News Story



Sweden stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 up 0.64%

– Sweden stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Industrials, Consumer Services and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 gained 0.64% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Sandvik AB (ST:SAND), which rose 3.60% or 6.10 points to trade at 175.75 at the close. Meanwhile, ASSA ABLOY AB ser. B (ST:ASSAb) added 2.09% or 4.3 points to end at 210.4 and AB SKF B (ST:SKFb) was up 1.60% or 2.8 points to 177.7 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Securitas AB ser. B (ST:SECUb), which fell 1.45% or 2.35 points to trade at 160.25 at the close. Boliden AB (ST:BOL) declined 1.00% or 2.90 points to end at 286.60 and Electrolux, AB ser. B (ST:ELUXb) was down 0.91% or 2.2 points to 239.8.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 315 to 258 and 79 ended unchanged.

Shares in Sandvik AB (ST:SAND) rose to all time highs; rising 3.60% or 6.10 to 175.75. Shares in ASSA ABLOY AB ser. B (ST:ASSAb) rose to 5-year highs; up 2.09% or 4.3 to 210.4.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.27% or 0.17 to $63.93 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.45% or 0.32 to hit $71.94 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.04% or 0.55 to trade at $1276.25 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was up 0.18% to 10.4621, while USD/SEK rose 0.75% to 9.3158.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.49% at 97.130.

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Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 0.60%

– Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Basic Materials, Industrials and Consumer Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX rose 0.60% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Unilever NV DRC (AS:UNc), which rose 2.95% or 1.50 points to trade at 52.27 at the close. Meanwhile, ASML Holding NV (AS:ASML) added 1.80% or 3.24 points to end at 183.22 and Relx PLC (AS:REL) was up 0.87% or 0.170 points to 19.685 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Adyen NV (AS:ADYEN), which fell 2.59% or 17.80 points to trade at 670.00 at the close. Koninklijke Vopak NV (AS:VOPA) declined 1.97% or 0.86 points to end at 42.77 and ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT) was down 1.15% or 0.245 points to 21.040.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 68 to 58 and 14 ended unchanged.

Shares in Unilever NV DRC (AS:UNc) rose to all time highs; rising 2.95% or 1.50 to 52.27.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 2.71% to 10.48 a new 6-months low.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.28% or 0.18 to $63.94 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.45% or 0.32 to hit $71.94 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.06% or 0.75 to trade at $1276.05 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.57% to 1.1230, while EUR/GBP fell 0.13% to 0.8645.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.49% at 97.127.

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Dollar Rallies on Upbeat U.S. Economic Data

- The U.S dollar jumped against its rivals on Thursday as mostly upbeat economic data pointed to strength in the underlying economy.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.50% to 97.14.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims dropped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 192,000 for the week ended April 14, beating economists’ forecast for a rise to 205,000.

The Philadelphia Fed said Thursday its manufacturing index slowed to a reading of 8.5 in April, from 13.4 in last month.

But the Commerce Department said retail sales fell 1.6% last month. That exceeded economists' forecast for a 0.9 % rise. The retail sales control group – which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP – added 1%, well above expectation for a 0.4% increase.

The retail sales report showed the biggest headline gain since 2017 and comes after "lots of distortions in recent months, including weather, sluggish tax refunds, the government shutdown, and now a late Easter," Action Economics said.

A sharp drop in the euro also supported the dollar. Concerns that the eurozone economy is slowing were strengthened in after weaker-than-expected manufacturing reports from Germany and France.

EUR/USD fell 0.57% to $1.1230.

GBP/USD lost 0.42% to $1.2988, shrugging off better-than-expected U.K. retail sales data amid fears that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn are unlikely to reach a consensus a Brexit deal.

USD/JPY fell 0.10% to Y111.94, while USD/CAD rose 0.30% to C$1.3378.

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Germany stocks mixed at close of trade; DAX up 0.57%

– Germany stocks were mixed after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Transportation&Logistics, Financial Services and Consumer&Cyclical sectors led shares higher while losses in the Food&Beverages, Pharmaceuticals&Healthcare and Basic Resources sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX rose 0.57% to hit a new 6-months high, while the MDAX index gained 0.23%, and the TecDAX index lost 0.37%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were Daimler AG NA O.N. (DE:DAIGn), which rose 2.12% or 1.230 points to trade at 59.310 at the close. Meanwhile, Vonovia SE (DE:VNAn) added 1.44% or 0.63 points to end at 44.23 and Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DE:LHAG) was up 1.30% or 0.290 points to 22.590 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Wirecard AG (DE:WDIG), which fell 1.96% or 2.400 points to trade at 120.100 at the close. Fresenius Medical Care KGAA ST (DE:FMEG) declined 1.71% or 1.220 points to end at 70.160 and Merck KGaA (DE:MRCG) was down 1.20% or 1.14 points to 93.78.

