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Oil Jumps 2% on Darkened Venezuela and Bets for Shallower U.S. Tanks

March 26, 2019, 05:01

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com - The lights have gone out in Caracas again, just as U.S. oil tank readings are expected to have dipped for a third week in a row, to OPEC's joy.

WTI settled up $1.12, or 1.9%, at $59.94, after a session peak at $60.37. That was just shy of last week's 2019 high of $60.39 for the U.S. crude benchmark.

London-traded Brent, the global oil benchmark, rose 59 cents, or 0.9%, to $67.40 by 2:53 PM ET (18:53 GMT).

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate came close to matching that four-month high after Venezuela's second major blackout this month left the South American nation's streets and oil industry in darkness, worsening the crisis for embattled President Nicholas Maduro, whom the U.S. and some 50 other countries are seeking to replace.

Sulfur-laden Venezuelan oil is precious to U.S. refiners of diesel and heavy transport fuels, and they may not be able to get a barrel of it anymore due to Trump administration sanctions aimed at ensuring Maduro's government doesn't enjoy a cent of its petroleum revenue from the United States. Those sanctions and others on Iranian oil, combined with OPEC cuts, are expected to have resulted in a third-straight week of U.S. crude stockpile declines last week.

With the American Petroleum Institute due to release at 4:30 PM ET a snapshot on what official inventory figures for last week could have been, attention has turned again to the tight supply situation in the market.

Analysts expect the U.S. Energy Information Administration to announce on Wednesday an official decline of a little more than 1 million barrels in crude stockpiles for the week ended March 22 and will be perusing the API report for how close they might be with that estimate.

Figures released from the two often diverge, last week being the perfect example. The API, which collates its number from voluntary reporting by industry participants, cited a draw of a little more than 2 million barrels. The EIA, which requires mandatory reporting by all in the industry, ultimately reported a drawdown of nearly 10 million barrels.

Even if Wednesday's dataset shows a lower drop than forecast, a third-straight week of declines totaling more than 13 million barrels could immediately strengthen the tight supply narrative forced by the Venezuela/Iran sanctions and production cuts by OPEC, Russia and their allies under the enlarged OPEC+ pact. That, combined with flat interest rates from the Federal Reserve and a drop in U.S. oil drilling activity, has pushed crude prices up as much as 30% this year.

But once Wednesday comes and goes, economic worries and how those influence oil demand might matter even more.

"We are likely to see further consolidation and sideways trading in oil for a while unless demand concerns deepen further, especially from places like China and other emerging market economies," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at forex.com, who says last week's 2019 high of $60.37 must be decisively broken for oil bulls to progress.

The Saudis, however, aspire for at least $70 Brent and an ideal price of $80-$85, which may be difficult to achieve given the current economic backdrop.

"Brent is short-term bullish at around $65," said Matthew Tuttle, founder of Riverside, Conn.-based Tuttle Tactical Management, which has some $600 million in assets. "Anything more will depend on how dovish the Fed acts."

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Gold Dips With Risk Back on; Palladium Down as Well

March 26, 2019, 06:48

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com - The equities bull is back, driving gold bugs into retreat.

Global risk assets rallied Tuesday, with all three key stock indexes on Wall Street rising to temper the strong start this week for bullion and futures of the yellow metal.

Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was down $5.16, or 0.4%, to $1,316.74 per ounce by 2:37 PM ET (18:37 GMT).

Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled the official trading session down $7.60, or 0.6%, at $1,321.40 per ounce.

The dollar, another contrarian trade to gold, also rose, adding to the precious metal's headwinds and dimming its lure as a safe haven. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, was up 0.2% at 96.21.

Equities, the dollar and other risk assets struggled in the past two sessions after the spreads between U.S. 3-month and 10-year Treasury yields inverted, a sign of a potential recession.

"Today it's risk back on, with even crude oil prices higher and less worries of a yield inversion," said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York. "The stocks rally and uptick in the dollar combined to derail the gold rally."

ADM Investor Services projected resistance for Comex gold at $1,328.90 to $1,333.60 and support from $1,315.10 to $1,305.90.

Gold hit 2019 highs of nearly $1,350 on Feb. 20 before turning choppy.

Palladium remained the world's most expensive traded metal despite a slide in prices of the silvery-white auto-component metal.

The spot price of palladium fell $30.10, or almost 2%, to 1,545.80 per ounce. It hit a record high of $1,616.30 last week.

Trades in other Comex metals as of 2:37 PM ET (18:37 GMT):

Palladium futures down $27.65, or 1.8%, at $1,515.75 per ounce.

Platinum futures up $2.15, or 0.3%, at $865.35 per ounce.

Silver futures down 14 cents, or 0.9%, at $15.43 per ounce.

Copper futures flat at $2.86 per pound.

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Cigna Shares Hit 52-Week Low on Trump Bid to Kill ACA

March 26, 2019, 06:19

Investing.com - The Trump Administration wants the entire Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) declared unconstitutional and Cigna (NYSE:CI) shares fell back Tuesday as a result.

The shares were down 1.8% Tuesday afternoon and hit a 52-week low of $160.37. The shares are off 29% since peaking on Dec. 3 and down more than 15% this year.

The administration's position came in a letter sent to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court is hearing an appeal of a Texas court decision that declared the entire ACA unconstitutional.

The administration told the appeals court that “it is not urging that any portion of the district court’s judgment be reversed,” the New York Times reported.

Health-insurance stocks generally were lower on Tuesday.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), off 1.6%, was the worst performer among the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) was off 9.5%.

Critics of the Administration's current position, who include the health-insurance industry, say gutting the ACA entirely will take away insurance coverage from as many as 100 million Americans and cause chaos for consumers, healthcare providers and health-insurance companies.

The case will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court no matter who wins on the appeal. It will also likely be a political issue for the 2020 election.

Cigna earned $2.46 a share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $14.3 billion. Both beat estimates from analysts polled by Investing.com. The stock has been weak since December in part because of the uncertainty created by the Texas ACA decision.

