Stock Market Update from Briefing.com

4:15 pm: [BRIEFING.COM] The stock market capped a quiet week with a subdued Friday session. However, it is worth noting that the range-bound week followed sharp gains registered earlier this month. The S&P 500 shed 0.3% on Friday to narrow its February gain to 5.5% while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.5%) underperformed today, but climbed 7.1% since the end of January.

Equity indices spent the bulk of the session near their flat lines before a wave of profit-taking during the final 90 minutes sent the indices to fresh session lows. Eight of ten sectors finished the day in the red, but only one sector-utilities (-0.1%)-registered a February loss. The rate-sensitive group fell 7.0% during the month as higher yields made Treasuries more attractive.

The technology sector (-0.5%) finished the day at the bottom of the leaderboard, but still added 7.9% for the month. Similar to the sector, the top-weighted component-Apple (AAPL 128.48, -1.94)-endured some profit taking following a big run in February. Shares of AAPL fell 1.5% today, but still ended the month higher by 9.7%.

Elsewhere, the energy sector lost 0.4% to narrow its February gain to 3.5% even though crude oil settled on its high. The energy component spiked 3.3% to $49.76/bbl, adding nearly 10.0% for the month. WTI crude surged off its afternoon low even after the Baker Hughes rig count registered its 12th consecutive decline (-43) to 1267.

Meanwhile, the remaining cyclical sectors finished closer to their respective flat lines. For instance, the discretionary sector (-0.1%) ended slightly lower with many apparel retailers enjoying gains after Gap (GPS 41.60, +1.23) reported a one-cent beat, announced a $1 billion buyback, and boosted its dividend by 5.0%, which overshadowed below-consensus guidance. Peer J.C. Penney (JCP 8.50, -0.62) headed in the opposite direction, falling 6.8%, after missing earnings estimates.

The countercyclical side looked a bit better today with consumer staples (+0.4%) and telecom services (+0.3%) registering modest gains while the aforementioned utilities sector (-0.1%) and health care (-0.5%) settled in the red.

Consumer staples rallied behind Coca-Cola (KO 43.30, +0.84) and Monster Beverage (MNST 141.12, +16.38) after the latter reported better than expected results. On the flip side, Herbalife (HLF 31.01, -3.81) tumbled 10.9% after its disappointing revenue and cautious guidance overshadowed a bottom-line beat.

Treasuries registered modest gains with the 10-yr yield slipping three basis points to 2.00%. Despite today's advance, the 10-yr note ended February in the red with its yield 32 basis points above where it ended January. For its part, the Dollar Index (95.33, +0.03) eked out a slim gain on Friday and finished the month higher by 0.4%.

Although the final week of February was relatively quiet on the international front, that could change in a hurry. Yesterday evening, Kathimerini reported that Greece is due to pay EUR1.60 billion to the IMF next month, but it is uncertain whether the country will be able to make the payment on time. The IMF is scheduled to receive the first installment in the amount of EUR310 million on Friday, March 6.

Economic data included Q4 GDP, Chicago PMI, Michigan Sentiment Index, and Pending Home Sales:

  • Fourth quarter GDP was revised down to 2.2% in the second estimate from 2.6% in the advance estimate after increasing 5.0% in Q3 
    • The Briefing.com consensus expected a revision down to 2.1% 
    • Despite the downward revision, the GDP report actually reveals slightly better economic trends in the second estimate. Nearly all of the revision resulted from weaker inventory growth -- $88.40 billion vs. $113.10 billion in the advance release. Excluding inventories, real final sales were revised up to 2.1% from an originally reported 1.8% 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was revised up to 95.4 in the final February reading from 93.6 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a revision up to 94.0 
    • Even after the revisions, the Consumer Sentiment Index is still down from 98.1 in January 
  • The Chicago PMI declined to 45.8 in February from 59.4 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a drop to 58.0 
    • This was the first reported contraction in the Chicago region since April 2013 and the largest contraction since the index dropped to 42.7 in July 2009 
    • Readings throughout the report were abysmal, and every index, with the exception of supplier deliveries (58.3 from 54.9), contracted in February 
  • Pending home sales for January rose 1.7% while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 2.4% 
On Monday, Personal Income/Spending and Core PCE Prices for January will be reported at 8:30 ET while Construction Spending for January and February ISM Index will be released at 10:00 ET.
  • Nasdaq Composite +4.8% YTD 
  • Russell 2000 +2.4% YTD 
  • S&P 500 +2.2% YTD 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.7% YTD
Week in Review: S&P 500 Locked in Sideways Action

