Here is what you need to know.
Apple is in the Dow. The largest company in the world replaced AT&T after Wednesday’s close. Apple will have the fifth-largest weighting because the Dow is a price-weighted index.
The US Dollar Index has clawed back most of Wednesday’s losses. The Index sank to a low of 96.62 shortly after the stock market closed as a result of a more than 3% spike up in the euro. The greenback has seen steady buying off those lows, however, and it is now threatening to retake the 99.00 level.
The Swiss National Bank kept policy unchanged. Switzerland’s central bank held its Libor Rate at -0.75%, which was expected. Chairman Thomas Jordan noted the franc remains strong and that the SNB would intervene when it felt the franc was “significantly overvalued.” Switzerland’s franc is down 1.4% at .9915.
The Norges Bank surprised by keeping rates steady. Norway’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 1.25% when the large majority of economists were expecting a 25 basis point cut to 1.00%. However, Norges Bank Governor Oeystein Olsen noted, “If economic developments ahead are broadly in line with that projected, there are prospects for a reduction in the key policy rate.” Norway’s krone is stronger by 1.3% at 8.0650.
Another EU Economic Summit is getting underway. The two-day meeting in Brussels will be attended by leaders from across the eurozone along with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker. The Greek debt crisis and the possibility of extending sanctions against Russia are the key issues up for discussion. Greece’s 3-year yield is up 68 basis points at 22.34%.
Quicksilver Resources has filed for bankruptcy. According to a regulatory filing, the company would face a “potential liquidity shortfall” in early 2016 as liabilities total $US2.35 billion with only $US1.2 billion in assets to show. Operations are expected to continue as the Chapter 11 filing gives Quicksilver the opportunity to restructure its debt.
Yahoo is leaving China. The company will close its Beijing Research Center, the only remaining office on Mainland China. Between 200 and 300 employees, or about 2% of Yahoo’s global workforce, are being laid off as CEO Marissa Mayer continues her cost-cutting efforts.
Honda Motor Corp. announced more recalls. The Japanese automaker announced another 104,871 recalls due to faulty air bags. The recall affects the 2001 Accord, 2004 Civic and 2008 Pilot.
Stocks are higher around the world. Australia’s ASX (+1.9%) led the advance in Asia while Italy’s MIB (+1.2%) outperforms in Europe.
US economic data is heavy. Initial and continuing claims and the current account balance will cross the wires at 8:30 a.m. ET while Philadelphia Fed and leading indicators are due out at 10 a.m. ET. Natural gas inventories are scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 2 basis points at 1.94%.