Updated: 03-24-2017

The Market at 04:15PM ET
Dow: -59.86… | Nasdaq: +11.04… | S&P: -1.98…
NASDAQ Vol: 1.69 bln… Adv: 1582… Dec: 1230…
NYSE Vol: 943.9 mln… Adv: 1505… Dec: 1395…

Moving the Market

House vote on the American Health Care Act is pulled from consideration.

Micron Technology (MU) impresses with its latest earnings report.

Sector Watch
Strong: Utilities, Consumer Discretionary
Weak: Materials, Energy

04:15PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages opened Friday with modest gains as investors were cautiously optimistic that the American Health Care Act would pass in the House. However, that positive sentiment faded as the day wore on and reports from Washington indicated that the GOP still hadn't acquired the necessary votes. In the end, the health care bill was pulled from consideration and the major averages finished mixed. The S&P 500 (-0.1%) settled just below its unchanged mark while the Dow (-0.3%) and the Nasdaq (+0.2%) closed on opposite sides of the benchmark index.

Today's relatively modest reaction to disappointing news likely had its roots in President Trump's ultimatum for House Republicans. The president made it clear that, if the American Health Care Act didn't make it out of the House on Friday, his administration would be moving on to tax reform. That notion is somewhat comforting to investors, but since health care reform went nowhere, the reliability of such a promise will certainly be put into question.

The House vote that was anticipated throughout the day tied investors' hands, leaving most sectors within 0.3% of their respective flat lines. The utilities (+0.4%), materials (-0.9%), and energy (-0.5%) spaces were an exception. The energy group's slip occurred despite crude oil's positive performance; the energy component settled 0.7% higher at $48.01/bbl.

In corporate news, Micron Technology (MU 28.43, +1.96) spiked 7.4% after reporting better than expected earnings and upbeat guidance. The positive sentiment caught on within the semiconductor industry, evidenced by the 0.8% increase in the PHLX Semiconductor Index, and provided some support for the top-weighted technology sector (+0.1%).

In the Treasury market, U.S. sovereign debt moved modestly higher, leaving the benchmark 10-yr yield lower by two basis points at 2.40%.

Economic data was limited to Durable Orders:

  • February durable goods orders rose 1.7%, which is above the 1.3% uptick expected by the Briefing.com consensus. The prior month's reading was revised to 2.3% (from 1.8%). Excluding transportation, durable orders increased 0.4% (Briefing.com consensus 0.7%) to follow the prior month's revised uptick of 0.2% (from -0.2%).
    • There were two key takeaways from the report: (1) business spending was relatively weak and (2) the upside surprise for February combined with the upward revisions for January should lead to some upward revisions to Q1 GDP forecasts

Investors will not receive any data on Monday.

  • Nasdaq Composite +8.3% YTD
  • S&P 500 +4.7% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +4.2% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -0.2% YTD

 

Week in Review: What's That Color?

Investors who have gotten accustomed to a steady string of gains in the stock market were taken aback by this week's action, which sent the S&P 500 lower by 1.4%. This marked the fourth weekly decline of 2017 and was the largest weekly drop since early November.

The week got off to an unassuming start as Monday's action was confined to a narrow range. There was no noteworthy earnings or economic news to digest, and the impending House vote on the plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act led to caution among participants.

That caution turned into outright selling on Tuesday, sending the S&P 500 lower by 1.2%. A number of factors were cited for the decline, but the day's selling was most aggressive in the financial sector as the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) fell 4.8%. The industry group stumbled as the yield curve continued flattening in a manner that contradicts the pro-growth narrative that accompanied the stock market on its charge to a fresh record.

Furthermore, the prospect of health care reform making its way through the legislative process dimmed as the week went on. The House of Representatives was scheduled to take part in a Thursday vote, but that vote got put on hold and cancelled on Friday afternoon due to a lack of support. Investors are acutely aware that a delay in passing health care reform means that tax reform will also need to wait.

