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Mar 6, 2014

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications Update March 5, 2014: Stock futures trim gains after data - MarketWatch.

By Barbara Kollmeyer and Anora Mahmudova, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock futures trimmed gains on Thursday after the release of better-than-expected jobless claims and a downward revision to productivity, while Staples Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. fell on disappointing earnings.
Across the Atlantic, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, as expected, left policy unchanged. ECB President Mario Draghi at his press conference said rates will stay low for ‘a long time’ and ‘we are ready to consider all instruments available to us’.
New York Fed President William Dudley struck an optimistic tone about the U.S. economy saying it should be better in 2014 than it was in 2013.

More Federal Reserve officials also will speak during the day.
Futures for the S&P 500 indexSPH4 +0.20%  rose 3.3 points, or 0.2%, to 1,875.70, while those for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJH4 +0.17%  rose 27 points to 16,382. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index NDH4 +0.07%  added 3.25 points to 3,731.50.
Investors digested a crop of U.S. data.
The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 26,000 to 323,000 in the week ended March 1, marking the lowest level since late November, the Labor Department said Thursday. Like other economic reports, claims have been distorted by a harsh winter.
The jobless claims data, come ahead of Friday’s nonfarm-payrolls report, which is expected to show job gains of around 140,000 for February.
U.S. productivity in the fourth quarter grew at a 1.8% annual rate instead of 3.2% as originally reported, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday. The revision matched economists’ forecasts.
The Fed will push out its quarterly report on household wealth at noon Eastern, which will give a glimpse of whether consumers and businesses are cutting back on debt or adding to it.

Fed officials and retailers line up

Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser told CNBC on Thursday that he’s “very worried” about potential for unintended consequences of the Fed’s quantitative easing program. He told CNBC that the U.S. “may never return” to its previous growth rates, and it could be “many, many years” before that happens.
Mixed in between, a trio of top Fed officials should garner close attention from Wall Street. New York Fed President William Dudley will be interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and field questions at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart’s speech on the economic outlook at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. is due at 6 p.m. Eastern.
Late Wednesday, Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said in a speech in Mexico City that he was concerned about “eye-popping levels” of some stock markets, and that the central bank must monitor signs carefully to be sure another bubble isn’t forming.
Wall Street finished a choppy day of trading on Wednesday mostly lower. The S&P 500 index SPX -0.01%  closed down less than a point at 1,873.81. The week, which started with a dramatic plunge on fears surrounding the Russia-Ukraine crisis, has so far produced a gain of 0.8% for the index, but the Dow industrials DJIA -0.22%  is up just 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite COMP +0.14%  has fared better, with a nearly 1.2% gain, while the small-cap Russell 2000 index RUT -0.23%  is up nearly 2%.
European stocks stayed firm after the ECB decision. Asian markets closed on a largely stronger footing.

The dollar was mostly lower against major currencies in choppy trade, while gold and oil were also down.
Among individual stocks, Staples SPLS -12.16%  shares slumped 10% in premarket trade after posting falls in sales and traffic for its fiscal fourth quarter, disappointing Wall Street. It also forecast a sales decline in the first quarter of 2014 and said it plans to close 225 stores by the end of 2015.
Costco COST -3.07%  dropped nearly 3% after fiscal second-quarter profit declined 15%. The retailer said the first four-week period of the quarter made up the bulk of earnings underperformance. Same-store sales rose 4% in the U.S., and 5% internationally. Read: Polar Vortex set to slow February sales
Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. PLCE -12.80%  posted a fall in earnings and sales year-on-year and said it sees first-quarter comparable sales off 2% to 4%.
L Brands Inc. LB -0.02%  said same-store sales rose in February.
Kroger Co. KR +3.02%  is also due to report, while same-store sales are also ahead from Gap Inc. GPS -0.42% GPS -0.42% .

More stories from MarketWatch:


Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter@bkollmeyer.Anora Mahmudova is a MarketWatch markets reporter based in New York.

RTTNews Morning Market Briefing March 5, 2014.

