Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
Fed Day. The FOMC will give its latest guidance on monetary policy at 2 p.m. Bill McBride at Calculated Risk says it will be mostly staying the course. “I expect the FOMC to announce a $US10 billion decrease in asset purchases, to blame the early year weakness mostly on the weather, and to express some concern about housing and also concern that inflation is too low.”
Twitter Shares Sink. The stock is down 12.6% before the bell after the San Francisco-based group announced disappointing user growth. “Costolo’s explanations [for the miss] were admirable, but fell short,” BI’s Jay Yarow said. “When the call started, Twitter was down 8-9%. By the end of the call, it was down 10-11%.”
Mortgage Demand Plummets. Applications fell 5.9% to their lowest level since December 2000. Refi demand fell 7% to the lowest level since 2008.
Japan PMI. Japan’s April Markit manufacturing survey yielded some mixed results. The headline PMI fell to 49.4 in April from 53.9 in March. That’s the first sub-50 reading in 14 months. Any reading below 50 signals contraction.”As was expected, the implementation of the increase in the sales tax negatively impacted on Japanese manufacturing companies,” noted Markit’s Amy Brownbill. “Output and new orders both fell for the first time in 14 months. In both cases, Japanese manufacturing companies linked the reductions to the increase in the sales tax.”
IMF: Russia Is Already In Recession. The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that Russia is already in recession. The organisation also slashed its growth forecast for 2014 to 02.% from 1.3% just a few weeks ago citing the effect of the Ukraine crisis on investment. “If we define recession as negative growth in two quarters in a row, then Russia from that point of view is experiencing recession,” IMF economist Antonio Spilimbergo was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
Eurozone Inflation Higher. Prices climbed 0.7%, less than the 0.8% expected but better than 0.5% in March. “European Central Bank governing council member Christian Noyer said Wednesday he favours some additional measures to loosen monetary policy, but said the central bank is already doing a lot,” the Wall Street Journal reported. ‘I think we can do a little bit more, but essentially we have done what is necessary,’ he said on French radio Europe 1.”
Justice Looking Into Illicit Tax Shelters. The Justice Department is looking to bring criminal charges against Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas for providing illicit tax shelters to U.S. clients and financing blacklisted governments respectively, the New York Times reports. The FT says BNP has warned its penalty could be in hte multiple billions.
ADP. At 8:15 a.m. we get the ADP employment report for April. Consensus is for a reading of 210,000 versus 190,000 prior. “The ADP report received a lot of criticism from some analysts ahead of last month’s release, but the critics were at least temporarily quieted by just a 1K miss: The BLS reported private payrolls up 192K, almost identical to the 191K ADP estimate,” HFE’s Jim O’Sullivan said in a note this morning. “The monthly ADP estimate reflects a combination of current-month data derived from ADP clients’ employee records and an estimate of the recent trend, based in large part on the latest BLS data. As a result, last month’s payrolls data will affect this month’s ADP estimate. The point of contention is whether the ADP estimate has become overly dependent on the latest BLS data, and not enough on ADP’s independent information, such that the ADP series is a better indicator of the prior month’s payrolls than the current month’s. Indeed, data for some months recently seem to fit that pattern, although we suspect the outcome is largely by chance. According to Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics, which helps compile the data, 96% of the variation in ADP from month to month is due to the independent ADP data.”
GDP. At 8:30 a.m. we get a Q1 GDP reading. Estimates are for a print of 1.2% growth, down from 2.6% prior. This would be driven by an estimated 2.0% growth in personal consumption.
Markets. Are going nowhere. TimeWarner just announced they’d beat on earnings. Other earnings today include Yelp and MetLife.
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