*Stocks were mixed in Asian trade. Shanghai fell 2.9% and the Nikkei was down 0.7%, but the Hang Seng rose three quarters of a percent and Australia was up 0.6%. European indexes are on offer this morning, with the DAX down 1.4% and the Footsie off by 0.8%. US stock futures are modestly higher as I write.
*The December reading of Japan’s Retail Trade were much weaker than forecast, down 0.2% on the month and -1.1% on the year; both results were at least one percent under the estimates.
*The December reading of Germany’s Import Price Index is -1.2% on the month and -3.1% on the year; both results as expected.
*German states are this morning releasing the January reading of their Consumer Price Indexes, including: Saxony, -0.9% on the month and +0.4% on the year; Brandenburg, -0.8% and +0.3%; Hesse, -0.9% and +0.3%; Bavaria, -0.8% and +0.7%; and North Rhine Westphalia, -0.8% and +0.6%. The national CPI is due out at 7:00am CST, it is expected to be -1.0% on the month and -0.4% on the year.
*The Q4 reading of UK GDP is +0.5% on a quarterly basis and +1.9% on the year, matching the forecasts.
*Caterpillar beat the street in its earnings report today, so too did Ford; they are among the companies out with quarterly results this morning. Microsoft and Amazon are a couple of the top names that will report after the close this afternoon.
*The weekly report on Initial Jobless Claims is due out at 7:30am CST, it is expected to be 281k. Also due out at 7:30am is the preliminary December reading of Durable Goods Orders; headline Orders are expected to be -0.7% on the month and the estimate for Orders Less Transportation is -0.1%. The December reading of Pending Home Sales is due out at 9:00am CST, it is forecast to be +0.9% month on month.
*The weekly report on inventories of Natural Gas is due out at 9:30am CST, it is expected to show a decline of 207 bcf.
*The January reading of the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity Index is due out at 10:00am CST, it is forecast to be -10; it was -9 in December.
*The Treasury plans to sell $29 billion 7 Year Notes today; the auction results will be announced just after noon CST.
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