Good morning. Here are the major stories you need to know on Tuesday.
AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Has Been Found. Indonesian officials have said they have found the wreckage of the flight that went missing early Sunday. More than 40 bodies have been recovered.
UK House Price Growth Is Slowing. Prices rose by 7.2% in December, according to Nationwide’s index. That’s the fourth month in which price growth has dipped, suggesting the recent market expansion is cooling.
Spain Has Deflation. Spanish deflation just took a turn for the worse, with prices down 1.1% in the year to December. That’s according to Spain’s harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP). It has been in negative territory since July in Spain, but this is the deepest dip so far.
Eurozone Lending Is Shrinking. Private lending is still shrinking in the eurozone, down 0.9% in the year to November. In Europe’s context, that’s actually an improvement. It’s the 28th month of contraction but marks the slowest shrinkage since April 2013.
Markets Are Down. After hitting record levels Monday, markets are pulling back a bit. US futures are in the red, with Dow futures down 29 points and S&P futures down 5 points. Europe is sliding, with Britain’s FTSE 100 down 0.9%, France’s CAC 40 down 0.7%, and Germany’s DAX isx down 0.7%. Japan’s Nikkei sank 1.5% at the close, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.1%.
US Oil Services Firm Civeo Got Smashed After Weak Guidance. In after-hours trade Monday, shares of Civeo were down 28% to about $US5.95 per share after the company announced it would suspend its quarterly dividend and slash capital expenses.
US Home Price Update. At 9 a.m. ET, we’ll get the Case-Shiller home price report. Economists estimate home prices climbed by 0.40% month-over-month in October, or 4.35% year-over-year. “Figures released by data provider CoreLogic suggest that home selling prices in the 20 major metropolitan areas covered by the S&P/Case-Shiller survey jumped by 1.1% in October — the largest increase in 12 months,” Societe Generale economists estimated.
US Confidence Check. At 10 a.m. ET, we’ll get the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index report. Economists estimate this measure of sentiment jumped to 93.9 in December from 88.7 in November. “The index fell to 88.7 last month after hitting a seven-year high of 94.5 in October,” Credit Suisse economists noted. “We forecast a December level of 93.0 given significant further declines in gasoline prices and generally positive news on job prospects. Possibly limiting the upside would be the recent financial market volatility sparked by negative news from abroad.”
Brazil’s Oil Giant Petrobras Is Looking Likely To Default. Petrobras could be declared in technical default on some of its foreign debt as early as Tuesday if bondholders pursue efforts to force it to speed up its assessment of losses in a giant corruption scandal. The push, led by the New York-based Aurelius Capital, applies to $US54 billion of Petrobras bonds governed by US law in New York state.
US Authorities Think North Korea Used People Outside The Country To Hack Sony. US investigators believe that North Korea most likely hired hackers from outside the country to help with last month’s massive cyberattack against Sony Pictures, an official close to the investigation said Monday.