Equity markets recovered and the demand for safety lessened
after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was only planning to
use military force in Ukraine as a last resort.
Putin defended his right to protect Russians living in Ukraine,
but said worries about an imminent military clash were unfounded.
On Tuesday, he recalled some of his troops from Western Russia
where they were performing military exercises near the Ukrainian
The situation between Russia and Ukraine remained heated;
however Putin's remarks helped calm markets and allowed investors
to turn back to the fundamentals and focus on the upcoming ECB
meeting on Thursday and US non-farm payrolls report due out on
In other news around the markets:
The relative calm between Democrats and Republicans in Washington
looked to be a thing of the past after the two sides clashed yet
again, this time over the Obama administration's latest budget
proposal. Republicans criticized the 2015 budget, saying it was
simply a campaign pitch for the approaching election year. At
November's elections, Democrats will be working to secure the
majority in the US Senate and avoid losing ground in the Republican
controlled House of Representatives. US payrolls data due out on
Friday is expected to show that US job growth increased in
February; but the rise was likely stifled by the nation's severe
winter weather. Economists see the report showing an increase of
150,000 workers, up from January's 113,000 rise. Chinese
policymakers kept their economic growth forecast for 2014 unchanged
from last year's target of 7.5 percent, but showed some concern as
to how they will reach it. This year, China may change its approach
to allow more lending in order to support growth and shift the
nation's focus to lowering unemployment and alleviating social
tension in the country. Data out on Wednesday showed that China's
services industry improved in February and confirmed previous
reports which showed services had picked up despite the nation's
manufacturing slowdown. The HSBC/Markit Services Purchasing
Managers' Index increased to 51.0 in February from 50.7 in January,
indicating that China's business activity may improve in 2014.
Asian markets rebounded with the dissipating risk in Ukraine.
The Japanese NIKKEI was up 1.20 percent, the South Korean KOSPI was
up 0.88 percent and Australia's ASX composite was up 0.85 percent.
However China's Shanghai composite lost 0.89 percent and the Hang
Seng index was down 0.34 percent.
European markets were shaky ahead of Thursday's ECB meeting. The
UK's FTSE was down 0.43 percent and the Eurozone's STOXX 600 lost
0.15 percent. The German DAX fell 0.20 percent and France's CAC 40
was down 0.26 percent.
Energy futures were moderately lower with Brent futures down
0.31 percent and WTI futures down 0.04 percent. Gold and silver
were down 1.18 percent and 1.09 percent respectively, while
industrial metals improved. Copper gained 1.50 percent and aluminum
was up 2.73 percent.
The euro lost ground as expectations that the ECB would ease
further grew. The common currency lost 0.23 percent against the
dollar while the pound gained 0.05 percent against the dollar. The
dollar was up 0.21 percent against the yen and lost 0.22 percent
against the Australian dollar.
Notable earnings released on Tuesday included:
AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:
) reported second quarter EPS of $5.63 on revenue of $2.00 billion,
compared to last year's EPS of $4.78 on revenue of $1.86 billion.
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) reported third quarter EPS of $0.30, compared to last year's EPS
of $0.56 on revenue of $434.44 million. Radioshack
) reported a fourth quarter loss of $1.29 per share on revenue of
$935.40 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.04 on revenue of
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Bank of America Corp (NYSE:
) gained 0.48 percent in premarket trade after rising 2.39 percent
over the past five days. Carnival Corp (NYSE:
) lost 1.03 percent in premarket trade after gaining 2.86 percent
on Tuesday. Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE:
) was down 0.34 percent in premarket trade after rising 1.25
percent on Tuesday.
Notable earnings releases expected on Wednesday include:
PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) is expected to report second quarter EPS of $1.12 on revenue of
$1.83 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.21 on revenue of
$1.88 billion. Brown Forman Corporation (NYSE:
) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.76 on revenue of
$1.08 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.73 on revenue of
$1.03 billion. MYR Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.40 on revenue of
$227.46 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.46 on revenue of
Wednesday's economic calendar will include Australian retail
sales, the US beige book, US crude oil inventories, US services PMI
and eurozone retail sales.
For a recap of Tuesday's market action, click .
Tune into Benzinga's pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and
© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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