NYSE closed flat Thursday; Oil slips back on OPEC output
Wall Street focused on earnings Thursday and wiped out gains from a higher oil price. Friday’s early trading may see stock lower oil prices decline as news from OPEC revealed that its output surged in March with an extra 810,000 barrels per day adding to the glut. Analysts suggest the price of Brent could fall back to around $61 for a time. Wall Street’s weak lead led to a subdued day’s trading in Asia with most indexes closing with losses. Shanghai managed to hit a 7 year high but only on expectation of further stiumulus. Europe’s markets are mixed so far with Greek debt high on the agenda. London’s stock exchange is higher with news that the UK’s unemployment levels are the lowest since 2008.
US stock futures are trending lower. Oil is trending lower (Brent $63.32, WTI $56.15 at 5.35am ET). Gold is trending higher.
Consumer price index at 8.30am ET
Consumer sentiment at 10.00am ET
Leading indicators at 10.00am ET
Comerica, General Electric and People’s Bank are among the companies reporting earnings today.
Another 11,000 jobs go at oil industry manufacturer
Oil industry tools provider Schlumberger has announced that it’s shedding another 11,000 jobs following 9,000 lay-offs in January. The firm operates in more than 85 countries and has now cut 15 per cent of its global workforce since last summer.
US firms more confident as banks report increase in credit line use
American firms are using more of their credit lines according to banks. It’s seen as a good sign of the growing economy with the additional funds being used for expansion and hiring. Reuters reports that commercial borrowers are using 2 to 3 per cent more of their credit lines than they were a year ago and levels are now at levels near the peak of the financial crisis.
Banks could use municipal bonds to meet liquidity rules
The Fed is considering allowing big banks to use municipal bonds to meet their liquidity requirements. The Wall Street Journal reports that the bonds were not included in the plans drawn up by the Fed last year but that it does not believe allowing the debt to be included would have a big impact on the municipal bond market.
High earners are living paycheck to paycheck
Many high earners are struggling to save for their retirement with a new survey showing a third are living paycheck to paycheck. The SunTrust says that even households with incomes above $75,000 struggle to make ends meet at least some of the time along with a quarter of those earning $100,000. Among the drains on income are cost of childcare, student loans and caring for elderly relatives. However many say that their spending on entertainment, dining out and clothing reduce their ability to save.