Here is what you need to know.
Australia unexpectedly cut rates. The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered its key interest rate 25 basis points to a record low 1.75%. The RBA noted inflation was “unexpectedly low,” and also gave a cautious outlook for the Australian economy. “Indications are that growth is continuing in 2016, though probably at a more moderate pace,” the RBA’s statement said. The Australian dollar is down 1.4% at .7562.
China’s manufacturing sector slowed. The Caixin-Markit China manufacturing purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for April fell to 49.4 from March’s 49.7. Economists had expected a reading of 49.9. Markit noted “relatively weak market conditions and muted client demand contributed to a further solid decline in staff numbers” A closer look at the numbers showed input costs climbed at their fastest pace since January 2013, and output prices rose by their most since October 2011.
UK manufacturing PMI contracted for the first time 3 years. The April reading fell to 49.2, missing expectations for a rise to 51.2 from March’s 51.0. April’s print below 50.0 means the sector is contracting for the first time since April 2013. “…the headline index was dragged lower by lacklustre trends in production and new orders and declines in both employment and stocks of purchases,” Markit said in its statement accompanying the release. The British pound is unchanged at 1.4675.
Goldman Sachs thinks the Bank of Japan made a “fateful miscalculation.” Goldman says the BOJ did little to alleviate concerns that it was running out of policy options. Strategists Robin Brooks, Silvia Ardagna and Michael Cahill think the central bank should have “grabbed the bull by the horns” and shocked the market. “Preaching patience is the opposite, telling markets they expect too much,” the trio wrote. The Japanese yen is stronger by 0.5% at 105.83 per dollar, and at its highest level since October 2014.
Apple’s stock has its longest losing streak in almost 18 years. On Monday, Apple shares slipped 0.1%, extending their losing streak to an eighth straight session. This matches the longest losing streak for Apple since July 1998. Apple shares have lost 11% during the streak, which began on April 26, when the company announced its Q1 results.
HSBC’s quarter was pretty good. The bank reported Q1 pre-tax profit fell 18% versus last year to $5.4 billion, but still beat the $4.2 billion that analysts were expecting. HSBC held its dividend at $0.10 per share, alleviating fears it would be cut. “Market uncertainty led to extreme levels of volatility in January and February, which affected our ability to generate revenue in our Markets and Wealth Management businesses,” HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver said in a statement. “However, our diversified, universal-banking business model helped to cushion the impact through growth in other parts of the bank.”
Aeropostale is nearing a bankruptcy filing. The Wall Street Journal reports people close to the matter say the teen retailer is preparing to file chapter 11 bankruptcy sometime this week. Along with the filing, Aeropostale will close about 100 of its more than 800 stores with the possibility of closing even more stores later, the WSJ’s sources said. Crystal Financial LLC is said to be in talks to finance Aeropostale ‘s operations in bankruptcy.
Stock markets around the world are getting slammed pretty much everywhere. Spain’s IBEX (-2.2%) leads the way lower in Europe and Japan’s Nikkei (-3.1%) lagged in Asia. Australia’s ASX (+2.1%) was a standout. S&P 500 futures are lower by 15.25 points at 2059.00.
Earnings reporting remains heavy. Archer-Daniels, Clorox, Cummins, CVS Health, Duke Energy, Halliburton, Molson Coors Brewing, Mylan Labs, Starwood Hotels, and Valero Energy are among the companies reporting ahead of the opening bell. Agrium, Avis Budget, and CBS highlight the names releasing their quarterly results after markets close.
US economic data is light. US auto and truck sales will be released throughout the day. The US 10-year yield is down 7 basis points at 1.80%.