Futures flat on weak German GDP

Markets remain concerned about US debt, while Fitch warns several countries of a potential downgrade.

By Benzinga Jan 15, 2013 9:18AM
zurbar age fotostockU.S. equity futures were fractionally lower in early Tuesday trade following the release of fourth quarter and full year 2012 GDP data for Germany. German GDP contracted 0.5% in the fourth quarter, bringing the 2012 total rate of growth to 0.7%, weaker than economist forecasts of a 0.8% rate of growth.

In other news, reports surfaced late Monday that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner believes that the Treasury could run out of money as soon as mid-February unless the debt ceiling is raised. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking at the University of Michigan Monday, reiterated his stance that a deal needs to get done.

Fitch overnight has threatened the ratings of France, the U.S., and the U.K. citing the lack of a long-term fiscal plan in the U.S. and a poor European economy.

Former Italian Prime Minister and PM Candidate Silvio Berlusconi recently conducted a series of television interviews which have paid off, as his rating in opinion polls increased some 2.5% last month according to La 7.
  • S&P 500 futures were flat at 1,463.70.
  • The EUR/USD was was flat at 1.3384.
  • Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell to 5.033%.
  • Italian 10-year government bond yields fell to 4.169%.
  • Gold rose 0.69% to $1,680.90.
  • Click here for more of Benzinga's Top News stories.
Asian markets
Asian shares were mixed overnight with Japanese shares gaining on stimulus hopes and Korean shares plummeting. The Japanese Nikkei Index rose 0.72% and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6% while the Hang Seng Index fell 0.14% in Hong Kong. Also, the Korean Kospi declined 1.16% and Australian shares slipped 0.07%.

European markets
European shares were mostly flat to slightly higher in early trade with notable weakness seen in Spain. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.36% while the Italian MIB Index rose 0.41%. Meanwhile, the German DAX rose 0.06% and the French CAC gained 0.25% while U.K. shares rose 0.08%.

Commodities were mostly higher overnight, buoyed by energy strength. WTI crude futures rose 0.25% to $94.38 per barrel and Brent crude futures gained 0.4% to $112.33 per barrel. Copper futures declined with Australian mining stocks as futures lost 0.21% to $362.65. Gold was higher and silver futures rose 0.72% to $31.34 per ounce.

Currency markets were fairly quiet overnight with the exception being yen strength following comments from Japanese Economy Minister Amari that too much yen weakness too soon is not healthy. The EUR/USD was flat at 1.3384 and the dollar declined against the yen to 88.83. Overall, the Dollar Index fell 0.08% with weakness against the yen offset by strength against the Canadian dollar and Swiss franc. In addition, the AUD/JPY cross was the biggest mover, declining 0.83%, and the EUR/JPY followed the pair lower.

Premarket movers
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares rose 0.29% premarket as the company announced that it is launching a new cloud computing unit.
  • Bank of America (BAC) shares declined 0.39% ahead of its earnings report later this week.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Tuesday include:
  • El Paso Pipeline Partners LP (EPB) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.55 vs. $0.51 a year ago.
  • Forest Labs (FRX) is expected to report a third quarter loss of $0.14 per share vs. a profit of 1.04 per share a year ago.
  • Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.21 vs. $0.27 a year ago.
  • Lennar (LEN) is expected to report fourth quarter EPS of $0.44 vs. $0.16 a year ago.
On the economics calendar Tuesday, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren speaks ahead of the PPI and retail sales data releases. Also, the Empire State Manufacturing Index is due out as well as the Redbook and Naryana Kocherlakota of the Minneapolis Fed and Charles Plosser of the Philly Fed are set to speak. Lastly, business inventories data is due out and the Treasury is set to auction four-week bills. Overnight, Australian auto sales, Chinese FDI data, and a German one-year bund auction will set the tone for markets.

More from Benzinga
Click here for your free two week trial of Benzinga Pro!


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

123 rated 1
262 rated 2
480 rated 3
651 rated 4
649 rated 5
629 rated 6
616 rated 7
496 rated 8
346 rated 9
111 rated 10

Top Picks

TAT&T Inc9



Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.