Morning Report: March 23, 2012

Ahead of the Bell: Dow futures are trading down 24 points and S&P futures are trading down 2 points following the previous trading session's losses, investors are cautiously getting back into equities, after worries about the health of the global economy re-emerged on disappointing economic data from Europe and China.  Traders remain concern the financial crisis in Europe could resurface, as the euro zone economy teeters on the brink of a double dip recession.    

  • On the economic calendar today, new home sales for February will be out after the market opens.  The market is looking for 325K compared with 321K for January.  Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke will be making opening remarks at the Fed Conference on Central Banking.  

  • Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President, Dennis Lockhart will be speaking to students at Georgetown University in Washington.  St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President, James Bullard will be speaking to the 15th Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong. The dollar is down against the major currencies.  Gold is trading at $1,649. Crude oil is currently trading at $105 a barrel.

  • Yesterday, stocks fell after disappointing manufacturing and factory data from Europe and China, which overshadowed better than expected weekly jobless claims data.

  • On CNBC today, Steve Crawford, former co-president of Morgan Stanley, talked about the outlook for growth and the road to recovery.  Crawford said he is taking the improving jobs data cautiously, as we are working through a long jobs cycle.  He feels we still need to repair corporate and the government’s balance sheet.  Crawford pointed out that we have incredibly low interest rates right now which will affect pension funds in a few years, as they roll off and rates could dramatically rise.  He added the biggest problem is a lack of demand and we could either seek government intervention to create demand, or ask the government to step aside and let the private sector take over.  Finally, Crawford said the world is interconnected and the European crisis could arise again, for which there are no easy solutions. 

  • Happy Friday, have a have a nice day and a wonderful weekend.

Thursday’s Close

DJIA down 78.48 pts/-0.60%/13,046.14

S&P down 10.11 pts/-0.72/1,392.78

Nasdaq down 12.00 pts/-0.39/3,063.32


Friday’s Futures

Dow Futures down 24.00 pts/-0.51%

S&P Futures down 1.40 pts/-0.61%

Nasdaq Fut up 2.22 pts/+0.02%


Overseas Markets

FTSE -0.16%

CAC 40 -0.53%

NIKKEI 225 -1.14%

HANG SENG -1.11%


Overseas:  World stock markets were down today.  European and Asian markets are down, as investors worry about a global economic slowdown.


Economic Reports:  Initial Jobless Claims expected to be 325K at 8:30 a.m., FHFA House Price Index expected to be 0.4% and Leading Indicators expected to be 0.6% at 10:00 a.m.


Top Headlines:    

  • Bank of America (BAC) is starting a program this week to allow mortgage borrowers facing foreclosure to stay in their homes as renters while transferring title back to the lender.

  • Reports indicate Monster Worldwide Inc., (MWW) is up for sale, the company has retained Stone Key Partners LLC and BofA Merrill Lynch as financial advisers. 

  • Covidien Plc (COV) announced it is acquiring privately held Newport Medical for about $108 million to gain access to ventilator devices.

  • CNBC reports Exxon Mobil (XOM) is selling 78 French gas stations as part of a wider effort to exit less profitable businesses.     


Gold:up $3.10 to $1,649.85
Oil: up $0.22 to $105.57

EUR/USD 1.3241 +0.0042
USD/JPY 82.6445  +0.0185
GBP/USD 1.5841 +0.0021


Volatility Index (VIX): As of the close of business Thursday, March 22, the VIX is up 0.62 at 15.73

Companies Reporting Quarterly Earnings:     

Darden (DRI) reports Q3 cont ops EPS $1.25, vs. Est $1.24 and Q3 revenue $2.16B, vs. Est $2.14B. Darden sees FY12 SSS up 2.5%-3.0%.

Camelot Information (CIS) reports Q4 EPS 6c vs. Est 24c in Q4 of 2010 and  Q4 revenue $59.7M, vs. Est $55.68M

Today’s Opening and Closing Bells:


Vipshop Holdings Ltd will visit the NYSE to celebrate the company’s IPO. Chairman and CEO Ya Shen (Chairman Shen) joined by members of Vipshop’s senior will ring the opening bell.


Aeropostale, Inc. visit the NYSE to celebrate the company’s 10th Anniversary of listing, CEO Thomas Johnson joined by members of senior management team, will ring the closing bell.




Paras Madho

NYSE Euronext

Market Watch and Corporation Actions

(212) 656- 5404


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