Ransomware, Fed And Oil In Focus
Yesterday, firms from across the globe rushed to stop the spread of another ransomware cyber-attack which this time originated in the Ukraine. One company that has been impacted by the virus is the world's biggest containership operator, A.P. Moller-Maersk, who has not been able to load or unload cargo since being impacted. The hackers are demanding $300 in bitcoin, and will double the ransom if it is not paid within 72 hours or A.P.'s computers will be permanently locked.
Towards the close of the bell yesterday, equities saw a pullback due to comments made by Fed President Janet Yellen, and other Fed officials; they commented that equity and other asset markets have risen over the past several weeks . Specifically, Yellen stated that valuations were, " somewhat rich if you use some traditional metrics like price earnings ratios ." These comments encouraged the arguments for further rate hikes, and caused the Asian and European markets to decline overnight.
Before the opening bell, crude oil prices fell after the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude oil supplies unexpectedly rose by 851,000 barrels last week. This report runs contrary to the expected report due out later today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA); traders were looking for another decline in production. If the EIA's data shows an uptick in U.S. production it would be a strong indicator that the OPEC cuts are not working to decrease the world's total supply and cause the commodity to drop even further.
Lastly, agricultural giant MonsantoMON reported earnings this morning where they easily beat both the Zacks consensus earnings and revenue estimates. Further, management commented that they now expect fiscal 2017 EPS guidance to be on the high end of their previously guided range of $4.50-$4.90 per share.
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