Wall St. closes higher on earnings; Greece in focus
The New York Stock Exchange closed with gains Wednesday as earnings impressed. Thursday’s trading in Asia has been mostly positive although preliminary data on China’s factory activity for April showed lower-than-expected results and a one-year low. Despite that Shanghai and Tokyo were again the star performers holding onto multi-year highs. Europe is generally in negative territory as China’s weak data was joined by weak Eurozone PMI figures. Meanwhile Greek’s debt crisis is still in focus with the country’s prime minister meeting the German chancellor today. The UK’s FTSE is the outstanding performer in the region.
US stock futures are trending higher. Oil is trending lower (Brent $62.69, WTI $56.00 at 5.50am ET) Gold is trending higher.
Jobless claims at 8.30am ET
PMI manufacturing flash at 9.45am ET
Bloomberg consumer comfort index at 9.55am ET
New home sales at 10.00am ET
Amazon, General Motors, Google and Microsoft are among the companies reporting earnings today.
Asset management sector under scrutiny by Fed
The Federal Reserve has expressed concern about the asset management sector and other parts of the financial system that could be at risk from investor panic. The regulator wants to be assured that the sector could withstand mass redemptions in the event of a financial crisis. Although the sector has said it is stable the concern is that the stability may reduce the further we get from the credit crisis.
Poultry exports down on avian flu concerns
US poultry farmers are exporting less due to concerns over avian flu. The outbreak has spread to 12 states and along with the millions of birds that must be destroyed the ripple effect has hit export orders. Overall, broiler exports fell by 17 per cent in February and the agriculture department have lowered forecasts for exports by around 10 per cent for this year.
Could our homes be battery powered in the future?
Tesla has unveiled plans for a battery to power homes. Full details will be made available at the end of the month but CEO Elon Musk says that rival batteries “suck”. The batteries charge up overnight using the utility companies’ cheaper rates and then power homes during the day. Tesla stocks rose 5 per cent on the news.