NYSE Morning Update:
Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading up 63 points and S&P futures are trading up 7 points despite uncertainty over the so called sequester as Congress reconvenes to try and agree on a plan for the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts due to take effect on March1. The White House on Sunday issued more dire warnings about the harm the cuts will do to Americans, but Republicans, who advocate budget cuts, said the warning was overplayed. Market participants will also be focusing on the Italian elections which close later today. Although some uncertainty remains, concerns of a victory for former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi has eased.
On the economic calendar today, no major reports are due. The Chicago Federal Reserves national activity index for February will be release before the market opens.
The dollar is up against the British pound and down against the euro and Japanese yen. Gold is trading at $1,591. Crude oil is currently trading at $94 a barrel.
The week ahead, investors face another Washington-imposed deadline on government spending cuts this week, but it seems to not be generating the same level of concern as the fiscal cliff did two months ago. The National elections in Italy, which close on Monday, could also add to investor concern. Most investors expect a government headed by Pier Luigi Bersani to win and continue with reforms to tackle Italy’s debt problems. However, a rebirth by former leader Silvio Berlusconi has raised doubts and could weigh on financial markets. If lawmakers fail to reach an agreement on reducing the U.S. budget deficit in the next few days, a sequester would include significant cuts in defense spending. The latest data on Q4 U.S. GDP is scheduled to be released on Thursday, and some analysts predict an upward revision following trade data that showed America’s deficit shrank in December to its narrowest in nearly three years. Also, investors will be looking for any hints of changes in the Fed’s policy of monetary easing when Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke speaks before congressional committees on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Happy Monday and have a wonderful week!
DJIA up 119.95 pts/+0.86%/ 14,000.57
S&P up 13.18 pts/+0.88%/1,515.60
Nasdaq up 30.33 pts/0.97%/3,161.82
Dow Futures up 63.17 pts/+0.45%
S&P Futures up 7.25 pts/+0.48%
Nasdaq Fut up 19.75 pts/+0.69%
CAC 40 +1.93%
NIKKEI 225 +2.43%
HANG SENG +0.17%
Overseas: World stock markets are higher today ahead of the Italian elections, as concerns of a victory for former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi eased.
Barnes & Noble (BKS) founder and Chairman, Leonard Riggio said in an SEC filing that he plans an offer to buy the retail assets of the bookstore chain.
Reports indicate Hewlett-Packard (HP) Chairman Ray Lane and fellow board members plan to meet with about 20 of the computer maker’s big investors Monday in hopes of heading off a campaign to unseat Lane and two other directors.
Lowes (LOW) announced today it authorized a new $5 billion share buyback program that it expects to use in the next two years.
According to sources, Knight Capital Group (KCG) has struck a deal to sell its credit-brokerage unit to Stifel Financial Corp.
BlackRock (BLK), the world’s largest money manager, has got approval from the U.S. securities regulator to list a copper-backed exchange-traded fund.
Gold: up $18.60 to $1,591.40
Oil: up 1.26 to $94.39
EUR/USD 1.3300 +0.0100
USD/JPY 93.9350 +0.9500
GBP/USD 1.5135 -0.0100
Volatility Index (VIX): As of the close of business Friday, February 22, the VIX is down 1.05 at 14.17
Companies Reporting Quarterly Earnings:
Lowe’s reports Q4 EPS 26c, vs. Est. 23c and reports Q4 revenue $11.05B, vs. Est. $10.84B.
Hertz Global reports Q4 adjusted EPS 33c, vs. Est. 31c and reports Q4 revenue $2.3B, vs. Est. $2.24B.
Todays Opening and Closing Bells:
Alon USA Partners, LP Visits the NYSE. Paul Eisman, President and Chief Executive Officer will ring the opening bell.
The Committee of Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy Celebrates International Corporate Philanthropy Day at the New York Stock Exchange. Corporate Giving Executives will ring the closing bell.
Excited about the copper trading! That 10 pound roll I bought at a garage sale for $10 a few years back will be my ticket outta here. *SMIRK*
Actually, I am kinda excited...
I modestly propose we do this daily, and if it is, and a ping list is developed, I want to be on it!