Market Snapshot

Asia: Japan +1% to 19754. Hong Kong +0.5% to 24495. China +2% to 3688. India -0.2% to 28192.
Europe: London -0.4%. Paris -1.3%. Frankfurt -0.9%.
Futures: Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq -0.1%. Crude -2.5% to $45.41. Gold -0.2% to $1182.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -5 bps to 1.93%

Economic News

8:30 Chicago Fed
10:00 Existing Home Sales


U.S. stock futures are down slightly this morning after posting solid gains last week, with investors watching for comments from Federal Reserve members and waiting for the latest update on the housing sector. Monetary policy appears to be in the spotlight, with St. Louis Fed President Bullard telling CNBC today that the dovish statement from last week may have misplaced investor expectations about the first rate hike. Bullard also said the market could throw another “tantrum” if the Fed raises rates later this year. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester also spoke in Paris this morning, saying that the central bank can do more at helping guide the market in terms of rate moves.

Economic data

The Chicago Fed national activity index for February is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by existing-home sales at 10 a.m. Eastern. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect an annualized rate of 4.94 million home sales in February, up from 4.82 million in January, which was the lowest level in nine months.

European equities are lower as investors watch a meeting between the leaders of Greece and Germany, beginning a week that may prove decisive for Greece’s future in the euro zone. At last week’s EU summit, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras agreed to speed up his economic reform plans in order to unlock the long-withheld aid payments needed to keep his country afloat. If a deal isn’t reached, Greece is likely to run out of cash by early next month.

Asian stocks extended their gains overnight after global equities capped their biggest weekly advance since July 2013. Japanese stocks soared despite a stronger yen, while the Shanghai Composite recorded its ninth straight day of gains after jumping more than 7% last week.

Oil is tumbling once again after Saudi Arabia reiterated it would not unilaterally cut its output to defend prices.


Carnival Corp. (CCL) slips after Deutsche Bank cut the cruise-operator to hold from buy.

Benjamin Lawsky, New York state’s financial services regulator, has added himself to the regulators investigating Deutsche Bank (DB) for the alleged rigging of Libor. The bank is currently negotiating another plea deal with the DOJ and is one of the few European banks yet to reach a settlement with prosecutors.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) takes a hit today after the drug maker on Friday warned health-care providers that nine patients taking its hepatitis C drugs Harvoni or Sovaldi along with the heart treatment amiodarone developed abnormally slow heart beats and one died of a heart attack, according to Bloomberg.

RadioShack’s fate hangs in the balance today when a bankruptcy auction kicks off, pitting companies that want to liquidate the retailer’s remaining assets against a hedge fund that has vowed to keep about half the chain’s stores open. Standard General, which has allied with Sprint (S) in a bid to create co-branded outlets, calls its offer the “only hope” for RadioShack (RSHCQ) to survive bankruptcy and stave off liquidation.

After kicking off a race relations campaign last week, Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz told employees on Sunday they will no longer be encouraged to write “Race Together” on drinks cups, but the company’s efforts are “far from over.” The move was met with skepticism on social media, with many complaining the company was overstepping its boundaries marketing a campaign on sensitive cultural topics that had no place in the coffee shop’s lines.

Tenet Healthcare (THC) is up this morning on news the company is creating a $2.6 billion joint venture with United Surgical Partners International.

Ending a 3-year expansion freeze imposed by the automaker’s president Akio Toyoda, Toyota (TM) is finalizing plans for its first car assembly plant in Mexico. Although Mexico has lured carmakers through its low labor costs and tariff-free access to the U.S., Toyota has been the last mass-market automaker to not have a major production hub in the country.

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