Cigna will be spending much of this year digesting its $67-billion acquisition pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX).

Its 2019 results won't be comparable to 2018 because the Express Scripts deal. The current Investing.com consensus is earnings of $3.76 a share on revenue of $34.1 billion.

The Express Scripts deal is part of an industry trend for health insurers and pharmacy management operations to combine in hopes of cutting prices. But the deals also will intensify competition. United Health owns Optum Rx and drugstore chain CVS Health (NYSE:CVS)) bought Aetna (NYSE:AET) in a $70 billion deal in late 2018.

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Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 0.78%

March 26, 2019, 06:35

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Software&Computer Services, Technology Hardware&Equipment and Construction&Materials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX gained 0.78%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Adyen NV (AS:ADYEN), which rose 3.84% or 25.40 points to trade at 686.40 at the close. Meanwhile, Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG) added 2.91% or 2.460 points to end at 87.120 and Wolters Kluwer (AS:WLSNc) was up 2.08% or 1.22 points to 59.84 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT), which fell 1.54% or 0.280 points to trade at 17.936 at the close. Koninklijke KPN NV (AS:KPN) declined 1.05% or 0.030 points to end at 2.828 and Aegon NV (AS:AEGN) was down 0.90% or 0.039 points to 4.284.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 86 to 41 and 13 ended unchanged.

Shares in Wolters Kluwer (AS:WLSNc) rose to all time highs; gaining 2.08% or 1.22 to 59.84.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 8.32% to 14.34.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 1.80% or 1.06 to $59.88 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.81% or 0.54 to hit $67.35 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.46% or 6.05 to trade at $1322.95 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.28% to 1.1279, while EUR/GBP fell 0.42% to 0.8528.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.15% at 96.215.

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France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.89%

March 26, 2019, 06:35

Investing.com – France stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Consumer Goods, Basic Materials and General Financial sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.89%, while the SBF 120 index added 0.89%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Capgemini SE (PA:CAPP), which rose 3.30% or 3.35 points to trade at 105.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Dassault Systemes SE (PA:DAST) added 2.52% or 3.25 points to end at 132.45 and Atos SE (PA:ATOS) was up 2.35% or 1.98 points to 86.14 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT), which fell 1.54% or 0.280 points to trade at 17.936 at the close. Accor SA (PA:ACCP) declined 0.68% or 0.25 points to end at 36.62 and Engie SA (PA:ENGIE) was down 0.53% or 0.07 points to 13.23.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Sopra Steria Group SA (PA:SOPR) which rose 3.65% to 102.10, Eurofins Scientific SE (PA:EUFI) which was up 3.49% to settle at 362.20 and DBV Technologies (PA:DBV) which gained 3.33% to close at 13.330.

The worst performers were Trigano SA (PA:TRIA) which was down 9.52% to 67.50 in late trade, Technicolor (PA:TCH) which lost 2.07% to settle at 1.040 and ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT) which was down 1.54% to 17.936 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 333 to 227 and 101 ended unchanged.

Shares in Trigano SA (PA:TRIA) fell to 52-week lows; down 9.52% or 7.10 to 67.50.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 7.28% to 15.44.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.46% or 6.05 to $1322.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 1.80% or 1.06 to hit $59.88 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.81% or 0.54 to trade at $67.35 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.28% to 1.1279, while EUR/GBP fell 0.40% to 0.8529.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.15% at 96.215.

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Denmark stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 up 1.27%

March 26, 2019, 06:35

Investing.com – Denmark stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Healthcare, Oil&Gas and Consumer Goods sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 rose 1.27%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were Ambu A/S (CO:AMBUb), which rose 3.33% or 5.6 points to trade at 173.7 at the close. Meanwhile, Carlsberg A/S B (CO:CARLb) added 2.27% or 18.4 points to end at 828.2 and GN Store Nord (CO:GN) was up 2.25% or 7.0 points to 318.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Jyske Bank A/S (CO:JYSK), which fell 1.04% or 2.6 points to trade at 246.3 at the close. Pandora A/S (CO:PNDORA) declined 0.81% or 2.5 points to end at 304.8 and AP Moeller - Maersk A/S B (CO:MAERSKb) was down 0.70% or 60 points to 8562.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 71 to 61 and 16 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 1.82% or 1.07 to $59.89 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.85% or 0.57 to hit $67.38 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.45% or 5.95 to trade at $1323.05 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was up 0.32% to 6.6192, while EUR/DKK rose 0.04% to 7.4656.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.15% at 96.208.

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Dollar Edges Higher as 10Y Treasury Yield Rises Above Key Level

March 26, 2019, 06:16

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar edged higher against its rivals as Treasury yields rebounded. The dollar's strength came even as U.S. housing data continued to indicate wobbles in the economy and growing expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut intensified.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.15% to 96.21.

The U.S. 10-Year yield rose above the key 2.40% level as risk appetite returned, despite increasing expectations the Fed's next move will likely be a rate cut as soon as September. But the rise in yields was capped by weak housing data, keeping a lid on the greenback's advance.

U.S. housing starts fell 8.7%, the second-biggest monthly decline since November 2016, the Commerce Department said.

Analysts said multifamily homebuilding was strong, but acknowledge that the data did little to point to a positive background for first-quarter economic growth.

"Of note in the details, multifamily was strong coming in at 17.8% MoM," BMO said in a note. "Q1 was shaping up to be a weaker quarter for the U.S. and it appears that is clearly the case for construction."

Building permits, a key indicator of U.S. housing production, fell 1.6%, the second-straight monthly decline, denting sentiment on homebuilders even as analysts touted signs of green shoots in homebuying demand.

Meanwhile, GBP/USD rose 0.14% to $1.3221 as U.K. lawmakers backed a move on Monday for parliament to take control over the Brexit process from U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

U.K. lawmakers will put forward a range of options over the path of Brexit on Wednesday to establish which, if any, may win majority support to break the current Brexit impasse.

