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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia rallied in overnight trading, with Japan’s Nikkei up 1.1 per cent. That momentum spilled into Europe, where shares gained, and could continue as U.S. futures now point to a positive open.
- Fitch Ratings downgraded Japan to A+ with a negative outlook this morning. The agency said the ratings cut was made because of “high and rising public debt ratios.” Here’s why a Japanese downgrade doesn’t hold much weight >
- The IMF said today that the Bank of England should consider further monetary policy easing — by slashing rates or introducing more quantitative easing — in order to bolster its struggling economy. The OECD and IMF also announced growth estimates for the country today, estimating that the U.K. economy will grow at 0.5 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.
- Spain sold some €2.53 billion worth of short-term bills, above its maximum target of €2.5 billion. Yields on the six-month notes jumped to 1.737 per cent from 0.580 per cent during an April auction. These are the five reasons everyone is worrying about Spain >
- British retailer Marks and Spencer cut its three-year revenue guidance on a weak macro environment, even as it beat analyst targets. The retailer reported full annual earnings of £705.9 million for the year ending March 31, but said a deterioration in the economy would keep it from reaching its £2.5 billion 2014 revenue goal.
- Best Buy reported better-than-expected quarterly results this morning, with adjusted earnings per share at $0.72 against projections for $0.59. Still to come is Dell, which the Street forecasts will report EPS of $0.46. These Are The 21 Most Controversial Stocks >
- Facebook’s revenue forecasts were unexpectedly cut by its lead underwriter, Morgan Stanley, during the middle of the social network’s roadshow, Reuters’ Alistair Barr reports. Some investors say that led to weak performance during the first two trading days.
- U.S. economic announcements kick off at 10:00 a.m. with existing home sales and a manufacturing report out of the Richmond Federal Reserve. Expectations are for sales to increase 3.0 per cent month-on-month to an annualized pace of 4.61 million units, while the manufacturing report logs a 3 point decline to 11 for May. Follow both live on Money Game >
- A new poll out of ABC News showed a shrinking approval rating for President Obama, with 49 per cent of respondents disapproving of his leadership. Obama’s strength among women also weakened, falling 6 points to 51 per cent in a match up with Mitt Romney.
- The first private space shuttle hoping to dock at the international space station lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida this morning. Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s Falcon 9 carried an unmanned ship on a flight that is expected to last two weeks.