Good morning! Here are all the major stories you should know about in markets today.
Paris Shooting Suspects At Large. Police are on the hunt for brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi for their alleged involvement in the terrorist attack at French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. A third suspect, Hamyd Mourad, turned himself over to police Wednesday. Twelve people were killed in Wednesday’s shooting.
Markets Are Surging. We’re seeing green across the board. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 is up 1.5%, France’s CAC 40 is up 2.0%, and Germany’s DAX is up 1.5%. Asia closed up with Japan’s Nikkei climbing 1.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rising 0.6%. In the US Dow futures are up 166 points and S&P futures are up 18 points.
Two US Economic Reports Are Coming. At 8:30 a.m. ET, we’ll get the latest weekly tally of initial unemployment claims; economists are expecting 290,000, down from 298,000 a week ago. At 3:00 p.m. ET, we’ll get the consumer credit balances report; economists estimate balances increased by $US15.0 billion.
The Bank Of England Keeps Rates Unchanged. That’s the 70th month in a row that the Bank of England’s main rate has been at 0.5%, since early 2009.
German Factory Orders Saw A Big Miss. Orders were down 2.4% in the month to November, and 0.4% compared to the same month last year. That was much lower than expectations for a small rise.
European Retail Sales Get A Nice Christmas Boost. Eurozone retail sales rose 0.6% in November, beating analyst expectations for a 0.2% gain. “This adds support to our expectation that consumer spending in the Eurozone is on track to stabilise at a modestly positive level this year,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Claus Vistesen said. “Based on the available data from October and November, retail sales are up 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q4 pointing to another quarter of positive spending growth.”
Eurozone Sentiment Isn’t Getting Better Or Worse. The European Commission’s economic sentiment index was unchanged at 100.7 in December, which was a bit lower than the 101.2 expected by economists. “The loss of momentum in the main EC confidence index is disappointing news in the context of overall improvement in most other sentiment data,” Pantheon’s Vistesen wrote. “We also note that economic sentiment dropped sharply in Greece, which will have weighed on the overall headline index despite the economy’s small size. Economic sentiment was unchanged in Germany, rose slightly in Spain and Italy, but fell in France.”
Samsung Profits Are Way Off. Samsung Electronics on Thursday said its fourth-quarter profit likely fell 37.4%, confirming expectations for its first year of profit decline since 2011 as it struggles to retain its crown as global smartphone leader.
Standard Chartered May Shut Down Its Equities Business. Standard Chartered is closing its cash equities and equities underwriting businesses, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday, exiting a division that had struggled for profitability since the bank re-entered the segment in 2010.
Chinese Companies Are Already Making Fake Apple Watches. Apple hasn’t even announced when the watch will go on sale, but copycat models are being displayed at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. Chinese clones look like they’re going to beat Apple to market.