US stocks to open lower ahead of US data deluge. Alibaba concerns
US stocks look like edging lower at the open as global growth concerns re-emerge after a round of unimpressive service sector PMIs in Europe and China. There is some degree of trepidation ahead of a multitude of important US data releases including ISM, unemployment and oil inventories.
Today’s ADP will be the first clue as to what Friday could hold. ADP private sector payrolls are expected to pick up from 213K to 219K.
ISM Non-manufacturing PMI data is expected to moderate slightly to 56.5 in February from 56.7 in January.
This week another record US oil stockpile is expected with an additional 4.0M barrels added to inventories. Oil prices actually closed the day higher after last week’s oil inventories data in a sign that the stocks build up is beginning to get priced in. The day following last week’s inventory data oil prices tanked again and the WTI contract only just closed above $50 again for the first time yesterday.
TiVo shares are expected to jump higher on the open after reporting better than expected fourth quarter earnings.
Outside of the major benchmarks, shareholders of Alibaba were showing unease as shares dropped to as low as $80, the lowest since its IPO in September last year. The Taiwan Investment Commission has ordered the Chinese online retail giant to withdraw from the country for hiding its Chinese ownership.
The accusation from Taiwan goes to the heart of investors’ concern over Alibaba’s opaque ownership structure and comes not long after the firm missed revenue estimates in the third quarter. The complicated ownership and question marks over Chinese accounting standards require robust earnings growth to compensate. Missed earnings in Q3 don’t meet that requirement and shares are suffering as a result.
Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, PetSmart and H&R Block report earnings on Wednesday
Futures suggest the:
S&P 500 will open 7 points lower at 2,100 with the
Dow Jones expected to open 55 points lower at 18,148 and the
Nasdaq 100 14 points lower at 4,444.
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