Although the week was quiet on the economic front, it is worth noting that February Existing Home Sales (5.48 million; Briefing.com consensus 5.54 million) missed estimates while February New Home Sales (592K; Briefing.com consensus 560K) and February Durable Orders (+1.7%; Briefing.com consensus 1.3%) were better than expected. The Durable Orders report caused the Atlanta Fed to nudge its GDPNowcast for the first quarter up to 1.0% from 0.9%. To be fair, excluding transportation, Durable Orders (+0.4%; Briefing.com consensus 0.7%) came up shy of estimates, indicating relatively weak business spending.

Taking a look at rate hike expectations, the fed funds futures market spent the week pointing to a 50.0%+ likelihood of a June hike, but that implied probability dropped to 49.6% on Friday afternoon after the news of the health care vote being pulled made the rounds. One week ago, the fed funds futures market showed a 58.3% implied probability of a hike in June.

Dow: -59.86… | Nasdaq: +11.04… | S&P: -1.98…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1582/1230. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1505/1395.

03:30PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM]
  • Crude oil snapped out of a 3-session downtrend, closed near session highs ahead of this weekend's OPEC/non-OPEC ministerial meeting
    • May crude oil futures rose $0.32 (+0.7%) to $48.01/barrel
    • Baker Hughes rig count data was released at 1 pm ET today:
      • The Baker Hughes total US rig count increased by 20 to 809, following last week's increase of 21.
      • The US oil-rig count spiked by 21 to 652 rigs this week.
      • Oil rigs are at their highest count since the week of Sept 11, 2015.
    • Contributing factors affecting the price of oil:
      • Crude oil rallied after headlines crossed indicating Saudi Arabia stated its crude exports to the US would fall by around 300k barrels/day between Feb & Mar.
      • The expected drop could potentially result in a draw down of US inventories that stood at a record 533 mln barrels just 2 weeks ago. The exports are expected to remain around the Mar level for the next few months.
      • Kuwait is scheduled to host a ministerial meeting on Mar 26 comprising both OPEC & non-OPEC members to review compliance with the output agreement & to discuss whether the production cuts would be extended beyond June.
      • Reminder: Trump signed a bill to approve construction of the Keystone Pipeline project today.
        • Pipeline companies showing notable strength include: ETE, +4%, FI, +2%; SXL, 2%; OKS, +2%; TCP, +2%; HEP, +2%, TRP, +1%; WMB, +2%; CQP, +3%.
  • Natural gas extended yesterday's post-EIA gains, solidifying the move above the $3.00/MMBtu resistance level & closing the week +4.4%
    • April natural gas closed $0.03 higher (+1.0%) at $3.08/MMBtu
  • In precious metals, gold ended pit trading modestly higher on weakness in the dollar index; dollar index drifted to a 7-week low
    • April gold ended today's session up $1.10 (+0.1%) to $1248.50/oz
    • May silver closed today's session $0.16 higher (+0.9%) at $17.75/oz
  • - The dollar index was -0.2% around the 99.57 level, near a 7-week low
    • Commodities, as measured by the Bloomberg Commodity Index, were -0.1% around the 84.53 level
Dow: -99.86… | Nasdaq: +1.29… | S&P: -6.49…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1400/1414. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1382/1514.

03:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (-0.2%) hovers a tick below its flat line as investors await the House vote on the American Health Care Act, which is expected to take place around 3:30 pm ET. 

Virtually all of this week's action took place on Tuesday, a day in which the S&P 500 posted its worst performance since October. The financial sector fostered the negative disposition as investors engaged in some profit-taking in light of the sector's 26.0% post-election advance. The financial group dropped 2.9%, which accounts for most of the sector's current week-to-date loss of 4.0%.

Unsurprisingly, the financial sector sits at the very bottom of the week's leaderboard. The lightly-weighted utilities and real estate groups are the only two sectors on track to close the week higher with week-to-date gains of 1.3% and 0.8%, respectively.

