#PreMarket Primer: Friday, April 11: Tension Between The West And Russia Escalates With Threats Of Energy Supply Interruptions

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On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Europe that its gas supplies could be disrupted if Russia cuts off Ukraine's supply due to unpaid bills. Putin wrote a letter to eurozone leaders, stating his frustration with Kiev's $2.2 billion dollar debt, saying that supplies would be cut off if the problem is not resolved quickly.

The letter drew US accusations that the Kremlin is using energy "as a tool of coercion".  Since Ukraine ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, Russia has almost doubled the cost of gas for Ukraine despite the nation's economic crisis. An interruption to the gas flow in Ukraine would have a domino effect across Europe, as most European nations receive natural gas via a pipeline which passes through Ukraine.

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In other news around the markets:

On Thursday, the White House announced that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has decided to resign. Sebelius oversaw the rollout of Obama's Affordable Care Act, which many have criticized for its many flaws.  Many hope that her resignation will help calm the waters ahead of US midterm elections in November, in which Democrats are hoping to maintain control of the US Senate. The National Bureau of Statistics announced on Friday that China's consumer price index increased 2.4 percent in March, with fresh food prices providing the bulk of the lift. However, producer prices fell 2.3 percent, the 25th consecutive month of decline. Greece made its way back into the good graces of financial markets as it sold more than $4 billion worth of bonds on Thursday. Though the sale raised less than one percent of the total needed to pay off Greek debt, it marked the nation's return to stability after years of painful budget cuts. General Motors received more bad news on Thursday after estimates for the cost of the company's recall were raised to $1.3 billion. The new estimate is more than three times what GM originally estimated and out paces the company's first quarter profit in 2014. Additionaly, the ongoing investigation has forced the company to fire two engineers who were  involved in the decision making related to the faulty ignition switches.

Asian Markets

Asian markets were down across the board after being spooked by Wall Street's losses on Thursday. The NIKKEI was down 2.38 percent, the Shanghai composite lost 0.18 percent, the Shenzhen composite fell 0.20 percent and the Hang Seng index lost 0.79 percent.

European Markets

European markets were down across the board; the UK's FTSE lost 0.99 percent, the eurozone's STOXX 600 was down 1.11 percent, the German DAX fell 1.21 percent, France's CAC 40 lost 1.02 percent and the Spanish IBEX was down 0.86 percent.

Commodities

Energy futures lost ground; Brent futures were down 0.34 percent to $107.09 per barrel and WTI futures lost 0.25 percent.  Gold and silver lost 0.26 percent and 0.70 percent respectively while industrial metals increased. Copper gained 0.56 percent, aluminum was up 1.86 percent and zinc rose 0.89 percent.

Currencies

The dollar regained some momentum on Friday and gained 0.25 percent against the yen, 0.25 percent against the Australian dollar and 0.11 percent against the pound. The euro also gained; up 0.11 percent against the pound and 0.22 percent against the yen.

Earnings

Notable earnings released on Thursday included:

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD ) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.10 on revenue of $6.60 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.13 on revenue of $6.46 billion. Family Dollar Stores, Inc.  (NYSE: FDO ) reported second quarter EPS of $0.80 on revenue of $2.72 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.21 on revenue of $2.89 billion. Shaw Communications Inc. (NYSE: SJR ) reported second quarter EPS of $0.46 on revenue of $1.27 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.38 on revenue of $1.25 billion.

Pre-Market Movers

Stocks moving in the Premarket included:

Ford Motor Co (NYSE: F ) gained 1.41 percent in premarket trade after steadily declining 4.64 percent over the past week. Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA ) was up 0.63 percent in premarket trade after losing 2.31 percent on Thursday. Carnival Corp (NYSE: CCL ) rose 0.53 percent in premarket trade after declining 1.73 percent on Thursday. Corning Inc. (NYSE: CLW ) was down 1.01 percent in premarket trade after losing 3.80 percent over the past week.

Notable earnings releases expected on Friday include:

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC ) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.96 on revenue of $20.65 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.92 on revenue of $21.26 billion. JP Morgan Chase & Co  (NYSE: JPM ) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $1.43 on revenue of $24.67 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.59 on revenue of $24.85 billion. Fastenal Company (NASDAQ: FAST ) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.38 on revenue of $870.87 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.37 on revenue of $806.33 million.

Economics

Friday's economic calendar will be thin with releases including US PPI, US CPI, Spanish CPI, German CPI and the French current account.

For a recap of Thursday's market action, click .

Tune into Benzinga's pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here .

© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Commodities , Futures , International , Options

Referenced Stocks: FAST , AA , CCL , CLW , F

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