The major averages began the week on a sleepy note with the S&P 500 ending flat after spending the day in a seven-point range while the Nasdaq (+0.1%) finished a little ahead of the benchmark index. Participants stuck to the sidelines ahead of Tuesday's semiannual testimony on monetary policy. Six of ten sectors registered losses with all six cyclical sectors ending in the red. Most notably, the energy sector (-0.4%) slumped to the bottom of the leaderboard at the start, exerting pressure on the market throughout the day. The group lagged as crude oil fell 2.5% to $49.56/bbl. The energy component saw a brief afternoon spike into the $50.00/bbl area after Nigeria's oil minister said the sharp slide in crude prices could lead to an emergency OPEC meeting. WTI crude returned to its afternoon low after OPEC refuted the report, announcing no plans for an emergency meeting at this time.

Equity indices endured another quiet session on Tuesday before a late afternoon rally sent the S&P 500 (+0.3%) to a new record high. The price-weighted Dow (+0.5%) outperformed while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%) and Russell 2000 (+0.1%) struggled to keep up. Trading volume was well below average with fewer than 700 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor. The key indices spent the bulk of the day near their flat lines, seeing little reaction to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's testimony on monetary policy before the Senate Banking Committee. Chair Yellen reiterated the Fed's intent to remain patient before raising rates, due to weak wage growth and low inflation. In addition, Ms. Yellen indicated the Fed will change its forward guidance prior to hiking rates, and that change to the outlook will clear the way for a potential hike in any particular meeting that follows. Although the testimony had little impact on equities, Treasuries spiked with the 10-yr yield sliding eight basis points to 1.98% as bond traders showed little concern for a rate hike in the near term.

The stock market ended the midweek session on a flat note after spending the trading day in a narrow range. The S&P 500 shed 0.1% while the Nasdaq (-0.02%) registered its first loss since February 9. Once again, the session featured below-average activity with only 687 million shares changing hands at the NYSE floor. Equities faced some selling pressure at the start with the top-weighted technology sector (-0.7%) responsible for the early weakness. Specifically, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) pressured the sector after reporting uninspiring results for the quarter. The former Dow component plunged 9.9% after its one-cent beat was overshadowed by a 4.7% year-over-year decline in revenue and below-consensus guidance. Despite the opening weakness, the market was able to reclaim its early loss by midday, but renewed selling in the tech sector sent equity indices to fresh lows during the afternoon. The largest stock by weight-Apple (AAPL )-fell 2.6% to lead the afternoon pullback.

The market endured another range-bound session on Thursday with the S&P 500 shedding 0.1% after respecting a seven-point range. The Dow (-0.1%) and S&P 500 began the day under pressure due to noteworthy weakness in the energy sector (-1.8%). Meanwhile, most other cyclical groups also began in the red while technology (+0.7%) outperformed throughout the day and kept the Nasdaq (+0.4%) in the green. The top-weighted technology sector received support from some of its largest components by weight like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL), and Facebook (FB). The three names gained between 1.1% and 2.2% with Apple climbing into the green after announcing a press event on March 9 where the company is expected to launch its wristwatch.

