Via Dave Lutz at JonesTrading, here’s what traders are talking about before markets open on Thursday.
Good Morning! Global stocks holding 8-week highs as US Futures drift around unchanged ahead of some heavy economic data in the USA. European stocks are trying to add to their longest rally since October, with the DAX off small in very light volume (35% below normal) — Weakness in Tech and Staples is being offset by Industrials and a continued rally in those Financials. The FTSE is adding 25bp as the materials sector leaps 3.5% as metals continue their rebound. Over in Asia, Shanghai added 40bp, while profit-taking hit HK for 30bp on weak tourism #s – In Japan, Banks ripped higher and the small cap Mothers index jumped +3.9%, while Australia climbed 1.2%, closing right at its 100 DMA as commodity names and major banks outperform. India continued its post-budget moonshot, adding another 1.5% and bringing the week’s gains to over 6%.
Ahead of NFP tomorrow (expected to show USA added 188,000 jobs in February), we have continued hawkish positioning occurring in the Credit markets. Treasuries rest near yesterday’s peaks, with the 10YY above 1.85%, the 2YY adding another bp overnight, and Fed Funds pulling forward expectations of hikes by the Fed. The $ is retreating however, as Eurozone retail sales beat expectations, helping the common currency rebound, South Korea’s won jumping on hotter inflation data, and commodity currencies continue to rally behind a sharp upward move in the Aussie$. The Metals complex is mostly bid led by Industrial commodities, and that Oil complex continues to defy inventory data, with WTI taking on slight gains early. No Surprise, Natty gas remains our worst performer, losing nearly another 1% in the overnight.
Ahead of us today, we get Nonfarm Productivity and Unit Labour Costs at 8:30, along with Weekly Jobless Claims data. At 9:45, Markit US Services PMI hits just before the “official” ISM Non-Manf. Composite; Factory Orders, and Durable Goods Orders at 10. 10:30 brings Natty gas Inventory data and 10:45 Fed’s Kaplan speaks in Austin, Texas to round out the day. Down in Washington, attention is on a 10am Senate Banking Committee meeting on “Regulatory Reforms to Improve Equity Market Structure.”