Here is what you need to know.
China announced its new economic plans. China’s National People’s Congress met over the weekend and released its macroeconomic targets for 2016. Beijing projects the Chinese economy will grow at a rate of between 6.5% and 7%, down from 7% in 2015. Additionally, Beijing sees CPI unchanged at 3% while fixed asset investment growth (10.5%) and retail sales growth (11%) slow. China’s yuan weakened 0.2% to 6.5185 per dollar.
Hong Kong home sales are crashing. Residential home sales in Hong Kong tumbled 70% year-over-year in February, amounting to a 25-year low. Government statistics show 1,807 home were sold during the month, down from 6,027 a year ago. According to Bloomberg, prices are down 10% since September as the market digests a slowing economy and government plans to increase the housing supply over the next five years.
China’s Fx reserves hit a 4-year low. China’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $30.9 billion in February to $3.2 trillion. This marked the fourth straight monthly decline, and the lowest reading since late-2011. Reserves have fallen by $601.5 billion over the past 12 months, the largest amount on record.
German factory orders slipped. German factory orders fell 0.1% month-over-month in January, besting the 0.3% fall that was expected. The reading marked a second straight drop, raising some concerns Europe’s largest economy is slowing. However, not all of the news was bad as December’s 0.7% decline was revised up to a 0.2% drop. The euro is down 0.5% at 1.0950.
Oil is at a 2-month high. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is higher by 1.5% at $36.45 per barrel, a two-month high. Monday’s gain has WTI up more than 38% from its 2016 low of $26.21. According to Reuters, traders are attributing the recent rally to traders closing out short bets and opening new long positions.
Jeffries is restructuring its junk debt business. People familiar with the matter told Reuters, Jeffries will merge its junk debt business with the junk debt unit of its joint venture with MassMutual. Kevin Lockhart, global head of leveraged finance, and Adam Sokoloff, global head of sponsors, have both left Jeffries as a result of the restructuring. Meanwhile, James Walsh, Jefferies’ global head of consumer and retail investment banking, has replaced Lockhart as global head of leveraged finance.
United’s CEO is coming back. United Airlines says President CEO Oscar Munoz will return to work full-time as of March 14, according to Reuters. Munoz has been on medical leave since October, when he suffered a heart attack after only a month on the job. General Counsel Brett Hart has been serving as acting CEO.
Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. Spain’s IBEX (-1.4%) lags in Europe after Japan’s Nikkei (-0.6%) underperformed in Asia. S&P 500 futures are down 8.50 points at 1986.50.
Earnings reporting slows. Shake Shack and Urban Outfitters highlight the names reporting after the closing bell.
US economic data is light. Consumer credit will be released at 3 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 3 basis points at 1.90%.