Stocks were generally weak in Asian trade. The Nikkei fell 2.3% and Australia was down 1.2%. Shanghai and Hong Kong are among the markets that remain closed for the New Year. European indexes are well bid this morning, with the DAX up 2.3% and the Footsie better by one percent at the moment. US stock futures are up about one percent , give or take, as I write.
*The January reading of Japan’s Producer Price Index is -0.9% on the month and -3.1% on the year; the results were two tenths and three tenths more deflationary than forecast.
*Chatter amongst the chattering classes is that the ECB might consider buying bank stocks as part of its QE purchases…maybe corporate debt?!?...just chatter, possibly started by someone long Deutsche Bank?
*The December reading of French Industrial Production is -1.6% on the month and -0.7% on the year; both results were more than two points weaker than expected.
*The December reading of UK Industrial Production is -1.1% on the month and -0.4% on the year; both results were more than one point weaker than the estimates.
*US mortgage applications were up 9.3% in the week ended February 5, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications for Purchases were up just 0.2%, but those for Refinancing were up 15.8%.
*Fed Chair Yellen appears before House Financial Services Committee today for the semi-annual testimony on monetary policy and the economy. Her text will be released at 7:30am CST, but her testimony is not scheduled to begin until 9:00am CST.
*The weekly report on energy inventories is due out at 9:30am CST. Stocks of Crude Oil are forecast to increase 2.85 million barrels, Gasoline inventories are expected to rise 1.0 million and the estimate for Distillates is -1.1 million.
*The Treasury plans to sell $23 billion 10 Year Notes today; the auction results will be announced just after noon CST.
*SF Fed boss Williams set to speak in LA at 12:30pm CST.