The Key Market Moving Events For Thursday, January 19

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Markets have opened in Asia, and exchanges are heading higher. Japan’s Nikkei is up 1.0% while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia has gained 0.4%.A bevy of releases out of the U.S. will set the tone for markets, as will major earnings announcements from some of the largest global corporates.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • First up is consumer confidence in the United Kingdom, which fell in line with economist predictions for a two point decline to 38. That represents the second-lowest reading since the survey began in 2004.
  • Japanese retail sales will be announced overnight. Total sales at the nation’s department stores fell 1.9% in November, while sales at locations in Tokyo declined by 3.0% over the same period.
  • At 4:00 a.m. EST, the European Central Bank will release its monthly monetary report card, where it details its economic forecasts for the region along with monthly balance of payments. The seasonally adjusted ECB Eurozone current account was -€7.5 billion in November.
  • Spain will announce its industrial orders and trade balance at 4:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. EST. Economists polled by ForexTV forecast industrial orders will reverse last month’s gain, declining 3.0% year-on-year. Spain’s trade balance is seen declining to -€3.5 billion from -€3.6 billion, Bloomberg data shows.
  • U.S. economic announcements will start at 8:30 a.m. EST with a series of releases, including the Consumer Price Index, initial claims, housing starts and Philadelphia Fed activity.
  • Consumer Prices in the U.S. are expected to increase by one tenth of one per cent. Economists polled by Bloomberg also forecast the reading to rise by 0.1% when excluding food and energy. Initial claims are expected to drop somewhat significantly, to 384,000, from 399,000 last week. Meanwhile, housing starts are seen declining less than 1.0% to 680,000. 
  • At 10 a.m. EST, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Manufacturing Index will be released. Economists see the rate remaining at 10.3. Any reading above zero indicates improving economic conditions in the region.
  • Dominant news out of South America will focus around unemployment data in Mexico. Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast the figure to decline to 4.8% from 5.0% currently.

U.S. corporates reporting quarterly results tomorrow include Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Intel and Google. Below, a roundup of tomorrow’s big announcers.

BB&T Corp (BBT): $0.53
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX): $0.64
UnitedHealth Group (UNH): $1.04
BlackRock (BLK): $2.99
Southwest Airlines (LUV): $0.07
Knight Capital Group (KCG): $0.25
Bank of America Corp (BAC): $0.13
Morgan Stanley (MS): -$0.57
Capital One Financial (COF): $1.54
International Business Machines (IBM): $4.62
American Express (XP): $0.98
Johnson Controls (JCI): $0.62
Intel (INTC): $0.61
Google (GOOG): $10.48
Microsoft (MSFT): $0.77
Progressive Corp (PGR): $0.35
Union Pacific (UNP): $1.82
AMR Corp (AAMRQ): -$0.95

On Friday attention will turn to China, when HSBC announces Flash PMI for January.