The top performers on the MDAX were Jungheinrich AG O.N.VZO (DE:JUNG_p) which rose 2.62% to 32.060, Hella KGaA Hueck&Co (DE:HLE) which was up 2.24% to settle at 49.24 and Deutsche Wohnen AG (DE:DWNG) which gained 2.19% to close at 39.750.

The worst performers were Osram Licht AG (DE:OSRn) which was down 5.50% to 31.10 in late trade, Siemens Healthineers AG (DE:SHLG) which lost 2.42% to settle at 36.64 and Axel Springer SE (DE:SPRGn) which was down 2.13% to 50.500 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were SMA Solar Technology AG (DE:S92G) which rose 4.58% to 21.020, Telefonica Deutschland Holding AG (DE:O2Dn) which was up 1.58% to settle at 2.897 and Nemetschek AG O.N. (DE:NEKG) which gained 1.27% to close at 151.900.

The worst performers were Medigene NA O.N. (DE:MDG1k) which was down 2.46% to 8.915 in late trade, Siemens Healthineers AG (DE:SHLG) which lost 2.42% to settle at 36.64 and Aixtron SE NA O.N. (DE:AIXGn) which was down 2.20% to 9.9020 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 395 to 318 and 65 ended unchanged.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was down 1.11% to 12.45.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.14% or 1.85 to $1274.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.14% or 0.09 to hit $63.67 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.17% or 0.12 to trade at $71.74 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.60% to 1.1226, while EUR/GBP fell 0.11% to 0.8647.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.52% at 97.160.

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Russia stocks lower at close of trade; MOEX Russia down 0.29%

– Russia stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Power, Oil&Gas and Manufacturing sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Moscow, the MOEX Russia declined 0.29%.

The best performers of the session on the MOEX Russia were X5 Retail Group NV (MCX:FIVEDR), which rose 2.31% or 40.0 points to trade at 1768.0 at the close. Meanwhile, NLMK ao (MCX:NLMK) added 1.09% or 1.86 points to end at 173.26 and Polymetal International PLC (MCX:POLY) was up 1.07% or 7.20 points to 683.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Yandex NV (MCX:YNDX), which fell 2.77% or 67.80 points to trade at 2383.20 at the close. Gazprom PAO (MCX:GAZP) declined 1.35% or 2.21 points to end at 161.79 and Sberbank Rossii OAO Pref (MCX:SBER_p) was down 1.23% or 2.50 points to 200.60.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 127 to 105 and 13 ended unchanged.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MOEX Russia options, was down 0.83% to 20.200.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.10% or 1.25 to $1275.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.19% or 0.12 to hit $63.64 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.07% or 0.05 to trade at $71.67 a barrel.

USD/RUB was up 0.19% to 63.9776, while EUR/RUB fell 0.32% to 71.8950.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.51% at 97.150.

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France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.31%

– France stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Basic Materials, Consumer Goods and Oil&Gas sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.31% to hit a new 6-months high, while the SBF 120 index climbed 0.30%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Schneider Electric SE (PA:SCHN), which rose 2.72% or 2.04 points to trade at 77.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Valeo SA (PA:VLOF) added 2.43% or 0.77 points to end at 32.42 and Publicis Groupe SA (PA:PUBP) was up 1.54% or 0.78 points to 51.58 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Kering SA (PA:PRTP), which fell 5.04% or 27.10 points to trade at 510.40 at the close. ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT) declined 1.15% or 0.245 points to end at 21.040 and Pernod Ricard SA (PA:PERP) was down 1.06% or 1.65 points to 154.70.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Soitec SA (PA:SOIT) which rose 10.23% to 92.150, Vicat (PA:VCTP) which was up 5.63% to settle at 49.75 and Groupe FNAC (PA:FNAC) which gained 4.37% to close at 76.450.

The worst performers were Kering SA (PA:PRTP) which was down 5.04% to 510.40 in late trade, Ipsen SA (PA:IPN) which lost 2.49% to settle at 117.60 and Vallourec (PA:VLLP) which was down 2.46% to 2.341 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 306 to 269 and 93 ended unchanged.

