It’s too early to be freaking out. But some PMI data could’ve been better.
First, the scoreboard:
Dow: 12,938.6, -27.0, -0.2%
S&P 500: 1,357.6, -4.5, -0.3%
NASDAQ: 2,933.1, -15.4, -0.5%
And now, the top stories:
- For once, we’re not talking about Greece. But some new global economic data appears to have the markets rattled. During the Asian trading session, we learned that China’s HSBC Flash manufacturing PMI number climbed to 49.7, up from 48.8 in January. However, this was also the fourth straight reading below 50, and a reading below 50 signals contraction.
- The eurozone manufacturing PMI number inched up to just 49.5 from 48.8 a month ago. This fell short of economists’ expectation for 49.5. Particularly worrisome was Germany, the largest and arguably most financially stable country in the eurozone, which reported a PMI reading of 50.1 versus expectations of 51.5.
- Actually, there was some news related to Greece. Fitch lowered Greece’s credit rating to C from CCC, putting it deeper into junk territory. “[D]efault is highly likely in the near term,” wrote the credit ratings agency. However, this surprised no one and seemed to be brushed off as a non-event.
- Existing home sales jumped 4.3 per cent to 4.57 million in January. The increase outpaced economists’ expectations for 1.1 per cent growth. However, due to sharp downward revisions to the December data, the annualized pace of home sales fell short of the expectation for 4.66 million. Here Are The Best And Worst Economists Of 2011 >
- In other housing news, luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers unexpectedly reported a net loss of 2 cents per share. Competitor KB Home also fell.
- Today’s modest sell-off also benefited Treasuries and the dollar. The 10-year yield declined to 2.01 per cent. The ascent of the dollar was mirrored by the descent of the euro
- Last night, Dell disappointed its shareholders when it announced its Q4 financial results. Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.51, missing analysts’ estimates by a penny. Management blamed supply disruptions tied to the tragic floods in Thailand. They also expect Q1 revenue to fall 7 per cent.
- Hewlett-Packard announces quarterly earnings after the closing bell today. Follow the release live on Business Insider.
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