Global markets mixed as oil and Greece lead the worries
Further decline in the price of oil and concern over the political future in Greece have increased risk-aversion on the last day of trading for 2014. Markets are mixed with Asian indexes closing mostly up with the exception of Japan and Singapore. Europe’s markets are also mixed this morning with the Greek situation prompting profit-taking. Not all markets are open and those that are will close early. New York is operating normal hours. US stock futures are edging higher. Oil and gold are both trending lower.
Weekly Jobless Claims at 8.30am ET
Chicago PMI at 9.45am ET
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9.45am ET
Pending Home Sales Index at 10am ET
EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10.30am ET
Hickok Inc and Panex Resources are among the handful of companies reporting today.
Oil heads for biggest drop in 6 years
The price of oil is was heading for its biggest drop since 2008 yesterday as weak demand and over-supply saw the barrel price fall to $57. News that China’s factory output declined in December for the first time in 7 months meant lower expectations for demand in the coming months. Despite unrest in Libya slowing output from OPEC there is still expected to be a glut of supply next year.
Consumer confidence ends the year on a high
The latest survey of consumer confidence by the Conference Board shows that both November and December were positive. November’s figure was revised higher to 91 while December was at 92.6 marking a 7-year high. The lower cost of gasoline has given consumers extra spending power and with the labor market and stock prices also growing there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Low growth in wages and continued weakness in real estate are less positive factors.
Auto industry racks up record recalls
New cars may be increasing in safety records but older models have been recalled in higher numbers this year than ever before. Analysis of recall records by the New York Times shows that more than 60 million vehicles were recalled this year in the US; the previous record was in 2004 and was around half this year’s figure. There have been an average of 2 recalls per day. GM, Honda and Chrysler have all set corporate records for recalls. Read the full story.