Last updated: 11:43AM EST
Equity markets are in the red so far into today’s trading session as investors remain jittery over the financial sector. As of 11:43 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the S&P 500 (SPX), and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) are down 1.6%, 1.4%, and 0.5%, respectively.
It certainly didn’t help that Credit Suisse plunged to a record low after its biggest backer said it could not provide any more help. Financial stocks continue to take a beating, with the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) down over 3% at the time of writing.
The recent banking scare comes at a time when inflation is still high, causing investors to worry that help from the Federal Reserve may be limited as it might need to continue raising interest rates.
Last updated: 9:35AM EST
Stocks opened on a sour note today, ‘with the Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are down 0.6%, 1.4%, and 1.3%, respectively, at 9:35 a.m. EST, March 15.
The PPI index published today indicated that PPI cooled down unexpectedly, declining month-over-month by 0.1% in February versus economists’ expectations of a month-over-month rise of 0.3%. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index was up 4.6% year-over-year in February. but lower than forecasts of an increase of 5.4%.
However, in a piece of disappointing news, the New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index, a gauge of manufacturing activity in the state slid 18.8 points to negative 24.6 in March, more than economists’ expectations of a negative 5 and indicating a significant contraction in manufacturing activity. When the index falls below zero and into negative territory, it indicates a significant contraction. This is the fourth straight negative reading for the index.
The retail sales data indicated that sales dipped in February by 0.4% month-over-month, more than consensus expectations of a decline of 0.3% and a rise in sales of 3% in January. However, on a year-over-year basis, retail sales continued to climb by 5.4% in February.
Futures on the Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are down 1.64%, 2%, and 1.97%, respectively, at 9:00 a.m. EST, March 15.
First published: 6:39AM EST
U.S. futures are trending in negative territory on Wednesday, despite the easing of fears of a widespread banking debacle and in-line CPI numbers. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 (NDX), S&P 500 (SPX), and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are down 0.60%, 0.68%, and 0.71%, respectively, at 5:00 a.m. EST, March 15.
Notably, the consumer price index (CPI) numbers came in as expected, boosting equity stocks higher in the trading session yesterday. The CPI for February grew 0.4% over the prior month, while the index grew 6% over the past year, slowing from the 6.4% increase witnessed in the year through January.
Other important economic data sets scheduled for release this week include the producer price index (PPI), retail sales, and consumer sentiment numbers. The ongoing Federal Reserve Blackout period will end on March 23, 2023, after the decision on the interest rate hike has been announced. Federal officials generally do not make any public comments during this period. Markets could swing either way on the monetary policy release as mixed signals from the strong labor market and the latest signs of cooling inflation have divided expectations.
Meanwhile, European indices are trading in negative territory today, after Credit Suisse Group AG (DE:CSX) (NYSE:CS) disclosed the presence of “material weakness” in financial reporting in its 2022 annual report. The CS stock was down over 21% in pre-market trading at the last check.
Asia-Pacific Markets End in the Green
Asia-Pacific markets breathed a sigh of relief as U.S. counterparts rallied yesterday on signs of limited damage from the SIVB and Signature Bank collapse.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, China’s Shanghai Composite, and Shenzhen Component indices ended the day in the green, up 1.52%, 0.55%, and 0.30%, respectively. The Chinese authorities kept a key lending rate unchanged at 2.75%. Also, China’s retail sales rose as much as expected, with rising housing sales providing much-needed relief.
Similarly, Japan’s Nikkei and Topix indices ended the day up 0.02% and 0.65%, respectively, on optimism from U.S. bank stocks’ rebound yesterday.
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