Tension between the West and Russia is at an all time high as
accusations fly about recent demonstrations in eastern Ukraine.
The Kremlin has been named as the driving force behind the
protests, which are supposedly part of a larger plan to eventually
send in more troops and further divide Ukraine.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russian
special forces of creating the disturbances and warned Russia
against military intervention.
In other news around the markets:
Farmers are struggling this spring after an unusually severe winter
damaged their crops. Everything from fruit to wheat has been
affected and could be passed on to consumers in the form of higher
prices and lower supply. Wine producers are expected to take the
brunt of the problems, with damage to their vines expected create
long term problems. On Tuesday, the underlying tension between the
US and China was exposed after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was
sharply questioned about the US' position in the ongoing
territorial disputes between China, Japan and the Philippines.
Chinese officers at the National Defense University have accused
the US of creating problems due to fears that China will grow too
large, but Hagel said the US was committed to standing by its
allies and had no interest in restricting China's growth.
Researchers have discovered that a web encryption tool used by
several large companies is flawed and could expose user data to
outside parties. Heartbleed, the bug in question, may have affected
two thirds of the internet's active websites. The search for
Malaysia Airlines missing jet found renewed hope on Wednesday
after Australian officials said they detected a "ping" signal from
the plane's black box recorder. After searching for more than a
month, the officials are still unsure about the exact location of
the plane and are scouring a remote area of the Indian Ocean in the
hopes of turning up some sort of wreckage.
Asian markets were mostly higher with the exception of the
NIKKEI, which lost 2.10 percent. The Shanghai composite was up 0.33
percent, the Shenzhen composite gained 0.62 percent, the Hang Seng
index rose 1.09 percent and the South Korean KOSPI was up 0.30
European markets were up across the board on Wednesday; the UK's
FTSE was up 0.76 percent and the eurozone's STOXX 600 rose 0.63
percent. The German DAX was up 0.48 percent, France's CAC 40 rose
0.53 percent and the Spanish IBEX increased 0.81 percent.
Energy futures fell on Wednesday, Brent futures were down 0.34
percent and WTI futures lost 0.42 percent. Gold gained 0.89
percent, silver lost 0.81 percent and industrial metals were mixed
with copper down 0.56 percent and zinc up 1.25 percent.
In currency markets the dollar picked up, gaining 0.30 percent
against the yen, 0.12 percent against the franc and 0.10 percent
against the pound. They yen was on the decline with a 0.26 percent
loss against the euro and a 0.49 percent loss against the
Notable earnings released on Tuesday included:
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:
) reported first quarter EPS of $0.09 on revenue of $5.45 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.11 on revenue of $5.83 billion.
WD-40 Company (NASDAQ:
) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.67 on revenue of
$94.20 million, compared to last year's loss of $0.66 on revenue of
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:
) gained 3.59 percent in premarket trade after losing 3.91 percent
over the past five days. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:
) was up 0.42 percent in premarket trade after gaining 0.17 percent
on Tuesday. General Motors Co (NYSE:
) was down 1.82 percent in premarket trade after gaining 0.55
percent over the past five days. Verizon Communications (NYSE:
) fell 0.29 percent in premarket trade after choppy trading took
the stock up 0.96 percent over the past week.
Notable earnings releases expected on Wednesday include:
Progressive Corporation (NYSE:
) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.40 on revenue of
$4.62 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.42 on revenue of
$4.45 billion. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $1.61 on revenue of
$3.22 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.68 on revenue of
$3.40 billion. Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.76 on revenue of
$1.28 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.47 on revenue of
Trade balance data will make up the majority of Wednesday's
economic calendar with import and export data being released by
China, South Korea, Germany and the UK. Other notable economic
releases will include US oil inventory data and the Australian
For a recap of Tuesday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's #PreMarket Prep show with Dennis Dick and
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