Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing Wall Street expected to open higher, retail sales anticipated
The Dow Jones ended Wednesday up 236.36 points and market futures are pointing to a positive start to Thursday’s session. Retail data is anticipated to show a healthy growth in consumer spending in stores. Asian markets ended their trading day higher with Shanghai and Tokyo managing triple-digit gains. Chinese data on retail sales an industrial production were in line with expectations. South Korea’s central bank cut its interest rates by 25 basis points. In Europe markets are just the right side of flat as Greece remains in focus. S&P has cut Greece’s credit rating amid fears that it will eventually default within 12 months. In the UK the government’s decision to sell off more of its Royal Mail holding and its stake in bailed-out bank RBS will be digested by investors, while bank of England governor Mark Carney has vowed to jail rogue bankers.

US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending lower (Brent $65.33, WTI $60.91 at 6.10am ET) Gold is trending lower.
 
Today’s data
Jobless claims at 8.30am ET
Retail sales at 8.30am ET
Import and export prices at 8.30am ET
Bloomberg consumer comfort at 9.45am ET
Business inventories at 10am ET
Fed balance sheet 430pm ET
Money supply at 4.30pm ET
Cherokee, Innsuites and Pure Bioscience are among the companies reporting earnings today.
 
PayPal, Ebay questioned by New York’s Attorney General
New user agreements from PayPal and its parent Ebay have caught the attention of New York’s attorney general. The New York Times says that some of the conditions in the firms’ new user agreements have raised concern over potential consumer protection law breaches. The issue is with a clause stating that the firms can contact users about their accounts or with promotions and offers. This is contrary to state and federal laws regarding the right of consumers to opt out of such communications. It appears that the only way to opt out in these cases are by not using the services at all.
 
Americans pessimistic about climbing the ladder
A report released this week shows that 79 per cent of Americans believe it is easier to drop down an economic class than to climb to a higher one. The MacArthur Foundation study revealed that the majority feel that the US is still in the midst of the housing crisis and that half of the respondents had been forced to make cutbacks to afford rent or mortgage payments in recent years.
 
Spotify says it doesn’t need to be number 1, secures new funding
The CEO of Spotify has responded to this week’s announcement by Apple that it is launching new online streaming and radio services. Daniel Ek told a Swedish newspaper that his company is currently number one and aims to stay there. However he says in a competitive marketplace he would be happy to be in the top three. Spotify has completed a round of funding which has added $526 million to its reserves and values the company at $8.2 billion.