#PreMarket Primer: Friday, July 25: Russia Accused Of Actively Engaging Ukraine
On Thursday, the US accused Russia of firing across its border in an attempt to take out Ukrainian military posts in what are the most serious allegations that Moscow is fueling the conflict in Ukraine.
Since the start of the conflict, questions have been raised about whether or not the Kremlin was supplying separatist rebels with arms and training; but following the shooting of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet, tension between the West and Moscow has ramped up.
Thursday’s accusations are the first that imply that Russia is actively engaging in hostile behavior against Ukraine, something that could push Western leaders to become more involved in the conflict.
In other news around the markets:
- The US labor market showed more signs of improvement this week after new data indicated that initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level since February 2006 in the week ended July 19. The report showed that first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the US were down by 19,000 to 284,000, something many believe adds to growing evidence that the US economy is nearly ready to stand on its own.
- Amazon’s recent investment into digital content and consumer electronics ate into its second quarter earnings and the company reported a much larger loss than expected on Thursday. Amazon’s fast-paced investing highlights the company’s desire to compete with tech giants like Apple and Google. This year, Amazon is due to release a book subscription service, a TV streaming box and a smartphone among other things.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry fell under more pressure to push forward a cease fire agreement between Israel and Islamist Hamas on Friday after a shelter overseen by the UN was bombed on Thursday. The incident killed at least 15 people, and served as a reminder that many of the conflict’s victims have been civilians. Israeli forces were responsible for the shelling, but said they were retaliating against an attack from Hamas in the area and accused the Islamist militants of keeping those in the area from evacuating.
- U.S.-owned Shanghai Husi Food is facing intense scrutiny about its food safety protocol after it was found to be sending its customer rotten meat. However it seems this is not the first time the China based food supplier has been accused of unsanitary handling practices. Reuters reported that Wang Donlai, a former quality control officer, sued the company for being made to forge production dates on meat products, among other unethical practices. Wang won his case, and terminated his contract in October last year.
Asian markets were higher; the NIKKEI rose 1.13 percent, the Shanghai composite was up 1.02 percent the KOSPI gained 0.36 percent, the Shenzhen composite rose 0.98 percent and the Hang Seng index gained 0.31 percent.
European markets were mostly lower with the exception of the MIB and the IBEX, which gained 0.16 percent and 0.22 percent respectively. The FTSE was down 0.05 percent, the STOXX 600 lost 0.09 percent and the CAC 40 was down 0.70 percent.
Energy futures were quiet as supply and demand pulled prices in opposite directions. WTI futures lost 0.03 percent and Brent futures were up 0.12 percent. Gold and silver gained 0.14 percent and 0.37 percent respectively, and industrial metals were also higher. Copper gained 0.17 percent, aluminum was up 0.50 percent, zinc gained 0.97 percent and tin rose 0.74 percent.
Currency markets were relatively quiet on Friday; the euro was steady at $1.3448 and lost 0.03 percent against both the yen and the pound. The dollar was higher against the yen, up 0.09 percent, but lost 0.06 percent against the pound.
Notable earnings released on Thursday included:
- General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) reported second quarter EPS of $0.58 on revenue of $39.60 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.84 on revenue of $39.08 billion.
- Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) reported second quarter EPS of $0.40 on revenue of $37.40 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.45 on revenue of $36.08 billion.
- Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) reported a second quarter loss of $0.27 on revenue of $19.34 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.02 on revenue of $15.70 billion.
- Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) reported second quarter EPS of $1.69 on revenue of $14.15 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.45 on revenue of $14.62 billion.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
- Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) was up 0.12 percent in premarket trade after rising 6.71 percent on Thursday.
- eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) fell 0.02 percent in premarket trade after gaining 4.31 percent over the past week.
Notable earnings releases expected on Friday include:
- Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.26 on revenue of $5.31 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.27 on revenue of $5.40 billion.
- Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $1.37 on revenue of $2.94 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.21 on revenue of $2.87 billion.
- Tyco International (NYSE: TYC) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.54 on revenue of $2.64 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.50 on revenue of $2.68 billion.
- Covidien (NYSE: COV) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $1.01 on revenue of $2.69 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.91 on revenue of $2.58 billion.
Notable economic releases due out on Friday include US durable goods, US retail sales, Germany’s consumer climate, Germany’s business climate index and British GDP.
For a recap of Thursday’s market action, click here.
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