Oil still trending lower but world stocks start the week with gains
Oil continues to fall, hitting its lowest level since April 2009, but the markets have started the week with positive moves so far. Asian markets, except Shanghai, have closed higher and European shares have been boosted by M&A activity in the healthcare sector. Citigroup has also upgraded a number of chemical companies in Europe, further boosting European markets. US stock futures are trending higher; oil is lower; gold is higher.
No major data planned for release today.
Alcoa and Turtle Beach are among those reporting earnings today.
Goldman Sachs downgrades outlook for oil
Oil is down to around $47 a barrel so far today and Goldman Sachs has now revised its outlook for the next two years. In the current quarter it has crude at $46 with the forecast for the year at $47.15 and $65 for 2016.
Shire rebounds from failed AbbVie deal with US acquisition
Last year it looked like Dublin-based pharma Shire plc would be bought by a US firm but today it has announced that it is buying a US firm itself. The AbbVie acquisition failed due to changes that removed the tax advantages of an inversion and Shire said it would look again at other possibilities. The firm says it has agreed to buy US company NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc for $5.2 billion; the two were in talks almost a year ago, before the AbbVie deal. NPS shareholders will get $46 per share, representing around 10 per cent premium on the closing price last Friday.
Workers expect higher wages
As the economy continues to improve and labor markets grow, one thing that isn’t getting much better is wage increases. According to last week’s new employment data average wages only increased by 1.7 per cent last year and, when allowing for inflation, they fell in December by 0.2 per cent from a month earlier. Workers though are expecting better things this year; a survey by recruitment website Glassdoor shows that around half of those polled are expecting 3 to 5 per cent more this year and would consider leaving their job otherwise.
GM plans to unveil the Volt and the Bolt
General Motors is showcasing two new electric vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show this week; an upgraded version of its Chevrolet Volt, which can now do 50 miles on a single charge; and the Chevrolet Bolt which is a concept car that could hit the market in 2017 with a 200 mile range on a full charge. The hybrid Volt will be available later this year. survey by recruitment website Glassdoor shows that around half of those polled are expecting 3 to 5 per cent more this year and would consider leaving their job otherwise.