Market Overview

#PreMarket Primer: Thursday, May 22: eBay The Target Of Second Largest Online Security Breach

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Late on Wednesday, eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) announced that hackers were able to access the company’s user records and stole encrypted passwords for around 145 million accounts.

The number of accounts affected makes this incident one of the largest breaches in online security in US history.

eBay spokeswoman Amanda Miller said the attacks likely took place in late February or early March, and that the company is unsure if the hackers have been able to decrypt the passwords.

Top News

In other news around the markets:

  • The Federal Reserve’s April meeting minutes indicated that Fed Chair Janet Yellen has yet to convince all of the bank’s members that slack in the labor market will help keep inflation and wage prices from increasing while the bank maintains its low interest rate. The minutes revealed a lengthy debate on the subject, which could become a major issue at future meetings.
  • China’s HSBC manufacturing PMI came in a 49.7 for May, an improvement from April’s figure and above analysts’ expectations. Although the figure was the nation’s highest manufacturing PMI score in five months, it still came in below the 50 point mark that separates expansion from contraction. The reading indicates that the nation’s factory activity is stabilizing, but still has a long road ahead.
  • With the relationship between the West and Russia rapidly deteriorating over the situation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has secured a deal with China to make the nation its second largest gas market. The agreement allows Moscow to supply China will hundreds of billions of dollars worth of natural gas and will likely help offset the effects of his souring relationship with Western nations. The partnership between China’s Xi Jinping and Putin also represents a stronger tie between the two nations, both of which have been working to reduce the US’ influence on the world.
  • Ukraine is preparing for its presidential vote on Sunday, something many believe is the nation’s last hope to hold the country together. However, the recent violent protests have left the nation in disarray and the vote is expected to be quite disorganized. In the nation’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, armed separatists have declared independent republics and said they will not allow a vote to take place.

Asian Markets

Asian markets were mostly higher with the exception of the Shanghai composite and the Shenzhen composite, which fell 0.18 percent and 0.03 percent respectively. The NIKKEI rose 2.11 percent, the KOSPI was up 0.36 percent and the Hang Seng index gained 0.51 percent.

European Markets

European markets were mixed; the FTSE rose 0.21 percent and the STOXX 600 was up 0.24 percent, but France’s CAC 40 lost 0.06 percent and the MIB was down 0.38 percent.

Commodities

Energy futures were steady; Brent futures gained 0.01 percent and WTI futures were down 0.05 percent. Gold and silver were up 0.55 percent and 1.07 percent respectively, but industrial metals were lower. Zinc lost 0.63 percent, tin was down 0.41 percent and aluminum fell 0.11 percent.

Currencies

Currency markets were quiet on Thursday, the euro was steady at $1.3671, but lost 0.12 percent against the pound. The dollar gained 0.24 percent against the yen, but lost 0.05 percent against the pound.

Earnings

Notable earnings released on Wednesday included:

  • Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) reported first quarter EPS of $0.70 on revenue of $17.05 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.82 on revenue of $16.71 billion.
  • Lowe’s Companies (NYSE: LOW) reported first quarter EPS of $0.61 on revenue of $13.40 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.49 on revenue of $13.09 billion.
  • Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL) reported second quarter EPS of $0.52 on revenue of $2.24 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.49 on revenue of $2.15 billion.
  • Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) reported first quarter EPS of $0.91 on revenue of $1.01 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.70 on revenue of $895.48 million.

Pre-Market Movers

Stocks moving in the Premarket included:

  • Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) was up 0.62 percent in premarket trade after gaining 1.55 percent over the past week.
  • United States Steel (NYSE: X) gained 0.54 percent in premarket trade after losing 6.28 percent over the past five days.
  • MasterCard (NYSE: MA) gained 0.42 percent in premarket trade after rising 2.69 percent on Wednesday.
  • Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) was up 0.37 percent in premarket trade after gaining 1.09 percent on Wednesday.

Earnings

Notable earnings releases expected on Thursday include:

  • Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.88 on revenue of $27.42 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.87 on revenue of $27.58 billion.
  • Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.20 on revenue of $9.21 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.32 on revenue of $9.38 billion.
  • The Gap (NYSE: TD) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.57 on revenue of $3.71 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.71 on revenue of $3.73 billion.
  • Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) is expected to report a first quarter loss of $1.80 on revenue of $7.75 billion, compared to last year’s loss of $1.54 on revenue of $8.45 billion.

Economics

PMI data will be the star of Thursday’s economic calendar with manufacturing PMI due out from the US, Germany and France. Other notable releases include British GDP, Canadian retail sales and US existing home sales.

For a recap of Wednesday’s market action, click here.

Tune into Benzinga’s #PreMarket Prep show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here.

Posted-In: Earnings News Eurozone Futures Commodities Previews Forex Events Best of Benzinga

 

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