Dow: -68.17… | Nasdaq: +0.52… | S&P: -4.23…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1437/1341. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1500/1391.

02:30PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices trade mixed with the Dow (-0.1%) and the Nasdaq (+0.3%) trading on opposite sides of the S&P 500 (+0.1%).

Crude oil has made a swift move into the green this afternoon to challenge its overnight high. The energy component trades 0.6% higher at $47.97/bbl, but its still not enough to erase its losses from earlier in the week; WTI crude holds a week-to-date loss of 1.6%. The latest crude inventory report from the EIA worked against the energy component this week, showing a bigger than expected build of 5.0 million barrels (+2.8 million consensus).

The energy sector (unch), which often moves in tandem with the price of crude oil, has flirted with its flat line in today's session. For the week, the energy group trades in line with the broader market, but the sector sits unchallenged at the bottom of the 2017 leaderboard with a year-to-date loss of 8.9%.

Dow: -28.37… | Nasdaq: +16.87… | S&P: +0.87…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1662/1117. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1689/1178.

02:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages have slipped in recent action. The S&P 500 now trades at its unchanged mark.

The lightly-weighted materials sector (-0.6%) holds the bottom spot on today's leaderboard by a relatively wide margin. Construction material names like Vulcan Materials (VMC 112.88, -2.51) and Martin Marietta Materials (MLM 208.89, -4.60) show the steepest declines, losing around 2.1% apiece, while Dow component DuPont (DD 80.12, -0.44) trades lower by 0.5%.

DuPont's downtick was preceded by a 1.7% jump yesterday in response to headlines that European Union antitrust regulators will approve the company's merger with Dow Chemical (DOW 63.30, -0.51). The two companies are the largest components in the materials sector, comprising nearly 23.0% of the space combined.

Dow: -24.58… | Nasdaq: +18.80… | S&P: +1.15…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1631/1125. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1696/1150.

01:30PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major U.S. indices are currently mixed, with investors on edge and taking caution amid relentless headlines regarding the outcome of the Obamacare repeal and replace bill. Despite back and forth headlines all morning, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has stated that a vote on the bill is presently scheduled for 3:30 PM. 

A look inside the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows that Goldman Sachs (GS 228.90, -3.00), Pfizer (PFE 34.04, 0.25), & DuPont (DD 80.18, -0.38) are underperforming. 

Conversely, Nike (NKE 56.25, +0.88) is the best-performing Dow component as shares continue their rebound from Wednesday's earnings-driven pullback.

At current levels, the DJIA is poised to close the week lower by 1.2%.

Dow: -12.39… | Nasdaq: +25.80… | S&P: +3.04…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1832/897. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1862/976.

12:55PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Friday's session has been rather range-bound thus far, and it is likely to remain that way as investors await the House vote on the American Health Care Act. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq trade higher by 0.2% and 0.5%, respectfully, while the Dow hovers near its unchanged mark.

President Trump gave House Republicans an ultimatum last night; pass the American Health Care Act on Friday or be left with Obamacare. For investors, it's encouraging that the new administration is ready to move to the next item on its legislative agenda--tax reform--but a defeat in the House today will foster some doubt on the GOP's ability to make good on its promises.

The latest reports from Washington are conflicting as to whether or not the bill will have enough support to pass on the floor of the House. It looks like the decision will come down to the official vote, which is expected to take place this evening around 5:00 pm ET.

The technology sector (+0.5%) has had a relatively strong showing in today's session following Micron Technology's (MU 28.82, +2.36) latest earnings report. The chipmaker reported better than expected earnings and upbeat guidance after yesterday's close. The positive sentiment has spread within the semiconductor industry, leaving the PHLX Semiconductor Index higher by 1.4%.

Most of the remaining sectors trade with the technology group in the green, but gains have been capped by the uncertainty surrounding the impending House vote. The materials (-0.3%), consumer staples (-0.1%), and energy (unch) spaces trade in the red, but again, losses have been modest.