Shares in Soitec SA (PA:SOIT) rose to 5-year highs; up 10.23% or 8.550 to 92.150.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 2.94% to 11.38 a new 6-months low.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.10% or 1.25 to $1275.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.19% or 0.12 to hit $63.64 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.07% or 0.05 to trade at $71.67 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.57% to 1.1229, while EUR/GBP fell 0.06% to 0.8651.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.51% at 97.150.

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Oil Barely Moves in pre-Holiday Trade; Focus on Trump Action on Iran

- The guessing game begins: With exactly two weeks to the expiration of the U.S. sanction waivers on Iran, oil bulls are holding tight to see which way President Donald Trump will lean.

Thursday's action in crude was as exciting as watching paint dry. With many market participants already away early for the Good Friday break, those remaining did little more than move the West Texas Intermediate and Brent benchmarks back and forth by a few cents while musing whether Saudi Arabia will announce a suspension or ease in production cuts just before the May 2 decision on Iran.

New York-traded WTI was down 7 cents, or 0.1%, at 63.69 per barrel by 12:50 PM ET (16:50 GMT).

London-tradedBrent rose by 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $71.70.

For the week, WTI was up 0.1% while Brent rose 1.2%. Year-to-date, the U.S. benchmark showed a gain of 40% against a 33% rise for its U.K. peer.

"The oil trade is still looking for a sign from the Trump administration as to whether they will look to extend waivers to buyers of Iranian oil," said Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago.

"Will he, or won’t he?" Flynn asked, referring to Trump.

Analysts say the more the concessions the Saudis make on production cuts, the less inclined Trump will be to give waivers to importers of Iranian oil.

Riyadh and Washington have a decades-long history of cooperating in curbing Iran's rise as a Middle East power. They also have other motivations for acting against Tehran.

For the Saudi, it is decades of enmity with a country that ironically counts as one of the most important members of the OPEC cartel that both belong to.

For Trump, it will be an extension of his mission to punish the Rouhani regime which he accuses of evil terror deeds and of getting an undeserved deal from his predecessor Barack Obama to export its oil in return for what he deemed too liberal curbs on its nuclear program.

While Trump has kept up with his anti-Iran rhetoric in his 2-1/2 years in office, he is also aware that wiping out Tehran's oil from the market will only exacerbate a supply shortage caused by sanctions that Washington also has on Venezuelan oil, and production outages in Libya brought on by a civil war.

Running contrary to Iran's sanctions game, is also Trump's need to keep U.S. motor fuel prices low so as not to affect his chances for reelection in 2020. Pump prices of gasoline nationally have risen by around 25% this year to around $2.84 a gallon, according to AAA. The average price of gasoline is over $4 a gallon in California.

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Israel stocks lower at close of trade; TA 35 down 0.56%

– Israel stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Biomed, Oil&Gas and Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 declined 0.56%.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Israel Corp (TA:ILCO), which rose 2.36% or 2120 points to trade at 92080 at the close. Meanwhile, Nice Ltd (TA:NICE) added 2.12% or 980 points to end at 47210 and Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp Ltd (TA:BEZQ) was up 0.79% or 2.0 points to 256.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Perrigo (TA:PRGO), which fell 2.87% or 520 points to trade at 17610 at the close. Liveperson (TA:LPSN) declined 2.51% or 260 points to end at 10100 and Delek Group (TA:DLEKG) was down 2.48% or 1690 points to 66440.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 232 to 144 and 44 ended unchanged.

Shares in Nice Ltd (TA:NICE) rose to all time highs; rising 2.12% or 980 to 47210.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 0.27% or 0.17 to $63.59 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to hit $71.62 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.14% or 1.85 to trade at $1274.95 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was up 0.65% to 3.5937, while EUR/ILS rose 0.10% to 4.0365.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.48% at 97.123.

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Turkey stocks lower at close of trade; BIST 100 down 1.34%

– Turkey stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Tourism, Banking and Telecoms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Istanbul, the BIST 100 declined 1.34%.

