Market Snapshot

Asia: Japan +0.8% to 19938. Hong Kong +2.7% to 26944. China -0.9% to 3959. India +0.6% to 28885.
Europe: London +0.6%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.4%.
Futures: Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq -0.3%. Crude +2.7% to $51.79. Gold -0.4% to $1197.90.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 1.89%.

Economic News

Chain Store Sales
8:30 Jobless Claims
10:00 Wholesale Inventories

Key earnings before the open


Key earnings after the close



U.S. stock futures trimmed earlier losses on Thursday, as investors continued to digest Federal Reserve minutes that showed policy makers are split on the timing of the first interest-rate hike. Investors are gearing up for more earnings, after aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) unofficially kicked off the first-quarter season on a downbeat note late Wednesday.

Crude oil has stabilized somewhat today after plunging 6.6% yesterda. Historically high stockpiles in the U.S. and increased production in Saudi Arabia caused Wednesday’s selling.

Greece appears to have made a €450M loan repayment to the IMF. The government had threatened to miss the deadline in order to avoid defaulting on “their own people” – Greece also needs to pay €1.7B in wages and pensions at the end of this month – but seems to have backed down.

German exports recovered smartly in February, growing 1.5% for the month after falling 2.1% in January, beating consensus estimates of +1%. Imports increased 1.8% following a decline of 0.2% and the trade surplus rose to €19.7B from €19.6B. Meanwhile, industrial production increased 0.2% month-over-month, as expected, after slipping 0.4%.


Alcoa (AA) swung to a net profit of $195M from a loss of $178M a year earlier, boosted by a recovery in the aluminum company’s smelting division and a shift in focus to value-added businesses such as automotive and aerospace. Adjusted EPS of $0.28 beat forecasts but revenue disappointed despite rising 6.8% to $5.82B, helping to send shares 2.6% lower premarket.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) could be active after the retailer on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings in line with forecasts.

Universal Pictures, a division of Comcast (CMCSA), has raked in $1B at the global box office at its fastest rate ever, thanks largely to early hits such as “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the surprising runaway success of racing tentpole “Furious 7.” The previous record for the $1B mark for the studio was May 31 in 2013.

Constellation Brands (STZ) moves higher after the alcoholic beverages company said it will start paying a quarterly dividend.
Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) expects to ship record numbers of its new Galaxy S6 smartphone after it goes on sale tomorrow, but will have problems fulfilling demand for the curved-edged version due to difficulties in manufacturing the screens. The hope is that the launch of the flagship device will help spark a turnaround at Samsung following a slump in earnings over the past year or so.

Novogen (NVGN) surged in tha premarket after the Australian biotech company said its experimental drug Anisina was shown to kill melanoma cells.
Perrigo (PRGO) move up ahead of the market open after a late Wednesday bid from rival drug maker Mylan (MYL).

U.S.-listed shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A, RDS.B) slips again this morning, building on losses from Wednesday when the oil giant said it has agreed to buy BG Group PLC for almost $70 billion.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) gains after the drugstore chain reported profit ahead of expectations.

Zynga (ZNGA) is down hard in premarket trade following news that controversial founder/chairman Mark Pincus is returning as CEO of the social/mobile game developer to replace Don Mattrick, who is resigning after less than two years in the job. It was only last year that Pincus stepped down from an operational role at Zynga.

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