Building on yesterday’s gains of 0.6% to 1.5% for the main US indices, US index futures are up 0.2% to 0.6% this morning. Over in Europe, the FTSE is up 0.6% and the Dax is up 0.8%. In the wake of yesterday’s Fed minutes, which did not contain any major surprises, the US 10-year treasury note yield, the US Dollar against other major currencies, energy commodities, copper and gold are all holding steady this morning as investors take a breather to assess recent action. Cryptocurrencies are getting slammed again today with Bitcoin down 2.2% and trading back under $30,000, while Ethereum is down 7.0% and trading back under $2,000, an indication that investor sentiment remains cautious at best.
The second day of Canadian bank earnings has brought mixed but generally positive news in terms of results and dividends. Royal Bank ($2.99 vs street $2.69, 7.0% dividend increase), released $342 million from previous loan loss provisions) led the way with results also out from TD Bank ($2.02 vs street $1.93, no change to dividend), and CIBC ($1.77 vs street $1.78, 3.1% dividend increase). Generally speaking, as with yesterday’s reports growth from traditional banking operations was partly offset by weaker capital markets results.
US retail earnings are also in the news this morning with results out from Macys ($1.08 vs street $0.82, up 13.7% premarket), who beat the street and boosted guidance, along with discount retailers Dollar Tree ($2.31 vs street $2.00, up 15.2% premarket) and Dollar General ($2.41 vs street $2.32, up 10.8% premarket).
In economic news, Canadian retail sales numbers for March were mixed overall with the headline number falling short of expectations (0.0% vs street 1.4%) but the retail sales excluding autos number beating expectations (2.4% vs street 2.0%) as the economy started to reopen. The first revisions to US Q1 GDP saw the headline growth number revised down more than expected (-1.5% vs street -1.3%), while the quarterly GDP price index was revised up slightly (8.1% vs street 8.0%).