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Global markets suffer—and emerging suffers even more

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

With grim headlines from Ukraine and China, a bad week for major global indexes is finally coming to an end.

Japan's Nikkei is down 3.3 percent (now down 12 percent for the year, the worst showing among Asian bourses), most European bourses are down one to two percent. Russia slid 3.1 percent on Friday alone, and is now 27 percent for the year.

Germany is down fractionally, but the DAX is down 4.1 percent for the week, close to its biggest weekly fall in nearly two years.

All told, it's been a rough week as well for emerging markets: Moscow's benchmark index has swooned 9.4 percent, and China has fallen 2.6 percent. There are reports of large withdrawals from China exchange traded funds (ETFs) this week. Other emerging market countries like Chile and South Africa are also down mid single-digits.

Elsewhere

1) China has ordered a halt to mobile phone payment systems and virtual credit cards. The Central Bank has said it was too risky—a judgement that is going to hurt the development of online finance.

Alibaba launched a virtual credit card yesterday. Keep an eye on China Mobile, Youku, LightInTheBox, or 500.com.

2) Cloud-based healthcare platform Castlight Health priced 11.1 million shares at $16, above the initial price talk of $13-$15. This is all about helping companies control health care costs, helping employers and employees analyze healthcare options and pricing.

This company is being carefully watched: they have less than $20 million in revenue, but may open with a $1 billion market cap. One of the co-founders (Todd Park) was a co-founder of Athenahealth; he is now Chief Technology Officer of the United States.

3) Yet another rough day for retailers. Aerpostale posted a miss on top and bottom line, and first quarter guidance is miles off: a loss of 70-75 cents versus a loss of 17 cents consensus view. Yes, you read that right.

Teen retailer Zumiez reported good earnings, but they are expecting a 2-3 cent loss, while Wall Street was expecting an 11 cent gain. Same store sales are expected to be down 3 to 1 percent.

Are any retailers saying anything positive? Ann reported good earnings, and 2014 revenue guidance of $2.61 billion is close to consensus of $2.64 billion, though Q1 is a bit light. Meanwhile, same store sales expected up 1 to 3 percent.

Mattress Firm raised its 2014 guidance. I know. I'm really stretching.

By CNBC's Bob Pisani

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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