Here is what you need to know.
Germany has approved an extension of the Greek bailout. The Bundestag voted 542-32 in favour of extending the Greek bailout until July.
Russia and Ukraine have scheduled gas talks. The two sides are scheduled to meet in Brussels, Belgium on March 2 to discuss the Russia’s gas supply to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the fragile cease-fire in Eastern Ukraine continues to hold.
Turkey’s central bank head will stay on the job. Overnight, rumours were swirling the Governor Erdem Basci would be relieved of his duties for not making a larger rate cut than the 25bps at Wednesday’s meeting. Turkey’s lira touched a record low of worse than 2.52 against the dollar before paring its losses. Currently, the lira is X at X.
Japanese data was mostly disappointing. Household spending tumbled -5.1% year-over-year (-4.0% YoY expected) and retail sales sank 2.0% YoY (-1.2% YoY expected). Meanwhile, the national consumer price index (CPI) climbed a cooler than expected 2.2% YoY (2.4% YoY expected) and the closely followed Tokyo Core CPI was in-line at 2.2% YoY. Preliminary industrial production was the only positive, surging 4.0% month-over-month (2.9% mum expected).
Euro zone inflation is hotter than expected. Spanish Flash CPI fell 1.1% YoY, but that was above the -1.5% YoY that was expected. Elsewhere, Italian Preliminary CPI jumped 0.3% mum, outpacing the 0.2% mum that was anticipated. German Preliminary CPI is due out later today.
Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders will be released Saturday. Saturday’s release marks the 50th anniversary of the letter.
Puerto Rican energy supplier Prepa is expected to miss its debt restructuring deadline. The company is likely to miss its Monday deadline to outline a debt restructuring plan for its $US9 billion shortfall. Negotiations are likely to continue past the deadline without a default being declared.
J.C. Penney missed estimates. The troubled retailer posted earnings of $US0.00 per share against expectations of $US0.11 per share. Revenues climbed 2.9% YoY to $US3.89 billion, topping the $US3.87 billion that was expected. “I am extremely proud of all that has been accomplished to restore this great company,” J.C. Penney CEO Mike Ullman added.
Overseas markets are mixed. Japan’s Nikkei (+0.1%) hit at 15-year high before settling little changed, but it was China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.4%) that led Asian markets higher. In Europe, Spain’s IBEX (-0.3%) paces the decline.
US economic data is heavy. Preliminary GDP is due out at 8:30 a.m. ET; Chicago PMI crosses the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET; and pending home sales and Michigan Sentiment – Final are scheduled for 10 a.m. ET. Read Business Insider’s preview of the data in the Monday Scouting Report.