US markets higher with possible sanctions on Russia imminent

US markets look set to open higher recovering some of Friday’s Ukraine-induced losses looking ahead to the release of pending US home sales and earnings from Loews, Corning and Herbalife. Futures suggest the S&P500 will open 9 points higher at 1,872 with the Dow Jones expected to open 94 points higher at 16,455. As early as today the EU and US are set to announce heavier sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s inner circle of individuals and companies. The sanctions seem intended to be targeted rather than wide ranging and as such it seems the implications may be just for specific stocks involved rather than whole industries. Pfizer is likely to be in play again today after confirming it had approached AstraZeneca about a takeover in January and again April 26th. AstraZeneca have so far rebuffed offers but management’s hand may have weakened by the miss in company earnings and the shareholder revolt over pay making a deal more likely. The potential deal may prove more widely important as M&A activity offsets concerns over high valuations in certain sectors of the stock market. Herbalife is expected to earn $1.29 per share on revenue of $1.23bn. The company is currently under criminal investigation by the FBI so the stock is down 30% on the year. HLF is however expected to earn higher revenues and profits on the year which perhaps the current price of the stock doesn’t reflect. Lowes is expected to report first quarter earnings at $0.70 per share Corning is expected to report Q1 earnings of $0.30 per share on revenue of 2.3bn CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.