3:35 pm: [BRIEFING.COM]

  • WTI oil prices rallied into the close, rising from just above $48.50/barrel to as high as $49.89/barrel
    Apr crude closed $1.50 higher at $49.79/barrel
  • Natural gas held its gain today, closing $0.04 higher at $2.73/MMBtu
  • Apr gold remained near the flat line today, ultimately ending today's session $3 higher at $1213.10/oz
  • May silver closed flat at $16.59/oz

2:55 pm: [BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices have slipped to fresh lows with one hour remaining in the session. The Nasdaq has widened its decline to 0.5% while the S&P 500 is lower by 0.2%.

In all likelihood, the recent downtick simply represented some profit taking after the market enjoyed a big surge in February.

Eight of ten sectors are on course to end the month with gains between 4.2% (consumer staples, health care) and 8.5% (consumer discretionary) while the utilities sector (-0.3%) has extended its February decline to 7.2%. The rate-sensitive utilities sector has suffered from weakness among Treasuries that has the benchmark 10-yr yield (2.01%) trading 33 basis points above where it ended January.

2:30 pm: [BRIEFING.COM] Range-bound action continues with the S&P 500 lower by 0.1% for the day and for the week. Despite the lack of activity this week, the benchmark index is on course to end the month with a 5.7% advance while other indices have been able to register even larger gains.

The price-weighted Dow has spiked 5.9% in February while the Nasdaq has jumped 7.2% with Apple (AAPL 129.23, -1.19) fueling the move. The largest stock by weight is lower by 0.9% today, but up 10.3% for the month.

On a separate note, crude oil is higher by 3.2% at $49.73/bbl heading into the pit close, extending its February gain to 9.7%.

2:00 pm: [BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices continue holding slim losses.

The downward revision to the Q4 2014 GDP data was not as bad as it looked.

Fourth quarter GDP was revised down to 2.2% in the second estimate from 2.6% in the advance estimate. GDP increased 5.0% in Q3 2014. The Briefing.com Consensus expected Q4 2014 GDP to be revised down to 2.1%.

Despite the downward revision, the GDP report actually reveals slightly better economic trends in the second estimate. Nearly all of the revision was the result of weaker inventory growth -- $88.4 bln vs. $113.1 bln in the advance release. Excluding inventories, real final sales were revised up to 2.1% from an originally reported 1.8%.

Furthermore, there were significant upward revisions to all of the components of nonresidential investment. Spending on structures was revised up to 5.0% from 2.6%, equipment investment was revised to 0.9% from -1.9%, and intellectual property product investment was revised to 10.9% from 7.4%. In all, the upward revisions to nonresidential investment added an additional 0.4 percentage points to GDP growth in the second estimate.

1:30 pm: [BRIEFING.COM] The major U.S. indices have quietly pushed lower in recent trade . If the S&P 50 can hold up until the close, it will end the month with gains of 5.75% in February. The Nasdaq at its current level has gained almost 7.4% during the same period. 
 
At the top of the hour, Baker Hughes (BHI 62.63, +0.13) reported its weekly rig count data, which showed the total U.S. rig count declining 43 to 1267, which includes gas and oil, was the 12th consecutive week of overall declines. While the total rig count reached 1267, the number of U.S. oil rigs dropped under 1,000 for the first time since June of 2011. Following the report, WTI crude (+1% to $48.65/bbl) surrendered its earlier gains and set new session lows, but it is back showing gains at the moment.  
 
As a result of the sell-off in oil, the energy sector (-0.3%) is now the weakest S&P sector in today's session. 

12:55 pm: [BRIEFING.COM] The major averages are little changed at midday with the S&P 500 (+0.1%) showing a slim gain while the Dow (-0.1%) and Nasdaq (-0.2%) underperform.

The benchmark index entered today's session flat for the week, so it should not be all that surprising to see range-bound action continue today. To that point, the S&P 500 has traded within a seven-point range since the opening bell.

Even though the S&P 500 trades near its flat line, seven of ten sectors find themselves in the green with countercyclical consumer staples (+0.4%) and telecom services (+0.4%) in the lead. Meanwhile, the remaining advancers hover closer to their unchanged levels.

