Benzinga Market Primer: Tuesday, March 26
Futures Slightly Higher Despite Euro Fears
U.S. equity futures were slightly higher in early pre-market trade despite fears emanating from the eurozone over a new bailout template laid out by Cyprus. Comments from Eurogroup Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem sent markets lower Monday after he insisted that uninsured deposits will now be part of all bailouts. However, he later back-tracked on some of the comments, creating even more uncertainty.
In other news around the markets:
- Cyprus central bank President Michael Sarris said he expected the nation's banks to open on Thursday with capital controls to remain in place "for weeks."
- Greek bank Piraeus said it expects to complete the purchase of Greek branches of Cypriot banks by this morning, a key part of Cyprus' bank restructuring process.
- Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher spoke this morning in Dubai, saying that he still expects 2-3 percent growth this year and reiterated the stance of Chairman Bernanke in saying that the real problem in the U.S. is not monetary policy but fiscal policy.
- S&P 500 futures rose 3.2 points to 1,549.50.
- The EUR/USD was higher at 1.2868.
- Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.91 percent from 4.96 percent.
- Italian 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.53 percent from 4.6 percent.
- Gold fell 0.45 percent to $1,599.50.
Asian shares were mostly lower overnight following similar moves from Europe and the Americas Monday. The Japanese Nikkei Index fell 0.6 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.25 percent while the Hang Seng Index rose 0.27 percent. Also, the Korean Kospi rose 0.3 percent while Australian shares declined 0.8 percent.
European shares were mostly higher overnight, reversing the strong weakness from Monday. The Spanish Ibex Index was the exception, declining 0.79 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index rose 0.15 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.18 percent and the French CAC rose 0.61 percent while U.K. shares were flat.
Commodities were mixed overnight on growth fears emanating from Europe. WTI Crude futures rose 0.4 percent to $95.19 per barrel and Brent Crude futures declined 0.11 percent to $108.05 per barrel. Copper futures rose 0.33 percent to $345.65 per pound despite hedge funds placing record bearish bets on the metal as inventories globally swell. Gold was lower and silver futures declined 0.23 percent to $28.75 per ounce.
Currency markets were rather quiet overnight as major pairs moved in tight ranges. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.2868 and the dollar rose against the yen to 94.18. Overall, the Dollar Index declined 0.06 percent on weakness against the pound, the Canadian dollar, and the Swedish krone.
Stocks moving in the pre-market included:
- Corning (NYSE: GLW) shares rose 3.84 percent pre-market as the company filed a patent for a new, more efficient glass production process which will cut costs.
- Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) shares rose 0.4 percent pre-market as CEO Brian Moynihan will be forced to hold stock compensation longer than previously.
- Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC) shares rose 4.01 percent pre-market after the company reported earnings in line with analyst estimates.
- Calumet Specialty Product Partners (NASDAQ: CLMT) shares fell 3.76 percent pre-market after the company announced a secondary offering of 5.2 million shares, or about 10 percent of the float.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Tuesday include:
- Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: MFRM) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.32 vs. $0.63 a year ago.
- The Children's Place (NASDAQ: PLCE) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $1.04 vs. $0.87 a year ago.
- SAIC (NYSE: SAI) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.52 vs. a loss of $0.49 per share a year ago.
On the economics calendar Tuesday, durable goods orders and the Redbook are due out followed by the highly anticipated Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Also, Housing Starts and New Home Sales data is expected followed by the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index and consumer confidence data. In addition, the Treasury is set to auction 4-week bills and 2-year notes. Overnight, French and British GDP data is due out and should move markets.
Good luck and good trading.
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