U.S. stocks look set to open lower after a sell off in energy and tech took the wind out of the year end rally yesterday, despite nearly $90 billion in deal announcements. Investors will be closely watching the ripple effect in emerging markets from Thailand's clampdown overnight on speculation in the baht. PPI data will be out early and could be important if it tells a different story than the tame CPI last week. Housing starts are also out today.
CAPITAL STOPPED AT THE BORDER:Thailand threw a scare across emerging markets overnight when its Central Bank took sudden steps to stem speculation in its currency, which has risen 17 percent against the dollar this year. The measures aim to force foreign investors to keep money in Thailand for at least a year or face penalties. Thai stocks fell 15 percent and markets from Malaysia to Eastern Europe fell in sympathy. The sell off in Thailand is the worst since 1990 and reminded some market commentators of the contagion that started in the Thai baht in 1997. Our Steve Liesman said this morning his sources tell him markets may behave differently now. He pointed to the fact that problems in the U.S. sub prime mortgage market appear contained and that the blow up at hedge fund Amaranth did not spread through the markets. Liesman said there seems to be a "fire control system" in the world." Maybe we have found a away to spread risk out," he said on Squawk Box today.
European stocks were weaker and Japan stocks fell one percent overnight, pulled down in part by accounting problems at Nikko, the country's third largest broker. Japan's Central Bank held rates steady in a widely anticipated move.
SLIPPERY SLOPE: Oil is continuing its slide after a 1.9 percent dip yesterday.
HOLIDAY CENTRAL: Target reiterated its December sales remain on target, besting its rival Wal-Mart . Target sees sales of 3.5 to 5 percent. Our Margaret Brennan gives us an update on holiday sales and will look at the battle for toy dollars from inside FAO Schwartz in New York today.
MERGER MANIA: Euronext shareholders vote on a deal with the NYSE today. Meanwhile, the London Stock Exchange told Nasdaq that its bid for the exchange is inadequate.
Morgan Stanley earnings are out today. And the investment bank had some surprising news--that it plans to spinoff Discover Financial Services.
Oracle could be factor at the Nasdaq this morning after tumbling in late trading on signs its growth could be slowing. Our Rebecca Jarvis will be at Nasdaq this morning. Pfizer raised its dividend 21 percent and the FDA issued a warning about a possible health risk involving Biogen and Genentech's Rituxan after two people died
As we said in an earlier post--our Phil Lebeau watches the airline news today. US Air would raise its bid if Delta can justify the value, according to the Associated Press. Delta, meanwhile, files its reorganization plan to bankruptcy court today and that plan should give it a value of $10 to 12 billion.