Futures lower following North Korean nuclear test

US market are set to decline at the open even as many Asian markets remained closed for the lunar New Year holiday.

By Benzinga Feb 12, 2013 9:35AM
zurbar age fotostockBy Matthew Kanterman

South Korean authorities registered a 4.9 magnitude earthquake in its northern counterpart, most likely due to a nuclear test conducted by North Korea.

Barclays (BCS) announced a new round of job cuts totaling 3,700 cuts after the company reported a full year loss, with 1,800 cuts coming from its investment bank unit and 1,900 from its struggling European consumer and business banking unit.

Giuseppe Orsi, the CEO of Italian defense giant Finmeccanica, has been arrested overnight in Italy on charges of bribing Indian authorities to win defense contracts.

The G7 leaders released a statement Tuesday morning, not necessarily condemning moves by Japan to weaken currencies, but supported Japan in its efforts to stimulate its economy. The full statement can be found here.
In other news around the markets:
  • S&P 500 futures fell 1.8 points to 1,511.30.
  • The EUR/USD was fell to 1.3401.
  • Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 5.35%.
  • Italian 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.56%.
  • Gold fell 0.5% to $1,641.00 per ounce.
  • Click here for more of Benzinga's Top News stories!
Asian markets
Many Asian markets were once again closed overnight in recognition of the Lunar New Year holiday. The Korean Kospi fell 0.26% following the reported nuclear test in North Korea and Australian shares were flat overnight.

European markets
European shares were mixed overnight as Italian stocks fell and Spanish stocks rallied. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.38% and the Italian FTSE MIB Index declined 0.28%, led lower by industrial stocks. Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 0.2%, dragged lower by weaker than expected earnings from ThyssenKrupp, the French CAC rose 0.05%, and U.K> shares rose 0.13%.

Commodities were slightly weaker overnight with metal futures falling led by silver. WTI crude futures fell 0.26% to $96.78 per barrel and Brent crude futures were flat at $118.13 per barrel. Copper futures declined 0.24% to $371.30 per ounce. Gold was lower and silver futures fell 0.79% to $30.67 per ounce.

Currency markets had no real direction in overnight trade in a volatile, whip-saw session, as the euro traded near flat and the pound continued its skid. The EUR/USD was lower at 1.3401 and the dollar was flat against the yen at 94.36 while the pound declined against the dollar by 0.47% to 1.5585. Overall, the Dollar Index rose 0.15% on strength against the pound and the Canadian dollar.

Premarket movers
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
  • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) shares fell 0.13% premarket following confusion over an SEC filing Monday in which State Street (STT) has taken a 6.9% passive stake in Berkshire, although initial headlines had the story backwards.
  • Tesla (TSLA) shares rose 0.49% despite confusion over when it is scheduled to report earnings. Many analysts had expected earnings to be released Monday but the company denied scheduling such an earnings release.
  • Facebook (FB) shares declined 3.04% premarket as a patent holding firm sued the social media company for infringing patents on the Like button.
  • HCA (HCA) shares fell 1.66% premarket after the company announced a new 50 million share secondary offering, or about 12.8% of the total number of shares.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Tuesday include:
  • Bankrate (RATE) is expected to report fourth quarter earnings per share  of $0.11 vs. $0.19 a year ago.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.95 vs. $0.73 a year ago.
  • Clearwire (CLWR) is expected to report a fourth quarter loss of $0.22 per share vs. a loss of $0.81 per share a year ago.
  • Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.58 vs. $1.42 a year ago.
  • Coca-Cola (KO) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.44 vs. $0.39 a year ago.
  • Hercules Offshore (HERO) is expected to report a fourth quarter loss of $0.07 per share vs. a loss of $0.16 a year ago.
  • McGraw-Hill (MHP) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.72 vs. $0.63 a year ago and could comment on the recent legal action taken against Standard & Poor's.
On the economics calendar Tuesday, the NFIB small business optimism index is to be released, followed by same-store sales and the Redbook.

In addition, Esther George, Dennis Lockhart and Charles Plosser of the Fed are all set to speak, and ECB President Mario Draghi is also to give a speech ahead of President Obama's State of the Union address. The Treasury is also set to auction four-week bills and three-year notes.

Overnight, eurozone industrial production figures are to be released as well as the Bank of England's inflation report, followed by outgoing Governor Mervyn King's press conference.

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Feb 12, 2013 10:38AM
Quote of the day...

”This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!” ~Adolph Hitler, 1935, on The Weapons Act of Nazi Germany

See how close Obama's plan comes tonight...
Feb 12, 2013 10:54AM
Thanks to Obama this country now has to worry about the school yard bullies like N. Korea and Iran. He continues to provide zero leadership and is pushing us toward socialism while the entire democratic party helps him. As people may have noticed unemployment is moving up, Obama wants more stimulus and government controlled interference......when are people going to wake up.
Feb 12, 2013 3:35PM

All you Republican, Libertarian and Teabagger imbeciles wanted free markets, free trade, Capitalism gone wild, unregulated everything and rampant Anarchy,.... YOU GOT IT!



Feb 12, 2013 3:35PM

Nuke The Middle East, North Korea, the Republican Party, the Libertarian Party and the Tea Party!


Now the U.S. will be a much safer place without these terrorists!

Feb 12, 2013 11:40AM

When Clinton was Pres. N. Korea was acting up and Clinton told them he`d turn them

into a parking lot and we didn`t have any trouble with them until Bush got to be Pres.

Our mostly right wing media never gave Clinton the credit he deserved.

Feb 12, 2013 7:17PM




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