World stocks trend up on better news
Asian and European markets are trending higher today, boosted by positive data from the US on manufacturing and construction yesterday, a rebound of China’s services sector in August and a ceasefire that has been agreed between Russia and Ukraine. Many companies that have been hit by the Ukraine tension have seen some improvements in share prices so far. US futures are climbing; yesterday’s Wall Street indexes were mixed at the close with only the Nasdaq ending higher.
The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book is released at 2pm ET
August car and truck sales released by the Commerce Dept. at 2pm ET
H & R Block report earnings after the closing bell.
Is the US mortgage market heading towards crisis?
A banking analyst says that the mortgage market could be heading towards a crisis this winter. Dick Bove says that as the Fed ends its bond-buying program and the government seeks to reduce exposure to the housing market through Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae backing, we could see lower availability of mortgages with a hard-hitting impact on the housing sector and the wider economy. Bove says that one of the main reasons would be private institutions not wanting the extra exposure to home loans that the single replacement for Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae would create. Read the full story.
Home Depot investigates data theft reports
Home Depot may be the latest victim of cyber attack with a report suggesting that the retailer’s network may have been accessed with customer’s credit card details stolen. The firm says it is working with investigators following ‘unusual activity’ but has not confirmed the breach or the theft of data. Read the full story.
Are US firms still welcome in China?
In the wake of increased activity by Beijing’s anti-trust authorities, US companies are wondering if they are welcome in the world’s second largest economy. The American Chamber of Commerce have conducted a survey among their members in China and found that 60 per cent feel less welcome in the country now; last year the figure was 41 per cent. Big names such as Microsoft, Apple and Chrysler are among those that have been targeted recently, although it should be noted that even some of China’s state-owned businesses have also felt the force of the anti-trust regulators. Read the full story.
Investors await action from the ECB
Investors worldwide are awaiting tomorrow’s meeting of the European Central Bank amid hopes that there will be stimulus to boost the flagging Eurozone. With the majority of data from the bloc continuing to be disappointing and the real possibility of deflation increasing, investors are looking for signs of positive action. If that is not forthcoming tomorrow then we could see investors choosing to put their money elsewhere, which would only compound the Eurozone’s woes.