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Big Breakout for Blackberry and a big day for data on the way

Stock markets in North America traded up slightly Thursday but the highlight was a 13.5% breakout rally by Blackberry on the back of a positive earnings report, guidance and licensing deal. 

Blackberry has reported non-GAAP EPS of $0.05, well above the breakeven street estimate. Non-GAAP sales were $249M, well above the $222M traders had been expecting. Software and services generated $196M in sales, above the $177M that had been expected. Looking forward, for the February 2018 fiscal year Blackberry guided non-GAAP sales of $920-$950M above the $916M street estimate. The company also announced the signing of its first Blackberry Secure licensing agreement with Yangzhou New Telecom Science and technology for smartphone technology. The first product under this deal is due out in early 2018. 

There were a number of intraday reversals suggesting that as the end of the week, month and quarter approaches, traders are reluctant to push markets too far in any one direction. Crude oil in particular slumped back in the afternoon as a morning rally faded finishing down 1.0%. Gasoline fell 1.1% while natural gas dropped 1.3% despite a smaller than expected storage build. 

Friday is the last day for traders to position ahead of the Chinese Golden Week holiday next week which could influence trading in gold, oil, Chinese stocks and other China or resource-sensitive markets like AUD and NZD. It’s also the last trading day before Sunday’s Catalonia independence referendum in Spain which means the IBEX and Euro could be active. 

Friday brings a flood of economic news that could potentially move markets. Things kick off with the main monthly basket of Japanese economic data which could impact JPY and the Nikkei. The European trading day brings retail sales and employment reports for Germany plus Eurozone inflation, a key data point heading toward the late October ECB meeting, which could add to the trading activity in EUR pairs and the Dax. 

In North America, CAD could be active around Canadian GDP and producer price reports. In the US, core PCE inflation and Chicago PMI could capture the more attention. Late in the day, Chinese PMI reports are out which could influence sentiment toward the start of next week. 

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