Markets eye earnings, commodities higher
Global stock markets are focused on earnings season and Thursday brings some more major results for Wall Street. New York’s weaker finish in the previous session weighed on Asian markets with mixed fortunes for the main indexes but Shanghai managed to outperform its peers once again. European markets are mostly positive so far as earnings dominate while Greece MPs voted in favor of a second set of reforms which pave the way for a new bailout agreement.
US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending higher (Brent $56.14, WTI $49.27 at 6.10am ET). Gold is trending lower.
Jobless claims at 8.30am ET
Chicago Fed national activity index at 8.30am ET
Bloomberg consumer comfort index at 9.45am ET
Leading indicators at 10am ET
EIA natural gas report at 10.30am ET
Kansas City Fed manufacturing index at 11am ET
Amazon, AT&T, General Motors, McDonalds and Starbucks are among the companies reporting earnings today.
Anthem nearing deal with Cigna
Anthem Inc. is close to agreeing a deal to acquire Cigna Corp. according to Reuters. Acknowledging sources “with knowledge of the matter” the report says that Anthem will pay $48 billion for its rival and will become the largest health insurance company in the US. The deal improves on the previous offer made by Anthem which will pay $187 per share (up from $184) and the sources say that the deal could be announced before the end of the week.
Uber escapes regulation in NYC
Rideshare app Uber has escaped regulation by New York which would have limited its ability to operate in the city. Mayor Bill de Blasio was considering a cap on the number of licences granted to drivers but has now scrapped the proposal for now. The Mayor’s office said that it wanted to spend more time studying the impact on traffic congestion and drivers. CNN reports that opponents to tightened regulation includes actor Ashton Kutcher, an investor in Uber.
Bank of America finance chief exits
The chief financial officer of the Bank of America is leaving as part of a management shake-up according to CNBC. Bruce Thompson will be succeeded by Paul Donofrio on August 1. Meanwhile vice-chair David Darnell is retiring and HR executive Andrea Smith will become chief administrative officer.