Morning Call For March 3, 2016

OVERNIGHT MARKETS AND NEWS

March E-mini S&Ps (ESH16 unch) are down -0.03% as they fell back from a new 1-3/4 month high posted in overnight trade, and European stocks are down -0.27%. The markets are looking ahead to today's weekly U.S. jobless claims and the Feb ISM non-manufacturing index for direction. European shares were pulled lower after Evonik Industries AG, Germany's second-largest chemical maker, plunged 12% after it lowered guidance on 2016 profits. Asian stocks settled mostly higher: Japan +1.28%, Hong Kong -0.31%, China +0.35%, Taiwan +0.79%, Australia +1.19%, Singapore +2.22%, South Korea +0.61%, India +1.50%. Short-covering has fueled gains in Japanese stocks this week as Japan's Nikkei Stock Index climbed to a 3-week high after data showed short-selling of Japanese stocks on the Nikkei Stock Index fell to 36% of total turnover on Wednesday, the lowest level this year.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.09%) is down -0.01%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.09%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.47%.

Jun T-note prices (ZNM16 -0.10%) are down -2 ticks.

The Eurozone Feb Markit composite PMI was revised upward to 53.0 from the originally reported 52.7, still the slowest pace of expansion in 13 months.

U.S. STOCK PREVIEW

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Feb Challenger job cuts (Jan +41.6% y/y), (2) weekly initial unemployment claims (expected -2,000 to 270,000, previous +10,000 to 272,000) and continuing claims (expected -3,000 to 2.250 million, previous -19,000 to 2.253 million), (3) revised Q4 non-farm productivity (expected unrevised at -3.0%) and revised Q4 unit labor costs (expected +4.4%, previous +4.5%), (4) revised Feb Markit services PMI (expected +0.2 to 50.0, preliminary-Feb -3.4 to 49.8), (5) Feb ISM non-manufacturing PMI (expected -0.4 to 53.1, Jan -2.3 to 53.5), (6) Jan factory orders (expected +2.1%, Dec -2.9% and -0.8% ex-transportation), (7) Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan's speech at the University of Texas in Austin, and (8) USDA weekly Export Sales.

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