In the Treasury market, U.S. sovereign debt trades just above its flat line; the benchmark 10-yr hovers two basis points lower at 2.41%.

Economic data was limited to Durable Orders:

  • February durable goods orders rose 1.7%, which is above the 1.3% uptick expected by the Briefing.com consensus. The prior month's reading was revised to 2.3% (from 1.8%). Excluding transportation, durable orders increased 0.4% (Briefing.com consensus 0.7%) to follow the prior month's revised uptick of 0.2% (from -0.2%).
    • There were two key takeaways from the report: (1) business spending was relatively weak and (2) the upside surprise for February combined with the upward revisions for January should lead to some upward revisions to Q1 GDP forecasts.
Dow: +11.27… | Nasdaq: +31.62… | S&P: +5.92…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1816/903. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1894/944.

12:30PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks ticked down in recent action following reports that the GOP leadership hasn't acquired enough votes to push the American Health Care Act through the House. The S&P 500 now holds a modest gain of 0.2%.

On the earnings front, The Finish Line (FINL 13.43, -2.64) disappointed investors this morning with below-consensus earnings and downbeat guidance. The retailer's shares have tumbled 17.7% following the report and now trade at their worst level since September 2010. The negative sentiment has trickled over the retail industry to some degree, leaving the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 41.10, -0.11) lower by 0.3%.

In the currency market, the U.S. Dollar Index (99.45, -0.11) trades lower by 0.1% as a downtick against the euro (1.0808) has been somewhat offset by an uptick against the Japanese yen (111.05).

Dow: +8.95… | Nasdaq: +31.74… | S&P: +5.58…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1789/902. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1884/937.

12:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages move into the afternoon session with modest gains. The Nasdaq (+0.7%) leads the S&P 500 (+0.3%) while the Dow (+0.2%) lags.

All sectors trade within 0.6% of their respective flat lines late this morning. The heavily-weighted technology (+0.6%) and financial (+0.5%) sectors vie for the top spot on the day's leaderboard while the consumer staples (-0.1%) and materials (-0.1%) groups represent the opposite end of the sector standings.

U.S. Treasuries have seen an uptick in buying interest as of late. The benchmark 10-yr yield, which moves inversely to the price of the 10-yr Treasury note, trades two basis points lower at 2.41%--its worst level of the month.

Dow: +28.38… | Nasdaq: +38.67… | S&P: +7.92…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1919/755. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2009/792.

11:30AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices continue trending sideways this morning with the Dow sporting a modest 0.2% gain.

The energy sector (-0.2%) has struggled to keep pace with the broader market in today's session after crude oil squandered a solid pre-market gain. The energy component currently trades flat at $47.70/bbl ahead of today's Baker Hughes rig count data, which will be released this afternoon at 1:00 pm ET. Also of note, President Trump approved the controversial Keystone Pipeline project earlier this morning. 

On Capitol Hill, the American Health Care Act passed a procedural vote to clear the way for debate on the House floor. The final vote is expected to take place around 5:00 pm ET.

Dow: +32.76… | Nasdaq: +33.03… | S&P: +7.16…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1826/800. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1916/891.

11:00AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages haven't deviated much from their opening levels. The S&P 500 trades higher by 0.4%.

The technology sector (+0.6%) has led today's modest advance after Micron Technology (MU 28.71, +2.23) reported better than expected earnings and upbeat guidance. MU shares have jumped 8.8% to hit their best level in nearly two years. Meanwhile, the company's fellow chipmakers have been influenced by the positive sentiment, pushing the PHLX Semiconductor Index higher by 1.6%.

Nine of eleven sectors trade in the green, but gains have been capped as investors continue to await the House vote on the American Health Care Act. Most sectors trade within 0.5% of their respective flat lines.

Dow: +53.31… | Nasdaq: +37.24… | S&P: +9.14…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1936/655. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2107/669.

