10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Star wars baseballReuters/Brian SnyderPeople dressed as Star Wars characters Chewbacca (front), Princess Leia (C) and Han Solo throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the MLB baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

Here is what you need to know.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut rates. The RBA lowered its key interest rate 25 basis points to a record low 2.00%, as expected. According to RBA Governor Glenn Stevens’ statement, “The Australian dollar has declined noticeably against a rising US dollar over the past year, though less so against a basket of currencies. Further depreciation seems both likely and necessary, particularly given the significant declines in key commodity prices.” The Australian dollar is stronger by 0.4% at .7872.

Greece is no closer to a deal with its creditors. According to a senior European source cited by the Financial Times, “The “two realities” — Greece’s reality and the reality of its creditors — are still no closer to being reconciled.” HSBC has previously noted May 12 is a possible day of default. Greece’s 2-year yield is up 157 basis points at 20.63%.

The EU upped its 2015 growth and inflation forecasts. Europe’s growth forecast for 2015 was raised to +1.5% (+1.3% previous) while CPI was bumped up to +0.1% (-0.1% previous). A notable disappointment was the downward revision to the Greece forecast, which now calls for 2015 growth of just +0.5% (+2.5% previous). The euro is weaker by 0.2% at 1.1124.

Spanish unemployment posted its best reading ever for April
. The Spanish economy saw the number of unemployed plunge 118,923, far outpacing the drop 64,800 that was expected. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed has fallen by 351,285 people, making for the biggest drop on record. Spain’s 10-year yield is on session highs, up 10 basis points at 1.60%.

UK Construction slowed sharply. Construction activity in Britain slowed to a 22-month low. April’s reading of 54.2 fell well short of the 57.6 that was expected, and the 57.8 from March. The data may have been impacted by companies waiting to make spending decisions until after the May 7 election. Great Britain’s pound is up 0.1% at 1.5135.

PIMCO is no longer the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund. PIMCO’s Total Return Bond Fund saw an outflow of $US5.6 billion in April, lowering its assets under management to $US110.4 billion. The drawdown has dropped the fund below Vanguard’s Total Bond Market Index Fund, which had $US117.3 billion as of April 30.

Morgan Stanley is facing a $US292 million lawsuit from Deutsche Bank. According to Reuters, the lawsuit accuses Morgan Stanley of falsely representing the quality of mortgages “in a trust backed by a Morgan Stanley unit in which the Deutsche Bank subsidiary was a trustee.”

Anadarko Petroleum was hit hard by the drop in oil prices. The oil and gas explorer posted a loss of $US0.72 per share, excluding non-recurring items, missing the $US0.60 loss that was expected. Revenues plunged 60.3% to $US2.32 billion, which was below the $US2.58 billion Wall Street was anticipating.

Global stock markets trade mixed. Overnight, China’s Shanghai Composite (-4.1%) saw significant selling pressure while Japan’s Nikkei (+0.1%) eked out a gain. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE (+0.4%) leads and Italy’s MIB (-0.7%) lagged. S&P 500 futures are down 3.25 points at 2106.00.

US economic data is light. The trade balance is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. ET and ISM Services will cross the wires at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is off 1 basis point at 2.14%.

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