Day Traders Diary
12/18/13U.S. equity futures hold modest gains with the S&P 500 futures trading less than two points above fair value.
Reviewing overnight developments:
Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's Nikkei +2.0%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.3%, and China's Shanghai Composite -0.1%.
Investors received several economic data points:
China's House Prices rose 9.9% year-over-year (9.6% previous) while foreign direct investment increased 5.5% (5.77% prior).
Japan's trade deficit widened to JPY1.29 trillion from JPY1.09 trillion (JPY1.32 trillion expected). On an adjusted basis, the trade deficit widened to JPY1.35 trillion from JPY1.09 trillion (JPY1.19 trillion forecast) as exports increased 18.4% year-over-year (17.9% expected, 18.6% prior) while imports rose 21.1% (21.4% consensus, 26.1% prior). § Australia's MI Leading Index ticked down 0.1% month-over-month (0.1% prior).
New Zealand's current account deficit widened to NZD4.78 billion from NZD1.34 billion (-NZD4.30 billion expected).
The Reserve Bank of India held its key interest rate steady at 7.75% (8.00% expected).
Among news of note:
The People's Bank of China has banned third-party payment processors from clearing bitcoin payments. The ban caused the digital currency to tumble from $717 to below $550.
In Japan, a survey conducted by Nikkei showed that nearly all investors are expecting additional easing from the Bank of Japan.
Major European indices hover near their best levels of the session. Great Britain's FTSE +0.3%, France's CAC +0.8%, and Germany's DAX +1.0%. Elsewhere, Spain's IBEX +0.9% and Italy's MIB +1.1%.
Economic data was limited:
Germany's Ifo Business Climate Index climbed to 109.5 from 109.3, as expected. The Current Assessment fell to 111.6 from 112.2 (112.5 expected).
Great Britain's claimant count declined by 36,700 (-35,000 expected, -42,800 prior) while the unemployment rate fell to 7.4% from 7.6% (7.6% expected). Separately, the Average Earnings Index + Bonus increased 0.9% (0.8% expected, 0.8% prior). Also of note, the CBI Distributive Trades Survey surged to 34 from 1 (10 expected).
Swiss ZEW Expectations improved to 39.4 from 31.6 (36.0 expected).
The Bank of England released the minutes from its latest policy meeting, revealing a unanimous vote to maintain the key interest rate and asset program unchanged at their respective 0.5% and GBP375 billion.
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta commented on the euro, saying the Eurozone should aim to lower the exchange rate.
In U.S. corporate news:
FedEx (FDX 136.60, -2.49): -1.8% after missing earnings estimates.
General Mills (GIS 48.58, -1.00): -2.0% after missing on earnings and revenue.
Jabil Circuit (JBL 15.99, -3.73): -18.9% after reporting a bottom-line miss on above-consensus revenue. The company guided second quarter earnings and revenue below consensus.
Lennar (LEN 36.25, +1.05): +3.0% following its earnings beat on above-consensus revenue.
The weekly MBA Mortgage Index fell 5.5% to follow last week's 1.0% increase.
November Building Permits and Housing Starts for September, October, and November will be released at 8:30 ET while the FOMC policy directive and staff projections will cross the wires at 14:00 ET. Chairman Bernanke's press conference will follow at 14:30 ET. All comments contained herein are for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The firm does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information or make any warranties regarding results from it's usage.