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Equities Remain Strong Despite Apple Weakness


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unexpectedly raised its main policy rate at today's meeting by 25bps to 7%. The central bank said it continued to see inflation remaining firm in the country, despite recent soft economic data. In addition to trying to defend the price of the rupee, the surprise hike was likely done to preempt the Turkish central bank, which is set to meet later this evening and is likely increase its own policy rates.

Fourth-quarter UK GDP rose at the fastest rate since the first quarter of 2008, up 2.8% year-over-year. This was in line with the economist estimate; growth rose at a 0.7% quarterly rate.

With the exception of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its food chain of stocks, US equities remained relatively strong today. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.61% after three straight days of severe losses. Nine out of 10 basic S&P sectors were positive with the tech sector the lone decliner. The health care and financial sectors both advanced strongly after being the weakest performers in the past week. Strong earnings from US Steel (NYSE:X) and AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) in the past 24 hours helped keep a bid under the industrials.

The Conference Board's January consumer confidence index rose to 80.7 from 78.1 in the month prior, ahead of the 78.0 estimate. Also, November 2013 home prices, according to S&P/Case Shiller indices, rose 13.71% from a year ago, a slightly faster pace than 13.61% year-to-year in the month prior. Lastly, durable goods orders fell 4.3% in December 2013, and capital goods orders fell 1.3%. Neither of these reports bode well for continued economic strength in the first quarter 2014.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

The highlight of tomorrow's trading day will be the FOMC meeting at 2:00 p.m. EST, the last for current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Many market participants are expecting the Fed to taper its asset purchases by an additional $10 billion, bringing the total monthly purchases down to $65 billion.

February German GfK consumer confidence will be released tomorrow morning. Economists estimate that the survey will remain unchanged in the new month.

Over 30 major US companies will report earnings tomorrow. Notable reports include Boeing (NYSE:BA), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MRO), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU).

Twitter: @Minyanville

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