Stock markets around the world have been quiet overnight as investors await a number of developments scheduled for later in the week including China trade data tonight, FOMC Chair Powell and President-Elect Biden speaking Thursday and the kickoff to earnings season plus retail sales numbers for the US and China on Friday. This afternoon, the Fed releases its Beige Book regional economic report and two FOMC members are set to speak, Brainard and Clarida, of which the former could be particularly significant considering her long-established ties to the incoming administration.
US index futures are down 0.2%-0.4% this morning, essentially giving back yesterday’s US index gains of 0.0%-0.4%. Major European indices are flat to down 0.3% today after taking a handoff from essentially flat Asia Pacific trading.
While investors await the start of earnings season, holiday season sales from retailers have attracted some attention. This morning’s numbers highlight the growing divide between discretionary versus staples/online purchases. Target announced that its same store holiday season sales were up 17.2% over year, including large increases in curbside pickup and delivery sales. On the other hand, apparel and lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters is down 9.3% in premarket trading after announcing that its holiday season sales were down over 9% from a year ago.
WTI crude oil is up 0.4% this morning after weekly API US oil inventories fell by 5.8 mmbbls last week, more than the previous week’s 1.6 mmbbl drawdown. US DOE oil inventories are due at 10:30 am EST, with the street expecting a 2.2 mmbbl drawdown, less than the 8.0 mmbbl decline of the previous week. Natural gas, meanwhile, is up 2.0% as temperatures fall in consuming regions. Metals are mixed today with Gold up 0.5%, Copper up 0.3% but Silver sliding 0.4%.