Futures Rise On Quadruple Witching
U.S. equity futures gained in early pre-market trade Friday
after Thursday's sell off as Chinese lending rates eased. The
overnight SHIBOR rate fell to 7.9 percent from 12.8 percent and the
seven day repo rate fell 8.1 percent from 11.6 percent
In other news around the markets:
The CME (NASDAQ:
) hiked margins on gold and platinum after the close Thursday. Gold
margins were raised 25 percent while platinum margins increased
12.5 percent. The current account for the eurozone for April
declined less than expected to 19.5 billion euros from 25.9 billion
euros vs. the expected 14.2 billion euros. S&P 500 futures rose
8.8 points to 1,592.70. The EUR/USD was lower at 1.3214. Spanish
10-year government bond yields fell 1 basis point to 4.86 percent.
Italian 10-year government bond yields fell 2 basis points to 4.56
percent. Gold rose 0.58 percent to $1,293.70 per ounce.
Asian shares were mostly lower save for Japanese stocks which
gained on stimulus hopes. The Japanese Nikkei 225 Index rose 1.66
percent and the Topix Index gained 0.7 percent. In Hong Kong, the
Hang Seng Index fell 0.59 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index
shed 0.5 percent in China. Also, the Korean Kospi fell 1.49 percent
and Australian shares declined 0.41 percent.
European shares were mostly higher following positive comments
from EU leaders at the EU summit as well as the better than
expected current account data. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.14
percent and the Italian FTSE MIB Index gained 0.56 percent.
Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.32 percent and the French CAC 40
gained 0.8 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.53 percent.
Commodities were bouncing off the lows overnight following the
Fed's decision and global growth fears sparked by weak Chinese
manufacturing data. WTI Crude futures were flat at $95.40 per
barrel and Brent Crude futures rose 0.84 percent to $103.01 per
barrel. Copper futures rose 0.28 percent to $308.00 per pound,
bouncing off the lows. Gold was higher despite margin hikes and
silver futures fell 0.44 percent to $19.74 per ounce.
Currency markets were much more quiet than Thursday in early
trade but the dollar continued to show modest strength. The EUR/USD
was lower at 1.3214 and the dollar gained against the yen by 0.56
percent to 97.82. Overall, the Dollar Index was flat on strength
against the euro, the pound, and the yen despite weakness against
the Canadian dollar.
Earnings Reported Yesterday
Key companies that reported earnings Thursday include:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.92 vs. $0.88 expected on revenue
of $30.04 billion vs. $30.2 billion expected. The company also
raised guidance for the full year. Oracle (NASDAQ:
) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.87, in line with forecasts, on
revenue of $10.95 billion vs. $11.12 billion expected. However,
guidance for the first quarter was slightly weak. Pier 1 Imports
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.19, in line, on revenue of
$394.95 million vs. $395.02 million expected. The company also
raised full year guidance which was still below Wall Street
forecasts. Rite Aid (NYSE:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.09, in line, on revenue of $6.29
billion vs. $6.27 billion expected. However, full year guidance was
Stocks moving in the pre-market included:
) shares fell 8.31 percent as the company reported lighter than
expected revenue and guided below forecasts. Five Below (NASDAQ:
) shares rallied 4.25 percent pre-market after the company
postponed its proposed secondary offering.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Friday
) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.58 vs. $0.52 a
year ago. Darden Restaurants (NYSE:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $1.04 vs. $1.15 a
year ago. Discover Financial (NYSE:
) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $1.14 vs. $1.21 a
On the economics calendar Friday, the Canadian CPI and retail
sales reports are expected ahead of the ECRI Weekly Index. Also,
note that it is a quadruple witching day. Monday morning, look out
for the German IFO Business Climate Index.
Good luck and good trading.
Tune into Benzinga's PreMarket Info show with Dennis Dick and
For a recap of yesterday's market action, read Benzinga's daily
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