Here is what you need to know.
Janet Yellen speaks at Harvard. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will take part in a discussion on the economy with Harvard University economics professor Greg Mankiw. The event is likely to delay some traders from heading out early for the holiday weekend as it could provide some clues as to the pace of Fed rate hikes. The discussion is set to begin at 1:15 p.m. ET.
The G7 winds down. Leaders from seven of the world’s biggest industrial powers met in central Japan over the past two days, discussing topics ranging from currency manipulation to Brexit worries to North Korea. The group agreed to avoid “competitive devaluation” of its currencies and concluded, “Global growth is our urgent priority.”
China’s industrial profits are up. Industrial profits in China rose 4.2% year-over-year in April to 502 billion yuan ($76.6 billion). That’s a big improvement from the 11.1% drop that was recorded in March. The profit rebound has coincided with a surge in Chinese credit growth and infrastructure investment.
Japan is reportedly looking to delay its sales tax increase. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to delay his planned national sales tax hike, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The sales tax had been scheduled to increase to 10% from 8% in April 2017. The delay is expected to be between one and three years.
Consumer prices in Japan are still sliding. Consumer prices in Japan fell 0.3% YoY in April, which was slightly better than the 0.4% drop that economists had forecast. Meanwhile, the closely watched reading for prices in Tokyo fell 0.5% YoY, missing the 0.4% decline that was expected. The Japanese yen is little changed near 109.65.
Google won its legal battle against Oracle. A jury has decided that Google’s use of Oracle’s application programming interfaces for Android was “fair use.” Google used about 11,000 lines of code from Oracle’s Java within its millions of lines of code for Android, and refused to pay a licensing fee, which is what led to the lawsuit. Oracle was expected to ask for as much as $9 billion if the verdict was favourable.
Valeant rejected a takeover bid during the spring. The embattled pharmaceutical company rejected a joint takeover bid by Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and TPG Capital Management, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The company reportedly turned down the offer as it wanted to give new CEO Joseph Papa time to turn things around. Shares of Valeant were up more than 6% in Thursday’s after-hours session.
Snapchat might be preparing for an IPO. In a regulatory filing, Snapchat named Stan Meresman to its board of directors. On his personal website, Meresman says he “advises CEOs & CFOs on preparing to become a public reporting company, IPO process, operating as a public company, and scaling the company for rapid growth.” Companies Meresman has helped go public include LinkedIn, Zynga, Riverbed Technology, and Polycom.
Stock markets around the world are mixed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (+0.9%) led the gains overnight and Germany’s DAX (+0.1%) hangs onto small gains in Europe. S&P 500 futures are up 1.50 points at 2091.25.
US economic data flows. Q1 GDP – Second Estimate will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET and University of Michigan consumer confidence will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 1.83%.
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