Benzinga Market Primer, Tuesday, December 18
Futures Higher on Fiscal Cliff Deal Hopes
U.S. equity futures were up slightly in early pre-market trading as politicians continue to work towards a deal in resolving the Fiscal Cliff. Monday evening, House Speaker John Boehner called President Obama's new proposal better, but still not completely balanced. President Obama had changed the threshold on high income earners to $400,000 per year from $200,000 per year.
In other news around the markets:
- Data released in the U.K. indicated that inflation was subdued, with core CPI coming in below expectations at 2.6 percent.
- The Reserve Bank of Australia released its minutes from its last meeting.
- Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) authorized a $1.5 billion stock buyback program.
- AIG (NYSE: AIG) raised $6.45 billion on the sale of its stake of AIA.
- Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) failed in its attempts to ban 26 Samsung devices.
Asian shares were mixed overnight with the Nikkei continuing to trade higher following the election results in Japan. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 0.96 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index rallied 0.10 percent and the Hang Seng Index fell 0.08 percent. Also, the Korean Kospi rallied 0.51 percent and Australian shares rallied 0.49 percent.
European shares were higher overnight on global optimism. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.68 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rallied 0.30 percent and the French CAC fell 0.16 percent while U.K. shares edged up 0.24 percent.
Commodities were also higher, as belief that the U.S. would avoid falling into recession in 2013 increased demand. WTI Crude futures rose 0.61 percent to $87.73 per barrel. Copper futures fell 0.33 percent to $3.6540. Gold was near flat and silver futures moved up 0.64 percent to $32.49 per troy ounce.
Currency markets were generally stable overnight. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3180 and the dollar was lower against the yen at 83.84. Overall, the Dollar Index dropped 0.12 percent.
On the economics calendar Tuesday, the U.S. current account deficit will be released, alongside Redbook retail sales and the NAHB Housing Market Index. Later in the day, the Fed's Fisher will speak. Fisher is a noted hawk.
Good luck and good trading.
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