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The markets closed on a positive note in Asia on Tuesday, if just barely so. The Nikkei climbed 0.27 percent to a new 4.5-year high as nominees for central bank leadership in Japan espouse easy-money policies. The yen strengthened very slightly to trade at 93.205 to the dollar. The Hang Seng edged out a 0.10 percent gain as the National People’s Congress convenes in Beijing. The S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.29 percent higher.
Like the United States, European equities seem to be addicted to central bank stimulus. Markets were flirting with fresh highs on Tuesday as New York headed toward its opening bell, fueled by expectations that central banks would maintain supportive policies. Germany’s DAX was up 1.71 percent, London’s FTSE was up 0.80 percent, and the STOXX 50 index was up 1.57 percent.
U.S. futures at 8:45 a.m.: DJIA: +0.33%, S&P 500: +0.36%, NASDAQ: +0.47%.
1) “I will continue to seek out partners on the other side of the aisle so that we can create the kind of balanced approach of spending cuts, revenues, entitlement reform that everybody knows is the right way to do things,” said President Barack Obama ahead of a Cabinet meeting on Monday. True to his word, the President has reportedly been in talks with Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Senator Tom Corburn (R-Okla.), seeking their support and advice on America’s debt and deficit problem.
Now that the sequester clock has run its course and egos have flared, bruised, and died down, members on both sides of the aisle appear — at a glance — to be approaching the table hat in hand. Cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security are supposedly on the table, which represents a long-awaited concession from the White House. On the other side, further tax reform promises to be a sticking point between parties. At the very least, the parties seem united in their desire to avoid a shutdown of the government.
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