6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

Ben Simmons pulls down a rebound during the Legends Classic college basketball tournament. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Stocks rose Monday as focus shifted from geopolitical turmoil to corporate earnings reports. Markets seemed comforted by a lack of immediate Russian retaliation after the US and its allies carried out air strikes against the Syrian government on Friday.

Here’s the scoreboard:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,574.79 +214.65 (+0.88%)

S&P 500: 2,680.52 +24.22 (+0.91%)

AUD/USD: 0.7780 +0.0015 (+0.19%)

ASX 200 SPI futures (June contracts): 5,823 (+3)

  1. The S&P 500 briefly hit its highest level in almost a month. Pharmacy stocks led the index higher after Amazon said it’s hitting the pause button on its plan to sell prescription drugs to hospitals.
  2. The US decided to hold back on issuing another round of sanctions on Russia. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had previously said that the US would be hitting Moscow with more economic penalties Monday.
  3. Oil prices fell sharply as some officials said that another airstrike on Syria by the West is not imminent. Crude hit a three-year high last week ahead of airstrikes against the Assad regime carried out by the US, UK, and France.
  4. Despite a solid print for retail sales and hawkish commentary from US Fed committee members overnight, the USD still can’t take a trick and fell to its lowest level since last month. That followed an unusual tweet from US President Donald Trump, who accused China and Russia of currency devaluation.
  5. China has a huge data drop today with Q1 GDP, industrial production numbers and retail sales all scheduled for around 12pm AEDT. Domestically, the main event will be the minutes from the RBA’s April rates meeting at 11:30am AEDT.
  6. With the US Fed on track to raise rates further this year and leading indicators pointing to upward pressure on wage growth, US 2-year bond yields rose to 2.38% overnight — the highest level since 2008. US 10-years held steady at 2.83%.

Here’s the other key events on Tuesday’s economic calendar:

  • The latest Westpac/Melbourne Institute Leading Index is due.
  • Data on US building permits and housing starts is out.
  • The UK will release unemployment and wage numbers.
  • Germany has the ZEW survey of business sentiment.
  • Goldman Sachs reports earnings.

Have a great day.

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