Wall Street Looks To Pause After 2-day Rally

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - Caution is writ large on Wall Street after 2-days of upside amid the release of mixed earnings and economic data. The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Monday. Asian stocks closed mixed earlier in the global trading day, while the European averages have pared their gains, although they are holding above the unchanged line. With little corporate and economic news to sway the markets ahead of a flurry of Fed speeches scheduled to begin tomorrow, including Congressional testimony by the new Fed Chair Janet Yellen, the markets may go about in a directionless manner.

At 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are slipping 39 points, the S&P 500 futures are receding 5 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are moving down 4 points.

U.S. stocks ended a roller coaster week ended February 7th on an upbeat note, as traders digested mixed batch of earnings and economic data.

Several Fed speeches and a few consumer data along with the jobs and manufacturing data could dictate proceedings in the market in the unfolding week. Traders may closely focus on the Commerce Department's retail sales report for January, the Federal Reserve's industrial production report for January, preliminary consumer sentiment report compiled by Reuters and the University of Michigan and the regularly scheduled jobless claims data.

Fed speeches scheduled for the week, including the ones by new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, may also have material impact on the markets. The Commerce Department's wholesale inventories and business inventories reports, both for December, the Treasury Budget, the Labor Department's report on import and export prices for January and announcements concerning the treasury auctions of 3-year and 10-year notes and 30-year bonds round up the economic events of the week.

In corporate news, Sohu.com (SOHU) reported fourth quarter non-GAAP earnings of 12 cents per ADS on revenues of $385 million, up 29 percent year-over-year. The earnings were ahead of estimates, while the revenues trailed expectations. For the first quarter, the company expects a loss of $1.10 to $1.20 per ADS on a non-GAAP basis on revenues of $355 million to $367 million.

Boeing ( BA ) said it forecasts that new airplane demand in the Asia-Pacific region will be around 12,820 airplanes, valued at $1.9 trillion, over the next 20 years. This would represent 36 percent of the world's new airplane deliveries over the next 20 years.

Synopsys (SNPS) announced that it has completed acquisition of Target Compiler Technologies, a provider of IP and services used to accelerate innovation in chips and electronic systems. The company did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Fitch Ratings affirmed KLA-Tencor's ratings at 'BBB' and has its rating outlook for the company at stable. Fitch noted that its rating and outlook incorporate headroom for acquisitions and more aggressive share repurchases with expectations the company will maintain cash balances of $1 billion or more.

Amkor ( AMKR ), Owens & Minor ( OMI ), Pioneer Natural Resources ( PXD ) and Waste Connections (WCN) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the close of trading.

The Asian markets ended mixed, with the positive close by Wall Street stocks last Friday serving to infuse some risk appetite into the markets even as the underlying mood remained cautious.

The Japanese market advanced notably, as the yen's weakness supported export stocks. The Nikkei 225 average opened higher and moved sideways in the morning. After advancing steadily in the afternoon, the index closed up 255.93 points or 1.77 percent at 14,718.

Australia's All Ordinaries hovered in positive territory throughout the session before ending up 52 points or 1 percent at 5,237. The markets witnessed broad based strength, with financial and material stocks seeing notable strength. A majority of stocks advanced, with Olympus, Ebara, Softbank, Isuzu Motors, Dentsu and Yahoo Japan among the best performers of the session.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed at 21,579, down 57.59 points or 0.27 percent, but China's Shanghai Composite closed 41.57 points or 2.03 percent higher at 2,086, after the Chinese central bank reiterated its commitment to stable monetary policy for ensuring appropriate liquidity.

On the economic front, Japan'sMinistry of Finance reported that Japan's trade deficit widened to 638.6 billion yen in December from 592.8 billion yen in November. Economists expected a wider deficit of 685.4 billion yen. A Cabinet Office report showed that confidence among Japanese households worsened for a second straight month in January, with the consumer confidence index slipping 0.8 points to 40.5. Separately, the Bank of Japan reported that bank lending in Japan rose 2.5 percent year-over-year in January following a 2.6 percent increase in December.

European stocks have opened higher and are holding above the unchanged line amid light domestic trading news both on the corporate and economics front.

On the economic front, French statistical office INSEE reported that French industrial production rose 0.5 percent year-over-year in December following 1.7 percent growth in November. On a monthly basis, output was down 0.3 percent. Economists estimated a 1 percent annual increase and a 0.2 percent month-over-month gain. The German Federal Statistical Office reported that German manufacturing turnover fell 1.5 percent month-over-month in December, reversing some of the 2.4 percent increase in November.

Eurozone investor confidence improved unexpectedly in February, a monthly survey by think tank Sentix showed. The headline index rose 1.4 points to 13.3 points, mainly driven by buoyant current assessment.

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: AMKR , BA , KLAC , OMI , PXD

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