Surprise rate cut in India, Europe awaits ECB meeting
World markets have been mixed Wednesday as Asian indexes were led by a surprise cut in interest rates by India’s central bank, its second so far this year. The Yen has strengthened, dampening export sentiment, and slow growth in China and Australia is causing concern in the region. Most Asian markets closed lower. In Europe markets are awaiting the next meeting of the ECB which takes place tomorrow. New data shows that the Eurozone’s business activity has grown but not as much as expected. Talk of more quantative easing from the ECB is prolific.
US stock futures are edging lower. Oil is trending slightly higher (Brent $60.64, WTI $50.74 at 5.05am ET). Gold is trending lower.
MBA Purchase Applications at 7.00am ET
ADP Employment Report at 8.15am ET
Gallup US Job Creation Index at 8.30am ET
PMI Services Index at 9.45am ET
ISM Non-manufacturing Index at 10.00am ET
EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10.30am ET
Fed Beige Book at 2.00pm ET
Abercrombie & Fitch, H&R Block and Petsmart are among the companies reporting earnings today.
Target cuts thousands of jobs
A restructuring of Target will mean the loss of thousands of jobs, largely from headquarters locations. The firm is aiming to save $2 billion in costs over two years. Stronger focus on key product lines and a better online experience are also part of the new strategy of CEO Brian Cornell. Target predicts a 1.5 to 2.5 per cent increase in comparable sales this fiscal year and expects the earnings per share for the full year to January 2016 to be in the $4.45 to $4.65 range.
Obamacare challenge reaches the Supreme Court
A new challenge to the validity of the Affordable Care Act reaches the Supreme Court from today. The case hinges on a phrase in the act which opponents say does not allow for the use of a federal exchange but only for state-run marketplaces. If the challenge is successful it would remove subsidies for more than 6 million Americans who have enroled through the federal exchange. Insurers say that would create a “death spiral” with escalating costs for remaining policyholders and the eventual collapse of the program.
Uber to buy mapping startup
Uber’s use of Google Maps data could be nearing an end. Reports suggest that the rideshare firm has agreed to acquire a mapping startup called deCarta, raising speculation that it would then use its own data to power the app. It is believed that most of deCarta’s employees would join Uber as part of the deal. Google is reportedly planning to launch its own ride-hailing service for its driverless cars.
Californian drought set to be worse this year
Last year the drought in California was bad but experts say it will be worse in the coming months. The economic loss for the state was $2.2 billion according to research from the University of California economist Richard Howitt, but this year it could top $3 billion. He also estimates that the drought cost the state 17,000 jobs last year and expects losses to rise to mid-twenty thousand this year.