10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell


Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading. The Japanese Nikkei jumped 1.6 per cent on the back of BoJ stimulus but the Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 2.7 per cent. At one point, Japan had been up by over 4%. European markets are deep in the red, with Germany down 1.8 per cent. In the United States, futures point to a negative open.
  • The story of the day is the jobs report in the United States. Economists predict the BLS survey will reveal 190,000 nonfarm payrolls were created in the American economy in March, down from the 236,000 added in February. The unemployment rate is expected to stay unchanged at 7.7 per cent.
  • The selloff in Hong Kong came as the death toll in Shanghai from a new strain of bird flu mounted to six on Friday. Live poultry markets will be shut down across Shanghai starting Saturday and will remain closed indefinitely. Meanwhile, North Korea is seen as dragging all Asian markets down.
  • Euro zone retail sells fell 0.3 per cent in February after a 0.9 per cent rise in January. The drop was slightly better than the 0.4 per cent decline predicted by market economists. Year over year, sales fell 1.4 per cent.
  • German factory orders rose 2.3 per cent in February following a 1.6 per cent decline in January. Economists were expecting a lesser, 1.1 per cent advance. Year over year, non-seasonally adjusted orders were flat versus a 2.1 per cent decline in January and expectations for a 1.5 per cent decline in February.
  • The German DAX got slammed this morning with a big sell order around 5:45 AM ET. Stifel Nicolaus strategist Dave Lutz says, “Futures were having a nice morning till around 5:45AM, when almost $1.4B printed in DAX and ESTOXX futures – knocking the DAX off almost 2%, and taking US futures down 50bp.  No headlines associated, but no recovery when Germany’s Factory Orders printed better (despite bearish chatter).”
  • U.S. Treasury yields have now hit their lowest levels of the year. The 10-year yield is down to 1.75 per cent on the heels of a good start to April for the government bonds.
  • MF Global bankruptcy trustee Louis Freeh filed a 174-page report in court late Thursday, laying much of the blame for the firm’s demise in 2011 on former CEO Jon Corzine. The report could influence settlement negotiations between Corzine and private customers of MF Global who lost deposits when the firm went under.
  • In addition to the BLS report, U.S. trade data are out at 8:30 AM ET. Economists predict the trade deficit ticked wider to $44.6 billion in February from $44.4 billion in January.
  • February consumer credit data, out at 3 PM ET, are the final release of the day. Economists predict that credit expanded by $15 billion in February after a $16.15 billion rise in January. Follow all of the data releases LIVE on Business Insider >
  • BONUS: Police responded to a call that there were armed intruders at Rihanna’s house – but it was bogus (she was “swatted”).

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