Futures flat, awaiting Cyprus decision

Stocks are set for a flat open ahead of numerous earnings reports and as investors await the Cypriot vote on the bailout.

By Benzinga Mar 19, 2013 8:18AM

stock market fotostockBy Matthew Kanterman

U.S. equity futures were flat in early premarket trade as investors awaited a vote in the Cypriot parliament on the proposed bailout. The President of Cyprus Monday cancelled a vote because the bailout legislation did not have enough political support to pass.

Cyprus is working on a deal to prevent a levy on savers with deposits under 20,000 euros. Many leaders have discussed protectinging all those with less than 100,000 euros in deposits, but it is up to Cyprus to decide to meet the target amount of funds raised.

Chinese foreign direct investment rose 6.3% in February compared to the same period last year, the first monthly increase in nine months. The increase in investments overseas further raises fears of a property bubble.

The so-called mastermind of quantitative easing in Japan, Masayoshi Amamiya, was reappointed to the Bank of Japan board, increasing hopes that the BoJ can successfully reflate its economy.

  • S&P 500 futures were flat at 1,545.60.

  • The EUR/USD was lower at 1.2923.

  • Spanish 10-year government bond yields rose to 4.98% from 4.95%.

  • Italian 10-year government bond yields rose to 4.66% from 4.63%.

  • Gold fell 0.19% to $1,601.60 per ounce.

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Asian markets

Asian shares were mixed overnight with Japanese shares leading higher on hopes of renewed stimulus from the BoJ. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 2.03% and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.78% while the Hang Seng Index fell 0.19%. Also, the Korean Kospi rose 0.53% and Australian shares declined 0.56%.

European markets

European shares were lower for the second consecutive day as leaders struggle to reach an agreement on the Cyprus bailout. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.63% and the Italian FTSE MIB Index declined 0.35%. Meanwhile, the German DAX slipped 0.62% and the French CAC declined 0.62% as well as U.K. shares fell 0.33%.


Commodities were weaker overnight as markets sold off on global growth fears sparked by the Cyprus bailout negotiations and continued fears of a new monetary tightening cycle in China. WTI crude futures fell fell 0.06% to $93.73 per barrel and Brent crude futures fell 0.66% to $108.84 per barrel. Copper futures declined 0.67% on Chinese tightening fears. Gold was lower and silver futures declined 0.27% to $28.81 per ounce.


Currency markets were rather quiet overnight with a slight risk-off bias as the euro and the yen weakened. The EUR/USD was lower at 1.2923 and the dollar gained against the yen to 95.42. Overall, the Dollar Index rose 0.14% on strength against the euro, the yen, and the Swiss franc.

Premarket movers

Stocks moving in the premarket included:

  • Coca-Cola (KO) shares declined 4.54% premarket after reports of some of the company's employees in China being investigated for misuse of GPS devices.

  • Peabody Energy (BTU) shares rose 1.76% premarket on unconfirmed rumors of activist billionaire investor Carl Icahn taking a stake in the company.

  • Boeing (BA) shares rose 0.96% premarket after the company announced a new deal with Ryanair (RYAAY) worth over $15 billion.

  • Arm Holdings (ARMH) shares declined 2.29% premarket after the company's CEO announced his intention to retire in July.

  • Click here for more of Benzinga's Premarket Outlook!


Notable companies expected to report earnings Tuesday include:

  • Adobe Systems (ADBE) is expected to report first quarter earnings per share of $0.31 vs. $0.57 a year ago.

  • Rockwell Collins (COL) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $1.18 vs. $1.09 a year ago.

  • DSW (DSW) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.72 vs. $0.51 a year ago.

  • FactSet Research Systems (FDS) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $1.11 vs. $1.02 a year ago.

  • Francesca's Holdings (FRAN) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.30 vs. $0.20 a year ago.

  • Williams-Sonoma (WSM) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.29 vs. $1.17 a year ago.

  • Click here for more of Benzinga's earnings news!


On the economics calendar Tuesday, building permits and housing starts are expected as well as the Redbook. Also, the Treasury is set to auction four-week bills. Overnight, German inflation and British employment data could move markets.

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Mar 19, 2013 11:23AM
So what if the vote NO on the deposit tax and Cyprus leaves the EU. Cyprus might be smart to jump off the sinking EU ship.
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