#PreMarket Primer: Wednesday, January 8: FOMC Minutes Released Today
Markets around the world rose on Wednesday with bullish German export data pushing European markets to levels not seen since 2008.
U.S. markets, however, are slightly lower as investors await the FOMC minutes due to be released at 2:00 pm ET. Investors are anxious to read what motivated members to cut back on the Fed’s bond buying program that has propped up the market for years.
Currently, the Dow is about 17 points lower while the S&P is down about three points.
- CNBC reported Tuesday that Ford’s (NYSE: F) Alan Mulally will stay with the company through at least 2014 and has no plans to leave to head up Microsoft.
- HSBC is the latest to predict an end to the U.S. bull market. The company downgraded U.S. stocks from Neutral to Underweight saying that while the country shrugged off the first round of Fed tapering, further action is likely to be a downside catalyst.
Asian markets were mixed Wednesday with the Nikkei recovering from a couple of days of lackluster performance. The Japanese index was up nearly two percent to end the day at 16121.45.
The Shanghai composite was down fractionally to close at 2044.34 and the Hang Seng, up 1.25 percent to close at 22996.59.
Europe is lower Wednesday morning but indices are down less than one percent. The FTSE is down about one-half of a percent and the CAC is down about 0.25 percent. The DAX is down about one-third of a percent.
European unemployment stayed at 12.1 percent for the month of November.
Energy is nearly flat with the exception of natural gas. WTI is flat at $93.73 per barrel and Brent is up 0.1 percent to $107.48. Fears of Libyan supply issues are fueling volatile trading in the Brent market.
Natural gas is up about 1.2 percent to $4.35 as data show record demand in the wake of record cold temperatures around the nation.
Gold is down about 0.3 percent to $1,226 per ounce, silver is down 1.2 percent to $19.54 per ounce and copper is flat at $3.35.
The yen’s weakness helped to propel the Nikkei higher today. The Japanese currency sits at 104.76 against the dollar—down fractionally. The euro is down against the dollar currently sitting at 1.358 and the British pound and the Aussie dollar are unchanged against the dollar.
- Ford (NYSE: F) is up about 1.5 percent this morning after Alan Mulally announced that he would stay with the company at least through the year and Carnival (NYSE: CCL) is up about 1 percent.
- Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) is up 0.8 percent and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) is down about 0.6 percent
- Apollo Group (NASDAQ: APOL) reported first quarter earnings of $1.04 per share and revenue of $856.3 million. Analysts expected $0.90 and $860.58 million respectively.
- Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) reported EPS of $0.30 and revenue of $4.04 billion. Analysts were expecting $0.42 and $9.3 billion respectively.
- Expect earnings reports from Monsanto (NYSE: MON) and Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) before the opening bell and WD-40 (NASDAQ: WDFC) after the close.
The market is waiting for the FOMC minutes due out at 2:00 pm ET but the ADP Employment report at 8:15 am will give key insight into what Friday’s jobs report might reveal. There’s also a 10-year auction at 1:00 pm ET.
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