Any option that wins majority support will not be legally binding and there is no guarantee that the EU will back any amendments.

If parliament fails to back Theresa May's withdrawal deal by the extended Brexit deadline of April 12, the U.K. will leave the EU without a deal.

U.K. media outlets reported that a third vote on May's Brexit deal did not have sufficient support for it to be approved for a vote today, with some speculating a vote could be slated for Thursday.

EUR/USD fell 0.26% to $1.1282 and USD/CAD fell 0.16% to C$1.3378.

USD/JPY rose 0.45% to Y110.45 as an uptick in demand for risk assets dented demand for the safe-haven yen.

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Germany stocks higher at close of trade; DAX up 0.64%

March 26, 2019, 06:15

Investing.com – Germany stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Software, Financial Services and Food&Beverages sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX gained 0.64%, while the MDAX index added 0.86%, and the TecDAX index added 3.58%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were Wirecard AG (DE:WDIG), which rose 26.24% or 25.975 points to trade at 124.975 at the close. Meanwhile, Fresenius SE&Co KGAA O.N. (DE:FREG) added 3.55% or 1.670 points to end at 48.760 and SAP SE (DE:SAPG) was up 2.25% or 2.220 points to 100.860 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Heidelbergcement AG O.N. (DE:HEIG), which fell 2.32% or 1.500 points to trade at 63.220 at the close. RWE AG ST O.N. (DE:RWEG) declined 1.85% or 0.450 points to end at 23.880 and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (DE:BMWG) was down 1.47% or 1.010 points to 67.910.

The top performers on the MDAX were Morphosys AG O.N. (DE:MORG) which rose 3.58% to 83.8000, Evotec AG O.N. (DE:EVTG) which was up 2.69% to settle at 22.500 and Zalando SE (DE:ZALG) which gained 2.49% to close at 35.04.

The worst performers were Prosiebensat 1 Media AG (DE:PSMGn) which was down 1.79% to 13.1500 in late trade, Stroeer SE (DE:SAXG) which lost 1.59% to settle at 49.500 and Deutsche Euroshop AG (DE:DEQGn) which was down 1.25% to 26.800 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were Wirecard AG (DE:WDIG) which rose 26.24% to 124.975, SLM Solutions Group AG (DE:AM3D) which was up 5.53% to settle at 6.30 and Nordex SE O.N. (DE:NDXG) which gained 4.92% to close at 13.210.

The worst performers were Aixtron SE NA O.N. (DE:AIXGn) which was down 0.96% to 8.2560 in late trade, Xing AG (DE:OBCGn) which lost 0.64% to settle at 309.00 and Draegerwerk VZO O.N. (DE:DRWG_p) which was down 0.60% to 43.340 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 450 to 255 and 71 ended unchanged.

Shares in Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (DE:BMWG) fell to 52-week lows; falling 1.47% or 1.010 to 67.910. Shares in Prosiebensat 1 Media AG (DE:PSMGn) fell to 5-year lows; down 1.79% or 0.2400 to 13.1500. Shares in Nordex SE O.N. (DE:NDXG) rose to 52-week highs; rising 4.92% or 0.620 to 13.210. Shares in Draegerwerk VZO O.N. (DE:DRWG_p) fell to 5-year lows; falling 0.60% or 0.260 to 43.340.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was down 8.03% to 16.50.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.47% or 6.30 to $1322.70 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 1.67% or 0.98 to hit $59.80 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.64% or 0.43 to trade at $67.24 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.25% to 1.1282, while EUR/GBP fell 0.38% to 0.8531.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 96.190.

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Norway stocks higher at close of trade; Oslo OBX up 0.15%

March 26, 2019, 06:05

Investing.com – Norway stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Pharma Biotech&Life Sciences, Diversified Financials and Commercial Service And Supplies sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX rose 0.15%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Petroleum Geo - Services ASA (OL:PGS), which rose 3.90% or 0.75 points to trade at 20.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Aker ASA (OL:AKER) added 3.53% or 22.0 points to end at 645.0 and Aker Solutions OL (OL:AKSOL) was up 2.96% or 1.25 points to 43.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Grieg Seafood (OL:GSFO), which fell 2.48% or 2.60 points to trade at 104.00 at the close. Norsk Hydro ASA (OL:NHY) declined 1.68% or 0.58 points to end at 34.32 and Marine Harvest ASA (OL:MOWI) was down 1.26% or 2.50 points to 196.30.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 118 to 81 and 37 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 1.55% or 0.91 to $59.73 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.52% or 0.35 to hit $67.16 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.52% or 6.95 to trade at $1322.05 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was down 0.17% to 9.6335, while USD/NOK rose 0.08% to 8.5383.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 96.197.

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Sweden stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 up 0.03%

March 26, 2019, 06:05

Investing.com – Sweden stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Healthcare and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 added 0.03%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Volvo, AB ser. B (ST:VOLVb), which rose 2.11% or 2.80 points to trade at 135.80 at the close. Meanwhile, Svenska Handelsbanken AB A (ST:SHBa) added 1.46% or 1.50 points to end at 104.50 and Securitas AB ser. B (ST:SECUb) was up 1.22% or 1.75 points to 145.45 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Sandvik AB (ST:SAND), which fell 1.50% or 2.25 points to trade at 147.90 at the close. Electrolux, AB ser. B (ST:ELUXb) declined 1.28% or 3.1 points to end at 239.5 and Autoliv Inc . SDB (ST:ALIVsdb) was down 1.28% or 8.8 points to 679.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 327 to 298 and 60 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 1.53% or 0.90 to $59.72 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.48% or 0.32 to hit $67.13 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.52% or 6.95 to trade at $1322.05 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was down 0.32% to 10.4154, while USD/SEK fell 0.06% to 9.2323.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 96.197.

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StockBeat: Homebuilders Wobble on Weak Housing Data

March 26, 2019, 05:12

Investing.com - Homebuilders were hit Tuesday, with KB Home set to report results after the bell.

