Markets are in the red early in the European trading session.
Britain’s FTSE 100 is down
France’s CAC 40 is down
Germany’s DAX is down
Spain’s IBEX is down
Italy’s FTSE MIB is down
This follows a sell-off in Asia where Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.79%.
In mega-merger news, Comcast is expected to announce its intention to acquire Time Warner Cable, reports CNBC’s David Faber.
Later today, we’ll get the latest weekly tally of U.S. initial unemployment insurance claims and monthly tally of retail sales.
Economists estimate retail sales were flat in January. Excluding autos and gas, sales are estimated to have climbed 0.2%.
“Consumer spending appears to have been significantly disrupted by harsh weather late in January,” said Morgan Stanley’s Ted Wieseman. “Mid-month industry survey pointed to a good gain in auto sales in January, but instead they fell slightly, with most of the major companies blaming weather late in the month and remaining optimistic about underlying trends. Early month indications for ex auto sales were also better, but then our AlphaWise team picked up late month weakness that was probably also weather related. So we look for soft overall and ex auto sales in January, but if weather really was to blame, there should be a good rebound once recent weather extremes in much of the country are past.”