It’s 3.15pm in New York. 9.15pm in Geneva. Here’s what’s been happening while you wasted time sleeping.

After the close, video streaming giant Netflix will announce its results for the last quarter.

Should be great. Because they’re expected to be really terrible.

Better than watching Netflix.

More below.


Wall Street continues its about-face anti-correction panic-sale-pause for the time being on Thursday. This, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average face-planted almost 2%, Wednesday – my yesterday, your the night before last. Huh.

Right now one would have to say The S&P 500 is limping home, down almost 1%. The Dow Jones is falling again 0.8%, probs making it about 3.4% for the week.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is leaking 1.1%.

On the Nymex, a barrel of WTI crude rose 1.2% to US$80.70

An ounce of gold is up 1% to US$1,924.

Traders are either overcome with ‘Fed Talk’ or ‘playing it safe’ after surprisingly making money since Jan 1. In any case there’s a hasty retreat over here and it’s being beaten around the head and body.

Blame must not be apportioned. Although it must also be said that the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the many Fed officials who were out and about talking down ‘pivots’ or ‘easing off’ and really made traders anxious with the sheer volume of air quotes floating about.

Traders will be getting more of the same tonight (your time).

The Fed is far from up with ‘Fed talk’.

Enter Fed chiefs. Susan Collins, John Williams and above all The Eagle Has Landed Lael Brainard (vice-president and chief raptor).

According to the Boston Fed boss, S. Collins, the bank will likely have to raise rates to just above 5% and just … hold them there for a while, a la Baby and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.

“I anticipate the need for further rate hikes, probably just above 5%,” she said…

Not quite Obama, but point taken.

Fed chatterers Patrick Harker and Chistopher Waller will then hit the pulpits, Friday. That’s Waller, not Walken.

Also preoccupied with inflation is the EU bank’s Christine Lagarde who came right out and said investors were probably going about their work too quickly.

Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde does not suffer hesitation either. ‘If we plotted a course toward that iceberg, mon dieu! then we’re gonna hit it!’

La President de La Banque Centrale Européenne (BCE) repeated that her Klassy Institution would just on and continue to raise rates as long as they thought inflation deserved it.

“Inflation by any measure, whichever way you look at it, is way too high,” she unequivocally and somewhat haughtily said from Haughty Davos.

“We will stay the course until we have entered restrictive territory long enough to be able to bring inflation back to 2% within a reasonable timeframe.”

What I would give to not be on that boat.

Just quickly

In the states all sorts of things dropped.

Housing starts and building permits for December contradicted themselves (a theme), with housing starts standing at 1.382 million at an annual rate against 1.36 million consensus, and permits at 1.33 million against 1 .38 million expected.

A month before, housing starts came out at the rate of 1.4 million and permits at 1.35 million.

Jobless claims for the week ended Jan. 14 stood at 190,000 (FactSet consensus 215,000).

The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index for Jan. came out at -8.9 (consensus -11).

What to watch

Other than Netflix? Which as we mentioned will be sharing its results for the last quarter.

Currently down about 1.3%, Netflix will open the books but without yet the full impact of the controversial new discounted deals partially funded by advertising.

Wall Street consensus for the December quarter is 44 cents a pop on revenue of US$7.84 billion.

It’s all about subscribers in the end and we may’ve seen this flick before.