Ahead of the crucial spring selling season, U.S. housing starts fell 8.7%, the second-biggest monthly decline since November 2016. Building permits, a key indicator of U.S. housing production, fell 1.6%, the second-straight monthly decline, denting sentiment on homebuilders even as analysts touted signs of green shoots in homebuying demand.

"(S)tarts were likely depressed due to the weather, there have been signs in recent months that housing demand may be perking up a bit in response to positive income trends, cooling home price appreciation, and a drop in mortgage rates," Amherst said in a note.

Mortgage rates fell by 3 basis points to 4.28% in the week ending March 221, according to data released last week by Freddie Mac.

The dour data on housing comes ahead of KB Home's fiscal first-quarter results due after market close. Ahead of the results, some analysts have expressed optimism. KB Home (NYSE:KBH) fell 0.67%.

"We particularly like the set up for KBH into tomorrow's print," analyst Jack Micenko at Susquehanna said on Monday. "The focus will be on orders and we think they will come in better than consensus."

Deliveries for the quarter are expected to come in at 2,187 units, with new orders forecast at 2,576, according to FactSet consensus.

DR Horton (NYSE:DHI) fell 1.9% and Lennar (NYSE:LEN), which reports results on Wednesday before U.S. markets open, fell 0.7%.

The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (NYSE:XHB) ETF fell 0.3%.

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U.K. stocks higher at close of trade; Investing.com United Kingdom 100 up 0.27%

March 26, 2019, 05:15

Investing.com – U.K. stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Industrial Metals&Mining, Food Producers and General Retailers sectors led shares higher.

At the close in London, the Investing.com United Kingdom 100 rose 0.27%.

The best performers of the session on the Investing.com United Kingdom 100 were Old Mutual Ltd (LON:OMU), which rose 3.72% or 4.20 points to trade at 117.20 at the close. Meanwhile, Fresnillo PLC (LON:FRES) added 2.59% or 22.00 points to end at 872.00 and Associated British Foods PLC (LON:ABF) was up 2.42% or 56.00 points to 2370.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Carnival PLC (LON:CCL), which fell 8.46% or 351.00 points to trade at 3800.00 at the close. Ferguson Plc (LON:FERG) declined 7.16% or 370.00 points to end at 4800.00 and EasyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) was down 2.77% or 32.00 points to 1123.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the London Stock Exchange by 1121 to 955 and 334 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.60% or 7.95 to $1321.05 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 1.87% or 1.10 to hit $59.92 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.88% or 0.59 to trade at $67.40 a barrel.

GBP/USD was up 0.08% to 1.3213, while EUR/GBP fell 0.28% to 0.8540.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.14% at 96.203.

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Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 1.34%

March 26, 2019, 05:00

Investing.com – Israel stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Communication and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 added 1.34%.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp Ltd (TA:BEZQ), which rose 5.26% or 14.0 points to trade at 280.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Delek Drilling LP (TA:DEDRp) added 4.89% or 52 points to end at 1115 and Liveperson (TA:LPSN) was up 3.81% or 400 points to 10890 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Phoenix Holdings Ltd (TA:PHOE1), which fell 3.05% or 62 points to trade at 1968 at the close. Amot Investments Ltd (TA:AMOT) declined 1.17% or 24 points to end at 2036 and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TA:TEVA) was down 0.53% or 31 points to 5782.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 264 to 120 and 37 ended unchanged.

Shares in Liveperson (TA:LPSN) rose to all time highs; rising 3.81% or 400 to 10890.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 1.82% or 1.07 to $59.89 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.79% or 0.53 to hit $67.34 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.53% or 7.00 to trade at $1322.00 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was down 0.13% to 3.6210, while EUR/ILS fell 0.33% to 4.0878.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 96.167.

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Russia stocks higher at close of trade; MOEX Russia up 0.60%

March 26, 2019, 04:35

Investing.com – Russia stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Power, Telecoms and Mining sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Moscow, the MOEX Russia added 0.60% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the MOEX Russia were X5 Retail Group NV (MCX:FIVEDR), which rose 3.93% or 63.5 points to trade at 1681.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Ros Agro PLC (MCX:AGRODR) added 3.81% or 28 points to end at 763 and Polyus OAO (MCX:PLZL) was up 3.31% or 174.0 points to 5434.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Safmar Finansovye Investitsii PAO (MCX:SFIN), which fell 2.32% or 12.2 points to trade at 513.8 at the close. ALROSA ao (MCX:ALRS) declined 1.30% or 1.240 points to end at 94.270 and NPK OVK PAO (MCX:UWGN) was down 1.14% or 5.4 points to 466.4.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 132 to 99 and 18 ended unchanged.

Shares in Safmar Finansovye Investitsii PAO (MCX:SFIN) fell to all time lows; down 2.32% or 12.2 to 513.8.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MOEX Russia options, was up 1.42% to 22.080.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.65% or 8.65 to $1320.35 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 1.80% or 1.06 to hit $59.88 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.90% or 0.60 to trade at $67.41 a barrel.

USD/RUB was up 0.44% to 64.3646, while EUR/RUB rose 0.20% to 72.6525.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 96.167.

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Turkey stocks lower at close of trade; BIST 100 down 1.96%

March 26, 2019, 04:05

Investing.com – Turkey stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Transport, Metal Products&Machinery and Holdings&Investments sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Istanbul, the BIST 100 fell 1.96% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the BIST 100 were Metro Ticari ve Mali Yatirimlar Holding AS (IS:METRO), which rose 5.48% or 0.040 points to trade at 0.770 at the close. Meanwhile, Netas Telekomunikasyon AS (IS:NETAS) added 3.28% or 0.27 points to end at 8.49 and Turk Traktor ve Ziraat Makineleri AS (IS:TTRAK) was up 3.17% or 1.00 points to 32.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Vestel Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS (IS:VESTL), which fell 9.52% or 1.380 points to trade at 13.120 at the close. Albaraka Turk Katilim Bankasi AS (IS:ALBRK) declined 7.78% or 0.140 points to end at 1.660 and Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi AS (IS:TOASO) was down 5.25% or 0.96 points to 17.32.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Istanbul Stock Exchange by 256 to 109 and 42 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.65% or 8.65 to $1320.35 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 1.99% or 1.17 to hit $59.99 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 1.00% or 0.67 to trade at $67.48 a barrel.

