BEFORE THE BELL The S&P/TSX and American Futures remain on the downside after they closed in negative territory yesterday as investors reacted to the FOMC Minutes meeting from December in which some Fed members view the conditions for rate hikes to be met sooner than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 392.54pts (-1.07%) to 36,407, the S&P 500 lost 92.96pts (-1.94%) to 4,700 and the Nasdaq 100 slid 507.95pts (-3.12%) to 15,771.
Later today, weekly initial jobless claims are estimated at 195,000, while December ISM services purchasing managers index is expected at 67.0. Also, November trade deficit is estimated at 70 billion dollars and factory orders are anticipated to increase by 1.3% on month. In Canada, November Balance of trades will be expected. European equity indices are under pressure. The eurozone's producer price index was up 1.8% on month in November, vs 1.5% expected. Germany's factory orders grew 3.7% on month in November, vs 2.3% expected. In the U.K., final reading of December services purchasing managers index stood at 53.6, vs 53.2 previously. Asian indices all closed in the red. China's Caixin services manufacturing managers index rose to 53.1 in December from 52.1 in November, above 51.9 estimated.
Crude oil WTI price is on the upside. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude inventories dropped 2.14 million barrels in the week ending December 31, smaller than the expected draw of 3.34 million barrels. In addition, total motor gasoline inventories increased by 10.1 million barrels last week, much larger than the expected increase of 1.775 million barrels. US SNAPSHOT Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), a retail pharmacy chain, is gaining ground premarket after posting first quarter earnings above estimates and raising full year guidance. Pfizer (PFE): CDC advisers recommended booster shot of the drugmaker's Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 12-17. Target (TGT) and Dollar General (DG), retail companies, were both downgraded to "equal-weight" from "overweight" at Wells Fargo. Gilead Sciences (GILD), a biopharmaceutical company focused on infectious diseases, was downgraded to "equal-weight" from "overweight" at Morgan Stanley.