Wednesday Morning Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories Moving Markets

The markets were up in Asia overnight. Catalyzed by strong earnings and dwindling economic headwinds, Japan’s Nikkei rose 2.28 percent to 17-month highs above 11,100. The Hang Seng climbed 0.71 percent, while the S&P/ASX 200 increased a modest 0.16 percent.

The markets were mixed at mid-day in Europe, with London’s FTSE 100 fighting for fractional gains. European economic confidence indicators have strengthened alongside the euro, which traded above $1.35 for the first time since 2011. Germany’s DAX was off about 0.12 percent, and the STOXX 50 was off 0.16 percent.

U.S. futures at 8:30 a.m.: DJIA: 0.00%, S&P 500: 0.11%, NASDAQ: +0.07%.

Here are three market-moving stories to keep an eye on:Man Measuring Money

1) Expectations are low for the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s preliminary report on fourth-quarter gross domestic product. Consensus estimates have come in a range between 0.5 percent growth and 2.6 percent growth, with a mean target of 1 percent growth for the quarter.

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If these estimates are correct, then the U.S. economy grew at its slowest pace in nearly two years. After healthy growth of 3.1 percent in the third-quarter, fourth-quarter activity was likely slowed by old-hat political dysfunction and the economic uncertainty that brewed in its wake. The report is due at 8:30 a.m.