U.S. equity futures are pointing to a flat open this morning, with S&P futures currently lower by a fraction of a point.
U.S. equity futures have moved back toward the flat line following a slightly better-than-expected revision to Q4 GDP, which was edged up to 2.1% from the prior 1.9% estimate. Expectations were for it to be revised up to 2.0%. Regardless of the revision to Q4, investors should be more concerned with Q1 GDP now. The St Louis Fed's GDPNow model forecast for Q1 GDP growth currently stands at a lowly 1.0% and the advance reading will be released in late April.
Now we're approaching the end of the first quarter tomorrow and the S&P 500 and Dow are each up around 5% during the quarter. At current levels, 2017 is the best quarterly start to the year since 2013, with each of the past three years finishing the first quarter higher by around 1%. As such, end-of-quarter positioning could impact markets over the next few sessions.
The flat U.S. trade follows a weaker performance in Asia and moderate losses in Europe.
In Asian trading, Chinese markets showed relative weakness as the People's Bank of China remained on the sidelines, skipping liquidity injections for the fifth consecutive day. Japan's Nikkei closed lower by 0.8%, amid quiet news flow.
European markets are also trading in the red, although losses are limited at this point. Germany's DAX and the UK's FTSE are each down 0.3%. There was very little news to digest, with an in-line final reading in Eurozone Consumer Confidence for March representing the most significant macro release.
In earnings news, lululemon athletica (LULU) is trading lower by 19% after it missed earnings expectations and issued disappointing guidance. As a result, the stock has been downgraded by several firms this morning, including BofA/Merrill, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Susquehanna. Worthington (WOR) is -6% after it missed top and bottom line estimates, while Progress Software (PRGS) is higher by 9% after it beat current quarter estimates and issued mixed guidance.
In non-earnings news, Extreme Networks (EXTR) is higher by 17% after Broadcom (AVGO) entered an agreement to sell its data center switching, routing, and analytics business to Extreme for $55 million in cash. ConocoPhillips (COP) is trading higher by 6% after announcing that it will sell a significant portion of its Canadian assets to Cenovus Energy (CVE). COP is expected to reduce its debt and increase stock buybacks with the proceeds.