Thursday Morning Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories Moving Markets

The markets posted strong gains in Asia on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei climbed 2.71 percent, its biggest one-day gain in three weeks, ending February on a high note to make seven consecutive months of gains. The yen was trading at 92.246 to the dollar, and 120.12 to the euro. The Hang Seng increased 1.96 percent, while the S&P/ASX 200 increased 1.34 percent.

Global markets seem to have fully digested the political concerns that brewed in the beginning of the weak as a result of the elections in Italy. In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 0.57 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.36 percent, and the STOXX 50 index was up 0.22 percent. The euro was trading at 1.3127 to the dollar.

U.S. futures at 8:30 a.m.: DJIA: +0.02%, S&P 500: +0.07%, NASDAQ: +0.09%.

Here are three stories that will help move markets on Thursday:Money Cut in Half

1) If you’ve got a bad case of déjà vu this week, you’re not alone. Market participants have the peculiar pleasure of witnessing the encore to the December-January political sitcom that evolved around the fiscal cliff. What’s better, this time the stakes are higher and the determination to resist cooperation stronger. Reuters reports that politicians in Washington are deepening their trenches and a general feeling that nothing will get done about the spending cuts has settled over many observers.

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Market participants seem to only have one choice: sit back, hold on, and ride out whatever storm the sequestration — or a rushed eleventh-hour alternative — brings their way.