Wall St. closes lower ahead of Fed, earnings season
The New York Stock Exchange ended Tuesday with slight losses ahead of the latest meeting of the Fed’s open market committee minutes and the unofficial start of the earnings season. Despite the weaker lead Asian markets closed higher with a report on Japan’s economy showing improvement and the country’s central bank continuing its stilumus plan. Europe’s markets have started Wednesday mixed with energy sector shares gaining on M&A news but Greece’s debt still causing concern.
US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending lower (Brent $58.13, WTI $52.60 at 4.35am ET). Gold is trending slightly lower.
MBA mortgage applications at 7.00am ET
EIA petroleum status at 10.30am ET
FOMC minutes at 2.00pm ET
Alcoa, Family Dollar and Rite Aid are among the companies reporting earnings today.
Shell oil announces bid for BG Group
Royal Dutch Shell is about to get bigger having announced a takeover of UK firm BG Group which owns oilfields off Brazil and natural gas resources in Australia. The $70 billion deal was announced early Wednesday and values BG at 50 per cent higher than its Tuesday closing price. Assuming the deal completes it will add 25 per cent to Shell’s oil and gas reserves and 20 per cent to production according to CNN.
Oil declines as US stockpiles increase, Saudi’s boost output
After a recent rally oil prices are declining again as figures revealed that the US stockpile is higher than expected and Saudi Arabia’s output in March hit record levels. Analysts say there would need to be a surge in demand to reduce the growing glut. The Saudi oil minister said Tuesday that the country’s output had reached 10.3 million barrels a day in March and would continue at 10 million. He said that if other producers were willing to work with OPEC they would be happy to talk about “improving” prices.
Americans are clueless about money says new report
Many Americans are “overly confident” about making financial decisions according to a report from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. It says that while many people believe they know a lot about finances their actions show a different picture. Key findings include; 92 per cent are confident in making major financial decisions; 70 per cent are worried about their personal finances; 60 per cent have no budget; 24 per cent do not pay their credit card bills on time. More than half say they are saving for their retirement.