February 13, 2018

Futures drop; Big earnings day; South Africa watch

1. Stock markets: It could be another wild day on Wall Street.

Global markets were relatively calm on Tuesday. But Dow futures were down more than 0.7%, suggesting investors may pull back after the index's 1.7% gain on Monday.

The S&P 500 jumped 1.4% on Monday and the Nasdaq added 1.6%. The strong performance followed a week when U.S. stocks entered correction territory -- a decline of 10% or more -- and other global stock markets plummeted.

European markets posted mild losses in early trading on Tuesday. Most Asian markets ended the day with gains.

2. Earnings: Blue Apron, Pepsi and Under Armour will publish earnings before the open Tuesday.

Baidu, Denny's, Fossil, MetLife and Western Union will follow after the close.

3. Inflation expectations: U.K. inflation remained at 3% in January, according to the latest official report.

Prices in the country have spiked after Britain's vote to leave the European Union in 2016 caused the pound to fall sharply.

There are expectations that inflation will pick up in the rest of the developed world as the labor market tightens.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department will release its inflation index for January.

4. Watching South Africa: South Africa's ruling African National Congress party will reveal Tuesday the outcome of a marathon meeting to decide the fate of scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma.

The ANC's executive committee met for 13 hours Monday in an attempt to end a standoff with Zuma. One possible outcome could be a decision to "recall" Zuma, which would effectively end his presidency.

Investors will be closely monitoring the South African rand and companies that have high exposure to the currency, including Old Mutual and Investec, according to Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

5. Coming this week: Tuesday — Earnings from Pepsi, Under Armour and MetLife Wednesday — Earnings from Dr Pepper Snapple, Molson Coors, Cisco, Hilton, Marriott and TripAdvisor; U.S. retail sales and inflation index Thursday — CBS earnings Friday — Earnings from Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup, Kraft Heinz, Smucker, Newell Brands and Deere

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