10:30AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM]
  • Crude oil gave back initial morning gains & traded nearly flat; Crude rallied earlier on headlines Saudi Arabia has cut US oil exports ahead of this weekend's Ministerial meeting
    • May crude oil futures were down about $0.01 (-0.1%) around the $47.71/barrel level
    • Baker Hughes rig count data will be released today at 1 pm ET.
    • Recap of last week's data:
      • The total active US rig count, which includes oil & natural-gas rigs, rose by 21 to 789 rigs, following last week's increase of 12 rigs.
      • The number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by 14 to 631 rigs last week.
      • The oil rig count has now climbed for 9 straight weeks.
    • Contributing factors affecting the price of oil:
    • Crude oil saw an initial morning rally (has since given back these gains) after headlines crossed indicating Saudi Arabia stated its crude exports to the US would fall by around 300k barrels/day between Feb & Mar. The expected drop could potentially result in a draw down of US inventories that stood at a record 533 mln barrels just 2 weeks ago. The exports are expected to remain around the Mar level for the next few months.
    • Reminder: Kuwait is scheduled to host a ministerial meeting on Mar 26 comprising both OPEC & non-OPEC members to review compliance with the output agreement & to discuss whether the production cuts would be extended beyond June.
  • Natural gas remained on track to extend yesterday's post-EIA gains in morning pit trading
    • April natural gas futures were up about $0.01 (+0.4%) around the $3.06/MMBtu level
  • In precious metals, gold remained nearly flat around the $1248.00/oz level after snapping a 5-session uptrend yesterday
    • May silver futures were up about $0.18 (+1.0%) around the $17.77/oz level
  • The dollar index was nearly flat around the 99.76 level
    • Commodities, as measured by the Bloomberg Commodity Index, were +0.1% around the 84.65 level
Dow: +39.06… | Nasdaq: +33.37… | S&P: +7.04…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1836/682. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1987/743.

09:55AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq (+0.6%) leads the S&P 500 (+0.3%) in early action as the technology sector (+0.7%) outperforms.

The consumer staples space (-0.1%) has lagged in the opening minutes as food retailers like Kroger (KR 28.95, -0.31) and Whole Foods Market (WFM 29.14, -0.06) show losses of 1.0% and 0.2%, respectively.

In the Treasury market, U.S. sovereign debt trades flat with the benchmark 10-yr yield unchanged at 2.42%.

Dow: +43.14… | Nasdaq: +34.17… | S&P: +6.84…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1697/641. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1905/723.

09:40AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 opens Friday's session with a modest gain of 0.2%.

Micron Technology's (MU 29.82, +3.34) better than expected earnings and upbeat guidance have given the technology sector (+0.6%) the early lead. On the flip side, countercyclical sectors lag with the consumer staples (-0.2%), utilities (unch), and telecom services (-0.1%) groups trading in the red.

The health care space (+0.2%) trades roughly in line with the broader market as lawmakers continue to debate the American Health Care Act in Washington.

Dow: +25.95… | Nasdaq: +26.33… | S&P: +5.12…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1567/633. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1837/686.

09:10AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +2.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +12.40.

The impending House vote on the American Health Care Act, which is scheduled to take place sometime today, has produced a cautious sentiment ahead of Friday's opening bell. The S&P 500 futures trade three points above fair value.

President Trump gave House Republicans an ultimatum last night; pass the American Health Care Act on Friday or be left with Obamacare. For investors, it's encouraging that the new administration is ready to move on to the next item on its legislative agenda--tax reform--but a defeat in the House today will foster some doubt on the GOP's ability to make good on its promises.

On the corporate front, chipmakers will likely receive a boost today after Micron Technology (MU 30.10, +3.63) impressed investors with better than expected earnings and upbeat guidance. Conversely, Mylan (MYL 40.39, -1.22) trades lower by 2.9% in pre-market action after Abbott Laboratories (ABT 44.77, 0.00) lowered its active stake in the company by selling 44 million Ordinary Shares.

