Here Are The Key Market Moving Events For Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jobs Initial Claims Resume Job Seeker Employment UnemployedEmployment seekers attend the ‘JobExpo’ employment fair at the Radisson Martinique in New York City. Initial claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST.

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Thursday will be a busy day for markets, with a big focus on economic announcements. Releases scheduled for the day include initial claims and construction spending in the U.S. and manufacturing data in the eurozone and China. Earnings from Foot Locker and Kroger will also hit the Street, along with February same-store sales.Here’s what you need to know.

  • Japan starts the day off early with fourth quarter capital spending at 6:50 p.m. EST on Wednesday evening. Economists predict spending will decline 6.5 per cent from the prior three month. 
  • At 10:00 p.m. EST, Chinese manufacturing PMI will be released. The index is seen advancing 40 basis points to 50.9 in February. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. A different reading of Chinese PMI by HSBC is set for release at 11:30 p.m. EST.
  • French ILO mainland unemployment follows at 1:30 a.m. EST on Thursday morning. Economists predict fourth quarter unemployment will increase 30 basis points to 9.6 per cent from a September reading.
  • British home prices come on the heels of the French announcement at 2:00 a.m. EST. Economists predict prices will grow 0.2 per cent month-on-month, and stand 0.3 per cent higher than they were a year earlier.
  • Between 3:15 and 4:00 a.m. Markit Economics will release PMI manufacturing data for Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the 17-nation eurozone. Consensus estimates call for little development, with Italy and Spain remaining under 50, while France and Germany see no change at 50.2 and 50.1, respectively. Regional manufacturing activity is expected to remain flat at 49. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
  • Italian consumer prices are set for announcement at 5:00 a.m., with expectations for a 0.2 per cent increase for February.
  • Attention shifts to the U.S. at 8:30 a.m. EST, when personal income and spending will be released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Economists forecast both readings will increase 0.4 per cent from December results. 
  • Initial claims in the U.S. will also hit the street at 8:30 a.m. EST, with predictions for a slight uptick to 355,000 from 351,000 last week. Continuing claims are also seen jumping, increasing to 3.415 million from 3.392 million.
  • Canadian announcements also begin at 8:30 a.m EST.  Analysts expect the industrial product price index will increase 0.3 per cent in January, as the raw material index gains 0.5 per cent. 
  • U.S. announcements continue at 10:00 a.m. EST, with construction spending and ISM manufacturing data. Forecasts call for a 1.0 per cent gain in construction in January, while the ISM index improves to 54.5 from 54.1. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
  • Closing out the day at 1:00 p.m. EST is the release of data out of the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives Index in Mexico. Economists forecast the key manufacturing index jumped 120 basis points to 53.0 in February. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Below, a roundup of tomorrow’s big announcers

James River Coal (JRCC): $0.09
Dresser-Rand Group (DRC): $0.94
Foot Locker (FL): $0.51
Kroger (KR): $0.49

Consensus estimates provided by Bloomberg. 

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