Market Overview

#PreMarket Primer: Monday, March 17: Crimea Votes To Secede

#PreMarket Primer: Monday, March 17: Crimea Votes To Secede

On Sunday, more than 95 percent of Crimeans voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia in a move that deepened tension between Russia and world leaders.

Now that the decision has been made, many wonder if Moscow will annex the small peninsula within a matter of weeks, or take its time to conduct negotiations with Ukraine and world powers as the US is hoping.

The vote, which Western lawmakers have said they refuse to recognize, sparked more pro-Russian protests across Ukraine, which could prompt further Russian military intervention.

Top News

In other news around the markets:

  • The search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jet has taken several twists and turns over the past week, but officials have yet to locate the plane. Authorities have said they now believe there could have been foul play and are looking into the plane’s crew and passengers for more insight into what happened.
  • On Sunday, the UK’s Vodafone came to an agreement with Spanish cable operator Ono to buy the company for more than seven billion euros. The agreement will need regulatory approval before moving forward, but will help Vodafone gain market share in Spain as a provider of fixed-line services like cable TV and land line telephone services.
  • South Korean government officials reported that North Korea fired 10 short range missiles to the east of the Korean peninsula over the weekend in routine test of its arsenal. North Korean short range missile launches are permitted under UN sanctions, but the US State Deparmtment responded by saying it was closely monitoring the situation.
  • Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is set to visit Shanghai and meet with government officials this week, the company’s first show of interest in breaking into the complicated Chinese market. The social networking site has been banned in China since 2009, but if the company can navigate the nation’s government controls, it could break into a lucrative market of 600 million internet users.

Asian Markets

Asian markets were mixed as the problems in Ukraine weighed on shares. The Japanese NIKKEI lost 0.35 percent, Australia’s ASX 200 fell 0.22 percent and the Hang Seng index was down 0.23 percent. However, China’s Shanghai composite gained 0.96 percent, the Shenzhen composite rose 1.77 percent, and the South Korean KOSPI was up 0.40 percent.

European Markets

Europe’s markets improved; the UK’s FTSE was up 0.38 percent and the eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 0.70 percent. The German DAX rose 0.80 percent, France’s CAC 40 was up 0.67 percent, and the Spanish IBEX gained 1.20 percent.


Energy futures fell slightly on Monday morning, Brent futures for May delivery were down 0.23 percent and WTI futures for April delivery lost 0.01 percent. Gold gained 0.36 percent but silver was down 0.06 percent. Industrial metals were lower with copper posting the largest loss, down 0.81 percent.


The euro lost 0.25 percent against the dollar and traded at $1.3879 and the pound was down 0.04 percent against the greenback. The dollar gained 0.20 percent against the yen but lost 0.45 percent against the Australian dollar.


Notable earnings released on Friday included:

  • Brown Shoe Company (NYSE: BWS) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.14 on revenue of $600.00 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.14 on revenue of $640.18 million.
  • ANN INC (NYSE: ANN) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.10 on revenue of $623.30 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.05 on revenue of $607.68 million.
  • Buckle, Inc (NYSE: BKE) reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.23 on revenue of $339.00 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.28 on revenue of $360.62 million.

Pre-Market Movers

Stocks moving in the Premarket included:

  • Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) gained 0.79 percent in premarket trade after falling 2.60 percent last week.
  • Lorillard Inc (NYSE: LO) was up 0.75 percent in premarket trade after gaining 1.67 percent on Friday.
  • Carnival Corp (NYSE: CCL) rose 0.73 percent in premarket trade after choppy trading took the stock down 2.73 percent over the past five days.
  • JP Morgan Chase and Co (NYSE: JPM) was down 0.09 percent in premarket trade after losing 4.38 percent last week.
  • Earnings

Notable earnings releases expected on Monday include:

  • LAN Chile S.A. (NYSE: LFL) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.24 on revenue of $3.50 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.02 on revenue of $3.48 billion.
  • JA Solar Holdings, Co. Ltd (NASDAQ: JASO) is expected to report EPS of $0.03 on revenue of $291.75 million, compared to last year’s loss of $2.65 per share on revenue of $268.09 million.
  • Sterling Construction Company, Inc (NASDAQ: STRL) is expected to report a fourth quarter loss of $1.47 per share on revenue of $153.07 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.18 on revenue of $158.09 million.


Monday’s economic calendar is set to be quiet and will include eurozone CPI, US industrial production, Venezuelan GDP and the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy meeting minutes.

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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