose 0.16 percent. Also, the Korean Kospi rose 0.99 percent as the yen weakened and Australian shares rose 0.72 percent.
European shares were higher in early trade on the positive sentiment from China and also relaxed concerns about the strong euro as the single currency fell. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.29 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index rose 0.39 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.12 percent and the French CAC rose 0.4 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.33 percent.
Commodities were mixed overnight as energy futures gained and metals futures lagged. WTI Crude futures rose 0.18 percent to $96.00 per barrel and Brent Crude futures rose 0.46 percent to $117.78 per barrel. Copper futures rose 0.25 percent overnight following the strong Chinese data. Gold was lower and silver futures rose 0.34 percent to $31.51 per ounce.
Currency markets were in reversal mode Friday as major pairs reversed moves of the recent days. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3406 after declining massively Thursday and the dollar fell 1.19 percent against the yen to 92.52. Overall, the Dollar Index fell 0.21 percent on weakness against the euro, the yen, the pound, and the Canadian dollar. The Australian dollar was also strong overnight, gaining against the greenback and the euro but declining against the yen.
Stocks moving in the pre-market included:
- Caesar's Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) shares fell 0.89 percent pre-market after rising more than 10 percent Thursday following the New Jersey news on online gambling.
- Linkedin (NYSE: LNKD) shares rose 8.99 percent pre-market as the company reported earnings that beat analyst estimates.
- Coinstar (NASDAQ: CSTR) shares fell 8.69 percent pre-market as the company reported earnings that missed estimates.
- Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM) shares fell 1.78 percent pre-market after investors became cautious of the company's European operations following its earnings call.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Friday include:
- AOL (NYSE: AOL) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.41 vs. $0.23 a year ago.
- CBOE Holdings (NASDAQ: CBOE) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.42 vs. $0.37 a year ago.
- Moody's (NYSE: MCO) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.69 vs. $0.43 a year ago.
On the economics calendar Friday, U.S. International and Wholesale Trade data are expected as well as the Canadian employment report and Canadian housing starts. Also, Naryana Kocherlakota of the Minnesota Fed is set to speak.
Good luck and good trading. For those in the northeast, stay safe this weekend.
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