Lunar New Year Subdues Trade, Earnings Optimism Supports Equities, Google Earnings On Tap
Some Asian Markets Closed For Lunar Year
The Chinese Lunar New Year Holiday began this weekend which means markets in key economic regions are closed this week. On the list are China and Korea, two important players on the tech scene. Optimism was high going into the holiday after positive news from Washington. Trade representatives on both sides of the US/China trade negotiation say a meeting between Trump and Xi is in the works and slated for later this month.
Trading in Japan and Australia was bullish on both fronts. Both indices were able to post gains near 0.50% on earnings and outlook for 2019. The outlook for 2019 is not strong growth but it is calling for growth on a localized and global scale. In earnings news, shares of Sony fell -8.0% on weaker than expected revenue and a lower forecast for revenue and EPS in 2019.
EU Markets Flat As Earnings Season Rolls On
European markets were mixed and trading flat as earnings season reaches its peak. The French CAC was the biggest loser in midday trading with a loss near -0.50%. The German DAX was also lower but its decline was only half that of the CAC; the UK FTSE 100 was able to advance about 0.25%.
On a sector basis, the Autos led the losers with an average decline of -1.0%. Weakness in Chinese data over the past two weeks and the holiday closure were to blame. Shares of Wirecard, a payment processor, surged 8.0% on word its employees were cleared of criminal wrong-doing by a law firm hired by Wirecard.
In economic news EU PPI was weaker than expected. The Producer Price Index fell -0.80% versus an expected -0.7% and points to an accelerated slowing in the EU economy. The EUR/USD was flat on the news.
US Futures Flat, Big Earnings Expected After The Bell
US futures were mostly flat in the early pre-opening session. The major indices were hugging the 0.00% mark with microscopic moves over and under that level all morning. The sentiment is generally positive following a raft of good news in the previous week but expectations for big earnings after the close of trading kept investors in check.
Topping the list o f earnings expected after the closing bell include Google parent Alphabet, Gilead Life Sciences, and Seagate Technologies. Reports from others have been good so there is a high expectation for the same today. Earnings from consumer/industrial products company Clorox were much better than the consensus estimates and sent shares of its stock up more than 5.0% in early trading.
There is some economic data due out this week but nothing as important as last week’s blowout non-farm payrolls payroll report. Topping the list is the ISM Manufacturing Report but it may be overshadowed by what is likely to be a contentious State-of-the-Union Address on Tuesday.
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