Here’s what you need to know.
Friday’s jobs report was a flop. US companies added just 126,000 nonfarm payrolls in March, which was well short of the 246,000 that was expected. The unemployment rate held at 5.5% while hourly earnings rose 0.3% month-over-month.
Markets are in the red. In the US, Dow and S&P futures are down 0.7%, suggesting it could be a rough trading session. Markets across Europe and much of the rest of the world remained closed for Easter Monday. Japan’s Nikkei (-0.2%) slipped in a lacklustre trade.
Greece intends to meet its debt obligations. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced the government “intends to meet all obligations to all its creditors, ad infinitum.” This includes the approximate 450 million euro loan repayment due to the International Monetary Fund on April 9. The troubled country must still secure its next tranche of bailout money by showing it’s serious about making reforms.
Spanish unemployment dropped sharply. The number of people registering for unemployment in Spain fell by 60,214 versus the previous month. The strong reading marked the biggest decline in unemployment registration for the month of March since 2002.
Crude oil is back above $US50 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is higher by 2.8% at $US50.52 per barrel as traders price in the likelihood it will take some time before Iranian oil is back on the market.
The Feds are investigating Herbalife. CNBC reports federal investigators are looking into the business practices of “10 or so” of Herbalife’s top members. It remains unclear as to the specifics of the investigation.
Chinese bank profits are slowing. Nine of the 11 banks that have reported quarterly results have posted single digit profit growth. According to China Construction Bank CFO Xu Yiming, “The slowdown in profit growth is primarily due to two reasons. One is the pressure on asset quality caused by the economic downturn, and the other is the pricing issue. A significant asymmetric rate adjustment by the People’s Bank of China last year caused us 8 billion yuan for the year.”
Disney has invested $US250 million in daily fantasy sports site Draft Kings. The investment values the company at $US900 million. As part of the deal, Draft Kings has agreed to spend more than $US500 million advertising on ESPN.
NHTSA has reopened its investigation of Ford sedan lighting failures. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation will cover 517,945 cars, encompassing Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis sedans manufactured between 2003 and 2005. The prior investigation occurred from November 2008 to March 2009 concluding, “a safety-related defect has not been identified at this time and further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted.”
US economic data is light.ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. Economists estimate this services index slipped to 56.5 in March from 56.9 in February. “West coast ports are running more smoothly, following disruptions in the beginning of the year, and the harsh winter weather is abating,” BNP Paribas economists said. “Downside risks include likely continued disappointment from the oilfield services sector.”
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