ASIA: Slumped, with Japan worst off. Japan probably doesn’t even need to be explained anymore, but yes the yen has strengthened again, and is now at 80.70 per U.S. dollar. Asian markets were generally weaker due to concerns that it’s time to ‘sell on fact’ once quantitative easing details come out of the U.S next week, according to the Wall Street Journal.Still, AIG’s AIA IPO in Hong Kong started off with a bang — rising more than 17% on its first day of trading. We’ve personally given AIG CEO Robert Benmosche a big round of applause.
Sony beat expectations and hiked guidance in Japan, though still fell nearly 1.4%. Samsung only met expectations in Korea, and failed to increase guidance. Samsung shares fell nearly 2.5%. Back in Japan again, Honda appears to have met expectations yet they hiked guidance as Sony did. Honda shares slipped a little over 0.3%, outperforming the NIKKEI.
EUROPE: Fighting for direction. France and Germany ‘are piling the pressure’ on EU leaders to alter the Lisbon treaty and prevent future Greece-style bailouts, says Sky News. The Greek 10-year yield is rising and remains the 10% level it broke (again) recently, at 10.6%. Approval ratings for Greece’s PM have sunk from 82% last year to just 33% now.
German retail sales rose 0.4% year-on-year, but missed expectations and fell -2.3% on a month-on-month basis.
MACRO: Dollar up, everything else falling.
U.S. FUTURES: Are slipping. Watch for U.S. GDP data at 8:30 AM ET, but note Goldman thinks consensus GDP forecasts are still way too high. We’ll also be hit by the employment cost index at 8:30 AM, plus the Chicago PMI at 9:45 AM ET, and consumer sentiment at 9:55 AM.
Merck (MRK) earnings come out today, and don’t forget that Microsoft (MSFT) destroyed estimates last night.