Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Tuesday, April 23:
1. Oil hovers near 2019 highs after U.S. ends waivers on Iran sanctions
Oil traded higher on Tuesday, hitting fresh six-month highs after the White House confirmed that it will not extend waivers for countries that had previously allowed them to purchase Iranian crude.
“We will no longer grant exemptions,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday, paving the way for Washington to begin imposing economic penalties against companies or financial institutions that purchase Iranian oil when current waivers expire on May 2.
Read more: Trump’s Oil Ban Might Hurt Himself And The World More Than Iran - Barani Krishnan
Most analysts expect the move to further tighten supply, pushing prices higher, although Pompeo insisted that the U.S. has been in “constant discussions with allies and partners” to find an alternative source of oil.
Ellen Wald, non-resident senior fellow at the Global Energy Center of the Atlantic Council, said the United States "seems to expect" Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to replace the Iranian oil, but she added "that this is not necessarily the way Saudi Arabia sees it".
At 5:09 AM ET (9:09 GMT), U.S. crude oil futures gained 50 cents, or 0.8%, to $66.05 - just off an intraday peak of $66.19, its highest level since Oct. 31 - while Brent oil rose 46 cents, or 0.6%, to $74.50, pulling back from its intraday high of $74.69, prices not seen since Nov. 1.
2. Earnings rev up with Twitter and other bellwether stocks
The earnings avalanche begins in earnest on Tuesday as Twitter and a string of blue-chip companies report earnings throughout the day.
Dow components will also be out in force with reports from Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) along with other big-name companies such as Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY).
With 86 of the S&P 500 companies having already reported earnings, 77% have beaten profit estimates on 5.3% growth, according to The Earnings Scout. However, earnings for the entire group are expected to register their first decline since 2016.
“What we can infer from the early 1Q19 reporters is 2Q19 SPY (NYSE:SPY) 500 EPS growth estimates could be going below zero within two to three weeks,” The Earnings Scout warned.
3. U.S. futures flat ahead of earnings
U.S. futures pointed to a muted open as a “wait and see” mode took control of markets ahead of key earnings reports and the data on U.S. gross domestic product to be released on Friday.
Trading volume on Monday - which was the lowest so far in 2019 - was also muted by the fact that some investors were still on vacation after Friday's U.S. market holiday and because markets were closed in parts of Europe and Asia on Monday.
4. Housing market data in focus on light economic calendar
On the economic calendar, attention will remain focused on the state of the U.S. real estate market.
Following a worse-than-expected drop in existing home sales reported a day earlier, the Commerce Department will report on March new home sales at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT). Expectations are for the sales of new homes to have declined 3% last month to an annual rate of 647,000, offsetting a portion of the climb seen in February.
Also on the docket, the government will report its house price index for February at 9:00 AM ET (13:00 GMT), with economists predicting a month-on-month rise of 0.6%, matching the increase seen in the previous month.
5. European banks slump as ECB member dampens hopes for more aid
European bank shares - such as Germany’s Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG), France’s Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) and BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP), Spain’s BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Santander (MC:SAN) and Italy’s UniCredit (MI:CRDI) - all registered a sharp decline of more than 1% on Monday as a European Central Bank policymaker dampened expectations of more aid for the financial sector.
ECB board member Benoit Coeure said he saw no reason for creating a tiered deposit rate that exempts banks from part of an ECB charge on their idle cash. The interest rate on the deposit facility is currently a negative 0.4%.
In the interview with German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Coeure also suggested that the upcoming round of multi-year, low-cost loans to banks should not be as generous as the previous issue.
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