Here is what you need to know.
It’s Super Tuesday 3. Voters in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio will go to the polls on Tuesday. A strong showing from Republican front-runner Donald Trump can all but lock up the nomination, but polls show he’s neck and neck with Gov. John Kasich in Ohio. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks to extend her lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The Bank of Japan kept policy on hold. The Bank of Japan held its key interest rate at -0.10% and its asset purchase program at an annual pace of about 80 trillion yen. In its statement, the BOJ omitted the phrase “it will cut the interest rate further if judged as necessary,” planning to take a wait and see approach as to how the economy responds to its negative interest rate policy. The Japanese yen is stronger by 0.6% at 113.10 per dollar.
China might tax currency trading. The People’s Bank of China has drafted rules for a Tobin tax on foreign exchange trading, a source close to the matter told Bloomberg. “The initial rate of the so-called Tobin tax may be kept at zero to allow authorities time to refine the rules,” they said. “The tax is not designed to disrupt hedging and other foreign-exchange transactions undertaken by companies.” The tax, which still must be approved by Beijing, would be implemented in an attempt to discourage some forms of speculative trading.
Valeant cut its guidance. The embattled pharmaceutical company announced an adjusted loss of $0.11 per share, missing the Bloomberg consensus of earnings of $2.62 per share. Revenue of $2.79 billion edged out the $2.77 billion that was expected. Valeant cut its revenue guidance to $11.0 billion-$11.2 billion from its previous estimate of $12.5 billion-$12.7 billion. The stock is down about 10% in pre-market trade.
Italy’s government wants someone to buy the world’s oldest bank. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank and third largest lender in Italy, is spiking on reports Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is urging other banks to bid for the company. Founded in 1472, the bank has lost 99% of its value as fears over the quality of its loans mount. Shares are up about 7% at €0.61 per share.
Institutional investors are suing Volkswagen. A group of nearly 300 institutional investors is suing the automaker for €3.256 billion ($3.61 billion). Reuters reports, the investors say Volkswagen breached its capital markets duty amid its emissions scandal between June 2008 and September 18, 2015. Shares of Volkswagen are down about 22% since news of the scandal broke in September.
Avon is moving to the UK. The cosmetics giant is moving its headquarters out of Manhattan, and to the UK, as part of its turnaround plan, according to Reuters. In addition, Avon will layoff 2,500 jobs worldwide and take a $60 million pre-tax charge in the first quarter. In January, the firm said it would cut $350 million worth of costs over three years. Shares were up 4% in after-hours trade following the news.
Oracle reports after the closing bell. The company is expected to earn an adjusted $0.62 per share on revenue of $9.13 billion, according to the Bloomberg consensus. Oracle’s report is expected shortly after the closing bell with the conference call set for 5 p.m. ET.
Global stock markets are mostly lower. Australia’s ASX (-1.4%) lagged in overnight trade and Spain’s IBEX (-1.3%) underperforms in Europe. S&P 500 futures are lower by 10.25 points at 1999.00.
US economic data is heavy. Retail sales, PPI and Empire Manufacturing will all be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Then, at 10 a.m. ET, business inventories and the NAHB Housing Market Index are due out. Net Long-Term TIC Flows will cross the wires at 4 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is down 3 basis points at 1.93%.
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