Market Snapshot

Asia: Japan +1.2% to 18971. Hong Kong -0.1% to 24164. China -0.2% to 3242. India +0.2% to 29449.
Europe: London -0.2%. Paris flat. Frankfurt +0.1%.
Futures: Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.1%. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude +0.5% to $51.08. Gold -0.4% at $1193.51.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 2.12%

Economic News

8:30 Non-farm payrolls
8:30 Trade Deficit
3:00 PM Consumer Credit

Key earnings before the open



This morning all eyes are focused on the release of the February non-farm payrolls, which is expected to show 230,000 jobs were created in February versus the 257,000 reported in the prior period and 188K a year ago. The unemployment rate is expected to slip to 5.6% from 5.7%.


Jobs data showed the economy added 295,000 jobs and unemployment rate dropped to 5.5% in February, far more than expected by economists. Despite the headline numbers coming in stronger, the wage growth and labor participation were still sluggish. The Fed still has room to be patient with the timing and pace of interest rate hikes.

All 31 banks tested passed the Federal Reserve stress test on minimum levels of capital. Last year Zions Bancorp (ZION) was the lone bank to fail. The Fed concluded the group of banks would lose $490B in the 27 months ending in October of 2016 if the economy ran up against what it calls “severely adverse” conditions.

German industrial production increased 0.6% in January, beating the 0.5% rise expected. Output of capital goods was up 0.5%. The reading for December was adjusted to 1.0% from 0.1%. Economists say the overall outlook for German industry is looking more positive.

A second estimate of Q4 Eurozone GDP indicated the economy rose 0.9% year-over-year in Q4 of 2014. The previous estimate showed GDP growth of 0.8%. Eurozone GDP was up 0.9% for all of 2014. The euro is -0.6% at $1.0966.


Apple (AAPL) to replace AT&T in the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the close of trading March 18.

A major storm swept across a wide part of the eastern and southern part of the U.S. to impact air travel at key airports. The number of flight cancellations yesterday totaled over 5,300 with schedules at SkyWest (SKYW), Southwest Airlines (LUV), Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines Group (AAL) and Republic Holdings (RJET) all hit hard. 963 flights are already listed as canceled for today.

Weather has played a factor in the retail sector for several weeks. Several mall-based chains blamed harsh conditions for the year-over-year drop in traffic during February.

SAP will downsize with the removal of 2,200 jobs, about 3% of its workforce, as the company continues to pivot toward cloud computing rather than traditional licensing.

Footwear retailer Foot Locker Inc. FL, +4.68% rose 5.2% premarket after its fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations.

Gap reported a 4% drop in comparable-store sales in February. Comp sales were flat at Old Navy and negative for Gap Global and Banana Republic. The company says it shifted its focus to the spring selling season during the short month. On a prerecorded conference call, Gap (GPS) execs noted March sales will see a boost due to the early Easter and April will be negatively impacted by the calendar shift.

Life Time Fitness (LTM) is in talks with P-E firms to be taken private. Bidding is expected to be concluded by the end of next week. The fitness center chain tipped off in its earnings report last week that it’s looking at strategic alternatives.

Orexigen Therapeutics ( OREX) reports that alleged data from one of its drug trials could be unreliable.
Reporting ahead of the bell, office-supply retailer Staples Inc. SPLS, -1.52% said it swung to a loss in the fourth quarter. However, on an adjusted basis, the company earned 31 cents a share, slightly beating FactSet estimates. Shares climbed 1.2% ahead of the bell.
Elaine Wynn plans to fight for her board seat at Wynn Resorts (WYNN). The ex-wife of CEO Steve Wynn holds a 9.4% stake in the company, but was told earlier this week that she wouldn’t be renominated to return to the 8-person board.

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