U.S. Treasuries trade relatively flat this morning following February Durable Goods, which rose 1.7% (Briefing.com consensus 1.3%). Excluding transportation, durable orders increased 0.4% (Briefing.com consensus 0.7%). The benchmark 10-yr yield trades one basis point lower at 2.41%.

Investors will not receive any more economic data on Friday.


08:50AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +0.80. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +8.00.

The S&P 500 futures trade one point above fair value.

Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended the week on a higher note. Investors showed some tolerance for risk amid continued hopes that the U.S. health care vote would be called before the weekend after all. Elsewhere, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda shied away from discussing the central bank's long-run yield target, saying that inflation recovery remains tentative.

  • In economic data:
    • Japan's March Manufacturing PMI 52.6 (expected 53.5; last 53.3) and March Reuters Tankan Index 25 (last 20). Leading Index 104.9 (expected 105.5; last 105.5)
    • New Zealand's February trade deficit NZD3.79 billion year-over-year (expected deficit of NZD3.66 billion; last deficit of NZD3.41 billion). February Imports NZD4.02 billion (expected NZD3.99 billion; last NZD4.16 billion) and February Exports NZD4.01 billion (expected NZD4.20 billion; last NZD3.91 billion)
    • South Korea's March Consumer Confidence 97 (last 94)
    • Singapore's February Industrial Production -3.7% month-over-month (expected 0.4%; last -4.8%); +12.6% year-over-year (consensus 10.8%; last 3.8%)

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.9%, narrowing its weekly loss to 1.3%. Toshiba jumped 7.4% amid reports the Japanese government is planning a full review of the company's chip unit sale. SUMCO, Advantest, Sumitomo, Fanuc, Dentsu, and Sapporo Holdings climbed between 1.5% and 3.7%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.1%, eking out a weekly gain of 0.2%. CNOOC jumped 3.9% to lead the way while financials like BoC Hong Kong, ICBC, Bank of East Asia, and Ping An Insurance climbed between 0.3% and 1.6%. On the downside, property names like New World Development, Henderson Land, Sino Land, SHK Properties, and China Overseas lost between 0.6% and 1.3%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.6%, extending its weekly gain to 1.0%. Sichuan Languang Development, Wanhua Chemical Group, Tianjin Port Holdings, Tibet Tianlu, and Jinxi Axle advanced between 4.6% and 5.5%.
  • India's Sensex gained 0.3%, ending the week higher by 1.6%. Financials ICICI Bank and SBI led the way with gains close to 2.8% apiece while AXIS Bank added 0.2%. IT consultants were mixed with Wipro adding 0.6% while Infosys and Tata Consultancy lost 0.9% and 1.3%, respectively.

Major European indices trade in negative territory, which puts them on track for a lower finish to the week. The European Central Bank increased Greek banks' emergency liquidity assistance allowance by EUR400 million, representing the first increase since the middle of 2015. This comes as Greek officials and European representatives continue working on an agreement that would unlock the next tranche of bailout funds.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone March Manufacturing PMI 56.2 (expected 55.3; last 55.4) and Services PMI 56.5 (consensus 55.3; previous 55.5)
    • Germany's March Manufacturing PMI 58.3 (consensus 56.5; last 56.8) and Services PMI 55.6 (consensus 54.6; last 54.4)
    • France's March Manufacturing PMI 53.4 (consensus 52.4; last 52.2) and Services PMI 58.5 (expected 56.1; last 56.4). GDP +0.4% quarter-over-quarter, as expected (last 0.4%)
    • UK's BBA Mortgage Approvals 42,600 (expected 44,900; last 44,100)
    • Italy's February non-EU trade surplus EUR1.72 billion (previous deficit of EUR890 million)

