New week, new optimism; but oil weakens again
Wall Street looks set to start the week where it ended on Friday; in positive territory. Janet Yellen’s comments last week seem to have stabilized fears of sharp rate rises with the most likely scenario now appearing to be a small increase in interest rates before the end of the year and small incremental rises to follow. Asian markets have closed Monday mostly higher with China’s premier hinting at more stimulus over the weekend. Australia bucked the trend with lower commodity prices hitting hard. In Europe there has been an upbeat start to the week’s trading. With markets closing on Thursday for the Easter break the remaining days of this week are set to be busy. Greece still features on the ‘watch list’ and although there will be no trading on Friday when US jobs data is released, indicators will be watched closely this week.
US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending lower (Brent $56.32, WTI $48.47 at 4.50am ET). Gold is trending lower.
Personal income and outlays at 8.30am ET
Pending home sales index at 10.00am ET
Dallas Fed manufacturing survey at 10.30am ET
American Realty, Hills Bancorp and Vasomedical are among the companies reporting results today.
Volvo to invest $500 in first US factory
Swedish vehicle manufacturer Volvo has announced that it is investing half a billion dollars in the US with its first production facility here. The firm’s sales have been dropping in recent years and the new plant, which will begin operation in 2018, is an important part of the strategy to reverse the trend. “The U.S. is an absolutely crucial part of our global transformation,” Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement. “Today’s announcement makes it perfectly clear that Volvo is in the U.S. to stay.” Volvo is considering locations currently.
US running out of oil storage?
Some analysts are predicting a new problem that could put further pressure on falling oil prices; lack of storage space. With the US producing at levels that rival Saudi Arabia and demand still sluggish if oil tanks are indeed almost full then prices could drop. Oil intelligence firm Genscape uses a number of hi-tech methods of calculating the levels of oil stored worldwide. Often they can use less advanced methods though such as flying over the oil tanks and looking down! The company believes that in Cushing, Oklahoma the tanks are about 70 per cent full. Meanwhile Citigroup warns that the US is running out of storage. Read the full story.
Indiana anti-gay backlash grows
Indiana’s decision to allow businesses to discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender people on the grounds of religion has resulted in a furious backlash from businesses and other organizations. Many city administrations have ceased publicly-funded travel to the state and businesses including Apple, Angie’s List, Yelp and Eli Lilly have spoken out against the law. Even the state’s own chamber of commerce says it is unnecessary and brings unwanted attention to the state.