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Pre-Markets Lower Again on Warm Economic Results

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Pre-market futures are down again, dragging all major indices into the red year-to-date. We’re riding three-day losing streaks on the Dow and small-cap Russell 2000, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq down in two of the past three sessions. The Dow is currently -145 points, the S&P -21, the Nasdaq -104 and the Russell -23 points. These lower levels have held even through a bevy of earnings and economic reports hitting the tape ahead of the opening bell.

U.S. Retail Sales for December came in hotter than expected: +0.6% versus expectations of +0.4%, and double the previous month’s unrevised +0.3%. Ex-auto sales, +0.4% is still double the analyst consensus +0.2%, which is where the November figure came in, as well. We see no negative prints month over month since March of last year; in terms of inflation-busting, retail sales are behaving below optimal levels. Year over year, they are +4.78%.

Also for December, Import Prices were also higher than expected: 0.0%, versus a consensus estimate of -0.6% and a downwardly adjusted -0.5% for November. Ex-fuel prices, this figure also comes in at 0.0%, down from the lowered revision the previous month to +0.1%. Non-fuel industrial supplies rose +0.4% for the month, twice as high as the +0.2% in November. Exports matched the previous headline at -0.9% last month. At least we’re seeing dis-inflationary prints somewhere in the global economy.

In a quick Q4 roundup this morning, industrial logistics giant Prologis (PLD - Free Report) beat Q4 estimates on both top and bottom lines and raised guidance for Q1. Investment services major Charles Schwab (SCHW - Free Report) posted a mixed Q4 — beating estimates on its bottom line but missing slightly on its top. Fifth-biggest domestic bank U.S. Bancorp (USB - Free Report) met earnings estimates while falling slightly short on revenues. After today’s close, we’ll see results from aluminum manufacturer Alcoa (AA - Free Report) , which had traditionally kicked off each earnings season before the company spun off Arconic in 2016.

For more on USB’s earnings, click here.

Fifteen minutes before the open, we’ll see Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization results for December; both prints are expected to be slightly lower month over month. After the opening bell, Business Inventories for November and a new Homebuilders Confidence Survey for January will be out this morning. This afternoon brings us the latest Beige Book from the Fed, a comprehensive account of the economy based on results from 12 district banks around the country.

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