Stocks were mostly higher in Asian trade. The Hang Seng rose one percent and Australia gained a half percent, however Shanghai was lower by 0.4% and Japan was closed for the Emperor’s birthday. European indexes are well bid this morning, with the Footsie up more than two percent and the DAX up more than one and three quarters percent. US stock futures are moderately higher.
*The quarterly reading France’s Q3 GDP was unrevised at 0.3%, but the annualized reading was revised a tenth lower to 1.1%.
*The November reading of French Consumer Spending is -1.1%, much weaker than the +0.1% estimate.
*The UK Q3 GDP is +0.4% on a quarterly basis and +2.1% on the year; both results were slightly less growth than previously reported.
*Reuters reports that Spain’s PM Rajoy met with the Socialists party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchezto see if they can work out a government coalition. But Sanchez doesn’t’ sound as though he is interested in any deal that leaves Rajoy in the top seat and the PSOE rank and file would be difficult to convince they should back a deal with Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) in any case.
*US mortgage applications were up 7.3% in the week ended December 18, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications for Purchases were up 4.1% on the week, and those for Refinancing were up 10.8%.
*The November reading of Personal Income and Spending is due out at 7:30am CST. Income is forecast to be up 0.2% on the month and the estimate for Spending is +0.3%. The PCE Deflator is expected to be +0.1% on the month and +0.4% on the year, while the estimates for the Core PCE is +0.1% and +1.3%, respectively. The preliminary November reading of Durable Goods Orders is also due out at 7:30am; the headline Orders are expected to be -0.6% on a monthly basis and the estimate for Orders Ex-transportation is 0.0%. The November reading of New Home Sales is due out at 9:00am CST, it is expected to be an annualized sales rate of 505k units, which would be up 2.0% from the month before. Also due out at 9:00am is the final December reading of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan, it is expected to be 92.0, or two tenths higher than this month’s preliminary result; it was 91.3 in November.
*The October reading of Canada’s GDP is due out at 7:30am CST; it is expected to be +0.2% on the month and 0.0% on the year.
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