Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties in order to
annex Crimea on Tuesday in Moscow's first step to begin the process
of absorbing the small peninsula.
The treaty was drawn up after Putin delivered an impassioned
speech about Russia's past and caused many to worry about the
future of the region.
Although Putin has promised that Moscow has no further plans to
hone in on Ukrainian territory, some think the recent death of a
Ukrainian soldier in Crimea may be the beginning of further
In other news around the markets:
General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra claims she wasn't
aware of the company's defective cars until almost 13 years after
the problem was discovered. Barra publicly apologized for the
loss of 12 lives linked to the faulty ignition switch and created a
new vehicle safety chief position to prevent another oversight.
Reuters reported that a source close to the investigation of the
missing Malaysia Airlines jet says the plane is likely somewhere in
the southern Indian Ocean. Officials are narrowing their search to
that region and working on the assumption that someone with vast
technical knowledge of the plane's navigation and communication
systems interfered with the flight plan. Weaker than expected
Japanese export growth has the nation's central bankers worried
about the upcoming sales tax hike. Exports rose by 9.8 percent in
February, far below the 12.4 percent gain which was expected. Bank
of Japan board member Takahide Kiuchi said that lackluster export
data and weakening consumer spending will likely continue, but that
policy easing would not help the economy in the long term. Iranian
officials and a group of world powers met for their second day of
nuclear talks in Vienna on Wednesday. The group, which includes
Russia, has said the tension between the West and Moscow has not
had an effect on their progress in resolving the dispute over
Tehran's nuclear development program.
Asian markets were mostly lower with the exception of the
Japanese NIKKEI, which gained 0.36 percent. China's Shanghai
composite was down 0.17 percent, the Shenzhen composite lost 0.50
percent, the South Korean KOSPI fell 0.13 percent and the Hang Seng
index lost 0.07 percent.
Europe's markets were mixed on Wednesday; the UK's FTSE lost
0.12 percent, but the eurozone's STOXX 600 gained 0.03 percent. The
German DAX was up 0.33 percent, France's CAC 40 lost 0.09 percent
and Italy's MIB was down 0.35 percent.
Energy futures were lower on increasing supply and waning global
demand; Brent futures lost 0.44 percent and WTI futures were down
0.06 percent. Gold and silver lost 0.81 percent and 2.66
percent respectively; but industrial metals were mostly higher with
tin up 0.81 percent and aluminum up 0.67 percent.
The euro held onto its strength at $1.3916 and the pound rose
0.17 percent against the dollar. The dollar gained 0.14 percent
against the yen and lost 0.19 percent against the Australian
Notable earnings released on Tuesday included:
DSW Inc. (NYSE:
) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.30 on revenue of $572.30
million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.35 on revenue of $594.25
million. Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:
) reported third quarter EPS of $0.68 on revenue of $9.31 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.65 on revenue of $8.97 billion.
Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:
) reported fourth quarter EPS of $0.30 on revenue of $1.00 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $0.35 on revenue of $1.01 billion.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Peabody Energy Corp (NYSE:
) gained 5.04 percent in premarket trade after rising 0.83 percent
on Tuesday. Transocean Ltd (NYSE:
) was up 1.17 percent in premarket trade after falling 3.92 percent
over the past five days. Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:
) rose 1.13 percent in premarket trade after losing 1.51 percent
over the past week. Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:
) was down 0.67 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.94
percent on Tuesday.
Notable earnings releases expected on Wednesday include:
FedEx Corporation (NYSE:
) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $1.54 on revenue of
$11.46 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.23 on revenue of
$10.95 billion. General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:
) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.68 on revenue of
$4.46 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.64 on revenue of
$4.43 billion. Jabil Circuit, Inc. (NYSE:
) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $0.11 on revenue of
$3.62 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.53 on revenue of
The results of the US Federal Reserve policy meeting will be top
news on Wednesday's economic calendar as investors look for clues
about the nation's economic health as well as insight into the
bank's future policy plans. Other notable economic releases include
New Zealand's GDP, US oil inventory data, US current account,
and the British unemployment rate.
For a recap of Tuesday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and
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