Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets rallied in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite surging 1.96 per cent led by the finance and property sectors. Europe is lower after a slew of weak economic data, and U.S. stocks opened lower.
- Chinese home prices fell in 37 of 70 cities tracked by the government March. Wenzhou reported a 9 per cent drop in prices, and led the decline. Officials will keep property restrictions on home purchases in place.
- Some weak economic data out of Europe. Euro area construction output plunged 7.1 per cent month-over-month in February, and 12.9 per cent year-over-year. Meanwhile Italian construction fell 20 per cent year-over-year. Now here is a brand new Richard Koo presentation on the global economic crisis >
- In tech news, IBM reported operating net income of $3.3 billion or $2.78 per share beating expectations, but disappointed on revenue. Meanwhile, Yahoo reported Q1 earnings of $0.22 per share, on revenue of $1.08 billion beating expectations.
- Today sees a deluge of earnings announcements. Yum! Brands is expected to report earnings of $0.72 per share. Meanwhile, eBay is expected to announce earnings of $0.52 per share and Qualcomm is expected to report earnings of $0.96 per share. Goldman Sachs presents the 20 best stocks in the world >
- BlackRock reported Q1 adjusted earrings of $3.16 per share, on revenue of $2.25 billion beating expectations. Meanwhile, Halliburton reported Q1 net income of $627 million or $0.68 per share.
- Reuters is reporting that Chesapeake Energy’s CEO borrowed as much as $1.1 billion in loans over the last three years against his stake in thousands of company wells. The loans haven’t been detailed to shareholders and raise conflicts of interest.
- In M&A news, Nestle is reportedly close to buying Pfizer’s infant nutrition unit for up to $10 billion as it seeks to expand its operations in China. Pfizer first put the unit on sale back in July 2011. Meanwhile, SXC Health solutions is buying Catalyst Health Solutions in a $4.4 billion deal.
- UK jobless claims rose by 3,600 in March to 1.61 million from the previous month. Unemployment eased to 8.3 per cent in the quarter through February, from 8.4 per cent.
- Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett has been diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer, but he says the diagnosis isn’t life threatening.
- Bonus – Miranda Kerr launched the new Reebok Easytone campaign with a 3D advert.
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