Stock markets around the world are in retreat this morning. US index futures are down 0.6% to 1.2% with NASDAQ futures leading the way downward. In Europe today, the Dax is down 0.9% and the FTSE is down 0.25%. Currency markets have somewhat stabilized with Gold up 0.2% and regaining the $2,000/oz level, but another day of sharp declines for cryptocurrencies with Bitcoin down 1.9%, suggests an erosion of confidence. Similarly, commodities are having a rough morning with WTI Crude Oil down 1.5% and Copper down 1.2%.
Earnings reports have been mixed overnight. On the positive side, IBM ($1.36 vs street $1.26), Lam Research ($6.99 vs street $6.52), railroad Union Pacific ($2.67 vs street $2.57), steelmaker Nucor ($4.45 vs street $3.87), and homebuilder DR Horton ($2.73 vs street $1.93, up 4.5% premarket) have all beaten analyst expectations. On the negative side, American Express came in below expectations ($2.40 vs street $2.66) and investors were more concerned about falling earnings at Tesla Motors (down 7.8% premarket) from last year over stronger than expected growth in revenues.
It’s a big day for speeches from central bankers, which include two speakers from the Bank of Canada, including Governor Macklem, two speakers from the European Central Bank, including President Lagarde, and four Fed speakers. Investors may look for comments related to the health and outlook of national and global economies, inflation pressures and the future path of interest rates.
Today’s US economic news has been disappointing. Weekly initial jobless claims (245K vs street 240K) and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (-31.3 vs street -19.2) both came in worse than expected. Flash Manufacturing and Flash Service reports, the first peek at economic conditions in April, are due from several countries from around the world overnight and into tomorrow morning.