The consumer staples sector has received a boost from Monster Beverage (MNST 141.42, +16.68), which trades higher by 13.4% after reporting better than expected results. On the flip side, Herbalife (HLF 31.61, -3.21) has given up 9.2% after its disappointing revenue and cautious guidance overshadowed a bottom-line beat.

Over on the cyclical side, the materials sector (+0.2%) leads with help from miners and steelmakers. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX 21.30, +0.34) is higher by 1.6% while Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 34.15, +0.14) has added 0.4%.

Elsewhere, the consumer discretionary sector (+0.1%) trades in-line with the S&P 500, masking relative strength among apparel retailers after Gap (GPS 41.50, +1.13) reported a one-cent beat, announced a $1 billion buyback, and boosted its dividend by 5.0%, which overshadowed below-consensus guidance.

Treasuries hold modest gains after climbing off their overnight lows. The 10-yr yield is lower by a basis point at 2.02%.

Economic data included Q4 GDP, Chicago PMI, Michigan Sentiment Index, and Pending Home Sales:

  • Fourth quarter GDP was revised down to 2.2% in the second estimate from 2.6% in the advance estimate after increasing 5.0% in Q3 
    • The Briefing.com consensus expected a revision down to 2.1% 
    • Despite the downward revision, the GDP report actually reveals slightly better economic trends in the second estimate. Nearly all of the revision resulted from weaker inventory growth -- $88.40 billion vs. $113.10 billion in the advance release. Excluding inventories, real final sales were revised up to 2.1% from an originally reported 1.8% 
  • The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was revised up to 95.4 in the final February reading from 93.6 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a revision up to 94.0 
    • Even after the revisions, the Consumer Sentiment Index is still down from 98.1 in January 
  • The Chicago PMI declined to 45.8 in February from 59.4 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a drop to 58.0 
    • This was the first reported contraction in the Chicago region since April 2013 and the largest contraction since the index dropped to 42.7 in July 2009 
    • Readings throughout the report were abysmal, and every index, with the exception of supplier deliveries (58.3 from 54.9), contracted in February 
  • Pending home sales for January rose 1.7% while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 2.4%

12:25 pm: [BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 hovers just north of its flat line while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) underperforms. Despite today's relative weakness, the Dow is on course to end the week higher by 0.3% versus no change for the S&P 500.

Today, however, the Dow has not been able to keep pace with the broader market as 2/3 of its components hover in the red. That being said, American Express (AXP 82.27, -0.98), which is lower by 1.2%, is the only name showing a loss of 1.0% or more.

On the flip side, two index members-General Electric (GE 26.22, +0.32) and Coca-Cola (KO 42.93, +0.47)-are both up more than 1.0%, but the two names have little influence over the price-weighted index.

12:00 pm: [BRIEFING.COM] Not much change in the major averages with the S&P 500 hovering near the top of a six-point trading range that has been in effect since today's opening bell.

The energy sector (+0.2%) continues trading ahead of other cyclical groups, but despite today's uptick, the sector is on track to end the week at the bottom of the leaderboard, down 1.4%. Only one other sector (utilities) has given up more than 1.0% this week while five groups are on track to register gains.

On the upside, the telecom services sector leads with a week-to-date gain of 0.9% while the consumer discretionary sector is up 0.1% today and higher by 0.8% for the week.

Apparel retailers trade mostly higher after Gap (GPS 41.79, +1.42) reported a one-cent beat, announced a $1 billion buyback, and boosted its dividend by 5.0%, which overshadowed below-consensus guidance. The broader SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 98.80, +0.37) is higher by 0.4%.

11:25 am: [BRIEFING.COM] Sideways action continues with the S&P 500 trading just below its flat line.

Only two cyclical sectors trade in the green at this time with energy (+0.1%) slightly ahead of its growth-sensitive peers. Meanwhile, crude oil is higher by 1.5% at $48.91/bbl, but it is worth noting the energy component sits near its intraday low.

On the downside, financials (-0.2%) and health care (-0.2%) sit at the bottom of the leaderboard, but the slim losses underscore the range-bound nature of the market at this time.

