Some more promising data out of the U.S. this morning as the ADP employment report telegraphed that Friday’s numbers could come in above 200k. Over in Greece things aren’t looking as bad as yesterday as some banks and funds were rounded up to support the bond swap thingy. That’s enough to have world markets up a bit and U.S. futures up slightly. We’ll see if it holds. Later today AAPL releases their new iPad, we’ll be talking about that during. I’ll try to find a livestream of the event and post it on the site.
The private sector added 216,000 jobs last month, the ADP National Employment Report showed, topping economists’ expectations for a gain of 208,000.
January’s payrolls figures were revised up to an increase of 173,000 from 170,000.
Major banks and pension funds threw their weight behind Greece’s bond swap offer to private creditors on Wednesday, raising the likelihood that the deal will go through and a 130 billion euro international bailout package would be secured.
A group of 30 banks and funds representing 39.3 percent of Greece’s 206 billion euros of outstanding debt said they would take part in the deal, joining other Greek banks and pension funds which have already pledged to accept the offer.
The FTSE All-World equity index is flat, leaving its losses since hitting a near seven-month closing high on the last day of February at 2.7 per cent.
Asian bourses were mostly lower – the FTSE Asia Pacific index is down 0.7 per cent – as investors react to Wall Street’s overnight losses.
But the global wave of profit-taking is abating as the European session progresses. The FTSE Eurofirst 300, which opened with minor losses, is now up 0.4 per cent and US futures suggest the S&P 500 will add 0.4 per cent when trading kicks off.
Commodities are generally firmer. Copper is leading the industrials with a rebound of 1 per cent to $3.77 a pound and agricultural products are getting a lift from the less tense mood. Gold is rallying 0.4 per cent to $1,681 a troy ounce as data compiled by Bloomberg showed the holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded products rose to a record 2,406 tons on Tuesday.
U.S. productivity was a touch higher in the fourth quarter of 2011 than originally reported, but the cost of producing goods and services jumped because of a sharp increase in hourly wages, according to revised government data. The Labor Department on Wednesday said productivity climbed 0.9% in the final three months of 2011, up from an initial estimate of 0.7%.
Apple has slated an event in San Francisco for Wednesday morning, 10 a.m. Pacific time. As usual, the company gave no details ahead of time, though the invite sent to the media shows a picture of an iPad, and the company last updated the device at the same time last year.
This would be the third update to the tablet since its initial launch in April of 2010. Since then, the iPad has become Apple’s second largest business line, next to the iPhone.
The company sold about 40.5 million iPads in the calendar year 2011, driving revenue of nearly $25 billion. That surpassed Apple’s legacy Mac business, which sold about $23 billion in revenue for the period. IPad sales now make up nearly 20% of the company’s overall revenue base.