Commentary
After ending the previous session roughly flat, stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 27 points. (Mar 6, 2014) Full Article Forward Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Economic News March 6, 2014.
Australia posted a merchandise trade surplus of A$1.433 billion in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday - up 142 percent on the surplus from December. (Mar 6, 2014) Full Article 
China's economic growth could be a little lower than the 7.5 percent target this year, and the government is focused more on creating jobs than strictly maintaining the strong growth momentum, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said. (Mar 6, 2014) Full Article 
The Bank of England policymakers kept the record-low interest rate unchanged, sticking to the forward guidance, and decided to refrain from any action that risks recovery. The nine-member rate-setting committee headed by Governor Mark Carney retained the interest rate at a historic low 0.50 percent and the quantitative easing programme unchanged at GBP 375 billion. (Mar 6, 2014) Full Article
The European Central Bank left its interest rates unchanged on Thursday after recent indicators signaled stabilizing economic conditions in the single currency bloc. Following the policy meeting in Frankfurt, the Governing Council decided to leave the main refinancing rate unchanged at a record low 0.25 percent. The decision was in line with economists' expectations. (Mar 6, 2014) Full Article 
With output rising by much less than previously estimated, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a notable downward revision to the pace of labor productivity growth in the fourth quarter of 2013. (Mar 6, 2014) Full Article
In an upbeat sign for the labor market ahead of tomorrow’s monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing that first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by more than expected in the week ended March 1st. (Mar 6, 2014) Full Article 
Broker Ratings Changes
Nomura Raises Wacker Chemie AG (WKCMY.PK) To Buy From Neutral With €115 Price Target
(Mar 6, 2014) 
Todays WS Events
Agilent Technologies 2014 Analyst Meeting Webcast At 8:30 AM ET
Agilent Technologies Inc. (A) will host its 2014 Analyst Meeting in New York, NY. The event is scheduled to begin at 8:30 AM ET on March 6,2014. To access the live webcast, log on athttp://www.investor.agilent.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=103274&p=irol-irhome (Mar 6, 2014)
AT&T To Present At Morgan Stanley Conference; Webcast At 11:00 AM ET
AT&T Inc. (T) will present at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco. The event is scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM ET on March 6,2014. To access the live webcast, log on at http://www.att.com/gen/landing-pages?pid=5718 (Mar 6, 2014)  
H&R Block Q3 14 Earnings Conference Call At 4:30 PM ET
H&R Block Inc. (HRB) will host a conference call at 4:30 PM ET on March 6, 2014, to discuss its Q3 14 earnings results. To access the live webcast log on to http://investors.hrblock.com To listen to the live call, dial (888) 895-5260 (US) or (443) 842-7595 (International), Conference ID: 51003273. For a replay call, dial (855) 859-2056 (US) or (404) 537-3406 (International), conference ID 51003273. (Mar 6, 2014) 
Kroger Q4 13 Earnings Conference Call At 10:00 AM ET
The Kroger Co. (KR) will host a conference call at 10:00 AM ET on March 6, 2014, to discuss its Q4 13 earnings results. To access the live webcast, log on at http://www.kroger.com (Mar 6, 2014) 
Rockwell Collins Investor Conference At 8:30 AM ET
Rockwell Collins Inc. (COL) will host an Investor Conference in New York City. The event is scheduled to begin at 8:30 AM ET on March 6, 2014. To access the live webcast, log on atwww.rockwellcollins.com (Mar 6, 2014) 
Stocks To Watch

This homebuilder features on our radar, after reporting strong February 2014 closings. (Mar 6, 2014)Full Article

Reuters | Deals Today March 5, 2014: Axel Springer on lookout for takeovers in digital field.

Reuters Election 2012 Daily round-up of the day's top news from the campaign trail, the White House and all the politics in between
Axel Springer on lookout for takeovers in digital field
BERLIN (Reuters) - German publisher Axel Springer is on the lookout for potential takeovers to strengthen its big push into digital media and away from its traditional print products.
Emirates executive says Qantas partnership is working
BERLIN (Reuters) - Emirates airline said its alliance with Australia's Qantas was working and had helped the Gulf carrier to improve yields, after some analysts questioned the benefits of the partnership.
Monte Paschi top investor denies stake sale reports
MILAN (Reuters) - The top investor in Italy's third biggest lender, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena , denied on Thursday press reports that it had sold a stake of at least 8 percent in the bank the previous day.
Merck KGaA says confident AZ takeover to be wrapped up in H1
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The chief executive of German liquid crystal maker Merck KGaA , Karl-Ludwig Kley, said he was confident the planned takeover of Britain's AZ Electronic Materials could be completed in the first half of this year, speaking to a press conference on Thursday.
Softbank CEO's merger plans for Sprint, T-Mobile face long odds
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Masayoshi Son isn't used to taking no for an answer. But the Softbank Corp chief's pleas for a merger of the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers seem to be falling on deaf ears.
Raytheon wins $350 million deal for SM-3 missiles
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Raytheon Co has won a contract valued at up to $350 million to increase the number of Standard Missile-3 Block 1B missiles and other materials to 44 from 8, the U.S. Defense Department said on Wednesday.
Virgin America could go public in second half of 2014
(Reuters) - Virgin America, the U.S. carrier in which Richard Branson's Virgin Group has a minority stake, could go public in the third or fourth quarter, its president and chief executive said on Wednesday.
BR Properties to sell warehouses to GLP for $1.36 billion
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian real estate developer BR Properties SA will sell most of its industrial warehouses and logistics facilities to Singapore-listed Global Logistic Properties Limited for 3.18 billion reais ($1.36 billion), according to a securities filing on Wednesday.
UK government to appoint UBS on possible Eurostar stake sale: sources
LONDON (Reuters) - The British government is close to appointing investment bank UBS to advise on the possible sale of its 40 percent stake in Eurostar, the fast speed train that links Britain to Europe, four sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
Foreigners to be mostly kept out of China's privatizations
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - As China embarks on a new wave of opening up state-dominated industries to private capital, foreign firms will largely be kept out and authorities are likely to look to institutions like domestic pension funds and insurers.