China in focus as economy looks weak
Wall Street ended last week with gains as oil prices stayed strong and there was positive news on deals. This week sees the official start of earnings season with some high expectations. China’s economy is once again dominating early headlines Monday as the latest data shows its exports are down 14.6 per cent on a year ago while imports were down 12.3 per cent. The poor results have increased speculation of further stimulus and Shanghai’s stock market closed at a fresh 7-year high. Japan and Australia lost ground though to end with losses. Europe’s trading week has started with caution after last week’s rally. Mining shares have been hit by the prospect of lower demand from China off the back of the latest data. Greece is also still a big concern as reports suggest it is running out of options on a new agreement.
US stock futures are trending lower. Oil is trending higher (Brent $58.93, WTI $52.52 at 5.35am ET). Gold is trending lower.
Treasury budget at 2.00pm ET
Cimetrix, Media Analytics and Seratosa are among the companies reporting earnings today.
GM considers $1 billion renovation in Detroit
General Motors’ technical center near Detroit could be in line for a massive overhaul according to reports. Bloomberg says that the 50-year old facility is being considered for a $1 billion renovation which would include offices for 2,500 new employees. The firm’s Arlington, Texas assembly plant is also being eyed for expansion at a cost of $1.3 billion.
1 million Apple watches pre-ordered
Pre-orders of Apple’s new watch are estimated to be 1 million units in the US alone. CNBC reports data from Slice Intelligence which says there were 957,000 orders for the apple Watch in the US in the first day of pre-sales. Those who spent an average of $500 on the new wearable tech product will have to wait another month to show off their purchase; some will have to wait until July. A recent forecast from JP Morgan predicted that there will be more than 26 million units shipped his year.
Uninsured rate at lowest since tracking began in 2008
The level of uninsured Americans fell in the first quarter of this year according to data from Gallup and Healthways. The two firms began tracking the rate in 2008 and the latest figures are at their lowest since then at 11.9 per cent. That’s down one percentage point from the end of 2014 and 5.2 points lower than the end of 2013. Gallup says that the improving economy and the Affordable Care Act have helped pull the rate down from its 2013 high of 18 per cent. The group most likely to lack insurance - lower income Americans and Hispanics - has seen the sharpest fall in the uninsured rate.