Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading, with both the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite down. European markets are all in the green, and U.S. markets have opened positive.
- S&P has downgraded its outlook on Japanese sovereign debt to negative. The Nikkei was up 1.39% on the news and government bond yields were unaffected. Check out the 17 countries facing an economy crushing demographic crisis >
- The FOMC will release its decision on monetary policy at 12:30 PM. It will be followed by a news conference, the first of its kind, from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke at 2:15 PM. Read our preview here >
- Australian inflation blew by expectations, growing 1.6% in March, rather than the 1.2% expected. The Australian dollar is up on the news, with expectations a rate hike is near. Here are the 15 most expensive places to buy gas in the world >
- Johnson & Johnson has completed its largest ever acquisition buying Swiss company Synthes for $21.6 billion. Synthes focuses on producing orthopedic products.
- The UK reported GDP growth of 0.5% for Q1 2011, in line with expectations. Construction spending continued to decline sharply, while business services and finance performed well. Don’t miss: Why Niall Ferguson believes the West is doomed >
- Barclays Capital reported weaker than expected profits, and a 15% fall in Q1 revenues. Shares are down sharply in London trading.
- Amazon reported weaker than expected earnings after the bell yesterday. Revenues, however, beat expectations. Check out the awesome life of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos >
- Nokia has announced 4,000 job cuts as a result of its move from its own software, to Microsoft’s mobile platform. 3,000 employees will also be shifted from Nokia to Accenture as part of the restructuring.
- BP profits were up 17% year-over-year in Q1 2011, while production dropped. The company also announced that clean-up costs for the gulf oil spill were down sharply, quarter-over-quarter. Check out a former BP executive’s explanation of why peak oil is real >
- Bonus: Megan Fox may be in the process of removing her Marilyn Monroe tattoo, according to Us Weekly. Fox said she got the tattoo as a “warning.”