It’s the final day of trading on a week when the market was focused on the Fed. Ahead of the opening bell, here is what you need to know.
Greece will present its creditors with a new list of reforms. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has agreed to submit a new list of reforms in short order to receive the bailout funds necessary to prevent a default. A statement released by the finance ministers from the region suggested the group “stands ready to reconvene as soon as possible.” Greece’s 3-year yield is lower by 70 basis points at 22.65%.
EU economic sanctions on Russia will only be lifted after a full Ukrainian peace accord. European Council President Donald Tusk stated, “The duration of economic sanctions will be clearly linked to the full implementation of the Minsk agreement.” He continued, “We have to maintain our sanctions until the Minsk agreement is fully implemented.” Sanctions are supposed to officially end in July, but are likely to last throughout 2015 because the Minsk agreement sets deadlines for year-end. Russia’s ruble is down 0.9% at 60.60.
More countries are showing support for China’s development bank. Australia and Japan were the latest governments to voice support for
the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) despite the disapproval of the United States. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggested there was ‘a lot of merit’ in the idea while Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso stated, “We have been asking to ensure debt sustainability taking into account its impact on environment and society.” Mr. Aso continued, “We could (consider to participate) if these issues are guaranteed. There could be a chance that we would go inside and discuss. But so far we have not heard any responses.” Neither country has yet to officially sign on.
BNY Mellon will pay $US714 million to settle foreign exchange probe. The settlement concludes a lawsuit filed in 2011, which accused Bank of New York Mellon of providing clients with almost the worst possible exchange rate each day despite promises they would receive the best. The bank then took the best rate for itself and profited from the spread between the two. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman noted, “Investors count on financial institutions to tell them the truth about how their investments are being managed.” He continued, “But Bank of New York Mellon misled customers and traded at their expense.”
Nike revenues were hurt by the strong dollar. The athletic footwear giant reported revenues jumped 7% year-over-year to $US7.5 billion, slightly missing the $US7.6 billion that was expected. However, revenues would have been up 13% if not for the headwinds produced by the strong US dollar. As for earnings, Nike reported a gain of $US0.89 per share, topping the $US0.84 that analyst were expecting.
Tiffany & Co. missed analyst expectations. The luxury retailer posted earnings of $US1.47 per share, missing the $US1.51 that analysts were expecting. Revenues came in at $US1.29 billion, just short of the $US1.30 billion that analysts were hoping for. The company sees worldwide net sales increasing by a mid-single-digit percentage vs the prior guidance of low-to-mid single-digits.
Darden Restaurants topped estimates. The restaurant giant announced earnings of $US0.99 per share ex-items, far above the $US0.84 that analysts were expecting. Revenues rose 6.9% year-over-year to $US1.73 billion, outpacing the $US1.72 billion estimate. The company guided fourth quarter earnings per share between $US0.91 and $US0.94, topping the $US0.89 the Street was looking for.
Today is a quadruple witching day. Index futures, stock index options, stock options, and single stock futures all expire on Friday as approach the end of the first quarter.
Global stock markets are higher. China’s Shanghai Composite (+1.4%) led the charge in Asia while Germany’s DAX (+0.8%) paces the advance in Europe.
The economic data calendar is light. The Baker Hughes rig count is due out at 1 pm ET with existing home sales set for release at 10 am ET. The US 10-year yield is little changed near 1.97%.
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