---Equity Markets---

  • UK's FTSE trades just a tick below its flat line with consumer names on the defensive. Next is down 2.6% while Marks & Spencer, Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Barratt Developments, and Travis Perkins show losses between 0.6% and 1.5%. On the upside, miners Fresnillo and Rio Tinto hold respective gains of 0.9% and 0.5%.
  • Germany's DAX has shed 0.1%. Allianz is down 1.3% in reaction to a downgrade while Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, and Deutsche Bank display losses between 0.3% and 1.1%. Countercyclical names outperform with drugmakers Merck and Bayer up 2.5% and 0.3%, respectively, while RWE and E.ON show respective gains of 2.6% and 1.4%.
  • France's CAC is down 0.4% as financials weigh. Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas, and AXA have given up between 0.3% and 1.6%. Conversely, ArcelorMittal and Vinci are up around 0.5% apiece.

08:32AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +2.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +9.90.

The S&P 500 futures trade two points above fair value.

Just in, February durable goods orders rose 1.7%, which is above the 1.3% uptick expected by the Briefing.com consensus. The prior month's reading was revised to 2.3% (from 1.8%). Excluding transportation, durable orders increased 0.4% (Briefing.com consensus 0.7%) to follow the prior month's revised uptick of 0.2% (from -0.2%).


08:00AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +0.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +5.90.

President Trump gave House Republicans an ultimatum last night; pass the American Health Care Act on Friday or be left with Obamacare. It appears that the new administration is ready to move on to the next item on its legislative agenda--tax reform--regardless of the outcome of today's vote. That mentality has provided the cash market with some support this morning as the S&P 500 futures trade one point above fair value.

U.S. Treasuries trade flat in early action as investors prepare for comments from a series of Fed Presidents this morning, including Chicago's Evans (FOMC voter), St. Louis' Bullard (non-FOMC voter), San Francisco's Williams (non-FOMC voter), and New York's Dudley (FOMC voter). The benchmark 10-yr yield is currently unchanged at 2.43%.

The price of WTI crude ($48.02/bbl) has increased by 0.6% this morning, but the uptick still leaves the commodity lower by 1.6% for the week. 

On the data front, today's lone economic report--February Durable Orders (Briefing.com consensus +1.3%)--will cross the wires at 8:30 ET.

In U.S. corporate news:

  • Micron Technology (MU 29.55, +3.08): +11.6% after beating earnings estimates and issuing upbeat guidance.
  • GameStop (GME 21.25, -2.71): -11.3% after below-consensus guidance overshadowed better than expected earnings. 
  • The Finish Line (FINL 13.62, -2.44): -15.2% after worse than expected earnings and downbeat guidance outweighed above-consensus revenues.

Reviewing overnight developments:

  • Equity indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended the week on a higher note. Japan's Nikkei +0.9%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng +0.1%, China's Shanghai Composite +0.6%, India's Sensex +0.3%.
    • In economic data:
      • Japan's March Manufacturing PMI 52.6 (expected 53.5; last 53.3) and March Reuters Tankan Index 25 (last 20). Leading Index 104.9 (expected 105.5; last 105.5)
      • New Zealand's February trade deficit NZD3.79 billion year-over-year (expected deficit of NZD3.66 billion; last deficit of NZD3.41 billion). February Imports NZD4.02 billion (expected NZD3.99 billion; last NZD4.16 billion) and February Exports NZD4.01 billion (expected NZD4.20 billion; last NZD3.91 billion)
      • South Korea's March Consumer Confidence 97 (last 94)
      • Singapore's February Industrial Production -3.7% month-over-month (expected 0.4%; last -4.8%); +12.6% year-over-year (consensus 10.8%; last 3.8%)
    • In news:
      • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda shied away from discussing the central bank's long-run yield target, saying that inflation recovery remains tentative.
  • Major European indices trade in negative territory, which puts them on track for a lower finish to the week. UK's FTSE -0.1%, Germany's DAX -0.1%, France's CAC -0.4%.
    • In economic data:
      • Eurozone March Manufacturing PMI 56.2 (expected 55.3; last 55.4) and Services PMI 56.5 (consensus 55.3; previous 55.5)
      • Germany's March Manufacturing PMI 58.3 (consensus 56.5; last 56.8) and Services PMI 55.6 (consensus 54.6; last 54.4)
      • France's March Manufacturing PMI 53.4 (consensus 52.4; last 52.2) and Services PMI 58.5 (expected 56.1; last 56.4). GDP +0.4% quarter-over-quarter, as expected (last 0.4%)
      • UK's BBA Mortgage Approvals 42,600 (expected 44,900; last 44,100)
      • Italy's February non-EU trade surplus EUR1.72 billion (previous deficit of EUR890 million)
    • In news:
      • The European Central Bank increased Greek banks' emergency liquidity assistance allowance by EUR400 million, representing the first increase since the middle of 2015. This comes as Greek officials and European representatives continue working on an agreement that would unlock the next tranche of bailout funds.

