Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei down 0.65%. Major European indices are mixed and U.S. markets have opened positive.
- Moody’s downgraded Ireland two notches to a Baa3 rating which is just one level above junk. It kept its outlook negative too. Check out why Niall Ferguson believes the West is doomed >
- Chinese GDP came in at 9.7% for Q1 2011, above analysts’ expectations. But the country’s CPI jumped 5.4% year-over-year in March, its fastest rise since July 2008. Check out 17 facts about China that will blow your mind >
- The U.S. Consumer Price Index came in right in line with expectations. Read about it here >
- Eurozone inflation surged to 2.7% year-over-year in March, from 2.4% year-over-year the previous month. The high rate was attributed to rise in oil prices due to continuing unrest in the Middle East and rising housing costs.
- Bank of America announced Q1 net income of $2 billion. The company’s earnings at $0.17 per share were lower than analyst expectations of $0.27 a share. CEO Brian Moynihan said they have been unable to hike the dividend because of a complicated submissions process to regulators and company integration plans. Here’s why Richard Koo believes QE2 has been a disaster >
- The Japanese government has forced TEPCO to compensate Fukushima evacuees within the 30 km radius with initial payments of up to 50 billion yen. Each family is expected to receive 1 million yen, while single-person households are expected to receive 750,000 yen.
- The Empire State Manufacturing Index surged. Read about it here >
- The Consumer sentiment index rose slightly. Read about it here >
- Greece has announced new austerity measures that call for $31.9 billion of deficit-reduction measures through 2014. The country’s 10-year bond yields crossed the 13% mark yesterday. Don’t miss: The 21 countries most likely to default >
- BONUS: Actress Amanda Seyfried announced that she bought a dead, stuffed horse since she is a fan of taxidermy.