Market Happenings for Friday, February 17, 2012

Pre-market, futures are mixed after closing yesterday at multi-year highs with investors hesitating to make big bets before a key vote on a second bailout for Greece. Gainers this morning include FSLR, AMAT, JNPR, DVA and HNZ while losers include GILD, GIS, JWN, HCN and DHI. Light crude is up +0.55% at 102.87 and gold is up +0.43% at 1,735.90.

The Market

The market is on track for solid gains this week and are set to open near unchanged ahead of the long weekend.

Markets will be closed Monday for Presidents’ Day.

European stocks were modestly higher in afternoon trading while Asian markets ended higher.

The Consumer Price Index was up 0.2% in January, after holding stready the prior two months. Analysts were expecting a rise of 0.3%.

Core inflation was up 0.2%, compared to estimates for a 0.1% rise.

The dollar was lower against the euro and British pound, but was up versus the Japanese yen.

Oil for March delivery rose 54 cents to $102.85 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery was up $8.30 to $1,736.70 an ounce.

The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury was down, moving the yield up to 2% from 1.99% late Thursday.

Earnings Reports

Earnings reports (confirmed releases): VTR-Ventas (earnings consensus $0.33), HNZ-HJ Heinz (0.85), CPB-Campbell Soup (0.62), EEP-Enbride Energy Partners LP (0.38), CEG-Constellation Energy Group (0.67), DLR-Digital Realty Trust (0.30), LECO-Lincoln Electric Holdings (0.63), AGP-Amerigroup (0.62), HMSY-HMS Holdings (0.17), CKH-SEACOR Holdings (1.28), LPNT-LifePoint Hospitals (0.76), HGIC-Harleysville Group (0.65), GMLP-Golar LNG Partners LP (0.47), B-Barnes Group (0.32), POL-PolyOne (0.14), PPC-Pilgrim’s Pride (-0.30).

Financial Calendar

0830 ET Jan CPI expected +0.3% m/m and +2.8% y/y, Dec unchanged m/m and +3.0% y/y. Jan CPI ex food & energy expected +0.2% m/m and +2.2% y/y, Dec +0.1% m/m and +2.2% y/y.

1000 ET Jan leading indicators expected +0.5%, Dec +0.4%.

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