After Sunni-led Islamist militants pressed closer to Baghdad on
Thursday night, US President Barack Obama threatened to intervene
through military air strikes if the movement continues further.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant overtook Mosul, Iraq's
second largest city, at the beginning of the week and have since
made their way south towards Baghdad.
Trucks filled with Shi'ite volunteers have lined the capital's
borders in preparation for what many believe could be a bloody
battle with many casualties.
In other news around the markets:
Ukranian forces continued their efforts to reclaim the eastern part
of the nation on Friday as the military moved in on the separatist
held city of Mariupol. The city has strategic importance as it
serves as a steel export hub and is well connected to major roads
leading to the Russian border. Pro-Moscow rebel leaders have
reported five casualties since the fighting in Mariupol began.
's Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani surprised markets on
Thursday with a sudden resignation that many believe is related to
his tense relationship with Chief Executive Dick Costolo. Two hours
after Rowghani's departure became public, the company's Head of
North American Media Chloe Sladden tweeted her own plans to follow
in his footsteps. Spanish language broadcasting company
Univision Communications Inc
. has been in talks with
Time Warner Inc.
about a possible sale. According to the Wall Street Journal,
Univision's owners are looking for an exit and are asking for more
than $20 billion for the company. On Wednesday, said it was working
with to potentially bid for 's energy assets. The two will have
until Monday to make their pitch to Alstom, which has tentatively
approved 's $17 billion offer despite push back from the French
Asian markets were mixed; the KOSPI was down 1.03 percent,
Australia's ASX 200 fell 0.44 percent and New Zealand's NZ50 fell
0.47 percent. However the NIKKEI was up 0.83 percent, the Shanghai
composite gained 0.93 percent, the Shenzhen composite was up 1.13
percent and the Hang Seng index rose 0.62 percent.
European markets were down across the board; the UK's FTSE lost
0.49 percent, the eurozone's STOXX 600 was down 0.26 percent,
the German DAX fell 0.57 percent and the CAC 40 was down 0.43
Energy futures found support from the unfolding crisis in Iraq
with Brent futures up 0.78 percent and WTI futures up 0.69 percent.
Gold and silver were relatively flat with gold down 0.01 percent
and silver up 0.01 percent. Industrial metals were lower with
aluminum down 1.23 percent, zinc down 2.24 percent and tin down
The euro picked up steam after better than expected economic
data helped boost the region's outlook. The common currency gained
0.17 percent against the dollar and 0.34 percent against the yen,
but lost 0.15 percent against the pound. The dollar was also lower
against the pound, down 0.31 percent, but the greenback gained 0.16
percent against the yen and the Australian dollar.
Notable earnings released on Thursday included:
Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ:
) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.36 on revenue of $306.00
million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.20 on revenue of $243.42
million. lululemon athletic (NASDAQ:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.34 on revenue of $385.60
million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.32 on revenue of $345.78
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
) was up 0.54 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.53 percent
over the past week. Bank of America (NYSE:
) gained 0.52 percent in premarket trade after losing 1.09 percent
on Thursday. Carnival Corp (NYSE:
) was down 0.97 percent in premarket trade after falling 2.67
percent on Thursday. Verizon Communications (NYSE:
) fell 0.20 percent in premarket trade after losing 0.49 percent
over the past five days.
Notable earnings expected on Friday include:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.39 on revenue of
$73.30 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.41 on revenue of
Friday's economic calendar will be relatively busy with producer
price data with the US, Germany, Italy, and Spain all set to
release. Other notable releases include Chinese retail sales,
Chinese industrial production and the UK's CB leading index.
For a recap of Thursday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's #PreMarket Prep today to hear Sam Parikh,
Ralph Acampora and Todd Schoenberger by clicking
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