Pro-Russian separatist rebels celebrated an overwhelming victory
in a makeshift secession vote held on Sunday.
The vote has been condemned by the EU as illegal; however the
rebel groups have said it will allow eastern Ukraine to decide
whether it will remain a part of Ukraine, become self-sufficient,
or join Russia.
The vote marks a turning point in the nation's crisis, in which
the conflict has fallen out of the Ukrainian government's control.
Many worry that the succession referendum will be enough to push
the country into a civil war.
In other news around the markets:
On Monday, North Korean officials denied US and South Korean
accusations that North Korea had used small surveillance drones to
spy on South Korean movements in March. A spokesperson for the
North claimed that the examination of three drones found on the
border was simply a "charade" and accused the US of backing a
conspiracy invented by South Korea.
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc
. hired Adena Friedman as a co-president, which many believe will
eventually lead to her becoming the company's next CEO. Friedman
previously worked for Nasdaq, but left the company for three years
while she worked as chief financial officer at
Carlyle Group LP
. With negotiations between world powers and Iranian officials set
to begin on Tuesday, Iran's Supreme Leader remarked that Western
expectations about Tehran's nuclear development were "stupid and
idiotic". The statement doesn't bode well for the two sides
reaching an agreement on the nation's long disputed atomic
capabilities. With the use of drones picking up across the
US, the FAA is being forced to tighten regulations and increase
enforcement in order to limit the risks. Last week, it was revealed
pilot told officials that his plane nearly hit a drone as it
approached the airport in Tallahassee, Florida. The FAA is expected
to come out with a new set of rules on how drones will be allowed
to operate, but it could take several years for the rules to be
Asian markets were mostly higher with the exception of the
NIKKEI, which lost 0.35 percent. The Shanghai composite gained 1.91
percent, the Shenzhen composite was up 2.12 percent, the Hang Seng
index was up 2.22 percent and the KOSPI rose 0.43 percent.
European markets were mostly higher, the UK's FTSE rose 0.27
percent, the eurozone's STOXX 600 was up 0.30 percent, the German
DAX gained 0.31 percent and Italy's MIB was up 0.44 percent.
Energy futures were higher as the crisis in Ukraine escalated
and a supply interruption became a real worry. Brent futures gained
0.33 percent and WTI futures were up 0.13 percent. Gold and silver
were also higher, up 0.09 percent and 0.70 percent respectively,
while industrial metals were mixed. Copper gained 1.01 percent, but
aluminum was down 0.28 percent and tin lost 0.32 percent.
Currency markets were quiet; the dollar lost 0.19 percent
against the pound and 0.07 percent against the euro, but gained
0.05 percent against the yen. The euro lost 0.13 percent against
the pound, but gained 0.06 percent against the yen.
Notable earnings released on Friday included:
Alcatel Lucent (NYSE:
) reported a first quarter loss of $0.04 on revenue of $2.96
billion, compared to last year's loss of $0.19 on revenue of $4.27
billion. Ralph Lauren (NYSE:
) reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.68 on revenue of $1.83 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $1.41 on revenue of $1.64 billion.
Bloomin' Brands (NASDAQ:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.42 on revenue of $1.20 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.50 on revenue of $1.09 billion.
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.13 on revenue of $2.36 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.09.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Peabody Energy (NYSE:
) was up 2.63 percent in premarket trade after losing 1.63 percent
on Friday. Verizon Communications (NYSE:
) lost 0.14 percent in premarket trade after gaining 2.89 percent
over the past week. Schlumberger (NYSE:
) was down 0.12 percent in premarket trade after falling 0.80
percent over the past week.
Notable earnings releases expected on Monday include:
McKesson Corporation (NYSE:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $2.40 on revenue of
$35.89 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.45 on revenue of
$30.62 billion. NII Holdings (NASDAQ:
) is expected to report a first quarter loss of $2.05 on revenue of
$1.02 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.21 on revenue of
$1.41 billion. Babcock & Wilcox (NYSE:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.42 on revenue of
$704.81 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.46 on revenue of
Monday's economic calendar will be relatively quiet; with
releases including the US Federal budget balance, Indian CPI, and
Swiss retail sales.
For a recap of Friday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's #PreMarket Prep show with Dennis Dick and
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advice. All rights reserved.
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