Elsewhere, Treasuries remain near their highs with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 2.01%.

11:00 am: [BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices trade little changed with the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 all within 0.1% of their respective flat lines.

Individual sectors are split down the middle with five up and five down. The consumer staples sector (+0.5%) leads, but other countercyclical are more mixed. The telecom services sector (+0.2%) also trades in the green while health care (-0.1%) and utilities (-0.2%) hold losses.

Meanwhile on the cyclical side, all six sectors sit within a point of their respective flat lines, which fits well with the dynamic observed this week.

Given its current level, the S&P 500 is higher by 0.1% for the week versus a 0.6% gain for the Nasdaq Composite.

10:35 am: [BRIEFING.COM]

  • Commodities are trading modestly higher this morning, as measured by the S&P GSCI Index, which is currently +0.4% largely on weakness in the dollar index.
  • WTI crude oil futures have been in positive territory all day so far and rose as high as $49.53/barrel in early morning trade.
  • Metals are mixed this morning with gold higher and silver and copper sitting in the red.
  • Apr gold futures are now +0.4% at $1214.70/oz, while May silver futures are -0.02% at $16.59/oz
  • May copper is -0.8% at $2.67/lb

10:00 am: [BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (-0.1%) hovers near its opening low.

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for February was revised up to 95.4 from 93.6 while the Briefing.com consensus expected the reading to be revised up to 94.0.

Separately, pending home sales for January rose 1.7%, while the Briefing.com consensus expected an increase of 2.4%.

9:45 am: [BRIEFING.COM] The major averages began the day with modest losses. The S&P 500 trades lower by 0.1% while the Nasdaq Composite (-0.2%) underperforms.  

Two sectors sport opening gains with energy (+0.2%) and consumer staples (+0.1%) out to an early lead. Yesterday's laggard-energy-outperforms thanks to a 1.7% advance in crude oil, which trades at $48.97/bbl.

On the flip side, the utilities sector (-0.4%) is the weakest performer so far, extending its February decline to 7.3%.

Just released, the Chicago PMI for February fell to 45.8 from 59.4 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a decrease to 58.0.

9:12 am: [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -1.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.30. The stock market is on track for a flat open as futures on the S&P 500 trade one point below fair value. The benchmark index will enter today's session unchanged for the week while the Nasdaq Composite has shown relative strength and will look to defend its 0.6% weekly gain.

True to this week's form, overnight action featured very little action to speak of. S&P 500 futures spent the night in a four-point range, seeing little movement following the downward revision to Q4 GDP, which lowered the reading to 2.2% from 2.6%.

On the corporate front, Gap (GPS 41.93, +1.56) is on track to open higher by 3.9% after its one-cent beat, a $1 billion buyback, and a 5.0% increase to its dividend overshadowed below-consensus guidance. On the flip side, Herbalife (HLF 34.25, -0.57) is indicated lower by 1.6% after disappointing revenue and cautious guidance overshadowed a bottom-line beat.

Treasuries hold slim gains with the 10-yr yield down two basis points at 2.01%.

The Chicago PMI for February (consensus 58.0) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET while the final Michigan Sentiment Index for February (consensus 93.8) and the January Pending Home Sales report (expected 2.2%) will both be released at 10:00 ET.

8:55 am: [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -1.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.80. The S&P 500 futures trade two points below fair value.

With the exception of India (+1.7%), markets in the Asia-Pacific region posted either modest gains or losses. Japan for its part eked out a modest gain to reach another 15-year high, pushing higher in the wake of a heavy slate of economic releases.

