World markets lower despite higher Wall St. lead
Yesterday’s higher close for Wall Street has been offset by regional issues on global markets combined with a decline in oil prices due to the firm dollar. In China inflation data was mixed with improvement in the consumer price index outweighed by deflation in wholesale prices. Most major Asian indexes closed lower. In Europe the concern over Greece’s debt continues to knock sentiment ahead of detailed discussions starting tomorrow.
US stock equities are trending lower. Oil is trending lower (Brent $57.77, WTI $49.61 at 5.35am ET). Gold is at a 3 month low.
Redbook retail data 8.55am ET
NFIB Business Optimism Index at 9.00am ET
JOLTS at 10.00am ET
Wholesale Trade at 10.00am ET
Barnes & Noble, Microvision and Taylor Consulting are among the companies reporting earnings today.
Obama hits Venezuela with sanctions
Seven prominent officials in Venezuela have been hit with US sanctions in response to increasingly violent actions by the country’s government. The White House announced that the military and intelligence officials are now banned from visiting the US and American companies are not allowed to talk to the officials. Any American bank accounts and assets held by the seven will be frozen. As the Venezuelan economy is pounded by lower oil prices political unrest has intensified and opponents of the government have been imprisoned and protestors killed by police.
Dallas Fed chief calls for ‘prompt’ interest rate hike
In his final speech as a policymaker the head of the Dallas Fed has called for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates and end its soft monetary policy. Richard Fisher said that despite low wage growth the labor market is heading towards its lowest rate of unemployment since 2007 and he believes that once energy prices stabilize inflation will recover.
Obamacare will cost less
Taxpayers will spend less on the Affordable Care Act subsidies than previously thought according to new data from the Congressional Budget Office. The total for the coming 5 fiscal years is $509 billion, some 29 per cent lower than the office forecast in 2010. Slower uptake of the program than expected is one of the reasons for the lower costs.
Fidelity tech fund excels without Apple
The Fidelity Select IT Services fund has been the top performing tech fund since 2000 according to data from Lipper; returning 10.9 per cent a year on average, more than double any of the other tech funds tracked by the firm. It’s done it without many of the household names in the sector including Google, Microsoft and Apple. Instead it invests in day-to-day workhorses of the tech sector including web hosts and payment processors. Read the full story.