#PreMarket Primer: Friday, January 24: Growth Fears Drag Down Emerging Markets
Investors fled from emerging markets this week after poor data from China reignited growth fears.
Outside forces, like China's attempts to get its economy back on track and the possibility that the US Federal Reserve could scale its bond buying program back further at the next policy meeting, caused investors worry that demand for emerging market assets will crumble.
In other news around the markets:
- The FBI issued a warning to US retailers telling them to expect an increase of cyber attacks this year. The malicious software used to steal customer information from Target Corp over the holiday season will likely not be the last of its kind. Hackers using malware which affects point-of-sale systems like cash registers and credit card machines could be on the rise as the software is relatively affordable and has the potential for huge profits.
- Peace talks in Switzerland about the crisis in Syria hit a stumbling block on Friday after opposition leaders refused to meet with Syrian government officials in person unless they agreed to discuss implementing a transitional government. Since the Syrian government has been firm about Assad remaining in power, the two sides will speak on Friday but from separate rooms.
- Apple is planning the release of two new smartphones in the second half of 2014, both with larger screens. The new phones, one with a 4.5 inch screen and one rumored to be larger than five inches, are being produced in an effort to keep up with rivals who are currently offering larger smartphones.
- Reuters reported that activist investor Carl Icahn may have a larger stake in eBay than previously reported. Icahn may have bought nearly a two percent stake in the tech company as he attempts to pressure it into spinning off its payment unit, PayPal.
Asian markets were mostly lower to finish the week, the Japanese NIKKEI lost 1.94 percent, the South Korean KOSPI fell 0.36 percent and the Hang Seng index was down 1.25 percent. However, China's Shanghai and Shenzhen composites were both higher, up 0.60 and 1.28 percent respectively.
European markets were down across the board, the UK's FTSE was down 0.31 percent and the eurozone's STOXX 600 lost 0.60 percent. The German DAX fell 0.39 percent and France's CAC 40 lost 0.57 percent.
Energy futures were moderately lower, Brent futures were down 0.43 percent and WTI futures lost 0.07 percent. Gold lost 0.29 percent and silver was down 0.22 percent. Industrial metals were down across the board with zinc posting the largest loss, down 1.85 percent.
The euro lost 0.20 percent against the dollar and settled at $1.3668 and the pound gained 0.11 percent against the dollar. The dollar lost 0.36 percent against the yen and gained 0.79 percent against the Australian dollar.
Notable earnings released on Thursday included:
- Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported second quarter EPS of $0.78 on revenue of $24.52 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.76 on revenue of $21.46 billion.
- Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.50 on revenue of $11.50 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.91 on revenue of $12.10 billion.
- McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.40 on revenue of $7.09 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.38 on revenue of $6.95 billion.
- Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.33 on revenue of $4.43 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.09 on revenue of $4.17 billion.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
- Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) rose 0.57 percent in premarket trade after losing 2.99 percent on Thursday.
- Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) lost 1.41 percent in premarket trade after gaining 9.33 percent over the past week.
- Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) fell 0.53 percent in premarket trade after losing 1.69 percent on Thursday.
- The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) was down 0.46 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.65 percent on Thursday.
Notable earnings releases expected on Friday include:
- Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $1.20 on revenue of $22.35 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.22 on revenue of $22.18 billion.
- Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $1.21 on revenue of $10.19 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.10 on revenue of $9.58 billion.
- Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.29 on revenue of $5.64 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.30 on revenue of $5.92 billion.
- Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $1.39 on revenue of $5.28 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.37 on revenue of $5.31 billion.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.43 on revenue of $4.29 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.47 on revenue of $4.19 billion.
Friday's economic calendar will be relatively quiet with releases including Canadian CPI, British mortgage approvals, Italian retail sales and Spanish PPI.
For a recap of Thursday's market action click here.
Tune into Benzinga’s pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here.
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