  • In economic data: 
    • Japan's January Household Spending 0.3% month-over-month (expected +0.4%; prior +0.4%); -5.1% year-over-year (expected -4.1%; prior -3.4%) while January National CPI +2.4% year-over-year (expected 2.4%; prior 2.4%) and National core CPI +2.2% year-over-year (expected +2.3%; prior +2.5%). Separately, January unemployment rate 3.6% (expected 3.4%; prior 3.4%), Industrial Production +4.0% month-over-month (expected +2.7%; prior +0.8%), Retail Sales -2.0% year-over-year (expected -1.3%; prior +0.2%), Construction Orders +27.5% year-over-year (prior +7.5%), and Housing Starts -13.0% year-over-year (expected -11.3%; prior -14.7%) 
    • Australia's Housing Credit +0.6% (prior +0.6%) and Private Sector Credit +0.5% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +0.5%) 
------
  • Japan's Nikkei had a flattish session, up 0.1% (with rounding) after digesting a large batch of mixed economic data. Gains in the consumer staples (+0.8%) and technology (+0.7%) sectors were offset by losses in the financial (-0.3%), communications (-0.3%) and industrial (-0.2%) sectors. MEIJI Holdings (+5.2%) topped the list of winners while Tokyo Dome Court (-4.2%) was the biggest decliner on a percentage basis. 
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.3% and ended at its lows for the session. It was pressured by weakness in the financial (-0.4%) and communications (-0.4%) sectors. Wharf Holdings Ltd. (-2.9%), Want Want China Holdings (-2.3%), and China Resources Land (-1.9%) led the decliners while gaming companies, Sands China (+2.3%) and Galaxy Entertainment (+2.2%), rebounded from recent losses and topped the list of winners. 
  • China's Shanghai Composite increased 0.4% in a roller-coaster trading session. The communications (+2.9%) and industrial (+0.8%) sectors fared well on Friday. Tianjing Global Magnetic Card Co., Guangxi Wuzhou Communications, and Jiangsu Hongtu High Technology Co. were the top three gainers, all jumping 10.0% on the day.
Major European indices trade mixed with Italy's MIB (+0.5%) in the lead. According to Kathimerini, Greece is due to pay EUR1.60 billion to the IMF next month, but it is uncertain whether the country will be able to make the payment on time.
  • Participants received several data points: 
    • Germany's Import Price Index -0.8% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; previous -1.7%); -4.4% year-over-year (expected -4.6%; prior -3.7%) 
    • French PPI -0.9% month-over-month (prior -0.9%) while Consumer Spending +0.6% month-over-month (consensus -0.5%; previous 1.6%) 
    • Spain's CPI -1.1% year-over-year (expected -1.5%; prior -1.3%) while Current Account surplus expanded to EUR4.80 billion from EUR1.73 billion 
    • Italy's CPI +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.4%); -0.2% year-over-year (consensus -0.5%; last -0.6%) 
------
  • UK's FTSE is lower by 0.2% with energy and mining names on the defensive. BG Group, Tullow Oil, and Fresnillo are down between 1.2% and 2.0%. Staple stocks outperform with Associated British Foods and Imperial Tobacco higher by 3.2% and 1.5%, respectively. 
  • Germany's DAX is higher by 0.1% with exporters Daimler and Volkswagen among the leaders. Both names sport gains close to 1.1% apiece. Basic materials names lag with BASF down 2.1% and K+S lower by 0.7%. 
  • In France, the CAC trades up 0.2% with Airbus in the lead. The stock has surged 6.8% in reaction to better than expected results. Telecom names lag with Alcatel-Lucent and Orange down 1.5% and 2.2%, respectively. 
  • Italy's MIB has added 0.5% amid broad strength. Enel, Pirelli, BMPS, Intesa Sanpaolo, and Ferragamo are up between 1.0% and 1.9%.

8:32 am: [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -1.70. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -4.50. The S&P 500 futures trade two points below fair value.

The second estimate of fourth quarter GDP pointed to an expansion of 2.2%, down from the 2.6% increase observed in the preliminary reading. The downwardly revised increase is higher than the 2.1% growth that economists polled by Briefing.com had expected. The fourth quarter GDP Deflator was revised up to 0.1% from 0.0% while the consensus expected the reading to remain unchanged.