The best performers of the session on the BIST 100 were Ihlas Holding AS (IS:IHLAS), which rose 9.52% or 0.040 points to trade at 0.460 at the close. Meanwhile, Goltas Goller Bolgesi Cimento Sanayi ve Ticaret AS (IS:GOLTS) added 4.87% or 0.50 points to end at 10.77 and ENKA Insaat ve Sanayi AS (IS:ENKAI) was up 2.96% or 0.150 points to 5.210 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Sekerbank TAS (IS:SKBNK), which fell 5.61% or 0.060 points to trade at 1.010 at the close. GSD Holding AS (IS:GSDHO) declined 5.10% or 0.050 points to end at 0.930 and Akbank TAS (IS:AKBNK) was down 3.66% or 0.24 points to 6.31.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Istanbul Stock Exchange by 249 to 117 and 40 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.07% or 0.85 to $1275.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.22% or 0.14 to hit $63.62 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.10% or 0.07 to trade at $71.69 a barrel.

USD/TRY was up 1.15% to 5.8024, while EUR/TRY rose 0.65% to 6.5210.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.41% at 97.058.

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Altria Falls 3%

- Altria (NYSE:MO) fell by 3.03% to trade at $54.48 by 10:16 (14:16 GMT) on Thursday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of Altria shares traded since the start of the session was 1.93M. Altria has traded in a range of $54.36 to $56.23 on the day.

The stock has traded at $57.1100 at its highest and $54.4800 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Honeywell Rises 3%

- Honeywell (NYSE:HON) rose by 3.12% to trade at $167.99 by 10:00 (14:00 GMT) on Thursday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of Honeywell shares traded since the start of the session was 1.33M. Honeywell has traded in a range of $165.89 to $169.14 on the day.

The stock has traded at $169.1400 at its highest and $159.2100 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Travelers Rises 3%

- Travelers (NYSE:TRV) rose by 3.21% to trade at $140.22 by 09:35 (13:35 GMT) on Thursday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of Travelers shares traded since the start of the session was 186.64K. Travelers has traded in a range of $138.18 to $140.23 on the day.

The stock has traded at $140.3100 at its highest and $134.6000 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Stocks - Wall Street Edges up After Retail Sales Boost

- Stocks started the day slightly higher Thursday in what is expected to be a slow day of trading ahead of the three-day weekend.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1%, while the Dow gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1%.

Volume may be unusually low at the opening bell today with many traders watching the press conference from Attorney General William Barr on the release of the Mueller report.

Sentiment received a boost ahead of trading when March retail sales numbers came in much stronger than expected. Retail sales rose 1.6% last month, well ahead of the 0.9% forecast, while core sales excluding autos rose 1.2%.

That was tempered somewhat by the Philly Fed manufacturing index falling more than anticipated for April.

Big-name earnings also helped, with Honeywell (NYSE:HON) rising 2.8% after raising its full-year forecast and insurance giant The Travelers (NYSE:TRV) rising 2.8% as profit topped forecasts on revenue about in line with expectations.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) rose 0.4% after beating on profit, but disappointing on the top line.

Also among active stocks, cannabis company Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) surged 8% after it agreed to buy U.S. pot company Acreage Holdings for $300 million (as soon as cannabis because legal in the U.S.).

And Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) and Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) will debut on Wall Street today after raising more than anticipated with their IPOs. The companies both priced shares above the expected range after the bell Wednesday.

Meanwhile on trade, Washington and Beijing set a tentative timeline for a fresh round of face-to-face meetings ahead of a possible signing ceremony in late May or early June, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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Oil Prices Rise Slightly as Declining Inventories, Supply Cuts Support

- Oil prices were trading slightly higher Thursday as declining U.S. inventories, supply cuts by major producers and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran all lent support.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures were up 0.4% at $71.91 a barrel by 08:01 AM ET (11:01 GMT).

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.5% at $69.04.

Prices found support after the Energy Information Administration reported the first drawdown in crude stocks in four weeks on Wednesday.

Crude stockpiles fell by 1.4 million barrels last week, after a build of around 17 million barrels in three previous weeks.

The fall in oil prices came "despite a small (week on week) draw on U.S. crude inventories as observed in the latest EIA data, partly since imports slumped back toward the 6 million barrel per day mark while implied crude supply numbers remain firm," Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said.

The EIA also reported that gasoline inventories declined by 1.17 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles, dropped by a smaller-than-forecast 0.36 million barrels.

Prices have been supported this year by an agreement reached by the OPEC and its allies, including Russia, to limit their oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd).

Global supply has been tightened further by U.S. sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran.

