Photo: flickr / Greg Hernandez
Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia soared in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei rose 2.7 per cent and the Hang Seng advanced 2 per cent. European markets are in the green with the exception of Italy, which is currently down 0.1 per cent. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
- The second estimate for fourth quarter U.S. GDP revealed growth of 0.1 per cent, missing expectations of a 0.5 per cent expansion but flipping positive from the initial estimate in January. However, personal consumption growth slowed, which UBS economist Drew Matus said made this report worse, in a way.
- Initial jobless claims, however, fell to 344,000 last week from 366,000 the week before. Economists were expecting 360,000 new claims. Continuing claims also fell significantly – to 3.074 million from 3.165 million in the previous week.
- The Japanese government officially nominated Haruhiko Kuroda to take over the top spot at the Bank of Japan in April. Kuroda, who serves as the head of the Asian Development Bank, is considered to be strongly dovish toward monetary policy, and he was widely tipped as the frontrunner for the nomination. Nomura economist Richard Koo, for one, likes the pick.
- Japanese industrial production expanded 1 per cent in January, missing estimates of 1.4 per cent growth. The data reflect a slowing expansion from the previous month, when production grew 2.4 per cent. Year over year, output is still down 5.1 per cent. Housing starts also missed expectations, rising 5 per cent year over year in January versus the 8.8 per cent expansion predicted by economists.
- According to documents obtained by Bloomberg, the Reserve Bank of Australia believes that the Aussie dollar is overvalued on the order of 4 to 15 per cent, per its own models. However, the documents also clarified that the Aussie dollar doesn’t post a near-term risk of deflation, nor is it “contractionary” for the economy, which may temper fears of an intervention to devalue the currency.
- Switzerland reported 0.2 per cent GDP growth in the fourth quarter, exceeding estimates of a flat reading but slowing from the previous quarter, when the economy grew 0.6 per cent. German employment figures were also better than expected, as 3,000 left the ranks of the unemployed in January.
- J.C. Penney reported quarterly results well below the Street’s expectations after the closing bell. The company posted a loss of $1.95 per share versus the $0.24 per-share loss predicted by analysts. Revenues came in at $3.88 billion, well below the $4.08 billion expected. The stock tanked in after-hours trading.
- At 10 AM, Chicago PMI for February is released. Economists expect the index to fall to 54.0 from last month’s 55.6 reading, indicating a slowing pace of expansion in the Midwest region.
- At 11 AM, the Kansas City Fed releases its monthly survey of manufacturing activity. That index is expected to increase slightly to -1 from -2 last month, indicating improving – yet still negative – conditions in the region. Follow all of the data LIVE on Business Insider >
- BONUS: Mary Louise Parker denies that she threatened to kill an antique shop owner.
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