Here is what you need to know.
There was carnage in Japan. Japanese stocks crashed 5.4%, making for the biggest daily drop since June 2013. Tuesday’s sell off has the Nikkei fighting to hold its 16-month low set back on January 21. The weakness in stocks caused safe-haven buying of the yen, which strengthened to 114.21 per dollar, the strongest it has been since November 2014. Japan also became the first G-7 country to see the yield on its 10-year debt fall below zero, finishing at a record low -0.035%.
Things are spiraling out of control in Hong Kong. Protestors clashed with police for a second night in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok district. According to Reuters, the so-called “Fishball Revolution” began as police tried to remove illegal street stalls that were set up Lunar New Year celebrations. The protests have turned into calls for independence from China, raising some concerns it could be the start of something similar to the “Umbrella Revolution” that took place from September to December of 2014.
The IEA warned oil prices are going to stay low. The International Energy Agency’s latest Oil Market Report says oil prices are going to stay low, and that supply and demand fundamentals are going to get worse. A new forecast from the agency projects 1.75 million more barrels of oil per day will be produced than are needed, an increase from the 1.5 million barrels forecast in January. “With the market already awash in oil, it is very hard to see how oil prices can rise significantly in the short term,” the IEA said. Currently, West Texas Intermediate crude oil is up 1.7% at $30.19 per barrel.
Morgan Stanley cut its oil price by 50%. The investment bank lowered its oil forecast for the next six to 12 months to “the US$50s to the high $US20s.” Morgan Stanley says demand must catch up with supply, but that demand is actually slowing.
Distillates are at worrying levels. A report from Barclays found the demand for distillates, or a type of refined oil product, is flashing a warning sign for the US economy. January demand fell by 18% versus a year ago, a level of decline that is only seen during a recession. Barclays says the drop might be partially due to the warm winter weather, and that it still could be revised higher. However, it’s something to keep an eye on.
Google’s CEO received a huge stock package. A regulatory filing showed Google CEO Sundar Pichai has received $183 million in stock that will vest over four years. Pichai was named the CEO of Google after the company created Alphabet holding company through a restructuring in October. The package is one of the largest ever rewarded to a Google executive.
HSBC is probably staying in London. After 10 months of debate, HSBC is likely staying in London. A Financial Times report that said CEO Stuart Gulliver has downplayed the case for leaving the UK during private meetings that occurred over the last few weeks.
Global stock markets trade lower. Aside from the carnage in Japan, most of Asia remained closed in celebration of the Lunar New Year. Australia’s ASX (-2.9%) was also hit hard. In Europe, Spain’s IBEX (-0.8%) paces the decline. S&P 500 futures are down 10 points at 1,842.
Earnings reporting remains heavy. Coca Cola, CVSHealth, Goodyear Tire, Ingersoll-Rand, and Viacom are among the names releasing their quarterly results ahead of the opening bell. Walt Disney highlights the list of companies reporting after markets close.
US economic data is light. Wholesale inventories and the latest JOLTS report will both be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 1.76%.
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