Here is what you need to know.
China’s stock market recouped an early crash. Heavy selling at Friday’s open had the Shanghai Composite down more than 11% off of Thursday’s high. However, shares rebounded sharply, ending Friday’s session down 0.2%. Despite fears of a bubble in Chinese stocks, international cash is pouring in. FT reports, “China equity funds took in $US4.6bn from overseas over the past week, according to data from EPFR released on Friday, more than double the previous high set in the second quarter of 2008.”
Grexit fears are growing. The final day of meetings between G7 finance ministers has seen increased fears of a Greek exit from the euro. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told German newspaper Handelsblatt, “If for the first time a country leaves the eurozone, then it won’t be the same stable monetary union as before.” Kuroda’s comments follow Thursday’s remarks from IMF head Christine Legarde suggesting Greece could potentially leave the monetary union. Greece’s 2-year yield is higher by 32 basis points at 23.24%.
Money is exiting Greek banks. Deposits at Greek banks slumped to their lowest level since 2005 after another 5.6 billion euros ($US6.14 billion) were pulled in April. Since 2009, the Greek banking system has lost more than 100 billion euros.
Low interest rates are hurting Europe’s rescue fund. Reuters reports the European Stability Mechanism is “seeking to revise its investment guidelines to allow it to buy lower-rated debt as it grapples with record low interest rates.” A document seen by Reuters indicated more than half of the ESM’s capital (80 billion euros, $US87.6 billion) is invested in instruments with negative yields. Germany’s finance ministry is seeking to change the rules of what can be purchased through the program in an effort to avoid a potential loss on paid-in capital.
Switzerland’s economy contracted. Switzerland’s economy contracted 0.2% in the first quarter as the removal of the franc’s cap by the Swiss National Bank caused the currency to strength 15%, taking a toll on exports. The contraction was the largest experienced by the Swiss economy since early 2009. The Swiss franc is stronger by 0.2% at .9422.
Intel is nearing a deal to buy Altera. The New York Post reports Intel is close to acquiring its peer, Altera, for $US15 billion. If a deal were consummated, it would value each Altera share at $US54, a 15% premium over Thursday’s closing price. According to the Post, a deal “would be the biggest acquisition ever for the $US160 billion market cap Intel.”
Gamestop beat on the top and bottom lines. The video game retailer announced earnings of $US0.68 per share, easily beating the Wall Street estimate of $US0.58. Revenue climbed 8.1% in constant currency to $US2.06 billion, topping the $US2.01 billion that was expected. Same store sales rose 8.6% in the quarter, and the company upped its full-year EPS guidance to $US3.63-$US3.83 from $US3.60-$US3.80.
Goldman Sach’s Gary Cohn was considered for the top job at Pimco. Bloomberg reports Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn made the short list of candidates who were being considered to replace Mohamed El-Erian as CEO. If hired by Pimco, Cohn would have likely seen a huge pay raise from the $US26.9 million he made in 2013 as El-Erian scored a bonus of roughly $US230 million that year. Ultimately, Pimco hired Douglas Hodge who was COO from 2009-2014.
Stock markets around the world are mixed. Australia’s ASX (+1.1%) outperformed in overnight trade, and France’s CAC (-1.2%) leads the decline in Europe. S&P 500 futures have recouped most of their early losses and now trade down 1.50 points at 2120.50.
US economic data flows. GDP – Second Estimate will cross the wires at 8:30 a.m., and will be followed by Chicago PMI at 9:45 a.m. ET and Michigan Sentiment – Final at 10:00 a.m. ET. The US 10-yr yield is lower by 1 basis point at 2.13%.