Thursday saw a pickup up in stocks as traders started to dip their toes back into risk markets. While Indices in general saw gains while the Yen came under pressure, even with stock markets there were significant capital flows. In the S&P 500, Financials, Industrials, Materials, Technology, consumer Discretionary and Energy all gained over 1% while defensive sectors like Utilities, Telecom and Consumer Staples declined. American Express and railroad CSX posted 5% gains on the back of positive earnings reports. Tesla Motors lost 1% after announcing a voluntary recall of 53,000 vehicles to repair faulty parking brakes.
After the close, more news came out for traders to chew on including a big beat by Visa and a big miss by Mattel who was impacted by a big inventory overhang left over from the disappointing holiday season. Management claims that’s over, we’ll see overnight if the street believes it or not, and whether weakness in the toy market is seen as an indication of broader weakness in consumer spending or not.
Economic news was mixed with continuing jobless claims dropping under 2 million for the first time since 2000 offset by a soft Philadelphia Fed report. In Canada, the Ontario government introduced measures to cool the hot Toronto housing market including expanded rent controls and a tax on foreign speculators. Meanwhile the war of words between the US and Canada over dairy products and softwood lumber continued indicating the potential for a trade spat although the loonie did stabilize near $1.3500 for USDCAD
. Concerns over Syria and North Korea subsided a bit with no new developments but could flare up again any time.
Friday brings flash PMI from around the world, the first look at how major economies like Japan, the US, Germany and France have been performing into the spring. This is the last trading day ahead of the first round of French Presidential voting so we could see some positioning, especially in Europe.UK retail sales and Canada inflation may also attract some attention from traders.
Visa $0.86 vs street $0.79
Mattel ($0.32 vs street ($0.17), sales $735M vs street $791M
SNC Lavalin has agreed to purchase WS Atkins for $3.6B or £20.80
Significant announcements released overnight include:
US jobless claims 244K vs street 240K
US continuing claims 1,979K vs street 2,024K
US Philadelphia Fed 22.0 vs street 25.5
US leading index 0.4% vs street 0.2%
US natural gas 54 BCF vs street 49 BCF
Upcoming significant economic announcements include:
(Note: 11:30 am in Sydney/Melbourne is currently 1:30 pm in Auckland, 4:30 pm in Vancouver, 7:30 pm in Toronto/Montréal, 12:30 am in London and 8:30 am in Singapore)
10:30 am AEDT Japan flash manufacturing PMI previous 52.4
11:00 am AEDT NZ ANZ consumer confidence previous 125.2
8:00 am BST France flash manufacturing PMI street 53.1
8:00 am BST France flash service PMI street 57.0
8:30 am BST Germany flash manufacturing PMI street 58.0
8:30 am BST Germany flash service PMI street 55.5
9:30 am BST UK retail sales street 3.3%
9:30 am BST UK retail ex auto street 3.8%
8:30 am EDT Canada consumer prices street 1.8% vs previous 2.0%
8:30 am EDT Canada core CPI – common street 1.3%
9:30 am EDT FOMC Kashkari speaking
9:45 am EDT US flash manufacturing PMI street 53.8
9:45 am EDT US flash service PMI street 53.2
10:00 am EDT US existing home sales street 5.60M