Asian markets were essentially flat, with the Nikkei 225 edging higher by +0.06% and the Shanghai Composite up 0.37%. The Chinese yuan is at a 2+ year low.
View previous commentaries.
In Europe, the German parliament approved the extension of the Greek bailout by 4 months as expected. In a quiet session, and ahead of the beginning of QE by the ECB next week, markets were firm with the German DAX up +0.66%.
In the U.S. Q4 GDP was revised lower, to +2.2%, but this was better than anticipated. Meanwhile, the Q4 GDP Deflator was revised to +0.1% from unchanged. Chicago PMI for February fell to a 5-1/2 year low of 45.8, below the 50 mark and indicating contraction. There were double-digit declines in production, new orders, order backlogs, and employment. The final revision of the Feb. Michigan Sentiment to 95.4 was better than expected. January Pending Home Sales rose less than anticipated (+1.7%) but still the best level since August, 2013.
10-Year Note yields, the US$, and gold all traded quietly today. Crude bounced again, closing today near $50. Equities shook off a weak open and moved higher in sympathy with Europe, but after the European close, markets slid steadily, though modestly, lower into the close.