The S&P 500 futures remain on the upside after they were closed for Memorial Day. However, major stock index (Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq 100) futures were still up over 1%.
Later today, the Conference Board will publish May Consumer Confidence Index (87.0 expected). The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will post March National Activity Index (-3 expected). The Commerce Department will release April new home sales (480,000 units expected). SP/Case-Shiller will report 20-City Composite Home Price Index for March (+0.3% on month expected). The Federal Housing Finance Agency will release its House Price Index for March (+0.5% on month expected). The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas will post its Manufacturing Activity Index for May (-62.0 expected).
European indices opened higher thanks to a bullish gap and remain well directed. Germany’s GfK Consumer Confidence Index for June was released at -18.9 (vs -18.2 expected).
Asian indices closed well in the green. Government data showed that New Zealand recorded a trade surplus of 1.27 billion New Zealand dollars in April (1.24 billion New Zealand dollars surplus expected), where exports totaled 5.26 billion New Zealand dollars (5.30 billion New Zealand dollars expected).
WTI Crude Oil Futures remain on the upside. IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said: “In the absence of strong government policies, a sustained economic recovery and low oil prices are likely to take global oil demand back to where it was, and beyond.”
Gold fell 7.74$ (-0.45%) to 1724.21, losing some ground on rallying equities.
The US Dollar is weakening against its major peers on reopening economies. The EUR/USD gained 57pips to 1.0955 while GBP/USD jumped 123pips to 1.2314. The Bank of England said that most recent economic data were better than anticipated.
US Equity Snapshot
Merck (MRK), the pharma giant, unveiled “three significant scientific initiatives to combat COVID-19.” The company announced the acquisition of “Themis Bioscience, a company focused on vaccines and immune-modulation therapies for infectious diseases, including COVID-19.” IAVI, a nonprofit scientific research organization, and Merck will “collaborate to develop vaccine against COVID-19″. Finally, Merck and Ridgeback Bio will collaborate to advance development of an oral antiviral candidate for COVID-19, EIDD-2801.”
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), a biotechnology company, is expected to lose ground as Sanofi plans to sell most of its 20.6% stake in the company. Regeneron reported has agreed to repurchase 5 billion dollars of its shares from French pharmaceutical group, where Sanofi also intends to sell 12.8 million shares in the company through public offering.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise, (HPE), a supplier of information technology products and services, was upgraded to “neutral” from “underweight” at JPMorgan.
AutoZone (AZO), the leading retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the U.S., reported third quarter EPS of 14.39 dollars, more than forecast, down from 15.99 dollars a year ago, on sales flat at 2.78 billion dollars, above estimates.