Stock futures are higher this morning on a day packed with economic data.
ADP, the payrolls processing company, reported that the US private sector added 215,000 jobs last month. This beat expectations by 30,000. The October report was also revised upward by 54,000 to 184,000. This is a preview for Friday’s jobs report, which could greatly influence the Federal Reserve’s decision on whether or not to scale back quantitative easing. Economists expect just 180,000 new jobs in the Friday report.
Still ahead today are new-home sales for both September and October. September new-home sales likely rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 420,000. Economists believe that the pace of new-home sales also sped up in October to 425,000. The ISM’s non-manufacturing index will also be released. It is expected to rise to 55.5 from 55.4, indicating that services activity accelerated.
Before the opening bell, Dow
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were flat at 15,891.00 while futures on the S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) fell 0.04% to 1,790.70. Nasdaq
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures rose 0.04% to 3,477.25.
The European Union ruled today that it will levy a 1.71 billion euro fine on six financial institutions for fixing benchmark interest rates including Libor. JPMorgan Chase
(NYSE:JPM), will be fined 80 million euros and Citigroup
(NYSE:C) will pay 70 million euros. Deutsche Bank
(NYSE:DB) was fined the most at 725.4 million euros.
“What is shocking about the Libor and Euribor scandals is not only the manipulation of benchmarks, which is being tackled by financial regulators worldwide, but also the collusion between banks who are supposed to be competing with each other," said Joaquin Almunia, the European Union Competition Commissioner.
(NYSE:JCP) saw comparable-store sales rise 10.1% last month. The news sparked a rally yesterday, and shares are up 1.2% in the pre-market.
John Gilbert, the chief investment officer of General Re-New England Asset Management, which is owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway
(NYSE:BRK.A), slammed Twitter
(NYSE:TWTR) in a letter to investors. He compared the social network to Cisco
(NASDAQ:CSCO), which peaked sharply during the dot-com boom when people thought it would change the world.
Overseas shares were lower following economic data releases. China’s service industry grew more slowly in November. The HSBC/Markit PMI survey fell to 52.5 from 52.6 in October. (Readings over 50 indicate growth.)
The French services sector PMI declined to 48 from 50.9. Meanwhile, services in Germany accelerated to 55.7 from 52.9. Services PMI for the eurozone as a whole were better than expected at 51.2.
The eurozone economy grew 0.1% on a quarterly basis in the third quarter, falling in line with expectations. GDP fell 0.4% from a year earlier, however. Retail sales in the region unexpectedly fell 0.2% in October.
News reports hinted that Japan is preparing a stimulus package worth 18.6 trillion yen to soften the blow of of a rise in sales taxes that will take effect in April.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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