7:58 am: [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.00. U.S. equity futures trade modestly lower amid mixed action overseas. The S&P 500 futures hover two points below fair value after trading within a four-point range throughout the night.

Range-bound has been the theme throughout the week, evidenced by the S&P 500, which will enter today's session flat for the week.

The second estimate of Q4 GDP (Briefing.com consensus 2.1%) will be released at 8:30 ET while the Chicago PMI for February (consensus 58.0) will cross the wires at 9:45 ET. The day's data will be topped off with the 10:00 ET release of the final Michigan Sentiment Index for February (consensus 93.8) and the January Pending Home Sales report (expected 2.2%).

Treasuries hold modest losses with the 10-yr higher by a basis point at 2.04%.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • Aruba Networks (ARUN 23.70, +1.09): +4.8% in reaction to above-consensus results. 
  • Gap (GPS 41.25, +0.88): +2.2% after its one-cent beat, $1 billion buyback, and a 5.0% increase to its dividend overshadowed below-consensus guidance. 
  • Herbalife (HLF 34.32, -0.50): -1.4% after disappointing revenue and cautious guidance overshadowed a bottom-line beat. 
  • J.C. Penney (JCP 7.96, -1.16): -12.7% after missing earnings estimates. 
  • Monster Beverage (MNST 136.07, +11.33): +9.1% after beating earnings and revenue estimates.
Reviewing overnight developments:
  • Asian markets ended mixed. China's Shanghai Composite +0.4%, Japan's Nikkei +0.1%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.3% 
    • In economic data: 
      • Japan's January Household Spending 0.3% month-over-month (expected +0.4%; prior +0.4%); -5.1% year-over-year (expected -4.1%; prior -3.4%) while January National CPI +2.4% year-over-year (expected 2.4%; prior 2.4%) and National core CPI +2.2% year-over-year (expected +2.3%; prior +2.5%). Separately, January unemployment rate 3.6% (expected 3.4%; prior 3.4%), Industrial Production +4.0% month-over-month (expected +2.7%; prior +0.8%), Retail Sales -2.0% year-over-year (expected -1.3%; prior +0.2%), Construction Orders +27.5% year-over-year (prior +7.5%), and Housing Starts -13.0% year-over-year (expected -11.3%; prior -14.7%) 
      • Australia's Housing Credit +0.6% (prior +0.6%) and Private Sector Credit +0.5% month-over-month (expected +0.5%; prior +0.5%) 
    • In news: 
      • Japan's Natiowide core CPI fell to a ten-month low, but Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda remained optimistic about the outlook for the country's economy
  • Major European indices trade mixed. France's CAC +0.3%, Germany's DAX +0.1%, and UK's FTSE -0.2%. Elsewhere, Italy's MIB +0.6% and Spain's IBEX -0.2% 
    • Participants received several data points: 
      • Germany's Import Price Index -0.8% month-over-month (expected -1.0%; previous -1.7%); -4.4% year-over-year (expected -4.6%; prior -3.7%) 
      • French PPI -0.9% month-over-month (prior -0.9%) while Consumer Spending +0.6% month-over-month (consensus -0.5%; previous 1.6%) 
      • Spain's CPI -1.1% year-over-year (expected -1.5%; prior -1.3%) while Current Account surplus expanded to EUR4.80 billion from EUR1.73 billion 
      • Italy's CPI +0.3% month-over-month (expected 0.1%; prior -0.4%); -0.2% year-over-year (consensus -0.5%; last -0.6%) 
    • Among news of note: 
      • According to Kathimerini, Greece is due to pay EUR1.60 billion to the IMF next month, but it is uncertain whether the country will be able to make the payment on time

6:50 am: [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -3.50.

6:50 am: [BRIEFING.COM] Nikkei...18797.94...+12.20...+0.10%.  Hang Seng...24823.29...-78.80...-0.30%.

6:50 am: [BRIEFING.COM] FTSE...6942.11...-7.10...-0.10%.  DAX...11317.42...-9.80...-0.10%.

View Comments (85)