Stock futures indicate that major US indices will rise slightly
today as import and export prices fell and a non-voting Fed chief
suggested lowering asset prices as early as possible.
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.08% at 15,069.
(INDEXSP:.INX) futures are up 0.15% to 1,633.20 and future
contracts on the
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) index were up 0.05% at 2,982.50.
Import and export prices fell in April. The Bureau of Labor
Statistics says that lower petroleum prices fueled 0.5% decrease in
import prices. Over the last 12 months, imports fell 2.6%, the
biggest year-over-year decrease since July 2012. As Abenonmics
intended, the price of Japanese products fell 0.6% along with the
cheap yen. Prices of US exports fell 0.7%. Economists expected
export prices to fall 0.1% and imports to fall 0.5%.
In a speech today, Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Plosser
said that the Fed should scale back asset purchases before halting
"Labor market conditions warrant scaling back the pace of purchases
as soon as our next meeting," he told an audience in Stockholm,
referring to the next Federal Open Markets Committee meeting in
June. "A precursor to an exit must be to slow and then halt the
continued expansion of the balance sheet. This would not
necessarily indicate that increases in the policy rate were
imminent. Rather, it would indicate that efforts to increase
accommodation were coming to a close."
Plosser's comments come in the wake of a revealing
Wall Street Journal
article that said that the Fed is looking for a way to gradually
reduce its $85 billion monthly stimulus.
Plosser does not have the opportunity to vote in the FOMC until
Markets retreated in Asia and Europe today. German investor
confidence increased, but by less than forecast this month. The ZEW
Center for European Economic Research's index rose 0.1 point to
36.4, missing estimates of 40. Japanese stocks eased off from
Monday's record-breaking session.
Finnish mobile phone company
) saw shares fall 4% today after it unveiled a new flagship phone.
It unveiled the new Lumia 925, which runs
) Windows Phone 8 operating system. It is made of metal and it is
thinner and lighter than Nokia's previous offerings. It will be
available first in Europe for 469 euros. When it is released in the
) will carry it exclusively.
) sank 8% in the premarket, reversing yesterday's 24% gain after
the second-largest solar energy company in the US posted a loss of
$31 million, or $0.41 per share. SolarCity suffered outsized costs
due to its policy of installing solar equipment on rooftops for
little to no charge.
Hedge fund manager Dan Loeb of Third Point Capital called on
) CEO Kazuo Hirai to spin off the conglomerate's entertainment
unit. He also suggested splitting off Sony's insurance division.