Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite rising 1.39 per cent on speculation that government will boost consumption and loosen monetary policy. Europe is lower and U.S. stock markets are modestly higher.
- Spain officially entered a recession. The Spanish economy contracted 0.3 per cent in the first quarter, and shrank 0.4 per cent year-over-year according to final figures. Don’t Miss: 5 reasons why everyone is panicking about Spain >
- JP Morgan’s loss has surged past its initial estimate of $2 billion, and is now at $3 billion. Hedge funds believe the bank is stuck in a position that it can’t unwind from and they’re betting against it.
- Wal-Mart reported earnings of $1.09 per share from continuing operations, above guidance. Same store sales were up 2.6 per cent in part because of warm weather. Now here are 16 facts about Wal-Mart that will blow your mind >
- Customers of the major Spanish bank Bankia have withdrawn over €1 billion from the bank in the past week. The stock was off 20 per cent this morning.
- Initial jobless claims missed expectations slightly at 370,000. That was in line with last week’s revised reading of 370,000 (up from 367,000). Sill to come, the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey for May at 10 a.m. ET. Consensus is for general business conditions to improve to 10. Follow the release at Money Game >
- Facebook announced yesterday that it was increasing the size of its IPO by 25 per cent. 57 per cent of the Facebook stock being offered in the IPO is now from insider selling. Goldman Sachs Group, Tiger Global Management, and Facebook director Peter Thiel have more than doubled the amount of stock they plan to sell. Now check out this chart which shows Facebook Insiders’ stock sale in context >
- Royal Bank of Canada and Credit Suisse are among bidders for the non-U.S. wealth management business of Bank of America in a deal that could be worth $2 billion.
- Japan’s economy grew 1 per cent in the first quarter, beating expectations. Meanwhile, it had an annualized growth rate of 4.1 per cent, but analysts warned that this growth can’t be sustained.
- Bill Ackman was at the Ira Sohn conference yesterday pitching J.C. Penney. The company’s stock had been battered and Ackman has been long J.C. Penney for a while, but he said the best investment ideas are contrarian and that the retailer could earn $6 per share by 2015.
- Bonus – Jennifer Lopez is reportedly going to exit American Idol because of her busy schedule.
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