Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his
right to invade neighboring Ukraine in order to protect Russian
His statement was interpreted as a declaration of war, sending a
chill through markets as investors looked for safe bets and liquid
Russian troops took control of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula on
Sunday despite Western warnings not to intervene using military
force. Russia's decision to snub US advisories sent a powerful
message to the West and has sent Western leaders scrambling to
retaliate without using military action.
The US has threatened to impose trade restrictions on Russia in
order to isolate the country economically; however such sanctions
will have little impact without the cooperation of major European
nations. Most analysts don't see the EU matching the US' sanctions
as the region relies heavily on Russia for natural gas. Instead, EU
leaders, set to meet on Monday to discuss the situation, will
likely push for mediation between Ukraine and Russia.
In other news around the markets:
Just as the US began to thaw out from an unusually cold winter,
another storm made its way to the East coast promising severe cold
and snow. Federal and local offices in Washington have been shut
down and votes scheduled for Monday in the Senate and House of
Representatives have been postponed. On Sunday night, airlines
canceled nearly 2,000 flights and upwards of 5,000 were delayed due
to the storm. On Monday, North Korea fired two short range missiles
off its north coast as part of a regular military exercise. The
missiles, believed to be Scud-C models, flew almost 500 km which
indicates that they could be directed to hit targets in both South
Korea and Japan. Mixed economic data from China made assessing the
nation's economic strength more confusing on Monday. The nation's
services PMI increased to 55.0 in February, a three month high.
However, data showed that Chinese manufacturing PMI dropped to
48.5, below the 50 point level that indicates contraction and the
nation's third consecutive decline. US refiners like Valero Energy
and Marathon Petroleum are moving to expand their fuel making
capacities as a flood of oil from Oklahoma, Texas and North Dakota
is expected. The Wall Street Journal reported that American
refiners are expected to increase their oil refining capacity by
400,000 barrels per day over the next five years.
Asian markets were shaky as investors processed the situation in
Ukraine. The Japanese NIKKEI lost 1.27 percent, China's Shanghai
composite was down 0.92 percent, the Hang Seng index fell 1.36
percent and the South Korean KOSPI was down 0.77 percent.
European markets were steady , the UK's FTSE was down 0.01
percent and the eurozone's STOXX 600 gained 0.46 percent. France's
CAC 40 gained 0.27 percent and Italy's MIB was up 0.60 percent.
Energy futures surged on the possibility of a war between Russia
and Ukraine. Brent futures increased by 1.62 percent and WTI
futures were up 1.22 percent. Precious metals also gained
momentum; gold was up 1.86 percent and silver rose 1.64 percent.
However industrial metals were mostly lower with copper down
0.63 percent and aluminum down 0.79 percent.
Notable earnings released on Friday included:
3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:
) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.19 on revenue of $154.80
million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.26 on revenue of $155.07
million. Liberty Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ:
) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.42 on revenue of $3.20 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.33 on revenue of $3.14 billion.
Stocks moving in the PreMarket included:
Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:
) gained 2.36 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.40 percent
on Friday Dover Corp (NYSE:
) lost 10.94 percent in premarket trade after rising 20.56 percent
on Friday. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:
) fell 1.91 percent in premarket trade after gaining 0.77 percent
last week. Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:
) was down 1.23 percent in premarket trade after gaining 0.80
percent on Friday Bank of America Corp (NYSE:
) lost 1.09 percent in premarket trade after gaining 1.47 percent
over the past five days. Oracle Corp (NYSE:
) fell 1.07 percent in premarket trade after rising 2.65 percent
over the past week.
Notable earnings releases expected on Monday include:
) is expected to report a fourth quarter loss of $0.55 on revenue
of $43.07 million, compared to last year's loss of $0.54 per share
on revenue of $25.27 million. Stratasys, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.49 on revenue of
$151.03 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.40 on revenue of
$71.15 million. Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.34 on revenue of
$342.14 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.47 on revenue of
$829.00 million. QR Energy, LP (NYSE:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.35 on revenue of
$127.87 million, compared to last year's loss of $0.24 per share on
revenue of $97.41 million.
PMI data will be the star of Monday's economic calendar with
manufacturing PMI data due out from the US, the UK, the eurozone,
Germany, France and Italy. Other notable releases include US
construction spending and the Reserve Bank of Australia's interest
For a recap of Friday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and
(c) 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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