Here is what you need to know.
Oil is surging. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is higher by 2.3% at $44.80 per barrel following Wednesday’s US production report. The report showed US production decreased by 113,000 barrels per day last week to its lowest level in 18 months. US output has now fallen for 11 straight weeks.
China services sector slowed. The April reading of the Caixin-Markit China services purchasing managers (PMI) report fell to 51.8 in April from 52.2 in March. Looking underneath the hood, the internals of the report looked pretty good. New orders hit their highest level in three months and order backlogs climbed for the first time this year. Sentiment was the only negative in the report. “Anecdotal evidence suggested that some companies expect improving market conditions, are planning operational expansions and are forecasting new projects to boost activity,” Markit said. “However, other businesses commented that relatively subdued market conditions could dampen growth.” The Chinese yuan finished up 0.1% at 6.5039 per dollar.
Australia’s central bank has a new governor. The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced that Phil Lowe will replace Glenn Stevens at the helm. Lowe has served as a deputy governor under Stevens for the past four years, and was widely expected to be the next in line for the position. He has a doctorate from MIT, completing it under the supervision of Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. Lowe’s seven-year term begins in September.
Tribune rejected Gannett’s takeover bid. Tribune Publishing has rejected Gannett’s $815 million, or $12.25 per share, takeover bid. According to Tribune CEO Justin Dearborn, “The Board believes that the price reflected in the Proposal understates the Company’s true value and is not in the best interests of our shareholders.” Gannett
chairman John Jeffry Louis believes buying the Tribune would help his company amid a “challenging environment.”
Tesla beat on earnings. The electric carmaker lost $0.57 per share, beating the $0.60 loss that Wall Street was expecting. Revenue came in at $1.60 billion, a whisker shy of the $1.61 billion that analysts were hoping for. Tesla says it expects to produce 20,000 vehicles in the second quarter, or 30% higher from a year ago. “Looking out beyond Q2, we remain confident that we can deliver 80,000 to 90,000 new Model S and Model X vehicles in 2016,” CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. Shares of Tesla are up about 4% in pre-market trade.
Fitbit guided lower. The maker of wearable health and fitness tracking devices announced earnings of $0.10, which was well ahead of the $0.02 expected by the Bloomberg consensus. Revenue jumped 50.1% to $505.4 million, and easily beat the $443.3 million that Wall Street was hoping for. However, Fitbit announced Q2 guidance of $0.08 to $0.11, versus the $0.26 that was expected. Shares of Fitbit are down 13% ahead of the opening bell.
YouTube is planning a paid subscription service. Bloomberg reports, Alphabet’s YouTube is planning to launch a subscription-based bundle of streaming cable channels. The new service will be called “Unplugged,” and is set to launch as soon as 2017, Bloomberg says. It is not yet clear what channels will be included.
Global stock markets are mixed. In Europe, France’s CAC (-0.1%) lags and Germany’s DAX (+0.1%) leads. Overnight, China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.2%) eked out a gain while Japan’s Nikkei remained closed. S&P 500 futures are up 4.75 points at 2051.75.
Earnings reporting is in high gear. Alibaba, AmerisourceBergen, Cablevision, Chesapeake Energy, Kellogg, and MGM Resorts are among the companies reporting ahead of the opening bell. Activision Blizzard, Caesar’s Entertainment, News Corp., and Yelp highlight the names releasing their quarterly results after markets close.
US economic data is light. Initial and continuing claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Natural gas inventories will cross the wires at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 1 basis point at 1.79%.
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