Global markets lower on weak Chinese factory data
Most of the major markets are lower today as further weak figures from China hit investors’ sentiment. The HSBC/Markit PMI data show that Chinese factory output has dipped to the breakeven point. Despite the poor data Shanghai ended Thursday up slightly, along with Tokyo which was boosted by a rare bounce in exports. In Europe regional data is a bigger concern; France and Germany both slipped back and missed expectations in manufacturing data released today. The Eurozone’s two biggest economies are still struggling despite business and investor sentiment in Germany being higher in a recent report. US stock futures and gold are lower so far with oil slightly higher.
Consumer Price Index at 8.30am ET
Jobless Claims at 8.30am ET
PMI Manufacturing Index flash at 9.45am ET
Philadelphia Fed Survey at 10am ET
Existing Home Sales at 10am ET
Best Buy, Dollar Tree and Liberty Bell Bank are among those reporting today.
Fed sounds optimistic note against backdrop of global instability
The Fed yesterday released minutes from their policy committee meeting at the end of last month and sounded a positive note. The central bank is mindful of not creating a culture of fear with inflation levels lower than they would like and the global outlook is subdued. The positive tone of the Fed’s statement reflect the growing US economy but there had been much discussion about the continued use of the phrase ‘considerable time’ in respect of how long interest rates would remain low. Analysts are calling for clearer guidance on when there might be a rise in rates.
GM sued by Arizona over faulty ignition switches
Arizona State has filed a lawsuit against General Motors claiming $3 billion for defrauding state consumers but not revealing safety defects. The action says that GM put drivers at risk and the civil penalties could be as much as $10,000 per violation. The claim also says that consumers had lost money as a result of the defects as the value of their vehicles had dropped.
Virgin America stocks up 50 per cent since IPO
If you bought stocks in Virgin America’s IPO last Friday then the good news is it’s now worth 50 per cent more already. Lower fuel prices and an uptick in travel especially for business has seen airline stock doing well this year and Virgin America is adding value with its image. Analysts say that the company’s stock is performing like that of a tech firm with a similar demographic target of young hip consumers.
Goldman Sachs fires investment banker
An investment banker has been fired by Goldman Sachs over allegedly accessing confidential information from his former employer the New York Fed. The junior employee was fired in September and his supervisor was also dismissed later. A congressional hearing this Friday is looking into whether the relationship between regulators and the banks are too close. Read the full story.