#PreMarket Primer: Monday March 10: Russia Tightens Its Grip On Crimea
Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his support for the Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula’s move to separate from Ukraine and join Russia. His comments increased the pressure on Western diplomats to loosen Russia’s grip on the region and make good on threats to economically isolate Russia until it withdraws its troops in Crimea. Officials in the US and Europe and looking into increasing US natural gas shipments to Ukraine and finding alternative energy suppliers for countries across Europe.
In other news around the markets:
- Poor export data from China compounded worries that the nation’s economy was stuck in a rut. Asian stocks sank lower after China released data showing that its February exports fell 18.1 percent from last year. The figure was far below the consensus forecast of a 5 percent increase.
- Monday marks the third day of a massive air and sea search to locate a missing Malaysian jetliner en route to Beijing over the weekend. On Sunday, Interpol announced that at least two passengers were using stolen passports, which has many questioning whether a bomb of hijacking could have caused the crash.
- Government officials and armed protestors faced off in Libya over the weekend as a rebel-held port attempted to complete an unauthorized oil sale. The Libyan government has threatened to bomb a North Korean tanker which has been loaded with $36 million of crude oil at the country’s Es Sider port.
- China’s central bank has set the daily reference rate at 6.1312 on Monday, the bank’s largest daily change since July 2012. The People’s Bank of China has been fighting capital inflows as poor economic data rocks investors’ confidence in the nation.
Asian markets tumbled on poor economic data from the region. The Japanese NIKKE was down 1.01 percent, China’s Shanghai composite lost 2.86 percent and the Shenzhen composite was down 3.45 percent. The South Korean KOSPI lost 1.03 percent and the Hang Seng index was down 1.81 percent.
Europe’s markets were also down across the board, the eurozone’s STOXX 600 was down 1.57 percent, the UK’s FTSE lost 1.12 percent, France’s CAC 40 was down 1.15 percent and the German DAX fell 2.01 percent.
Energy futures lost ground on Monday; Brent futures were down 1.07 percent and WTI futures lost 1.43 percent. Gold and silver were down 0.43 percent and 1.02 percent respectively; and industrial metals were lower as well. Copper lost 1.64 percent, aluminum was down 1.73 percent and zinc was down 2.46 percent.
The euro held on to its strength at $1.3892 and the pound was flat against the dollar. The dollar lost 0.16 percent against the yen and gained 0.45 percent against the Australian dollar.
Notable earnings released on Friday included:
- W&T Offshore(NYSE: WTI) reported a fourth quarter loss of $0.09 per share on revenue of $244.90 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.26 on revenue of $237.15 million.
- Footlocker(NYSE: FL) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.82 on revenue of $1.79 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.73 on revenue of $1.71 billion.
- Big Lots(NYSE: BIG) reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.39 on revenue of $1.64 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $2.09 on revenue of $1.75 billion.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
- Boeing(NYSE: BA) lost 1.98 percent in premarket trade after falling 0.25 percent on Friday.
- Alcoa(NYSE: AA) fell 1.32 percent in premarket trade after gaining 3.58 percent last week.
- Perrigo Company PLC (NYSE: PRGO) gained 0.36 percent in premarket trade after rising 0.36 percent on Friday.
- Berkshire HathawayInc (NASDAQ: BRKB) gained 0.27 percent in premarket trade after increasing 5.95 percent last week.
Notable earnings releases expected on Monday include:
- United Natural Foods(NASDAQ: UNFI) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.56 on revenue of $1.64 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.46 on revenue of $1.45 billion.
- Urban Outfitters(NASDAQ: URBN) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.55 on revenue of $928.43 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.56 on revenue of $856.83 million.
- Hill International(NYSE: HIL) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.01 on revenue of $134.74 million, compared to last year’s loss of $0.04 per share on revenue of $110.77 million.
Monday’s economic calendar will be quiet with releases including eurozone investor confidence, Canadian housing starts, French industrial production and Spanish industrial production.
For a recap of Friday’s market action, click here.
Tune into Benzinga’s pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here
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