A Stress Free Trading Day Ahead
The S&P 500 Index takes aim at a record Friday, but it will contend with some special factors including Quadruple Witching (how I dislike the term). The SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY), SPDR Dow Jones Industrials (NYSE: DIA) and the PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ) all gained Thursday between 0.3% and 0.6%. I see a record breaking day in store Friday, but I’m not sure we’ll hold ground after the fact or even into the close. The big news driver of Friday’s trade came after the close Thursday when the Federal Reserve issued its bank stress test data, formally known as the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review. Post the release, the after-hours winners included Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C), American Express (NYSE: AXP), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), Capital One (NYSE: COF), PNC Financial (NYSE: PNC), Fifth Third (Nasdaq: FITB) and Regions Financial (NYSE: RF). Losers included J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), BB&T (NYSE: BBT), Ally Financial (Nasdaq: ALFI), Keycorp (NYSE: KEY), SunTrust (NYSE: STI), State Street (NYSE: STT) and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), in approximate order of the after-hours move. The report disapproved with the plans of Ally Financial and BB&T Corp., and conditionally condemned Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February leads the wire Friday morning. Economists see the CPI up 0.5% this month, versus the absence of change in January. However, excluding food and energy prices, the Core CPI is expected to increase by 0.2%, less than last month’s 0.3% rise.
The New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Index is expected to hold at about the same level this month. Economists see the index inching down to 10.0, from 10.4 last month.
New Treasury International Capital (TIC) data will reach the wire at 9:00 AM ET Friday. There’s no economists’ forecast here.
Industrial Production data will reach the wire at 9:00 AM for the month of February. Economists see production rising by 0.5%, after dropping by 0.1% last month. Manufacturing production is expected to increase by 0.3% this month, after dropping by 0.4% last month. Industrial capacity utilization is expected to improve to 79.4% this month, from 79.1% in January.
The Reuters/ University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is up for release at 9:55 AM. Economists see the index holding steady this month, measuring 77.5, versus 77.6 at the end of last month. Again, gains in February were all on Washington D.C. simply getting out of the way of business.
A Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing on J.P. Morgan’s (NYSE: JPM) London whale trade.
On the corporate wire, Ford (NYSE: F) hosts its Ford University Conference Call. Fifth & Pacific Cos. (NYSE: FNP) has its Kate Spade New York 2013 Investor Day. The earnings schedule brings Abraxas Petroleum (Nasdaq: AXAS), Brown Shoe (NYSE: BWS), Carnival (NYSE: CCL), China Pharma (Nasdaq: CPHI), Citi Trends (Nasdaq: CTRN), Clean Diesel Technologies (Nasdaq: CDTI), Crimson Exploration (Nasdaq: CXPO), Destination XL Group (Nasdaq: DXLG), Federal Signal (NYSE: FSS), Hibbett Sports (Nasdaq: HIBB), Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: INO), Jinpan Int’l (NYSE: JST), Ku6 Media (Nasdaq: KUTV), Lihua Int’l (Nasdaq: LIWA), Optical Cable (NYSE: OCC), Progenics Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PGNX), Senomyx (Nasdaq: SNMX), Stonemor Partners (Nasdaq: STON), Uranium Resources (Nasdaq: URRE), Zhongpin (Nasdaq: HOGS) and Zogenix (Nasdaq: ZGNX) to the wire.
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