USD/TRY was down 1.18% to 5.4839, while EUR/TRY fell 1.44% to 6.1864.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 96.197.

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U.S. Dollar Rises as Inverted Yield Concerns Ease

March 26, 2019, 04:03

Investing.com - The greenback rose on Tuesday as bond yields bounced back, easing worry over the health of the U.S. economy in spite of weak housing data.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, rallied 0.2% to 96.213 as of 11:03 AM ET (15:03 GMT).

The yield on the benchmark United States 10-Year note was at 2.435%. Worry about an inverted bond yield subdued as analysts remarked that inversions must last a long time for it to truly forecast a recession.

Still, weak data pointed to a troubled housing sector in the U.S., which is a leading indicator of the economy. Housing starts tumbled 8.7% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.162 million units last month, the Commerce Department said, well below a consensus forecast for 1.213 million units.

The numbers question whether the Federal Reserve’s extended pause on rate hikes last week will help the struggling sector.

The Fed has taken a step back on interest rates, as policymakers are concerned about domestic and global growth.

The dollar rose against the safe-haven yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.05% to 111.46.

The pound was slightly higher as U.K. lawmakers took control of the Brexit process from Prime Minister Theresa May, paving the way for alternatives to the deal May made with Brussels. GBP/USD rose 0.1% to 1.3214.

Elsewhere, AUD/USD was up 0.4% at 0.7138 while NZD/USD gained 0.1% to 0.6909. The loonie rose, with USD/CAD falling 0.1% to 1.3390 and EUR/USD inched down 0.3% to 1.1278.

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Carnival Cruise Lines Tumbles Midday on Weak Guidance

March 26, 2019, 03:39

Investing.com - Cruise line company Carnival fell sharply in midday trading after the company issued weak profit guidance.

Carnival (NYSE:CCL) shares fell 8%, while the S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector rose 0.7%.

Reporting earnings before the bell, Carnival said earned 49 cents per share in its fiscal first quarter on revenue of $4.67 billion. Both numbers topped analyst forecasts compiled by Investing.com.

But looking ahead to its fiscal second quarter, the company said it expects a profit of 56 to 60 cents per share, below current estimates of 73 cents per share according to S&P Capital IQ.

The cruise line blamed “(c)hanges in fuel prices and currency exchange rates” in its press release.

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U.S. Consumer Confidence Falls Unexpectedly in March

March 26, 2019, 02:03

Investing.com - Confidence among U.S consumers dropped in March towards a 16-month low it hit at the beginning of the year.

The Conference Board said Tuesday its consumer confidence index fell to 124.1 in March, below expectations for a reading of 132. That's down from 131.4 in February and just slihgtly higher than its recent low of 120.2 in January.

“Confidence has been somewhat volatile over the past few months, as consumers have had to weather volatility in the financial markets, a partial government shutdown and a very weak February jobs report,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in the report.

The government’s employment report showed the creation of just 20,000 jobs in February.

Reflecting the more pessimistic outlook for a labor market that is losing momentum, the CB survey showed that the proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased to 16.4% from 19%, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 13.4% from 12.3%.

While Franco recognized that consumers remained confident that the economy will continue expanding in the near term, she noted that the overall trend has softened, suggesting “a moderation in economic growth”.

Other data released on Tuesday revealed that housing starts and building permits declined sharply in February. The weakness in the American real estate sector, along with the sputtering strength of consumer confidence, may foreshadow the loss of economic momentum.

U.S. economic growth slowed toward the end of 2018 and appeared to be off to weak start at the beginning of this year. Financial markets have focused on the slowdown in the broader global economy, particularly in China and Europe, while ongoing trade tensions between Washington and Beijing add to concerns.

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Crypto Wrap: Bitmain Falls Through on IPO as Demand Wanes

March 26, 2019, 02:01

Investing.com - Cryptocurrency prices have turned down over the past seven days, after further signs of waning demand for virtual currency assets and fresh evidence of the struggle it faces to break into the financial mainstream.

A symbol of the decline in interest for Bitcoin came this week when cryptocurrency mining equipment producer Bitmain let its application for a Hong Kong initial public offering lapse, due to a drop in demand for mining products.

"We do recognize that despite the huge potential of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, it remains a relatively young industry which is proving its value," the company said on its website.

Bitmain designs microchips that are used for mining cryptocurrencies. The industry has been hit hard as price declines have made it difficult to justify the costs of mining.

"We hope regulatory authorities, media, and the general public can be more inclusive to this young industry," Bitmain said.

It may be hoping for a while yet, judging by the noise around a listing application from VanEck and SolidX for an exchange-traded fund.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has received mostly negative comments in a consultation on whether to approve the listing. The majority of comments urged the regulator not to approve the proposal, with many claiming concerns that Bitcoin is subject to manipulation.

The SEC is expected to decide on two ETF proposals in the near future: the VanEck project is the one viewed as the most likely to be approved.

Earlier in the month, SEC chairman Jay Clayton told Fox Business that there “may be a case where a Bitcoin ETF could satisfy our rules” but declined to comment on the specifics of either proposal.

The SEC will hardly have been encouraged by a new study - by trading analytics platform The Tie - suggesting that trading volumes on crypto exchanges could be false.

“In total we estimated that 87% of exchanges reported trading volume was potentially suspicious and that 75% of exchanges had some form of suspicious activity occurring on them,” The Tie said about its findings on Twitter.

