Wall St. lower on Fed rates; World markets trending higher
Wall Street closed with losses Wednesday as concern over Fed interest rate hikes continued to dominate. Asia’s markets have shaken off the weaker US lead on regional events; the Bank of Korea announced a surprise interest rate cut and Australian jobs data was above expectations. Tokyo pushed higher along with Shanghai with speculation of more stimulus from China to come. In Europe mining, media and banking sectors have all seen gains although Greek debt and ECB bond-buying are adding a note of caution. Markets are mixed.
US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending higher (Brent $57.99, WTI $48.40 at 5.50am ET). Gold is higher.
Jobless Claims at 8.30am ET
Retail Sales at 8.30am ET
Import and Export Prices at 8.30am ET
Bloomberg Consumer comfort Index at 9.45am ET
Business Inventories at 10.00am ET
Treasury Budget at 2.00pm ET
Dollar General, Lifetime Brands and Stein Mart are among those reporting results today.
Dollar fever could dominate says Reuters
Today’s trading on Wall Street could be dominated by the dollar according to Reuters. Analysts speculate that with equities less impressive than the greenback currently especially given the weak Euro, there will be continued interest in the strong US dollar. The currency hit a 12-year high Wednesday but a stronger dollar would likely delay a Fed rate rise, which may in turn strengthen equities again.
Banks fail Fed stress test
Three major banks have failed the Federal Reserve’s stress tests. The US units of Santander and Deutsche Bank have not impressed the Fed with their capital distribution plans and have been banned from issuing dividends or stock buybacks until new plans are approved. Bank of America has until September to put forward new proposals. The other 29 banks subjected to the test have passed.
Taxpayers warned to claim repayments from IRS or lose them
Taxpayers who are due repayments from the IRS for the 2011 tax year are running out of time to claim their money. Around 1 million households which did not file a tax return in that year are owed a total or around $1 billion but those funds will go to the Treasury if tax returns are not completed by April 15th
Alibaba has invested $200 million in Snapchat
Snapchat has received a $200 million investment from Alibaba CNN reports. Citing an unmanned source the report says that neither company have commented but it is believed that the social network may also be in talks with the Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal about an investment.
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