US stocks ended mixed after Wednesday’s session. The S&P 500 inched lower 0.1% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1% to close at record high for the third time this year. Apple shares, which had gained 21 percent since the start of the year, fell 2.6 percent as investors took profits. Hewlett Packard shares fell 10% as the company missed the first quarter revenue target and cut its 2015 outlook citing the negative impact of stronger dollar. Yellen’s testimony on Wednesday confirmed that the Fed is in no harry to hike interest rates. The ICE US Dollar Index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six currencies, slid 0.3%. Data released the previous day showed US new home sales in January fell much less than expected. Today at 14:30 CET the January Durable Goods Orders, inflation data as well as Initial Jobless Claims for the week ended February 21 and Continuing Claims for the week ended February 14 will be released in US. The indicator forecasts are mixed. While the CPI is expected to fall reflecting the influence of lower energy costs, the durable goods orders are expected to rise after an unexpected decline previous month. The initial claims are expected to rise to 290 thousand from the previous week’s 283 thousand. And at 15:00 CET the House Price Index will be published. The tentative outlook is negative.
European stocks retreated on Wednesday snapping a six session winning streak as investors weighed mixed corporate reports.The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.1%, with the energy, basic materials and consumer goods sectors all finishing in negative territory. So far in the earnings season, 63 percent of STOXX 600 companies have reported corporate earnings, of which 55 percent have met or beaten profit forecasts. France’s CAC 40 and UK’s FTSE 100 fell 0.1% and 0.2% respectively, while Germany’s DAX 30 gained 4.5 points, marking its 17the record closing of 2015. Euro traded higher against dollar. Today at 09:55 German Unemployment Change and Unemployment Rate will be published. The tentative outlook is positive for euro. At 10:30 CET the fourth quarter GDP preliminary estimate will be released in UK by the Office of National Statistics, the tentative outlook is neutral.
Nikkei is rising today as investors’ risk appetite improved after Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony indicated the Fed is not ready to raise interest rates just yet. Market sentiment was also helped by the news that the Federation of National Public Service Personnel Mutual Aid Associations, which manages Japan's national civil service pensions, will raise its target allocation for domestic stocks to 25 percent from 8 percent.
Coffee prices fell after rains in Brazil improved crop prospects in the world’s biggest producer and exporter. According to a report by Volcafe, the coffee unit of commodity trader ED&F Man, Brazilian output will rise to 49.5 million bags this year from 47 million bags in 2014. A bag weighs 60 kilograms.