Here’s what you need to know this morning:
- GE reported earnings this morning and they’re down 18% year-over-year, according to WSJ.com. Profits beat estimates, but sales came in somewhat lower than expected.
- Bank of America has beat first quarter earning estimates, reporting profits of $0.28 a share. Street projections had the firm at $0.10 a share, according to Bloomberg.
- Emerging market stocks are getting battered this morning due to China clamping down on real estate speculation and less than expected growth at Google, according to Bloomberg. The MCSI Emerging Markets Index has declined today as a result.
- Europe continues to be at the mercy of Thursday’s Icelandic volcano eruption, as airspace remains closed across the continent stranding travellers. Now Europeans are being warned not to go outside if the volcanic ash starts to settle as it could be a threat to their health.
- The EU has other problems beyond volcanoes this morning, with the continent’s sovereign debt crises threatening Germany’s place in the euro zone. Some say the chance of the continent’s most powerful economy leaving the currency union is now 10%, and with Portugal now being mentioned as an imminent debt threat, concerns are rising.
- Key Goldman Sachs real estate investment group, Whitehall Street International, has been hit by losses on properties in Germany, Japan, and the U.S. Now the fund only has $30 million in equity remaining, down from its highs of $1.8 billion.
- Goldman Sachs Director Rajat Gupta announced in March that he would not be running for his position again, as he was informed of the government’s increased monitoring of his connections to the Galleon Group insider trading scandal.
- Last night’s UK debate saw a surprising performance from third party candidate Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal-Democrats. As a result of the country’s first ever televised debate, the Lib-Dems have gained on the Conservatives and Labour in overnight polls. The pound is flat.
- South Korean authorities have determined that the sinking of one of its military vessels last month came at the result of an exterior attack, ratcheting up tensions between North Korea and South Korea.
- Unemployment benefits are back for many Americans as Congress passed and the President signed a bill yesterday extending jobless aid. Hundreds of thousands of unemployed individuals are impacted by this signature.
- Bonus: Paris Hilton has broke up with her on-again, off-again boyfriend Doug Reinhardt. Reinhardt is CEO of Fugen Mobile and Fun Factor LLC, and has appeared on MTV’s The Hills.
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