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Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH17 +0.04%) are up +0.06% and European stocks are up +0.08% on strength in energy producing stocks. Chesapeake Energy and Haliburton are both up over 1.5% in pre-market trading on strength in crude oil prices. Apr WTI crude oil (CLJ17 +1.42%) is up +1.31% after the API late Wednesday reported that U.S. crude inventories fell -884,000 bbl last week. European bank stocks are higher as well, led by a 2% gain in Barclays Plc, after it reported that its common equity Tier 1 ratio, a measure of capital strength, rose to 12.4% from 11.6% at the end of Q3, higher than expectations of an increase to 11.8%. Gains in stocks were limited on concern the Fed may raise interest rates sooner than expected after the minutes of the Jan 31-Feb 1 FOMC meeting stated that Fed officials saw a rate increase "fairly soon" if the economy stays on track. Asian stocks settled mostly lower: Japan -0.04%, Hong Kong -0.36%, China -0.30%, Taiwan -0.10%, Australia -0.35%, Singapore +0.49%, South Korea +0.01%, India +0.10%.
The dollar index (DXY00-0.06%) is up +0.06%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.07%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.04%.
Mar 10-year T-note prices (ZNH17 +0.15%) are up +4.5 ticks.
ECB Executive Board member Praet said that underlying inflation "continues to remain very subdued and has yet to show clear signs of a more dynamic upward movement." He added that "the recovery in the Eurozone is firming," but still relies on a "substantial degree of accommodation."
U.S. STOCK PREVIEW
Key U.S. news today includes: (1) weekly initial unemployment claims (expected +1,000 to 240,000, previous +5,000 to 239,000) and continuing claims (expected -8,000 to 2.068 million, previous -3,000 to 2.076 million), (2) Jan Chicago Fed national activity index (expected -0.14 to 0.00, Dec +0.47 to 0.14), (3) Dec FHFA house price index (expected +0.5%, Nov +0.5% m/m), (4) Feb Kansas City Fed manufacturing activity index (expected unch at 9, Jan unch at 9), (5) Treasury auctions $28 billion of 7-year T-notes, (6) EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report, (7) USDA Jan Cold Storage.
Notable S&P 500 earnings reports today include: HP Enterprise (consensus $0.44), Kohl's (1.33), Gap (0.51), Nordstrom (1.15), Intuit (0.25), and others.
U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.
Equity conferences: CAGNY Investor Conference on Tue-Fri, Barclays Industrial Select Conference on Wed-Thu, RBC Capital Markets Health Care Conference on Wed-Thu, Cantor Fitzgerald Internet & Technology Services Conference on Thu.
OVERNIGHT U.S. STOCK MOVERS
Home Depot (HD +0.16%) was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Equalweight' at Morgan Stanley with a price target of $165.
NVIDIA (NVDA-0.28%) fell 3% in after-hours trading after it was downgraded to 'Reduce' from 'Buy' at Nomura Instinet.
Square (SQ +2.80%) climbed 6% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 5 cents, above consensus of 3 cents.
Jack in the Box (JACK-3.51%) dropped nearly 10% in after-hours trading after it reported Q1 adjusted operating EPS of $1.18, weaker than consensus of $1.24, and said it sees full-year operating EPS of $4.25-$4.45, below consensus of $4.71.
Ctrip.com International Ltd (CTRP +1.13%) gained over 1% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 profit per ADS of 17 cents, above consensus of 15 cents.
L Brands (LB +0.75%) plunged 12% in after-hours trading after it said it sees Q1 EPS of 20 cents-25 cents, weaker than consensus of 49 cents, and then lowered guidance on full-year EPS to $3.05-$3.35, weaker than consensus of $3.69.
CoStar Group (CSGP-0.64%) fell over 5% in after-hours trading after it said it sees Q1 adjusted EPS of 92 cents-97 cents, weaker than consensus of $1.13, and lowered guidance on full-year adjusted EPS to $4.18-$4.28, below consensus of $4.95.
Boston Beer Co. (SAM-1.13%) declined 7% in after-hours trading after it said it sees full-year EPS of $4.20 to $6.20, below consensus of $6.44.
ARRIS International PLC (ARRS +2.50%) tumbled over 8% in after-hours trading after it said it will buy Brocade's Ruckus Wireless and ICX units for $800 million.
Tessera Holding (TSRA unch) sank nearly 9% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 45 cents, well below consensus of 58 cents, and said it sees Q1 revenue of $60 million-$63 million, less than consensus of $72.9 million.