Analysts have been speculating on how soaring crude prices might influence President Donald Trump in deciding on the renewals for Iranian sanction waivers that expire next month.

"With the forward curve remaining strong over the last couple of weeks we feel prices will remain firm until we see what the president decides to do with the upcoming Iran sanction exemptions," said Tariq Zahir, managing member at the oil-focused Tyche Capital Advisors fund in New York.

"If the Saudis continue to produce well under the levels they had agreed to at OPEC and if Venezuela continues losing production and Libya remains in a fluid situation with its civil war, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the president extending waivers even more this time on Iran sanctions to keep the market prices from flying," Zahir added.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

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American Express Earnings Beat, Revenue Misses In Q1

- American Express (NYSE:AXP) reported first quarter earnings that Beat analysts' expectations on Thursday and revenue that fell short of forecasts.

The firm reported earnings per share of $2.01 on revenue of $10.36B. Analysts polled by forecast EPS of $1.99 on revenue of $10.46B. That compared to EPS of $1.86 on revenue of $9.72B in the same period a year earlier. The company had reported EPS of $2.32 on revenue of $10.47B in the previous quarter.

American Express shares lost 2.42% to trade at $109.05 in pre-market trade following the report.

American Express follows other major Financial sector earnings this month


On April 12, JPMorgan reported first quarter EPS of $2.65 on revenue of $29.85B, compared to forecasts of EPS of $2.35 on revenue of $28.44B.

Bank of America earnings Beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday, with first quarter EPS of $0.7 on revenue of $23B. analysts expected EPS of $0.66 on revenue of $23.2B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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Philip Morris Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q1

- Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) reported first quarter earnings that Beat analysts' expectations on Thursday and revenue that topped forecasts.

The firm reported earnings per share of $1.09 on revenue of $6.75B. Analysts polled by anticipated EPS of $0.99 on revenue of $6.74B. That compared to EPS of $1 on revenue of $6.9B in the same period a year earlier. The company had reported EPS of $1.25 on revenue of $7.5B in the previous quarter.

Philip Morris follows other major Consumer/Non-Cyclical sector earnings this month


On Wednesday, PepsiCo reported first quarter EPS of $0.97 on revenue of $12.88B, compared to forecasts of EPS of $0.92 on revenue of $12.67B.

Constellation Brands B earnings Beat analysts' expectations on April 4, with fourth quarter EPS of $1.84 on revenue of $1.8B. analysts expected EPS of $1.72 on revenue of $1.73B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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India stocks lower at close of trade; Nifty 50 down 0.29%

– India stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Real Estate, Power and Metals sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 lost 0.29%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index lost 0.34%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Reliance Industries Ltd (NS:RELI), which rose 3.15% or 42.30 points to trade at 1385.95 at the close. Meanwhile, Tata Motors Ltd (NS:TAMO) added 2.30% or 5.30 points to end at 236.25 and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (NS:BPCL) was up 1.52% or 5.45 points to 362.90 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Yes Bank Ltd (NS:YESB), which fell 4.09% or 10.90 points to trade at 255.80 at the close. Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (NS:INBF) declined 4.44% or 36.95 points to end at 800.55 and Hindalco Industries Ltd. (NS:HALC) was down 3.70% or 7.95 points to 207.20.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Reliance Industries Ltd (BO:RELI) which rose 2.79% to 1382.90, Tata Motors Ltd (BO:TAMO) which was up 2.32% to settle at 235.90 and Tata Motors Ltd DVR (BO:TAMdv) which gained 2.20% to close at 113.65.

The worst performers were Yes Bank Ltd (BO:YESB) which was down 4.18% to 255.30 in late trade, Vedanta Ltd (BO:VDAN) which lost 3.51% to settle at 178.70 and IndusInd Bank Ltd. (BO:INBK) which was down 2.86% to 1764.00 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 1137 to 437 and 79 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1620 fell and 844 advanced, while 156 ended unchanged.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was up 4.81% to 22.7350 a new 3-years high.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.01% or 0.15 to $1276.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.05% or 0.03 to hit $63.73 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.01% or 0.01 to trade at $71.63 a barrel.

USD/INR was up 0.28% to 69.603, while EUR/INR fell 0.10% to 78.3265.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.32% at 96.965.

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Stocks - U.S. Futures Slip on Weak Data; Zoom, Pinterest IPOs Eyed

-- U.S. stock markets were set to open lower on Thursday, after weak European data and reports of a new North Korean weapons test challenged assumptions that the macro backdrop is changing for the better.

