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Market Overview:  US markets retreat as oil prices slump

US stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors sold off energy stocks after oil prices fell. The dollar weakened as it consolidated after recent rally, with the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, edging down 0.2% to 99.1090 as indicated by the live dollar index data. The S&P 500 index closed 0.3% lower to 2,075 with energy and health-care stocks leading losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite were also down 0.32%. Retailers were hit after Macy’s Inc reported an unexpected fall in the third quarter same-store sales and cut its sales and earnings outlook for the holiday quarter ending in January. Macy’s shares sank 13.99%, while JC Penney slid 1.84% and shares of Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Kohl’s dropped between 3% and 9%. Oil companies sold off on expected rise in US crude oil inventories. Trading volume was light at 6.2 billion shares, about 12% below daily average for the past 20 trading days. Today at 14:30 CET initial jobless claims and unemployment claims will be released in US.The tentative outlook is positive. Several Federal Reserve policy makers will be speaking today on economy at various central bank events. At 15:15 CET Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard speaks on monetary policy in Washington DC. At 15:45 CET Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Lacker participates in monetary policy panel. At 15:30 CET Fed Chair Yellen will deliver opening remarks at the conference on monetary policy in Washington DC. At 16:00 CET Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey results will be released. At 16:15 CET Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Evans speaks on economy in Chicago. And at 18:15 CET Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley speaks on economy in New York.

European stocks extended gains on Wednesday led by brewers and supported by positive earnings reports. The euro edged 0.3% higher against the dollar. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.7%. Shares of Danish brewer Carlsberg were among the biggest gainers after rising 9% as the company said it will cut 2000 jobs to boost earnings. SABMiller PLC shares ended 1.9% higher as the maker of Miller Lite and Peroni agreed to be bought out for about $106 billion by rival Anheuser-Busch InBev. A 6.7% jump in Henkel shares after German consumer goods maker posted a bigger-than-expected increase in third-quarter earnings helped push German DAX 30 up 0.7% to close at 10,907.87. In economic news German exports fell 0.6% in the third quarter due to slowdown in China’s economy, as well as recessions in Brazil and Russia. Today at 9:30 CET European Central Bank President Draghi testifies to lawmakers at European Parliament. At 11:00 CET September final Industrial Production will be released in euro-zone. The tentative outlook is positive.

Nikkei edged 0.03% higher today as core machinery orders, a leading indicator of capital expenditure, rose 7.5% in September, the first increase in four months. But companies forecast only 2.9% rise in October-December after a 10% decline in July-September, indicating a slow recovery from an expected recession.

Oil prices are edging higher today after falling 3% on Wednesday as data from the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday showed a surprise jump in US crude-oil supplies of 6.3 million barrels for the week ended November 6. Traders are waiting for the official report on US stockpiles today which will be released at 17:00 CET.

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