Market Happenings For Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Premarket, futures are up with the Dow showing +6 at the open. Dow stocks at 52 week highs include CSCO, DIS, GE, JNJ, JPM, MMM, PG and UTX. That’s eight (8) Dow stocks at 52 week highs.

The Market

Building permits, an indication of future residential construction, rose more than expected in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 925,000. That’s up 1.8% from December and marks the best month since June 2008.

Housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 890,000 in January, 8.5% below the revised December rate.

Looks like buyers are reentering the housing market and household formations are increasing.

A report on the Producer Price Index showed wholesale prices rose 0.2% in January, slightly less than economists had expected.

Today at 2 p.m. ET, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its policy meeting from January 29-30.

Earnings Reports

Wal-Mart (WMT) reports earnings Thursday before the open.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) reports earnings Thursday after the close.

Home Depot (HD) reports next week on the 26th before the market open.

Financial Calendar

0700 ET Weekly MBA mortgage applications, previous -6.4% with purchase sub-index -9.5% and refi sub-index -5.5%.

0830 ET Jan housing starts expected -3.6% to 920,000, Dec +12.1% to 954,000. Jan building permits expected +1.2% to 920,000, Dec +1.0% to 909,000.

0830 ET Jan PPI expected +0.4% m/m and +1.5% y/y, Dec -0.2% m/m and +1.3% y/y. Jan core PPI expected +0.2% m/m and +1.7% y/y, Dec +0.1% m/m and +2.0% y/y.

1400 ET Jan 29-30 FOMC meeting minutes.

1630 ET API weekly U.S. oil statistics.

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