“If each exchange averaged the volume per visit of CoinbasePro, Gemini, Poloniex, Binance, and Kraken, we would expect the real trading volume among the largest 100 exchanges to equal $2.1 (billion) per day. Currently that number is being reported as $15.9 (billion),” the company added.

It isn’t the first report to claim that exchanges exaggerate reported trading volumes. Crypto asset manager Bitwise claimed in a report on Friday that 95% of reported volume is fake on digital exchanges, while the Blockchain Transparency Institute wrote a report with similar findings in December 2018.

Bitcoin has fallen 2% over the week to $3,932.60 on the Investing.com Index. Ethereum was down 3.4% to $134.21 and XRP slumped 4.7% to $0.30019 while Litecoin slipped 2.2% to $58.70.

The combined market cap of cryptocurrencies fell to $138 billion at the time of writing, from $140 billion a week ago.

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Stocks - Wall Street Gains on Tech Stocks

March 26, 2019, 01:54

Investing.com - Wall Street rallied on Tuesday as a rise in technology stocks helped lift sentiment.

The Dow jumped 221 points, or 0.9%, by 9:51 AM ET (13:51 GMT), while the S&P 500 gained 25 points, or 0.9%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was up 82 points or 1.1%.

The market was hit hard Friday and flat Monday as a yield curve inversion raised worries about a recession.

"The fact that markets were beaten up so much on Friday, people were looking at the yield curve and the stock market selling off and thought things were getting weaker, but that panic phase may have passed," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James.

"The growth worries were probably a little overdone, but that is certainly going to be an ongoing concern," Brown said.

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) jumped 29.2% after The Wall Street Journal reported that three activist funds are trying to replace its entire board over concerns that the company is not responding well to e-commerce. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) gained 2.6% after a judge dismissed a lawsuit over production claims of the company’s Model 3.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 1.2% as analysts digested news of its move towards subscription-based products, while Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) fell 0.1%.

Elsewhere, NIO (NYSE:NIO) fell 4.9% on news that investors are suing the Chinese electric car manufacturer for deception and alleged violations of U.S. securities laws.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,322.15 a troy ounce, while crude oil jumped 2.3% to an almost-four-month high of $60.18 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, gained 0.1% to 96.195.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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NVIDIA Rises 3%

March 26, 2019, 01:32

Investing.com - NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) rose by 3.04% to trade at $179.05 by 09:31 (13:31 GMT) on Tuesday on the NASDAQ exchange.

The volume of NVIDIA shares traded since the start of the session was 941.11K. NVIDIA has traded in a range of $178.00 to $179.63 on the day.

The stock has traded at $185.0000 at its highest and $167.8600 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Oil Prices Rally Back Towards 4-Month Highs; API Data Ahead

March 26, 2019, 01:22

Investing.com - Oil prices were higher on Tuesday, bouncing back from three sessions of declines triggered by pessimism around global growth, as investors shifted their focus back to OPEC supply cuts and expectations of lower U.S. inventories.

“It appears that concerns about demand have taken something of a back seat,” Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) analyst Carsten Fritsch said. “Instead, market participants are focusing on the tight supply situation again.”

OPEC, which together with some non-affiliated producers like Russia, known as 'OPEC+', agreed late last year to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to remove a glut and prop up prices.

Further price support came from another power cut in Venezuela, the second to hit the OPEC nation this month, which further dented its ability to export.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped $1.35, or around 2.3%, to $60.19 a barrel by 8:40AM ET (12:40 GMT), within sight of a four-month peak of $60.39 reached last week.

Elsewhere, Brent oil rose 86 cents, or about 1.3%, to $67.67 a barrel.

Oil prices had been hammered on Friday as part of a general sell-off in global markets on concerns about slowing global growth. While the economic data hasn't improved since then, the market seems at least to have absorbed the shock.

Market players are now looking ahead to the release of fresh weekly data on U.S. commercial crude inventories.

The American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report for the week ended March 22 at 4:30PM ET (20:30 GMT), amid expectations of a decline of about 2.4 million barrels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly report will be released on Wednesday.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures gained 1.2% to $1.913 a gallon, while heating oil ticked up 0.8% at $1.997 a gallon.

Natural gas futures dipped 0.3% to $2.764 per million British thermal units.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

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Gold Prices Drops From 1-Month High as Risk Sentiment Returns

March 26, 2019, 01:19

Investing.com - Gold prices pulled back from a one-month high on Tuesday, breaking a three-day winning streak as risk aversion faded in financial markets.

At 9:15 AM ET (13:15 GMT), gold futures for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $5.45, or 0.4%, to $1,323.55 a troy ounce, pulling back from what a day earlier had been its highest level since Feb. 28.

Panic over the inversion of the bond yield curve in the U.S. - which caused a dive in stocks last Friday and drove buying of haven assets - subsided as policymakers and analysts downplayed the temporary nature of the event.

“Most analysts believe the inversion must last a considerable amount of time, even a quarter, for it to truly be forecasting a recession,” Investing.com analyst Darrell Delamaide explained.

Chicago Fed chief Charles Evans said Monday that he remains confident in the American economy and explained that the yield inversion was likely flatter than normal due to lower trend growth and lower interest rates.

In other metals trading, silver futures lost 0.5% at $15.492 a troy ounce by 9:17 AM ET (13:17 GMT).

Palladium futures fell 1.5% to $1,520.90 an ounce, while sister metal platinum edged down 0.1% at $862.30.

In base metals, copper inched up 0.1% to $2.859 a pound.

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Saudi Arabia stocks higher at close of trade; Tadawul All Share up 0.14%

March 26, 2019, 01:15

Investing.com – Saudi Arabia stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Hotels&Tourism, Retail and Media&Publishing sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share gained 0.14%.

