US Equities Looking To End The Week On A Positive Note

Major US markets ended last week on a downward note. However, futures are pointing to a different ending this week, if markets hold up.

With the exception of Nikkei, which was flat for the day, Hang Seng ended over half a percent higher, while the Shanghai Composite jumped nearly 1% to cap off the week. This marks the best week for Asian this year, with the Nikkei putting on over 3.5% to its value from the beginning of the week. Shanghai’s rally today put the index higher 1.1% for the week, while Hang Seng gained 1.7% over the same period.

Asian stocks gained due to relative ease of tensions in Ukraine even though there was relatively soft data coming out of both China and Japan. Investor confidence however, was buoyed by the continued support from central banks and availability of further stimulus, if needed.

European markets are following a similar path as their Asian counterparts. Markets there are looking to end their best week of the year with the FTSE, DAX, and CAC 40 looking to gain over 2% each, as of the time of this report. This is the case even in the face of data showing stagnant economic conditions in an otherwise recovering German economy. France is also showing continued sluggishness, which is adding to concerns.

Those concerns however have been sidelined for the week as most investors have pegged their bets on conditions in Ukraine. Markets rallied when military drills subdued on the Russian border and on the implied support readily available from the European Central Bank (ECB).

Stocks To Watch
Traders here at home will be watching for the University of Michigan’s Consumer Confidence report. That could have an impact on how stocks fare, specifically in the consumer discretionary space. Other stocks that are on trader tapes with major pre-market movements include Monster Beverage Corp. (MNST) which is up over 20% due to a partnership deal with The Coca-Cola Company (KO). Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ACHN) is also trading higher by more than 17%, while (JD) is down over 3.5% on an earnings report that failed to satisfy investors.