Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite down 0.10 per cent after a drop in PMI. Europe is deep in the red and U.S. markets opened modestly lower.
- The HSBC flash manufacturing PMI for China slipped to 48.1 in March from 49.6 a month ago. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. Here’s what’s behind the weak Chinese PMI number >
- The composite Markit eurozone PMI for March fell to 48.7, from 49.3 the previous month, missing analyst expectations for a rise to 49.6. Meanwhile, Germany which is considered to be the strong arm of Europe, saw its manufacturing PMI drop to 48.1 in March, from 50.2 in February.
- Japan reported a February trade surplus of 32.9 billion yen. Analysts had expected a deficit of 120 billion yen. Nomura: 10 issues that should keep you up at night >
- Initial claims fell to 348K beating expectations. The FHFA house price index for January at 10 a.m. ET. Consensus is for a 0.4 per cent month-over-month increase in the house price index. Follow the release at Money Game >
- Diamond Foods said it is suspending dividend payments as part of a deal with lenders to revise its credit agreement. The company will continue to have access to its existing revolving credit facility through June 18. SocGen identifies the 40 best dividend stocks in the world >
- In earnings news,
ConAgra reported adjusted earnings of $0.51 per diluted share from continuing operations. Lululemon announced Q4 diluted earnings of $0.51 per share, on revenue of $371.5 million. Meanwhile, FedEx reported Q3 earnings of $1.65 per share, on revenue of $10.56 billion.
- UK retail sales fell 0.8 per cent month-over-month in February, worse than expectations of a 0.5 per cent decrease. Sales in specialty stores and clothes sales led the decline.
- Reuters is reporting that an al-Qaeda inspired gunman who killed seven people in Toulouse, France is dead. The gunman had boasted of bringing France to its knees.
- Ireland’s central bank governor is expected to ask the ECB today for permission to delay a cash payment on its banking debt. Ireland wants to issue a long-term bond to settle a €3.1 billion promissory note payment that is due next week. Has the optimism broken in Europe?
- Bonus – Katie Holmes and her daughter Suri painted ceramics at Make Meaning on the Upper East Side.