Monday, March 10, 2014

Today's Headlines

  • Ukraine Starts Military Exercises as Russia Warns on East. Ukraine began military drills as Russian forces tightened their hold on the Crimean peninsula and the Foreign Ministry in Moscow warned of “lawlessness” in the former Soviet republic’s eastern provinces. Ukraine’s armed forces are testing the combat-readiness of troops, the Defense Ministry said today on its website, reiterating the government’s desire for a peaceful end to the standoff in Crimea. Russia, which has vowed to defend the ethnic Russians that dominate Crimea after an uprising in Kiev, accused Ukraine of ignoring radicals in the nation’s east.
  • China’s CSI 300 Sinks to 5-Year Low as Export Slump Weakens Yuan. China’s CSI 300 Index (SHSZ300) plunged to the lowest level in five years and the yuan weakened as an unexpected drop in exports spurred concern that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing. The index of the largest Chinese stocks slid 3.3 percent to 2,097.79 at the close, the lowest since February 2009, while the Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 2.9 percent, the most since June. The yuan fell 0.2 percent to 6.1385 per dollar. Money-market rates slumped to a 21-month low amid speculation demand for cash is diminishing as economic growth weakens. 
  • European Stocks Drop on Ukraine Concern as Miners Slump. European stocks declined, following their first weekly drop since January, on rising tensions over Ukraine’s Crimea region and after an unexpected slump in Chinese exports triggered a selloff in mining stocks. Aurubis AG and Fresnillo Plc lost more than 3.4 percent each as commodity producers fell. Iliad SA surged to its highest price since its 2004 initial public offering after Bouygues SA said it is in talks to sell some of its mobile-phone assets to the operator of the Free brand. Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc rose 1.7 percent after Daimler AG said it will sell a 50 percent stake in an engine joint venture to the British company. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.5 percent to 331.4 at the close of trading in London.
  • Copper Futures Set for Biggest Two-Day Loss Since 2011. Copper prices, which reached an eight-month low today, headed for the biggest two-session loss since 2011 on demand concerns amid signs of slowing economic growth from France to China, the world’s biggest consumer. French industrial production unexpectedly dropped for a second month in January and business confidence declined, separate reports showed today. In China, exports slid in February by the most since 2009, according to government data released March 8. Copper stockpiles tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed for eight straight weeks, the longest stretch since Feb. 2012. Futures slumped 11 percent this year, the most among 34 commodities tracked by Bloomberg.
  • McDonald’s(MCD) Sales Hurt by Fourth-Straight U.S. Drop. McDonald’s Corp. (MCD), the world’s largest restaurant chain, said sales at stores open at least 13 months fell 0.3 percent in February as its U.S. business slumped for the fourth straight month amid harsh weather. Analysts estimated a 0.1 percent decline, the average of 15 projections from Consensus Metrix. Domestic same-store sales slid 1.4 percent, Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s said in a statement today, while analysts anticipated a drop of 0.6 percent in the U.S.
Wall Street Journal:  
  • Small Caps Flash Pricey Warning. Small-cap stocks come with big price tags these days. The Russell 2000 index of small-capitalization stocks has surged 251% off the March 2009 bear-market bottom, far outpacing the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite. Over the past 30 years, there have been 40 weeks (or 2.5% of the time) in which the Russell has traded at least 40% above its 200-week moving average, Mr. Krinsky says. Six of those weeks have taken place over the past three months. But in 32 of the 34 other occurrences, the Russell traded down over the next three months, averaging a 7% drop.
Fox News:
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