Stocks have cooled off following yesterday's unexpected surge, leaving the market on track for a flattish open. The S&P 500 futures are six points, or 0.2%, above fair value.
Investors are set to receive some key inflationary data this morning -- namely, the April Consumer Price Index -- that will factor into rate-hike expectations. The Briefing.com consensus is calling for a month-over-month increase of 0.3% in total CPI and a 0.2% uptick in core CPI, which is seen as a better gauge of long-term inflation as it excludes the volatile categories of food and energy. The CPI figures will be released alongside the weekly Initial Claims report (Briefing.com consensus 220K) at 8:30 AM ET, while the April Treasury Budget will cross the wires at 2:00 PM ET.
Overseas, European equities are mixed after the Bank of England voted 7-2 in favor of keeping its official bank rate at 0.50% and its asset purchase program at GBP435 billion. The British pound is down 0.2% against the U.S. dollar at 1.3527, while the euro is up 0.3% at 1.1885. The major indices in Asia wrapped up their Thursday session on a higher note, adding between 0.4% and 0.9%.
In the Middle East, Israel says it has struck nearly all of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria in response to an Iranian attack against Israeli forces in Golan Heights overnight. Tensions in the region have been heightened since Tuesday when President Trump decided to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and restore the "highest level of economic sanctions" against Iran.
U.S. Treasuries have rebounded a bit this morning, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note back below the 3.00% mark. The 10-yr yield is currently down two basis points at 2.98%, but the yield on the 2-yr note has been able to keep at its Wednesday close of 2.53%.
In U.S. corporate news:
- Duke Energy (DUK 77.60, -0.04): -0.1% after beating earnings estimates on worse-than-expected revenues.
- 21st Century Fox (FOXA 38.00, +0.30): +0.8% despite missing quarterly earnings estimates.
- First Solar (FSLR 71.30, +1.87): +2.7% following news that California will require solar panels on almost all new homes starting in 2020.
Reviewing overnight developments:
- Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Thursday on a mostly higher note. Japan's Nikkei +0.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.9%, China's Shanghai Composite +0.5%, India's Sensex -0.2%.
- In economic data:
- China's April CPI -0.2% month-over-month (expected -0.1%; last -1.1%); +1.8% year-over-year (consensus 1.9%; last 2.1%). April PPI +3.4% year-over-year, as expected (last 3.1%)
- Japan's current account surplus JPY1.77 trillion (expected JPY1.63 trillion; last JPY960 billion). April Bank Lending +2.1% year-over-year (expected 1.9%; last 2.0%). Weekly foreign investment in Japanese stocks -JPY300 million (last JPY480.60 billion)
- In news:
- In Malaysia, 92-year old Mahathir Mohamad will become the world's oldest elected leader after the opposition party won the election, ending the previous government's six-decade rule.
- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas raised its overnight rate by 25 basis points to 3.25%, making for the first rate hike since September 2014.
- The Reserve Bank of New Zealand left its official cash rate at 1.75%, reiterating intentions to maintain expansionary policy for a considerable period.
- Major European indices trade mixed with Italy's MIB (-1.1%) returning to its low from Tuesday. Germany's DAX +0.3%, UK's FTSE unch, France's CAC -0.1%.
- In economic data:
- UK's March Industrial Production +0.1% month-over-month, as expected (last 0.1%); +2.9% year-over-year (consensus 3.1%; last 2.1%). March Manufacturing Production -0.1% month-over-month (expected -0.2%; last -0.2%); +2.9% year-over-year, as expected (last 2.5%). March Construction Output -2.3% month-over-month (expected -2.1%; last -1.0%); -4.9% year-over-year (expected -5.7%; last -1.8%)
- Italy's March Industrial Production +1.2% month-over-month (expected 0.4%; last -0.5%); +3.6% year-over-year (consensus 2.4%; last 2.5%)
- In news:
- Italian debt has also retreated, pushing up the country's 10-yr yield four basis points to 1.92%. The selling comes as Movimento 5 Stelle and Lega near a coalition deal after Forza Italia's Silvio Berlusconi allowed Lega to break its center-right alliance with FI. Forza will not provide unilateral backing to the government, but will consider support on a case-by-case basis. An M5S-Lega alliance means that Italy will have a euroskeptic government with a penchant for running high deficits that are almost certain to clash with eurozone rules.
- The Bank of England voted 7-2 to leave its official bank rate and asset purchase program unchanged at their respective 0.50% and GBP435 billion. Keep in mind that expectations for a May hike surged after the March policy meeting, but receded quickly in the weeks that followed.
Headlines provided by Briefing.com