Benzinga Market Primer: Tuesday, August 27: Investors Cautious With Tension Between The US and Syria On The Rise
US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement on Monday saying there was undeniable evidence that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against its own civilians.
Now, as UN investigators gather information from the site where the weapons were supposedly used, the US is inching closer to using military action in order to punish Bashar al-Assad.
In other news around the markets:
- The US has postponed an August 28 meeting with Russia, at which to two were to talk about a peaceful resolution of the Syrian civil war. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov remarked on Twitter that Russia regrets the meeting’s cancellation.
- The Japanese Ministry of Finance is expected to request 23.5 trillion yen for debt servicing costs for the 2014 fiscal budget.
- US Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew announced that he expects the US to hit its $16.7 trillion debt limit in mid October.
- China’s Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao has said that despite the difficult challenges China faces in the future, he is confident that the nation will achieve a 7.5 percent growth rate in 2013.
- The US housing market is suffering as mortgage rates rise on expectations of the Fed taper. Home prices are increasing and new home sales dropped 13.4 percent in July, the largest drop in three years.
Asian markets were under pressure as the situation between the US and Syria moved closer to military action. The Indonesian JSX composite suffered the largest losses with a 3.15 percent loss. The Japanese NIKKEI index lost 0.69 percent but China’s mainland Shanghai and Shenzhen composites gained 0.34 percent and 0.45 percent respectively after data showed that industrial profits at Chinese firms climbed in July.
Political turmoil coupled with the possibility of military involvement in Syria dragged European markets down on Tuesday morning. The German DAX lost 1.21 percent and France’s CAC 40 was down 1.22 percent. The STOXX 600 was down 1.04 percent and Italy’s FTSE MIB was down 1.08 percent. The Spanish IBEX suffered the largest loss, falling 1.58 percent.
Energy futures gained from the rising tension in Syria. Brent futures were up 0.10 percent and WTI futures added 0.20 percent. Precious metals also got a boost on Tuesday morning, Gold gained 0.74 percent and climbed to $1,403.40 per ounce and Silver jumped 0.89 percent to $24.27 per ounce. Industrial metals painted a similar picture with copper up 0.27 percent and aluminum up 0.48 percent.
Investors flocked to the dollar for a safety net as talk of military action in Syria increased. The Indian rupee slipped to record lows, falling 2.47 percent against the dollar to ₹65.88. The dollar strengthened 0.31 percent against the euro and 0.42 percent against the British pound. Only the yen gained on the greenback and climbed 0.64 percent.
Earnings Reported Yesterday
There were no notable earnings to report on Monday
Stocks moving in the pre-market included:
- Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) continued to drop in pre-market trade, shedding 2.29 percent.
- Amgen Inc (NASDAQ: AMGN) gained 4.90 percent in pre-market trade after officially announcing that it would acquire Onyx for $125 a share.
- Newell Rubbermaid Inc (NYSE: NWL) slid 2.27 percent ahead of market opening after rising 1 percent on heavy volume on Monday.
- Expedia Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE) was up 3.06 percent in pre-market trade after reports that the company would join forces with the online travel agency website, Travelocity.
- Hasbro Inc (NYSE: HAS) gained 2.60 percent in pre-market trade after news that the company launched a new Funny or Die board game.
- Cabot Oil & Gas Corp (NYSE: COG) lost 2.19 percent in pre-market trade after hitting a 52 week high on Monday.
Notable companies set to release earnings on Tuesday include:
- Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO) is expected to release third quarter EPS of $1.54 on revenue of $4.02 billion, compared to EPS of $1.49 on revenue of $3.88 billion a year ago.
- Brown Shoe Company, Inc. (NYSE: BWS) is expected to release second quarter EPS of $1.32 on revenue of $1.70 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.19 on revenue of $1.83 billion.
- Regis Corporation (NYSE: RGS) is expected to release fourth quarter EPS of $1.84 on revenue of $2.45 billion vs. last year’s EPS of $1.34 on revenue of 2.45 billion.
- Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) is expected to release second quarter EPS of $0.74 on revenue of $941.21 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.72 on revenue of $886.5 million
Tuesday is another quiet day for economic releases. The US will come out with Consumer Confidence data, the German Business Climate index was released (105.7), and Hong Kong will put out trade balance data.
Good luck on your Tuesday trades!
Tune into Benzinga’s pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here.
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