Markets react to ECB stimulus; Oil higher on Saudi King’s death
The major global indexes are all in positive territory today in reaction to the European Central Bank announcing its bond-buying program yesterday. Oil prices are edging higher on the news that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died. His half-brother Salman is his successor and while many analysts are suggesting that the country’s oil policy won’t change the uncertainty is giving prices a lift. Asian markets have closed higher despite more evidence of a weaker Chinese economy. European indexes are all gaining so far after yesterday’s announcement and on positive data on the German economy showing better growth and falling unemployment. US futures are trending higher; oil is up; gold is lower.
PMI Manufacturing Index Flash at 9.45am ET
Existing Home Sales at 10.00am ET
Leading Indicators at 10.00am ET
BNC Bancorp, General Electric and MacDonalds are among those reporting today.
Box IPO priced above expectations
The forthcoming IPO of cloud storage firm Box has been priced at $14 per share, exceeding expectations. It’s a competitive marketplace with Microsoft, Google and Dropbox among the players, but it’s also a growing and lucrative marketplace which IDC research predicts will be worth around $32 billion by 2018.
Banks prepare for lower yields
Banks are going to have to get used to lower yields for a longer period according to analysts. Fidelity Investment’s Christopher Lee told Reuters that he is seeing more executives acknowledging that rates aren’t going to rise anytime soon and accepting that lower yields will be a thing for the next few quarters at least. The banks have lost billions of dollars by positing themselves for higher yields that have failed to materialise.
Starbucks moves ahead with delivery service
Starbucks announced its results yesterday which came in roughly in line with expectations with earnings of 80 cents per share. Revenue was up to $4.8 billion from a year earlier. The firm also announced that by the end of this year customers across the US would be able to order as well as pay for their coffee using the company’s smartphone app. In theory it means no standing in line to place an order as that can be done in advance, although how they plan to reduce collection lines is an unanswered question. More details on expansion of the in-store and delivery services are expected over the next few months.
Asia’s richest man spends $15bn on mobile network
Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong based telecoms business of Asia’s richest man Li Ka-shing has agreed to buy Britain’s O2 mobile telephone network for more than $15 billion. It will see another step in the consolidation of the country’s mobile phone networks as Hutchison already operates the Three network.
IRS warns of telephone tax scam
Calls from fraudsters claiming to be IRS agents top the list of scams according to a report from The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Scams of this sort resulted in $14 million being paid out by around 3,000 victims who were fooled by criminals. Scammers use fake caller IDs to make it look like they’re calling from the IRS and demand immediate payment over the phone. The IRS never demands immediate telephone payment.