Asia: Japan -0.2% to 19713. Hong Kong -0.4% to 24400. China +0.1% to 3691. India -0.1% to 28162.
Europe: London +0.4%. Paris +0.7%. Frankfurt +0.5%.
Futures: Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.3%. Crude +1.4% to $48.13. Gold +0.2% to $1190.60.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 1.91%
8:30 Consumer Price Index
8:55 Chain Store Sales
9:00 FHFA House Price Index
9:45 PMI Manufacturing Index Flash
10:00 New Home Sales
Key earnings before the open
GIII, HDS, IHS, MKC
Key earnings after the close
CBK, SCS, SONC, TRQ
U.S. stock futures are getting a slight boost today from some weakness in the dollar, though gains are modest as investors await a raft of economic reports, including gauges of new-home sales and inflation. Weakness in the dollar is being driven by upbeat data out of Europe—the German purchasing managers index jumping to an eight-month high at 52.4, beating forecasts and pushing European stocks moderately higher.
Asia stocks were lower with activity in China’s factory sector slipping to an 11-month low in March as new orders crumbled, a private survey showed. HSBC’s flash China manufacturing index dipped to 49.2, from 50.7 in February, while the new orders sub-index fell for the second straight month to 49.3. The poor readings will likely fuel calls for more stimulus measures as persistent weakness plagues the world’s second-largest economy despite two recent rate cuts and other easing.
Oil prices are volatile again this morning following an overnight report which showed Saudi production close to an all-time high and data that showed China’s factory sector falling to an 11-month low. Saudi Arabia is now pumping around 10M barrels of crude oil per day, about 350,000 bpd above the figure the Kingdom gave to OPEC for its February output.
Marking the first of several anticipated legal challenges, a U.S. trade group representing broadband providers said it has filed a court challenge against the FCC’s recently approved net neutrality rules. Industry groups are also expected to challenge the new rules, although the rush of lawsuits likely won’t come until after the rules are published in the Federal Register.
Whiting Petroleum says it will sell 35M shares of common stock to help pare debt from its December buyout of rival Kodiak Oil & Gas and give it breathing room to weather the low oil-price environment.
The Federal Reserve and FDIC have vetoed the “living wills” of the U.S. units of BNP Paribas (BNPQF), HSBC (HSBC) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), stating that they could face sanctions by the end of the year if the issues are not fixed. Living wills, which are a requirement under Dodd-Frank, spell out how a firm would wind down its operations under U.S. bankruptcy code if it got into trouble.
eBay, which is spinning off its PayPal division later this year, plans to pay each of the two new companies’ chief executive officers $14M in total compensation after the split. Dan Schulman, who joined the company from American Express, will be CEO of PayPal, while Devin Wenig, who is now president of the Marketplaces division, will become CEO of eBay (EBAY).
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) moves higher in the premarket after Carl Icahn disclosed an increased stake in the company. Icahn’s holdings now stand at 73M shares (10.98%), up from 66M shares (9.98%) in December. The company also lowered its 2015 capital spending outlook by $500M after the bell yesterday, citing weak commodity prices.
Amazon’s Twitch unit has announced that its website for streaming videogame play was likely hacked, and users’ account and personal information may have been compromised. As a result of the breach, the company said it expired passwords and stream keys, and disconnected accounts from Twitter and YouTube. Twitch, which has about 100M viewers on average per month, was bought by Amazon (AMZN) last year for $970M.
Opening up a new door for the sports-media industry, the NFL has announced it would test placing one football game this season on a national digital platform and not on national television, as a trial effort to understand the market for digital rights. In another sweeping change, the league has decided to scrap its controversial blackout rule, which prohibits local broadcasts of games if they aren’t sold out 72 hours before kickoff, for the 2015 season.