At 06:45 AM ET (1045 GMT), the benchmark S&P 500 futures contract was down 1.6 points, or 0.1%, while the Dow futures contract was down 42 points, or 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures down 5.4 points, or 0.1%.

It's a heavy day for earnings, with medical group Danaher and Suntrust Banks already reporting revenue and profit slightly ahead of expectations in the three months to March.

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), American Express (NYSE:AXP) and Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) are all also due to report before the opening, while ADRs in European consumer giants Nestle (OTC:NSRGY) and Unilever (NYSE:UL) may both catch a bid after the two companies reported stronger-than-expected organic sales growth earlier Thursday.

Image-sharing social media company Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange a day after it raised approximately $1.4 billion in its initial public offering. That was above the top end of its range but still well below the valuation implicit in its last private funding round.

Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM), meanwhile, is also set to make its debut after raising $751 million in an IPO that priced at $36 a share, above the top end of the marketing range.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major currencies, rose 0.3% to 96.940 after purchasing manager indexes from across the euro zone suggested that the region is taking longer than feared to emerge from the slowdown at the turn of the year.

U.S. crude oil futures were also almost a dollar a barrel off this week's highs, after pricing in the softer economic data. A modest drop in U.S. crude stocks, reported by the government on Wednesday, gave little justification to add to long positions. Gold futures, meanwhile, hit a new low for 2019 earlier in the day before ticking up fractionally to to $1,277.35 a troy ounce.

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SunTrust Banks Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q1

- SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) reported first quarter earnings that Beat analysts' expectations on Thursday and revenue that topped forecasts.

The firm reported earnings per share of $1.33 on revenue of $2.35B. Analysts polled by forecast EPS of $1.31 on revenue of $2.33B. That compared to EPS of $1.29 on revenue of $2.24B in the same period a year earlier. The company had reported EPS of $1.4 on revenue of $2.37B in the previous quarter.

SunTrust Banks follows other major Financial sector earnings this month


On April 12, JPMorgan reported first quarter EPS of $2.65 on revenue of $29.85B, compared to forecasts of EPS of $2.35 on revenue of $28.44B.

Bank of America earnings Beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday, with first quarter EPS of $0.7 on revenue of $23B. analysts expected EPS of $0.66 on revenue of $23.2B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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Top 5 Things to Know in The Market on Thursday

-- Here are the top 5 things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, April 18.

1. It's Mueller Time

Today sees the publication of a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election campaign.

Justice Department officials will deliver the report to Congress sometime between 11 AM ET (1500 GMT) and noon, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Attorney-General William Barr will hold a press conference at 09:30 AM, before either Congress or the public has seen the report.

2. Stocks Set to Open Lower; Zoom, Pinterest Price IPOs Above Range

U.S. markets are set to open lower Thursday after weak purchasing manager index reports in Europe and against a backdrop of mixed news from the high-profile Zoom and Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) IPOs.

At 5:30 AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 68 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 futures had lost 5 points, or 0.2%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures were off 16 points, or 0.2%.

Image-sharing social media company Pinterest was set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange a day after it raised approximately $1.4 billion in its initial public offering. That was above the top end of its range but still well below the valuation implicit in its last private funding round.

Videoconferencing company Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM) was also to start trading after it raised $751.3 million in its IPO.

3. Philip Morris, Union Pacific and Amex to Report 1Q

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) and Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) head the billing in earnings season today, while American Express (NYSE:AXP), Danaher (NYSE:DHR) and Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) also report ahead of the open. Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) will chip in after the closing bell.

In Europe earlier, consumer giants Nestle (OTC:NSRGY) and Unilever (NYSE:UL) both posted stronger-than-expected sales growth in the first quarter. The Swiss company’s shares hit a new all-time high in response.

By contrast, pipeline giant Kinder Morgan’s revenue fell some 8% short of expectations when it reported after the closing bell on Wednesday.

4. Retail Sales Expected to Rebound

U.S. retail sales data, due at 08:30 AM ET (1230 GMT) are expected to show a rebound of 0.9% in March after a sharp drop in February.

Data on jobless claims and the Philly Fed manufacturing index are due at the same time.

Also on the docket, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is to speak at 12 PM ET (16:00 GMT).

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Wednesday that the U.S. central bank may still be able to raise rates once this year and once in 2020.