AxoGen (AXGN-0.94%) lost 3% in after-hours trading after it reported a Q4 adjusted loss per share of -10 cents, wider than consensus of -9 cents.
Ultra Clean Holdings (UCTT +1.62%) surged over 10% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $174.5 million, better than consensus of $173 million, and then said it expects Q1 revenue of $190 million-$197 million, above consensus of $168.3 million.
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (BLCM-4.48%) climbed nearly 5% in after-hours trading after it said updated results from a BP-004 trial of its BPX-501 and rimiducid show "consistent, durable outcomes" at 6 and 12 months with rapid immune recovery in patients with inherited blood disorders and hematological cancers and "very low" incidence of graft-versus-host disease.
Endologix (ELGX +0.62%) dropped nearly 6% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $47.5 million, less than consensus of $48.7 million.
Foundation Medicine (FMI-2.45%) fell 5% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $28.8 million, below consensus of $29.2 million.
Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH17 +0.04%) this morning are up +1.50 ponts (+0.06%). Wednesday's closes: S&P 500 -0.11%, Dow Jones +0.16%, Nasdaq +0.03%. The S&P 500 on Wednesday closed slightly lower on the Jan 31-Feb 1 FOMC meeting minutes that said policy makers saw a Fed rate hike "fairly soon." There was also weakness in energy producing stocks as the price of crude oil fell -0.85%. A supportive factor was the +3.5% rise in U.S. Jan existing home sales to a 9-3/4 year high of 5.69 million.
Mar 10-year T-notes (ZNH17 +0.15%) this morning are up +4.5 ticks. Wednesday's closes: TYH7 +2.00, FVH7 +1.00. Mar 10-year T-notes on Wednesday rose to a 1-week high and closed higher on carry-over support from a rally in German bunds to a 1-1/2 month high on increased safe-haven demand due to political risks in France. T-notes were also boosted by the -0.85% slide in crude oil prices, which reduced inflation expectations. T-note prices were undercut by the larger-than-expected increase in U.S. Jan existing home sale to their highest in 9-3/4 years, and by weak demand for the Treasury's $34 billion 5-year T-note auction that had a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.29, weaker than the 12-auction average of 2.45 and the lowest in 7 months.
The dollar index (DXY00-0.06%) this morning is up +0.06 (+0.06%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0007 (-0.07%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.04 (-0.04%). Wednesday's closes: Dollar index -0.15 (-0.15%), EUR/USD +0.0022 (+0.21%), USD/JPY -0.37 (-0.33%). The dollar index on Wednesday closed lower on a recovery in EUR/USD which rebounded from a 5-week low and moved higher on reduced French presidential election concerns after candidate Bayrou dropped out of the race and said he will back candidate Macron, which improves Macron's chances that he will beat Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election. The dollar was supported by the larger-than-expected increase in U.S. Jan existing home sales and by the minutes of the Jan 31-Feb 1 FOMC meeting that said that many FOMC members supported a Fed rate hike "fairly soon."
Apr WTI crude oil (CLJ17 +1.42%) prices this morning are up +70 cents (+1.31%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ17 +0.97%) is up +0.0148 (+0.85%). Wednesday's closes: Apr crude -0.46 (-0.85%), Apr gasoline +0.0109 (+0.63%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Wednesday settled mixed. Crude oil prices were boosted by a weaker dollar and the jump in the crack spread to a 3-1/2 month high, which may boost crude demand from refineries to refine crude into gasoline. Crude oil closed lower on expectations for Thursday's weekly EIA crude inventories to climb +3.5 million bbl to another record high.
GLOBAL EVENT CALENDAR02/23/2017
Thursday, Feb 23
Weekly initial unemployment claims expected +1,000 to 240,000, previous +5,000 to 239,000. Weekly continuing claims expected -11,000 to 2.065 million, previous -3,000 to 2.076 million.
Jan Chicago Fed national activity index expected -0.17 to -0.03, Dec +0.47 to 0.14.
Dec FHFA house price index expected +0.5%, Nov +0.5% m/m. Q4 house price purchase index expected +0.4% q/q, Q3 +1.5% q/q.
Feb Kansas City Fed manufacturing activity expected unch at 9, Jan unch at 9.
EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
Treasury auctions $28 billion of 7-year T-notes.
USDA Jan Cold Storage.
Friday, Feb 24
USDA weekly Export Sales.
Jan new home sales expected +6.5% to 571,000, Dec -10.4% to 536,000.
Revised-Feb University of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment expected +0.3 to 96.0, prelim-Feb -2.8 to 95.7.