Benzinga Market Primer: Thursday, April 11
Futures Rise With Global Shares
U.S. equity futures rose in early trade Thursday as global shares gained on new stimulus rounds. Asian shares rallied and European shares gained for the third straight day as sovereign bond yields on peripheral nations declined.
In other news around the markets:
- Australia's economy lost 36.1 thousand jobs in March, worse than the expected drop of 7.5 thousand and well below February's monstrous gain of 74 thousand jobs. The unemployment rate jumped to 5.6 percent from 5.4 percent.
- The Federal Reserve unexpectedly released the latest FOMC minutes five hours early Wednesday after announcing that 100 congressional staffers and lobbyists had obtained copies of the minutes the day before. Later, reports circled that at least 6 Wall St. banks had obtained copies of the release and investigators are probing any illegality in these dealings.
- Research firm IDC reported that global PC shipments declined 14 percent in the first quarter, the largest decline since the firm began keeping data. The firm noted that tablets and smartphones are stealing demand away from PCs but also that Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows 8 also slowed purchases as users were afraid of adopting the new system.
- S&P 500 futures rose 2.6 points to 1,583.60.
- The EUR/USD was slightly higher at 1.3087.
- Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.62 percent from 4.64 percent.
- Italian 10-year government bond yields were flat at 4.32 percent.
- Gold fell 0.22 percent to $1,555.00 per ounce.
Asian shares were mostly stronger once again led by Japan as the Bank of Japan's uber-aggressive policy drives shares higher. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 1.96 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.29 percent and the Hang Seng Index rose 0.3 percent. Also, the Korean Kospi gained 0.73 percent and Australian shares rose 0.79 percent.
European shares were also higher overnight as Cyprus reportedly signed its Memorandum of Understanding with the Troika, paving the way for bailout funds to flow into the country as soon as possible; reports also circled that Cyprus may sell its gold holdings to fund some of the bailout. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.08 percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index rose 0.53 percent. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.55 percent and the French CAC rose 0.6 percent and U.K. shares gained 0.31 percent.
Commodities were lower overnight as energy futures declined on reports that domestic oil demand is slowing. WTI Crude futures slipped 0.17 percent to $94.46 per barrel and Brent Crude futures fell 0.23 percent to $105.60 per barrel. Copper futures declined 0.39 percent to $340.40 on the weak Australian data but also on continued supply fears in the copper market. Gold was lower on the Cyprus gold sale news and silver futures slid 0.7 percent to $27.43 as investors rotated out of precious metals and into risk assets.
Currency markets were rather quiet after days of strong movements, particularly in the yen crosses. The EUR/USD was higher at 1.3087 and the dollar fell against the yen to 99.56 after rising as high as 99.86. Overall, the Dollar Index fell 0.27 percent on weakness against the euro, the yen, the pound, the Canadian dollar, and the Swiss franc. Notably, the Australian dollar was stronger overnight despite the weak employment data as the AUD/JPY held above 105.
Earnings Reported Yesterday
Key companies that reported earnings Wednesday include:
- Bed Bath and Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) reported EPS of $1.68, in line with estimates, as sales were slightly stronger than forecast at $3.4 billion.
- Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO) reported EPS of $1.21 vs. $1.23 forecast on revenue of $2.89 billion as forecast.
- JinkoSolar (NYSE: JKS) reported a wider than expected loss of $1.26 per share vs. estimates of a loss of $0.80 per share and revenue was very weak at $187.3 million vs. estimates of $244.5 million.
- Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) reported EPS of $0.47 vs. $0.45 expected on revenue of $696 million vs. $666.57 million.
Stocks moving in the pre-market included:
- Microsoft fell 3.37 percent pre-market on the IDC report showing that Windows 8 is slowly being adopted by consumers.
- Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) shares fell 3.32 percent pre-market also on the IDC report.
- Bed Bath and Beyond shares rose 1.53 percent after reporting stronger than expected earnings.
- Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold (NYSE: FCX) shares fell 2.29 percent pre-market after the company lowered its Chinese copper consumption forecast to 5 percent annual growth through 2025 from 13 percent between 1995 and 2010.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Thursday include:
- Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ: CBSH) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.68 vs. $0.71 a year ago.
- Infosys (NYSE: INFY) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.74 vs. $0.81 a year ago.
- Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.60 vs. $0.48 a year ago.
- Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) is expected to report a fourth quarter loss of $0.02 per share vs. a loss of $0.18 per share a year ago.
On the economics calendar Thursday, Initial Jobless claims, import prices, and export prices are all due out at 8:30 am eastern. Also, the Treasury is set to auction 30-year bonds and Charles Plosser and James Bullard of the Fed are expected to speak. Overnight, there is not much key data to move markets and eyes will be on reports out of Japan following the Bank of Japan's meeting with market makers.
Good luck and good trading.
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