Futures flat after Nasdaq glitch

Emerging markets central banks are playing a huge role In financial markets.

By Benzinga Aug 23, 2013 8:46AM

zurbar age fotostockBy Laura Brodbeck


The Federal Reserve tapering of its stimulus program remained heavy on investors' minds. Meanwhile, central banks in emerging economies are struggling to fund growth and pay off debts. As their currencies tumble, central banks in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia are working to stabilize their economies using fiscal policy.


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In other news around the markets:

  • A technical glitch shut down trading in the Nasdaq stock exchange for three hours on Thursday. The market reopened at 3:35 p.m. EST, but the incident underscored problems with automated trading systems.


  • Moody's Investors Services is planning to review U.S. bank holding companies like Goldman Sachs (GS) and JP Morgan (JPM). It has put the banks' ratings on watch for potential downgrade, citing the possible withdrawal of government support.

  • The Banco Central do Brasil has announced that it will launch a currency intervention program, in which it will add at least $60 billion to the market by the end of the year in order to boost the Brazilian real. The program starts today and is expected to continue until December.

  • European Central Bank Governing Council Member Ewald Nowotny said the eurozone's central bank isn't going to tighten rates because of positive economic indicators. Speaking at the Jackson Hole summit, Nowotny stressed that the bank is cautiously optimistic about the region's recovery.

  • In an attempt to promote economic reforms, China is setting up an experimental free trade zone in Shanghai. Premier Li Keqiang's central government is expected to launch financial reforms that will help cut the nation's reliance on exports and strengthen the services industry.

  • Germany released a revised second quarter GDP of 0.7% growth, driven by a rebound in investment and higher consumption.

Asian markets

Asian markets were mixed on Friday, the Japanese NIKKEI Index ended on a high at 13660.55, a 2.21% gain. The South Korean KOSPI gained 1.14% and the Australian ASX200 was up 0.94%. The Hang Seng Index was mostly flat with only a 0.08% gain, but the Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen composite both lost nearly half a percentage point.


European markets

European markets were quiet this morning without any major moves. As of 7:17 GMT, the German DAX was unchanged and the eurozone's STOXX600 was flat with only a 0.1% gain. The Spanish IBEX 35 was up 0.17%, but France's CAC 40 was down 0.12%. The UK's FTSE was down 0.09%.


Commodities

Commodity prices were mostly up this morning with metals strong across the board. Gold was up 0.34% to $1,375.40 per ounce and silver had a modest 0.09% gain. Copper also gained 0.15%.  Brent futures found support in recent global economic data and climbed 0.18% but WTI futures were down 0.10%.


Currencies

Currency markets were quiet this morning; the pound strengthened just 0.06% against the dollar while the euro lost 0.14% against the greenback. The Yen fell 0.21% against the dollar and traded at ¥98.91.


Earnings reported Thursday

Notable companies that reported earnings on Thursday included:

  • Aeropostale (ARO) reported second quarter revenue of $454.00 million with a loss of $0.34, compared to an expected loss of $0.16

  • Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.16 compared to estimated earnings per share of $0.31. The company's revenue fell short of expectations with $945.70 million.

  • Dollar Tree (DLTR) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.56 and revenue of $1.85 billion, which fell near the expected earnings per share of $0.57 and revenue of $1.85 billion.

  • Hormel Foods (HRL) reported third quarter earnings per share of $0.45 vs. last year's $0.41 on better than expected revenue of 2.20

  • Sears Holdings (SHLD) reported a second quarter loss of $1.46 on revenue of $8.87 billion, both of which fell below expectations

  • Ross Stores (ROST) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.98 on revenue of $2.55 billion, compared to last year's earnings per share of $0.81 on revenue of $2.34 billion

Premarket movers

Stocks moving in the premarket included:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) lost 20.94% in premarket trade as investors punished the company for poor earnings in the second quarter

  • GameStop (GME) gained an impressive 13.44% in premarket trade despite lower profit and sales figures in its second quarter earnings report

  • Yahoo (YHOO) was on the rise in premarket trade after reports showed that the site surpassed Google (GOOG) in website traffic for the first time since 2011. Yahoo! Inc was up 2.37% this morning in premarket trade

  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) lost 8.55% in premarket trade this morning as investors doubted the company's turnaround potential after poor third quarter earnings.

Earnings

Notable companies expected to report earnings on Friday include:

  • ANN INC. (ANN) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $0.76 on revenue of $4.41 billion compared to last year's earnings per share of $0.66 on $3.93 billion

Economics

Friday is another busy day for economic reports. The U.S. is releasing housing data, including housing starts, and new home sales. In Europe, the eurozone is set to announce consumer confidence data and German GDP, while the UK will release GDP, business investment data and an index of services. Also notable will be Canadian CPI and Brazilian consumer confidence reports.


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