World markets mixed on global economy concerns
The world’s markets are mixed today with Asian indexes closing generally lower on more weak Chinese data and disappointment at the lower-than-predicted growth of the US economy. European markets shook off the data as some positive corporate earnings and an early rally in the oil price started the day on a high. US stock futures are higher; gold and oil are both edging lower.
Personal Income and Outlays at 8.30am ET
PMI Manufacturing Index at 9.45am ET
ISM Manufacturing Index at 10.00am ET
Construction Spending at 10.00am ET
Cliffs Natural Resources, Pitney Bowes and Vanguard Energy are among those reporting earnings today.
Oil falls on US refinery strikes and weak Chinese data
After an early rally the price of oil is declining again following weak Chinese factory activity data and a strike being called over the weekend at nine refineries and chemical companies. The action is an attempt to force employers to agree a new national contract.
Regulators to probe Moody’s over credit ratings
The credit rating agency Moody’s is reported by the Wall Street Journal to be under investigation by the Department of Justice over an allegation of favorable ratings of mortgage deals between 2004 and 2007. A similar investigation has been taking place into Standard & Poor’s and a deal is expected to be announced in the next few weeks.
US companies exposed to Venezuelan economic crisis
Around 40 major US companies could lose billions of dollars from their exposure to the economic crisis in Venezuela. Reuters reports that firms such as General Motors and Merck & Co have billions of monetary assets on their books in the Venezuelan currency. The analysis shows that companies may have the assets listed at the country’s official exchange rate of 6.3 bolivars to the dollar, but there are other rates in play in the nation including a black market rate of 190 bolivars to the dollar which would wipe out assets.
Obama plans to tax overseas income
New tax proposals from The White House would see US companies paying more tax on trillions of dollars of income earned overseas. The President’s budget plan due to be released today would seek to close a loophole that means businesses pay no tax on profits made and retained in foreign territories. He wants to impose a 14 per cent tax for current stockpiles of overseas profits as a one-off charge followed by a new 19 per cent tax thereafter. Republicans are sceptical.