Markets await bank earnings; Oil keeps nudging higher
It’s the start of the official earnings season and Wall Street is waiting for the flow of high-profile names reporting their results. JP Morgan is in focus Tuesday but many are concerned that the high value of the dollar may hit profits at America’s biggest companies. Asian markets have seen profit-taking in choppy trade with economic data from China due tomorrow; markets have closed mixed with Shanghai hitting a new 7-year high. In Europe the sentiment is down from a week ago with a decision on interest rates due Wednesday from the ECB. Many major indexes are lower so far with London’s FTSE bucking the trend.
US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending higher (Brent $58.38, WTI $52.52 at 4.40am ET). Gold is trending lower.
PPI-FD at 8.30am ET
Retail sales at 8.30am ET
NFIB small business optimism index at 9.00am ET
Business inventories at 10am ET
Intel, JP Morgan Chase and M&T Bank Corp are among the companies reporting earnings today.
Fed official warns of another ‘flash crash’ in treasuries
Sharp intraday price fluctuations in the US treasury market could become commonplace in the future due to increased regulatory and market changes. That’s the warning of Simon Potter, executive VP of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York who said in a speech Monday that these could be the unintended consequences of changes in regulations and operating practices. He pointed to last October when there was a ‘flash crash’ with treasuries dipping sharply: "It is possible that changes in the participation or behavior of firms employing automated strategies — including broker-dealers and proprietary trading firms — had an effect on market liquidity and price movements that day.”
High-skilled workers want to come to the US but find it tougher
Visa applications from highly skilled workers are on the increase; there have been 233,000 applications this year compared to 172,500 a year ago and 124,000 in 2013. However only 85,000 H1-B visas will be issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and experts say this is stifling growth in some businesses. Proposals being considered by Congress include raising the number of H1-B visas issued to 195,000 annually and a visa for start-ups which would not cut into the H1-B allocation.
Nokia in merger talks with Alcatel
When Finnish tech manufacturer Nokia sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2013 it was not entirely clear what the firm, which was one of the pioneers of mobile phones, would do next. Tuesday it announced that it was in merger talks with another tech/mobile phone firm Alcatel in a deal which could value Alcatel at more than $13 billion. Nokia has planning to sell its maps business HERE with analysts forecasting that it would use funds for acquisitions.
Will.i.am teams with Coca-Cola to sell sheets
It’s a curious headline but Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am is to sell sheets made from old Coke bottles to W Hotels. The musician already has a project with the beverage firm called Ekocycle and is heavily into recycling. This latest project will use old plastic Coke bottles to produce polyester for bedding which can withstand twice as many washes as the average hotel sheets. Although they also cost twice the price, the eco story should appeal to W Hotel’s target market of young, trendy, eco-aware guests.