Macroeconomic data released on Thursday was mixed. Initial Claims dropped to 15-year low, which of course is a positive factor. However, Personal Spending which makes up about two-thirds of the US GDP rose less-than-expected in March (0.4%). Negative earnings reports pulled the stock prices down. Biopharmaceutical company Celgene posted weak quarterly report. Its shares declined 4.5%. This movement was joined by the shares from similar segment, and as a result, Nasdaq biotech index fell 3.1%. Apple shares slumped 2.7% because of possible technical problems with some particular components of its new product, Apple Watch. Internet companies’ shares are sagging lower on weak reporting of the largest China’s internet search Baidu (-8.5%). After the regular trading hours closure, LinkedIn published negative report and the company’s shares tumbled 24%. Note the significantly higher trading turnover on US stock exchanges, up to 8.5 billion shares, which is 35% above the monthly average. The Q1 earnings report season will soon be over. Now investors expect the total profit of companies listed in S&P 500 to rise 1.1% and the total revenues to reduce 3.2%. It has beaten their earlier estimates made at the beginning of the year. Today at 15-45 СЕТ Markit’s Manufacturing PMI will be released in the US. At 16-00 СЕТ we expect the publication of ISM Manufacturing PMI and Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment. All the indicators provide April data. Along with that data, Construction Spending in March is also published today. The outlook for all these indicators is positive.
European markets continue to fall today. The unemployment rate in the EU in March was reported yesterday with a rise up to 11.3%. The CPI in April remained unchanged, which slightly reduces the risk of deflation. It resulted in euro strengthening. Nokia posted weak earnings report. Its shares dipped 10.7%, pulling down the shares of the same market segment. Alcatel Lucent dropped 9.7%, Ericsson slipped 2.9%. The STOXX Europe 600 tech index fell 2.2%. At the moment about one-third of European companies reported their gains for the first quarter: 61% of those reported better-than-expected gains or as forecasted. Most European exchanges are closed today in observance of Labor Day, including Germany. The UK stock market is open as scheduled. Macroeconomic statistics is not expected in the EU.
Nikkei is advancing today, regaining yesterday’s slump. Market participants were preparing for a long weekend, lasting till the 6th of May (Golden Week holidays).Crude oil hit the year high as US dollar weakened. Today oil prices are slightly pulling back. OPEC oil production in April increased by 70 thousand barrels a day, to 31.04 million barrels a day. Despite this, due to closing of some operating oil rigs in US, WTI crude oil upped 25% in April, its record monthly rise over six years.
Gold prices slipped despite the US currency weakening and delaying the moment of the Fed rate hike. Investors are more concerned about a possible fall in demand for gold in Asia. Note that stock exchanges in China and Singapore are closed today for holiday. Copper posted a weekly gain of 5%, the highest growth since September 2012.