What will open first — Spider-Man on Broadway or the Egyptian stock market? The Egyptian stock market opening was delayed (again) today, this time to March 6. It has not been open since the end of January. This is the second delay: it had been set to reopen February 13.
Spider-Man is scheduled to open March 15. Don't bet on that one, either.
The Saudi stock market officially closed down 6.8 percent and is now down 11.6 percent over the past 3 trading days (they are open on Sunday).
1) First trading day of the month, you know the drill. The S&P 500 has been up the first trading day of the month for 7 straight months, and 14 of the last 16 months. The S&P 500 is within one percent of the nearly two-and-a-half year highs that we hit on February 18.
2) Bernanke speaking at 10am ET this morning in the Sentate Banking Committee. CNBC will take the Q and A session. Expect much of it to focus on inflation and the effect of higher oil prices.
3) Las Vegas Sands the most actively traded stock pre-open at the NYSE; drops 5 percent after disclosing that it has been subpoenaed by the SEC to provide documents for its investigation on whether the casino company has been violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. That statute forbids U.S. firms from bribing foreign officials to obtain business.
It also revealed that the Department of Justice is performing a similar investigation, and the outcomes could affect the company's financial performance.
4) AutoZone topped expectations ($3.34 vs. $3.06 consensus). Margins expanded and the auto parts retailer's comps grew 7.1 percent — more than the Street had expected.
5) ReneSola drops 11 percent after providing poor guidance. Despite reporting inline Q4 earnings, the Chinese solar wafer maker sees Q1 revenues between $310 million-$330 million, below the $342 million expected by the Street.
6) EOG Resources falls 3 percent after announcing a secondary stock offering. The exploration and production firm will offer 11.8 million shares to the public and will use the proceeds for "general corporate purposes, including funding of future capital expenditures."
7) More problems for media retailers as they battle intense competition from digital content providers. HMV, the UK's largest music and video store, plunged 20 percent after it warned that it is in talks to renegotiate its loan terms. The company "does not expect to meet certain of its covenant tests" with its full-year profits falling "moderately below market expectations."
Sound familiar? That eerily echoes recent comments from Borders , which last month had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to restructure its business and debt commitments.
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