The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were Al-Tayyar Travel Group Holding Co. (SE:1810), which rose 9.98% or 2.60 points to trade at 28.65 at the close. Meanwhile, Herfy Food Services Co (SE:6002) added 2.13% or 1.10 points to end at 52.70 and Saudi Transport&Investment Co (SE:4110) was up 1.76% or 0.65 points to 37.65 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Wataniya Insurance Company (SE:8300), which fell 4.99% or 1.16 points to trade at 22.08 at the close. Al Alamiya Cooperative Insurance (SE:8280) declined 4.72% or 1.60 points to end at 32.30 and Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance (SE:8311) was down 4.62% or 0.64 points to 13.22.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 112 to 62 and 16 ended unchanged.

Shares in Herfy Food Services Co (SE:6002) rose to 52-week highs; rising 2.13% or 1.10 to 52.70.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 2.33% or 1.37 to $60.19 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 1.32% or 0.88 to hit $67.69 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.40% or 5.25 to trade at $1323.75 a troy ounce.

EUR/SAR was down 0.17% to 4.2344, while USD/SAR rose 0.01% to 3.7503.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.09% at 96.157.

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U.S. Housing Starts Plunge in February

March 26, 2019, 12:31

Investing.com - U.S. homebuilding slowed in February after a surge at the beginning of the year, dashing hopes that the Federal Reserve’s pause in interest rate hikes would immediately breathe new life into the real estate sector.

Housing starts tumbled 8.7% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.162 million units last month, the Commerce Department said, well below a consensus forecast for 1.213 million units.

New construction data have been volatile in recent months. They flattened out at the end of last year after a long expansion that goes all the way back to 2010, then rebounded sharply in January before snapping back again last month.

Building permits, a key indicator of demand in the real estate market, also came in below consensus at 1.296 million units, the Commerce Department said. Analysts had forecast 1.32 million.

The data suggest the market may need more time to respond to the Federal Reserve's shift to a looser monetary policy stance. Although Fed officials had signaled in February they would wait before hiking interest rates further, it was only this month that updated models showed it no longer expects to raise rates at all this year.

The Fed's shift has effectively put a cap on mortgage rates and, coupled with signs of solid earnings growth, has spurred expectations that people will be able to tackle the cost of purchasing homes. Data released last Friday showed the largest gain in existing-home sales stateside since December 2015 thanks to lower mortgage rates, more inventory, higher income levels and improved consumer confidence.

Sentiment among U.S. homebuilders held steady in March, sustaining a rebound from a recent three-year low on improvement in sales and a brighter outlook for the next six months, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders released last week.

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Stocks - Tesla, Bed Bath&Beyond Jump in Pre-market; Cronos Falls

March 26, 2019, 12:15

Investing.com - Stocks in focus in premarket trade Tuesday:

  • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock jumped 1.8% by 8:15 AM ET (12:15 GMT) after a lawsuit over Tesla Model 3 production claims was dismissed.

  • Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ:BBBY) stock skyrocketed 17.2% after The Wall Street Journal reported that three activist funds are trying to replace its entire board over concerns that the company is not responding well to e-commerce.

  • Mastercard (NYSE:MA) stock rose 0.7% after it said it plans to invest $300 million in the London IPO of Dubai-based payments processor Network International.

  • Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) stock slipped 0.4% after its fourth-quarter earnings report was lower than expected. The company reported losses per share of C$0.11 on C$15.7 million earnings.

  • Spotify Technology (NYSE:SPOT)stock was flat after news that it is acquiring podcast studio Parcast for an undisclosed amount.

  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock rose 1.4% after closing in the red Monday; analysts remain skeptical of its streaming and credit card services initiatives, with many questions left unanswered, according to CNBC.

  • NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) stock was up 2.4% after Piper Jaffray began coverage of the chipmaker at 'overweight'.

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Stocks - U.S. Futures Rise as Investors Ignore Inverted Yield Curve

March 26, 2019, 10:46

Investing.com - U.S. futures pointed to a higher opening bell on Tuesday, as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) reinvention of itself as an entertainment and financial services company distracted investors from concerns over ominous signals from the bond market.

Apple rose 0.8% in premarket trading after closing in the red as it unveiled a movie and television streaming service. The company also introduced a credit card and video game arcade, in an effort to move its revenue mix from being device-heavy to subscription-based as iPhone sales plateau.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), a company that stands to face increased competition from Apple's new service, shrugged off the news, rising another 0.5% to add to Monday's 1.5% gain.

Dow futures rose 117 points to 0.5% by 6:45 AM ET (10:45 GMT), while S&P 500 futures gained 11 points or 0.4% and tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures was up 27 points or 0.4%.

Concerns about the future path of the economy have moderated a little since Friday, when the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007. Three-month bill rates are still marginally higher than 10-year yields, a configuration that has in the past been a reliable advance indicator of a recession. Analysts warn that its predictive power has probably weakened in the wake of the financial crisis, however.

The yield on the benchmark United States 10-Year Treasury note was at 2.44%, after falling as low as 2.39% last Friday. The three-month T-bill rate was at 2.46%.

Overnight, the world's biggest chipmaker Samsung (KS:005930) warned that its first-quarter profit would miss market expectations due to a fall in chip prices.

Still, chipmakers were higher, with Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) up 1.4% and Micron (NASDAQ:MU) rising 1.1%. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) were also both up a touch.

Elsewhere, Carnival (NYSE:CCL) fell 1.2%, while Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) slumped 1.7%. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) jumped 1.5% after a lawsuit over Tesla Model 3 production claims was dismissed.

In economic news, building permits and housing starts are released at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT), while consumer confidence data is out at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

In commodities, gold futures were down 0.7% to $1,320.15 a troy ounce, while crude oil gained 1.2% to $59.54. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.1% to 95.998.