05:58AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +7.90.

05:58AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Nikkei...19262.5...+177.20...+0.90%.  Hang Seng...24358...+30.60...+0.10%.

05:58AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] FTSE...7338.48...-2.20...0.00%.  DAX...12034.76...-4.90...0.00%.

04:20PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market had a decent rebound try going for much of Thursday's session, but it fell to the wayside in the afternoon after reports that the House vote on the American Health Care Act, which was scheduled for tonight, will be delayed. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq settled lower by 0.1% while the Dow closed flat.

The financial sector (+0.2%) led the stock market to modest gains when it appeared that GOP leadership and the House Freedom Caucus might reach a deal to push the AHCA through the House. However, the major averages retreated back to their flat lines after the House Freedom Caucus failed to reach an agreement on the proposed legislation. Equities then pushed into negative territory on news that the vote would be delayed.

The pick up in selling interest was due in large part to the angst the delayed vote created about the fate of tax reform. Administration officials and Congressional leaders have said health care reform needs to get tackled first before moving on to tax reform.

With investors in wait-and-see mode, almost all sectors settled within 0.4% of their respective flat lines. The lightly-weighted real estate sector (+0.7%) finished at the top of the leaderboard while several sectors--energy (-0.4%), technology (-0.3%), and health care (-0.4%)--contended for the bottom spot.

The technology sector struggled throughout the session with Alphabet (GOOGL 839.65, -10.15) suffering as brands continued to freeze their marketing campaigns with the company after The Times reported that ads were appearing next to extremist videos on YouTube.

On the earnings front, retailers cheered PVH's (PVH 98.55, +7.70) latest earnings report. The company, which owns brands like Van Heusen, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein, jumped 8.5% after reporting better than expected earnings and issuing upbeat guidance. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 41.21, +0.31) also settled higher, climbing 0.8%.

In the Treasury market, U.S. sovereign debt finished flat with the benchmark 10-yr yield closing unchanged at 2.41%.

On the data front, investors received February New Home Sales and the weekly Initial Claims report:

  • New Home Sales in February hit an annualized rate of 592,000, which was above the revised January rate of 558,000 (from 555,000), and more than the 560,000 that was expected by the Briefing.com consensus.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that new home sales activity was robust, driven by increased demand for lower-priced homes as high prices and rising mortgage rates have created affordability constraints at higher price points for prospective homebuyers.
  • The latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 258,000 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 239,000. Today's tally was above the revised prior week count of 243,000 (from 241,000). As for continuing claims, they declined to 2.000 million from the revised count of 2.039 million (from 2.030 million).
    • The key takeaway from the report is that it could soften March nonfarm payroll growth expectations a bit since it covered the week in which the survey for the Employment Situation Report was conducted.

Friday's lone economic report, February Durable Orders (Briefing.com consensus +1.3%), will cross the wires at 8:30 ET.

  • Nasdaq Composite +8.1% YTD
  • S&P 500 +4.8% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +4.5% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -0.3% YTD
Dow: -4.72… | Nasdaq: -3.95… | S&P: -2.49…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1793/1029. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1891/1009.

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