Last week, Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis warned that
the nation had begun to fear that the unrest in Ukraine was just
the beginning and that Russia could soon turn its sights to
With a population that is a quarter ethnic Russian and almost 40
percent of citizens speaking Russian, there is a real fear that
separatist violence could spread.
Following the annexation of Crimea in Ukraine, violence in the
nation has escalated.
Over the weekend, a massive fire killed dozens of pro-Russian
separatists as they clashed with Kiev supporters. Rebel groups also
stormed a Ukrainian police station and freed nearly 70 pro-Russian
activists. Violence is no longer isolated in the eastern part of
the nation, with protests popping up in Western cities as well.
In the midst of the chaos, Russia has warned that it will shut
off Ukraine's natural gas supply in June if it does not receive
payment in May. The threat is worrying for the EU, which receives
much of its natural gas supplies from Russia via Ukraine.
In other news around the markets:
US jobs data confirmed that the nation began the second quarter
back on track after severe winter weather contributed to weakness
in the first quarter. US unemployment was down to 6.3 percent from
6.7 percent and US employers added 288,000 jobs in April. The
figures beat expectations and marked the highest job-creation rate
in more than a year. Chinese PMI data disappointed as the nation's
reading remained well below the 50 point mark which separates
expansion and contraction. HSBC's final April PMI reading was 48.1,
little changed from March's figure and below the nation's
preliminary reading of 48.3. On Sunday, Portuguese Prime Minister
Pedro Passos Coelho announced that the nation was planning to exit
its 78 billion euro bailout program this month. Portugal has been
slowly returning to growth after three years of compliance with the
EU's bailout terms. Coelho also announced that the nation is not
planning to take a precautionary credit line. On Sunday, the UK's
Labor party called for an inquiry into
's bid for
, saying that the UK's government has been supporting the deal
without first ensuring it is in the region's best interest. On
Friday, AstraZeneca rejected Pfizer's initial $106 billion bid, but
the US drug maker is expected to continue courting the British
Asian markets were mixed; the Japanese NIKKEI lost 0.19 percent,
the Hang Seng index was down 1.28 percent and the South Korean
KOSPI lost 1.28 percent. However, the Shanghai composite gained
0.05 percent and the Shenzhen composite was up 0.60 percent.
European markets were down across the board with the exception
of the UK's FTSE, which gained 0.20 percent. The eurozone's STOXX
600 was down 0.86 percent, the German DAX lost 1.38 percent,
France's CAC 40 was down 1.19 percent and Italy's MIB lost 1.27
Energy futures were higher, Brent futures gained 0.19 percent
and WTI futures rose 0.59 percent. Gold and silver gained 0.78
percent and 0.58 percent respectively, and industrial metals also
improved. Tin was up 1.05 percent, zinc gained 0.94 percent and
aluminum rose 0.06 percent.
The yen struggled on Monday, losing 0.27 percent against the
dollar and 0.25 percent against the euro. The euro was steady at
$1.3875 and the dollar lost 0.03 percent against the pound and 0.09
percent against the franc.
Notable earnings released on Friday included:
) reported first quarter EPS of $2.36 on revenue of $51.00 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $3.18 on revenue of $56.82 billion.
) reported first quarter EPS of $1.02 on revenue of $32.69 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.83 on revenue of $30.76 billion.
Estee Lauder (NYSE:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.64, compared to last year's EPS
of $0.45 on revenue of $2.29 billion. Marsh & McLennan
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.81 on revenue of $3.26 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.73 on revenue of $3.13 billion.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
) was up 1.23 percent in premarket trade after choppy trading took
the stock up 0.16 percent last week. GameStop (NYSE:
) was down 2.23 percent in premarket trade after gaining 1.68
percent on Friday. JPMorgan Chase and Co (NYSE:
) lost 1.46 percent in premarket trade after losing 0.25 percent on
Friday. Regions Financial (NYSE:
) was up 0.98 percent in premarket trade after gaining 0.89 percent
over the past five days.
Notable earnings releases expected on Monday include:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.56 on revenue of
$12.13 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.51 on revenue of
$13.50 billion. Sysco (NYSE:
) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.39 on revenue of
$11.38 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.40 on revenue of
$10.93 billion. Tyson Foods (NYSE:
) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.63 on revenue of
$8.85 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.36 on revenue of
$8.42 billion. Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $1.70 on revenue of
$6.21 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.69 on revenue of
Notable economic releases on Monday will include eurozone
investor confidence, eurozone PPI, and US services PMI.
For a recap of Friday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and
© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
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