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Market Overview

#PreMarket Primer: Wednesday, December 31: Officials Closer To An Answer On AirAsia Jet Crash


On Wednesday, rescue efforts uncovered a body wearing a life jacket from the downed AirAsia jet off the coast of Borneo. Officials believe the plane is at the bottom of the ocean near where debris and bodies have been found, but poor weather has made the search and recovery mission a difficult one. Several passenger bodies have been found fully clothed, which would support speculation that the plane had an aerodynamic stall. The fact that at least one passenger was wearing a life jacket suggests that there was time before the plane hit the water.

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In other news around the markets:

  • China’s HSBC manufacturing PMI reading showed that the region’s manufacturing activity slowed in December, suggesting that the nation’s economy struggled in the final quarter of the year due to falling domestic demand. The factory activity figure came in at just 49.6, below the 50 reading that separates expansion and contraction. Many see the weak reading as a sign that the People’s Bank Of China will ease further in the early months of 2015.
  • In an effort to expand its market overseas, Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) has signed on to be a sponsor for UK tennis player Andy Murray.  Murray signed an agreement on Tuesday that says he will wear Under Armour products for the next four years. Murray was previously sponsored by Adidas AG and will still wear the company’s shoes until Under Armour comes out with a shoe line appropriate for tennis.
  • On Tuesday, the European Central Bank said that private sector lending in the eurozone improved from October to November, a good sign that the bank’s stimulus efforts are working. However, lending in November was still 0.9 percent lower than in the previous year, which will likely keep pressure on the bank to ease further.
  • Oil prices looked likely to finish the year on a low note, posting their largest annual drop since 2008. Though the improving U.S. economy and supply troubles in Libya briefly lifted crude prices, the commodity’s fundamentals are unlikely to change anytime soon, something most analysts believe will keep prices low for an extended period. Deteriorating global demand coupled with a growing supply glut fueled by the U.S. shale boom and OPEC’s resistance to an output cut have pushed prices below $60. Most are expecting prices to remain low well into 2015 if the current situation remains the same.

Asian Markets

Asian markets were mixed; the NIKKEI was down 1.57 percent and the KOSPI lost 0.64 percent, but the Shanghai composite gained 2.15 percent, the Shenzhen composite rose 1.47 percent and the Hang Seng index was up 0.44 percent.

European Markets

European markets were mostly higher wit the exception of Italy’s MIB, which lost 0.62 percent. The FTSE was up 0.31 percent, the CAC 40 gained 0.55 percent, the STOXX 600 was up 0.33 percent and the German DAX was flat.


Energy futures were lower; Brent futures lost 2.45 percent and WTI futures were down 1.50 percent. Gold and silver lost 0.12 percent and 0.62 percent respectively and industrial metals were mixed. Copper fell 0.47 percent and aluminum lost 0.05 percent, while zinc rose 2.05 percent and tin increased 0.60 percent.


Currency markets were quiet to finish the year; the euro lost 0.01 percent against the dollar, 0.12 percent against the pound and 0.03 percent against the yen. The dollar was also 0.03 percent lower against the yen and fell 0.14 percent against the pound  and 0.18 percent against the Australian dollar.


No notable earnings were released on Tuesday.

Pre-Market Movers

Stocks moving in the pre-market included:

  • Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) was up 0.73 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.00 percent on Tuesday.
  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) gained 0.33 percent in premarket trade after losing 1.22 percent on Tuesday.
  • Noble Corporation PLC (NYSE: NE) was down 0.47 percent in premarket trade after falling 3.24 percent over the past five days.
  • Perrigo Company PLC (NYSE: PRGO) was down 0.07 percent in premarket trade after gaining 1.76 percent over the past five days.


No notable earnings releases expected on Wednesday.


Notable economic releases expected on Wednesday will include U.S. pending home sales, U.S. initial and continuing jobless claims, and U.S. oil inventory data.

Tune into Benzinga’s pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here.


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