Asia markets close up, Europe in the red, Snow to slow Wall Street
Hopes that the new Greek government can reach an agreement with the European Union have eased caution among investors and Asia’s major indexes have all closed higher with the exception of Hong Kong and Shanghai where profit-taking has been prominent. In Europe though corporate earnings have disappointed and GDP in the UK was lower than expected and markets are in the red currently. US trading is expected to be reduced today as New York is pounded by a snow storm and although the indexes are all open the major financial institutions are unlikely to be fully staffed. US stock futures are trending lower; oil is slightly higher as is gold.
The Federal Open Market Committee Meeting begins.
Durable Goods Orders at 8.30am ET
S&P Case-Shiller HPI at 9.00am ET
PMI Services Flash at 9.45am ET
New Home Sales at 10.00am ET
Consumer Confidence at 10.00am ET
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index at 10.00am ET
Apple, Proctor & Gamble and Yahoo are among those reporting earnings today.
Fed meeting begins but no press conference this time
The Federal Open Market Committee begins its meeting today and will conclude tomorrow but there is no planned press conference. There will be a statement issued at 2pm Wednesday but it is unlikely that there will be any real clues on interest rates. The markets still expect that there will be a rise this summer however recent activity including Canada’s rate cut and the EU’s QE program may make a rise harder to implement in the US. The low cost of oil products, gasoline in particular, is also pushing inflation lower.
Microsoft earnings fall on weak Windows sales, currency
Microsoft reported its quarterly results yesterday and revealed weak sales of computers meant lower demand for its flagship Windows software. Profits for the quarter were $5.86 billion down from $6.56 billion a year before; that meant earnings of 71 cents per share, down from 78 cents 12 months earlier. Market analysts had expected that level of earnings and revenue came in higher than predicted with an 8 per cent increase to $26.47 billion.
Former homeowners set for bounce-back
Those who lost their homes during the financial crisis are set to start buying again according to a report from RealtyTrac. Following a foreclosure it can take around 7 years for those affected to be in a position to buy again and the report predicts that there could be half a million former owners who are now eligible this year with a total of more than 7 million coming back to the market over the next 8 years.