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India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 1.14%

March 26, 2019, 10:45

Investing.com – India stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Banking, Power and Public Sector Undertakings sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 rose 1.14%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index added 1.12%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were NTPC Ltd (NS:NTPC), which rose 3.99% or 5.40 points to trade at 140.80 at the close. Meanwhile, State Bank Of India (NS:SBI) added 3.67% or 10.80 points to end at 303.50 and Reliance Industries Ltd (NS:RELI) was up 3.36% or 44.55 points to 1367.25 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Tech Mahindra Ltd (NS:TEML), which fell 2.53% or 19.95 points to trade at 770.75 at the close. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (NS:IOC) declined 1.46% or 2.40 points to end at 161.80 and UPL Ltd (NS:UPLL) was down 1.07% or 9.75 points to 903.30.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were NTPC Ltd (BO:NTPC) which rose 3.28% to 140.10, State Bank Of India (BO:SBI) which was up 3.23% to settle at 303.30 and Vedanta Ltd (BO:VDAN) which gained 3.18% to close at 173.60.

The worst performers were Infosys Ltd (BO:INFY) which was down 1.23% to 726.75 in late trade, Bajaj Auto Ltd (BO:BAJA) which lost 0.85% to settle at 2933.00 and ITC Ltd (BO:ITC) which was down 0.68% to 293.20 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 906 to 707 and 69 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1352 rose and 1243 declined, while 157 ended unchanged.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was down 1.12% to 16.4850.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.65% or 8.70 to $1320.30 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 1.21% or 0.71 to hit $59.53 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.78% or 0.52 to trade at $67.33 a barrel.

USD/INR was down 0.03% to 68.891, while EUR/INR rose 0.08% to 77.9730.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.06% at 96.012.

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Comic: Powell and the Fed Inadvertently Spark Recession Fears as Yield Curve Inverts

March 26, 2019, 10:36

Investing.com - Investors kept their eyes on the U.S. Treasury market, where last Friday the yield curve inverted for the first time in more than a decade.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest levels since December 2017, while the spread between three-month bills and 10-year notes inverted for the first time since 2007.

The inverted yield curve is widely considered to be a leading indicator of recession.

Ten-year notes were last yielding about 2.44%, while the yield on the three-month bill stood at 2.46%.

"We went from people worried about a 4% (yield on the) 10-year and inflation, and now everyone is worried about a recession and rates going lower," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer, North Star Investment Management Corp, Chicago.

The Federal Reserve last week flagged an expected slowdown in the economy and all but swore off on raising interest rates this year.

Rather than boost investor confidence, however, "the Fed’s ongoing actions and messaging have left markets more pessimistic than ever about the U.S. economic outlook," said Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

Interest rate futures traders are currently pricing for an approximately 65% chance of a rate cut by December, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

To see more of Investing.com’s weekly comics, visit: http://www.investing.com/analysis/comics

-- Reuters contributed to this report

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Top 5 Things to Know in The Market on Tuesday

March 26, 2019, 09:47

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Tuesday, March 26:

1. U.S. Treasury Yield Curve Remains Inverted

The U.S. Treasury yield curve remained inverted for the third consecutive session, stoking fears of an impending U.S. recession.

At 5:45 AM ET (09:45 GMT), the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was at 2.44%, after having hit a 16-month low of 2.39% last Friday.

Meanwhile, the yield on the three-month Treasury bill stood at 2.46%.

Read more: Widening U.S. Yield Curve Inversion Jolts Investors; Panic Averted For Now: Darrell Delamaide

2. U.S. Futures Edge Higher

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a cautiously higher open, with investors keeping their eyes on movements in the U.S. Treasury market.

The blue-chip Dow futures were up 100 points, or about 0.4%, the S&P 500 futures rose 10 points, or around 0.35%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 25 points, or roughly 0.35%.

Elsewhere, European stocks were subdued in mid-morning trade, with major markets across the region moving in different directions. Bourses in Paris and London were slightly higher, while stocks in Germany and Madrid slipped.

Airbus (PA:AIR) rose more than 2% after the European planemaker secured an order from China for 300 jets, in a deal estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars.

Brexit remained in focus after U.K. lawmakers voted on Monday night to take control of the Brexit process from the government of Prime Minister Theresa May.

Earlier, markets in Asia closed mixed, with Japan's Nikkei jumping 2%. Shares in mainland China however ended lower, with the Shanghai Composite down 1.5%.

3. Busy Day on the Economic Calendar

Several important U.S. economic reports are expected today, with February housing data topping the agenda.

The Commerce Department at 8:30AM ET (12:30 GMT) is expected to report building permits fell 1.3% last month to 1.320 million units.

Housing starts, meanwhile, are expected to drop 0.8% to 1.213 million units.

The latest report on home prices from S&P/Case-Shiller is then due at 9AM ET (13:00 GMT).

Recent data has painted a worrying picture of the U.S. housing market, which is struggling with rising mortgage rates and tight inventory.

Later, the Conference Board releases its March update on consumer confidence at 10:00AM ET (14:00 GMT). The consensus forecast is for a reading of 132.0, up from 131.4 in February.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 96.10.

4. API Oil Supply Report

In commodities, the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report for the week ended March 22 at 4:30PM ET (20:30 GMT), amid expectations of a decline of about 2.4 million barrels.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 66 cents, or around 1.1%, at $59.48 a barrel, while international Brent crude oil futures tacked on 50 cents, or roughly 0.8%, to $67.33 per barrel.

With less than a week to the end of the first quarter, WTI is up 30% on the year and Brent 25%, with both benchmarks benefiting extensively from aggressive Saudi-led production cuts since the start of January, along with other constraints on supplies from Iran and Venezuela, notably in the form of U.S. sanctions.

5. Uber Buys Mideast Rival Careem in $3.1 Billion Deal

Ride-hailing service firm Uber announced it has acquired its Middle East rival Careem for $3.1 billion, in an effort to buy dominance in a competitive region ahead of a hotly anticipated initial public offering.

Uber said late Monday night it would pay $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes in a deal that gives it full ownership of Dubai-based Careem.

The long-expected agreement ends more than nine months of start-and-stop negotiations between the two companies.

Uber will kick off its IPO next month, and is reportedly seeking a valuation of at least $100 billion.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

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