The daily swings between fear and complacency about political tensions in Ukraine continue with indices
rallying across Europe this morning after Ukraine separatists turned over the black boxes and released the bodies from flight MH17. Gold and silver, on the other hand along with CHF have started to retreat once again as capital rotates back out of defensive positions for now.
While precious metals have been weak, base metals have been having a banner day with zinc, aluminium and copper all having a banner day climbing 1-2%. China’s leading indicator jumped and stocks in Hong Kong and Shanghai also rallied 1-2% leading world stock markets higher. Grains like corn and wheat have started to stabilize after two days of big losses in response to easing fears of supply disruptions between positive US crop reports and signs Ukraine may not spiral out of control.
This sets the stage for a busy day in the US with a focus on individual stocks over broader indices with a flood of earnings reports out from major companies today. Overnight reports were positive overall, particularly from Harley Davidson and Texas Instruments. Harley is particularly significant at it shows consumers have become increasingly willing to spend on big ticket non-essential items.
A big divergence in results between McDonalds and Chipotle Mexican Grill highlights not only changing consumer tastes but also acts as a sign of an improving economy in that people are willing to spend more money at restaurants and not flocking to the cheapest option as much (you can also see this in weakness at dollar stores and Hormel Foods the makers of Spam which are also counter-cyclical).
We may also see continued takeover speculation in Time Warner through the day and positioning ahead of this evening’s Apple and MicroSoft reports. Herbalife may also attract attention again today following a big 11% drop yesterday as hedge fund manager Bill Ackman announced plans to release evidence to back up accusations of fraud at the nutrition company later today.
Canadian National $1.03 vs street $1.00
Netflix $1.15 vs street $1.14, EPS next Q guidance $0.89 vs street $1.03
Texas Instruments $0.62 vs street $0.59, next Q guidance $0.66-$0.76 vs street $0.67
Travelers $1.93 vs street $2.07
United Technologies $1.84 vs street $1.74, raises FY guidance to $6.75-$6.85 from $6.65-$6.85
Lockheed Martin $2.76 vs street $2.66, raises FUY guidance to $10.85-$11.15 from $10.50-$10.80
Harley Davidson $1.62 vs street $1.46
Chipotle Mexican $3.50 vs street $3.09, sales $1.05B vs street $989M
McDonalds $1.40 vs street $1.44
Coca-Cola $0.64 vs street $0.63
DuPont $1.17 as expected, 4.4%dividend increase
Verizon $0.91 vs street $0.90
Economic reports released overnight and this morning include:
US consumer prices 2.1% as expected
US CPI ex food and energy 1.9% vs street 2.0%
China leading index 294.0 vs previous 290 3
Japan leading index 104.8 vs previous 105.7
Hungary interest rate decision 0.20% cut to 2.10% more than the 0.10% cut expected
UK public sector borrowing £9.5B vs street £9.4B
UK CBI orders 2 vs street 8
UK CBI prices (4) vs street 4
UK business optimism 19 vs street 30
Economic reports due later today include:
Apple, MicroSoft, Electronic Arts and Broadcom report earnings after 4:00 pm EDT.
9:00 am EDT US house prices street 0.2%
10:00 am EDT US existing home sales street 4.99M
10:00 am EDT US Richmond Fed street 5 vs previous 3