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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets in Asia largely sold-off overnight, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng off 0.3 per cent. Trading in Europe is solidly higher, and U.S. futures point to a slightly positive open.
- U.S. GDP grew at an annual pace of 2.2 per cent during the first quarter, below expectations for a 2.5 per cent expansion. However personal consumption beat estimates at 2.9 per cent growth.
- Spanish unemployment jumped to 24.4 per cent in March, well ahead of expectations for an increase to 23.8 per cent. Separately, the country’s debt was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s. Here are the 12 things that should worry you about Europe >
- Japan’s central bank increased its asset purchase plan to ¥40 trillion, or $494 Billion. An increase had widely been expected by economists, but the ¥10 trillion addition was somewhat lower than anticipated.
- Italy’s borrowing costs headed back towards 6 per cent, after it sold €5.95 billion in long term debt. The country had set a goal of a €3.75 to €6.25 billion auction. Yields rose to 5.84 per cent.
- Chinese industrial profits increased by 4.5 per cent to 438.9 billion yuan, or $69.6 billion. That reverses the first decline logged in January to February profits since 2009. Economists remain unconvinced of a Chinese hard landing >
- Two major Chinese banks missed earnings expectations this morning. China Construction Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China reported net income of 51.5 billion and 61.3 billion yen, respectively.
- Online giant Amazon crushed earnings expectations, posting EPS of $0.28 on top line of $13.18 billion. Shares rocked 14 per cent higher after the closing bell. Amazon said Kindle sales were strong across all geographic markets.
- Starbucks stock fell during after-hours trading after the company reported lower-than-anticipated same-store sale growth. Sales at stores open more than a year increased 7 per cent. Earnings per share topped expectations at $0.40 per share, with revenue in line at $3.2 billion.
- Procter & Gamble, Merck and Ford all beat quarterly expectations this morning. Procter and Merck earned $0.94 and $0.99 per share, respectively. Ford reported earnings per share of $0.39 on revenue of $32.4 billion. Guess What, Ford Isn’t Junk Anymore >