Equity markets are giving back some of yesterday’s gains this morning.US index futures are down 0.4% to 0.8% coming off a mixed Monday which saw the Dow Industrials climb 0.7% but the NASDAQ Composite fall 0.5%. In Europe, the Dax is down 1.4% while the FTSE is up 0.1%. Asia Pacific trading saw the Hang Seng climb 0.7% but the Nikkei slide 0.8%. Commodities are also mixed today with WTI crude oil up 1.1% but copper down 0.4%.
Although market action suggests indecisiveness among investors, corporate earnings continue to come in well ahead above expectations. Highlights of today’s US results include Pfizer ($0.93 vs street $0.77), Dupont ($0.91 vs street $0.86), and CVS Health ($2.04 vs street $1.72). Later today, results are due from Suncor Energy, Lyft and Prudential.
Recent gains in forest products prices appear to have sparked some takeover interest in the sector. Domtar jumped about 16% in aftermarket trading last night on press reports that Canada’s Paper Excellence is exploring a going private takeover bid for the paper producer.
Its a quiet day for economic news where the main report was that Canada posted a surprise trade deficit (-1.14B vs street +0.7B). Yesterday’s US and Canadian manufacturing PMI reports came in well above 50 but slightly below expectations, the most troubling part of which was that the inflation (prices paid) component of the US report was higher than expected. US factory orders for March are due at 10:00 am EDT (street 1.3% vs previous -0.8%). Tomorrow morning brings US ADP private sector payrolls at 8:15 am EDT (street 810K vs previous 517K) and service PMI reports from countries around the world.