This is what traders are talking about.
It’s Super Tuesday. Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton have a chance to secure their party’s presidential nominations as 11 states will hold their primaries or caucuses on Tuesday.
There’s more evidence of a slowdown in China. China’s manufacturing PMI, non-manufacturing PMI, and Caixin manufacturing PMI all weakened from previous levels. The manufacturing PMI, the 49.0 print was down from the previous reading of 49.4, and marked a seventh straight month below the expansion/contraction line of 50.0. Caixin manufacturing PMI fell to 48.0 from 48.4, and was the weakest since September. Meanwhile, non-manufacturing PMI slid to 52.7 from 53.5, remaining in expansion. China’s yuan ended little changed at 6.5486 per dollar.
Australia’s central bank kept policy on hold. The Reserve Bank of Australia held its benchmark interest rate at 2.00%, as expected. However, it appears the central bank is getting closer to another rate cut. The RBA removed mention of “above average levels” of business conditions and improvement in the labour market. The Australian dollar is up 0.2% at .7158.
ICE is thinking about buying the LSE. International Continental Exchange, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange is thinking about making a bid for the London Stock Exchange, according to Bloomberg. The report comes just a week after the LSE confirmed it was in talks to combine with Deutsche Boerse. The possible size of a deal is unknown.
A NY judge ruled Apple doesn’t have to unlock the iPhone. A federal judge, in a case similar to that of the San Bernardino shooting, said Apple doesn’t have to unlock an iPhone at the FBI’s request. According to Federal Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, the FBI couldn’t use the All Writs Act to force Apple to unlock the phone of meth dealer Jun Feng. Orenstein said, “I conclude that none of those factors justifies imposing on Apple the obligation to assist the government’s investigation against its will. I therefore deny the motion.” A senior Apple executive speaking on the condition of anonymity to reports said the ruling should have a “persuasive effect” going forward.
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Valeant’s gotten a lot of bad news. On Monday, Valeant CEO Michael Pearson returned to work after taking a medical leave in December for pneumonia and related complications. That’s where the good news ended for shareholders. First, Valeant’s debt was put on review for a downgrade at Moody’s. Then it was announced the company was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. That news followed last week’s announcement that Valeant was delaying its annual report and Sunday’s fourth quarter earnings release. Shares of Valeant crashed 18% on Monday, and are up about 2% in pre-market action.
Barclays is getting crushed. The British investment bank announced a loss of £394 million for fiscal 2015 thanks to more than £4.3 billion of fines and legal costs. Barclays says it plans to sell its African banking arm and split into two divisions — UK high street banking and international corporate and investment banking activity. “Their creation as sibling divisions, which will become our ring fenced and non-ring fenced legal entities in due course, simplifies the Group and concentrates Barclays’ competitive advantages in the right places,” CEO Jes Staley said. Shares of Barclays are down about 9% in London trade.
Stock markets around the world are higher. China’s Shanghai Composite (+1.7%) led the gains in Asia and Germany’s DAX (+1.6%) paces the advance in Europe. S&P 500 futures are higher by 14.75 points at 1944.25.
Earnings reporting slows. AutoZone, Dollar Tree, JD.com, and Kate Spade are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell. Ross Stores is the notable releasing its quarterly results after markets close.
Economic data is moderate. Markit’s final manufacturing PMI will cross at 9:45 a.m. ET while the latest report on construction spending and ISM manufacturing reading will both be released at 10 a.m. ET. Auto and truck sales will cross the wires throughout the day. The US 10-year yield is up 2 basis points at 1.75%.