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Commentary: China concerns weigh on markets
00:00, 25 February 2014
Market sentiment toward China has remained unsettled overnight. Chinese indices took another big hit, while copper and CNY also continued to retreat. In the lack of other news China has been getting the blame for today’s pullbacks in Europe and North America although these moves may be more technically driven. In the last few days, indices in France and the UK plus the S&P 500 have tested or broken through their 52-week and channel highs and may be getting tired. The S&P in particular did not show much enthusiasm for going much higher suggesting that a proper catalyst beyond money flows may be needed to drive a new upleg and without one, markets may be vulnerable once the tax deadlines for retirement accounts pass. Currency trading remains mixed, but we still appear to be seeing some rotation back into hard money from virtual money. Overnight Bitcoin dipped below $500, having traded above $1,000 only a few short weeks ago. Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has been having problems and may have shut down overnight, reports are sketchy. Although gold and silver are off a bit today, they appear to be consolidating recent gains. Today is another relatively slow day for broad market news although we could see action in specific stocks off of company developments. Blackberry in particular has been active overnight as it benefits from renewed interest in companies with messaging technology. Also, Canadian bank earnings trading kicks off today. Corporate News Bank of Montreal $1.58 vs street $1.52 National Bank $1.09 in line Home Depot $0.73 vs street $0.71, raised dividend by 20% Macy’s $2.16 vs street $2.17 EOG Resources $2.00 vs street $1.96, two for one stock split, raised dividend Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: China leading indicator 1.2 vs previous 0.8 RBNZ inflation estimate 2.3% unchanged Germany GDP 1.3% vs street 1.4% Italy retail sales (2.6%) vs street 0.2% UK CBI distributive trade 37 vs street 15 Economic reports due later today include: 9:00 am EDT US house price index street 0.3% 10:00 am EDT US consumer confidence street 80.0 10:00 am EDT US Richmond Fed street 5 vs previous 12