Wall Street closes mixed as markets digest Fed minutes
The release of the minutes of the Fed’s latest meeting have been taken to indicate a later rise in interest rates with most Fed members not calling for a June increase. The main indexes on the New York Stock Exchange closed mostly lower Wednesday after record highs in earlier sessions. Asian markets have ended Thursday’s session mostly higher with a flash PMI update from HSBC showing continued contraction in China’s factories but not as bad as in March. European markets have also reacted to services and manufacturing flash indexes which have shown below-expectation growth, however hiring has increased to a 4-year high. Global markets are now awaiting Fed chair Janet Yellen’s speech tomorrow.
US stock futures are trending lower. Oil is trending higher (Brent $65.68, WTI $59.56 at 6.05am ET). Gold is trending higher.
Jobless claims at 8.30am ET
Chicago Fed national activity index at 8.30am ET
PMI manufacturing flash index at 9.45am ET
Bloomberg consumer comfort index at 9.45am ET
Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey at 10am ET
Existing home sales at 10am ET
Leading indicators at 10am ET
Kansas City Fed manufacturing report at 11am ET
Money supply at 4.30pm ET
Best Buy, The Gap and Hewlett-Packard are among the companies reporting earnings today.
BP settles oil spill claims with Halliburton, Transocean
BP has settled claims by Halliburton and Transocean relating to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Transocean will receive $125 million towards its legal fees in the matter and will pay $212 million into the recovery fund to help those affected by the spill. The three companies have now concluded their claims against each other. BP still faces a multi-billion dollar fine under the US Clean Water Act.
Deutsche Telekom seeks partner to boost T-Mobile US fortunes
The CEO of Deutsche Telekom says that the firm will consider any partner which can help boost the profitability of T-Mobile US of which the German firm owns 66 per cent. Tim Hoettge told shareholders in Germany Thursday that the firm is in better shape than it was 2 years ago but that it was their “duty to go on improving the return” at the US mobile network.
Wealth gap increasing in developed world
The gap between the richest and poorest in developed countries is growing. A report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation says that richest 10 per cent of the population in 20 developed countries earn 9.6 times that of the poorest 10 per cent. On average the top 10 per cent wealthiest own 50 per cent of the wealth with the next 50 per cent holding almost all of the rest. The bottom 40 per cent own just 3 per cent of the wealth.