Volume was light today due to the impending Thanksgiving holiday. NYSE trading volume finished about 30% below the 10-day moving average, near one of the lowest volume days of the year. From the early morning until the equity market closed, S&P 500 futures traded in a narrow 5.5 point range.
Because of the Thursday holiday, the weekly jobless claims report was released a day early. The Labor Department showed a decline to 410,000 weekly claims, down from last week's claims that saw a revision up to 451,000 from 439,000.
Overnight, equity futures dropped a sharp 1% after European finance ministers announced that they had not reached a definitive deal on the funding gap that is currently facing Greece. While there was progress made, no final deal was reached. However, the wording of the press release suggested that the overall basics of the deal were agreed upon, but the mode of payment was not. The next opportunity to come to a final agreement comes next Monday at another emergency meeting of EU finance ministers. Also in Greece news, additional news headlines surfaced that the Troika of Greek creditors were taking another look at the proposal of a Greek debt buyback or lowering interest payments on bailout loans.
Japan's exports continued to fall for the fifth straight month. Japan is faced with slowing demand from its main trade partners China and the US as well as continued slowdowns from Europe. Yesterday, the Bank of Japan declined to ease further despite increased calls for monetary stimulus from Japan's opposition party.
Natural gas inventories were released a day early due to Thursday's market closure. According to the EIA, inventories declined by 38 billion cubic feet (BCF), well below the estimates of between a 24 BCF and 30 BCF fall. Demand continues to weaken due to declining production and an increasingly colder winter.
Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
Tomorrow US markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. On Friday, US markets will be open for a half day, closing at 1:00 p.m. ET. There will be no economic data from the US on Friday. However, on Friday, Pandora
(NASDAQ:P) will release earnings.
Time won't stop for the rest of the world, however. On Thursday morning, China will release the HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI and the eurozone will release the first estimates of PMI indexes for both manufacturing and services. The eurozone data is expected to rise slightly from last month, but the composite index will remain unchanged.
On Friday, Germany will release the second estimate of its GDP. Last week, the quarterly GDP figures fell to 0.2% from 0.3% the month prior, ahead of estimates for a 0.1% gain. Also on Friday, the Ifo Institute will release business climate and assessment of current conditions indexes. Both indexes are expected to fall month-to-month.
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