U.S. Stocks Little Changed; Apple Rallies (Bloomberg)
Following yesterday???s advance, U.S. stocks were little changed, and a rally in Apple Inc. tempered economic concern after the World Bank downgraded global growth forecasts. ???The cuts in growth forecasts are reminders that there???s still work to be done,??? said Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis at San Francisco-based Charles Schwab Corp. ???In the U.S., it???s early to talk about the earnings season, but so far we???re relatively pleased with what we???ve seen. We???ve had a good start to the year in stocks. There???s very little doubt that there???s quite a bit of money on the sidelines that could provide a nice boost higher.???
Yen Gains vs Dollar (Reuters)
The yen advanced against the dollar and euro for a second straight session today while a Japanese official’s warning about excessive yen weakness continued to underpin the currency. Meanwhile, the euro slipped against the dollar for the second day in a row on persistent concerns about the region’s economy. “People are still looking for further yen weakness but there has been a pullback in yen selling obviously due to [the Japanese official’s] comments,” said Brian Kim, currency strategist at RBS Securities. “Investors haven’t really seen hard decisions from the Japanese government about weakening the yen so there are some questions there.”
U.S. Crude Supply Fall Surprises (MarketWatch)
An unexpected fall in the past week???s U.S. crude inventories helped oil-futures prices settle higher Wednesday, as OPEC left its 2013 global oil demand growth estimate unchanged and confirmed a significant production cut by Saudi Arabia last month. ???Even though we have seen so much news this year of a widening crude oil supply, crude has still found a way to rally,??? said analysts at Lido Isle Advisors. ???We don???t see major fundamentals in place for a continued monster rally but at the same time, from a trader???s standpoint, crude looks to be climbing a wall of worry.???