Earlier in the day, the flash reading for the composite Eurozone Purchasing Managers' Index showed that growth in the bloc slowed in April for the second straight month.

5. Return of the Rocket Man

North Korea said it test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon,” ending a moratorium on weapons tests that it had observed since November 2017 and reviving concerns about the Communist country’s ambitions.

There was no indication that the weapon used nuclear material. All the same, the dollar rose 0.5% against the Korean won, while the benchmark KOSPI stock index fell 1.4%.

The report took the gloss off news that the U.S. and China were looking to agree on a trade deal by early May with a view to a presidential sign-off at the end of next month.

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StockBeat - Gloomy PMIs Overshadow Strong Nestle, Unilever Results

By Geoffrey Smith

-- Europe’s stock markets are struggling to add to recent gains Thursday, as a new round of business surveys suggest that the region’s manufacturing sector is still struggling to emerge from the slowdown of the last six months.

At 04:00 AM ET (0800 GMT), the benchmark Euro Stoxx 600 was down 1.12 points, or 0.3% at 388.46. The U.K. FTSE 100 and Germany’s Dax index were both also down 0.3%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB was the biggest loser, slipping 0.8% after the country’s central bank warned that its budget deficit is likely to be much wider than agreed with the EU in the next couple of years.

Flash readings of purchasing manager indexes for French and German manufacturing both fell short of expectations in April, although Germany’s did rise for the first time in nine months. Meanwhile, the equivalent French index fell surprisingly, with new orders continuing to decline. In both countries, readings from the services sector continued to be much better, with Germany’s reaching a six-month high.

“German manufacturing and service sectors are currently living in two different worlds,” said Nordea Markets analyst Jan von Gerich. “While any rebound is welcome news, the outlook for German manufacturing still looks horrible.”

The macro data have overshadowed a couple of impressive quarterly reports from consumer giants Nestle (SIX:NESN) and Unilever (LON:ULVR).

The Swiss giant has hit a new all-time high, continuing the tear it’s been on since the start of the year. Organic sales growth hit 3.4% in the first quarter, well ahead of the 2.8% consensus forecast, thanks not least to its baby food and pet food operations. The group is also advancing its reviews of its skin-care and processed meat operations, raising hopes that it will raise more cash for shareholders through disposals in the coming year.

Nestle’s great Anglo-Dutch rival Unilever released figures that weren’t quite as convincing. Organic sales rose only 3.1%, adjusted for M&A activity, and 1.9 percentage points of that was due to price increases rather than sales volume. The company still managed to increase its dividend by 6%, however, and chief executive Alain Jope said that its acquisitions over the last three years – which aim to ensure that the company stays abreast of changing consumer tastes – collectively grew by “double-digits”. Jope also forecast that sales would be “in the lower half” of its target range of 3%-5% for the whole of 2019.

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Australia stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.05%

– Australia stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Energy, Telecoms Services and Utilities sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.05%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Whitehaven Coal Ltd (AX:WHC), which rose 6.44% or 0.270 points to trade at 4.460 at the close. Meanwhile, Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (AX:TWE) added 3.33% or 0.540 points to end at 16.780 and Ardent Leisure Ltd (AX:ALG) was up 3.23% or 0.040 points to 1.280 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Galaxy Resources Ltd (AX:GXY), which fell 11.62% or 0.215 points to trade at 1.635 at the close. Orocobre Ltd (AX:ORE) declined 6.13% or 0.220 points to end at 3.370 and Australian Pharma Industries Ltd (AX:API) was down 4.93% or 0.075 points to 1.445.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 577 to 554 and 390 ended unchanged.

Shares in Galaxy Resources Ltd (AX:GXY) fell to 52-week lows; losing 11.62% or 0.215 to 1.635.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 1.87% to 10.914.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.28% or 3.55 to $1273.25 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.06% or 0.04 to hit $63.72 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.11% or 0.08 to trade at $71.54 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.10% to 0.7185, while AUD/JPY fell 0.01% to 80.42.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.01% at 96.650.

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Crypto Prices Edge Up; CoinMarketCap to Launch Crypto Benchmark Indices

- Prices of the major cryptocurrencies edged up on Thursday in Asia amid a lack of directional drivers. Reports that CoinMarketCap will launch two cryptoucurrency benchmark indices received some attention.

Bitcoin gained 0.8% to $5,241.6 by 2:06 AM ET (06:06 GMT). Ethereum traded 3.2% higher to $171.02, XRP edged up 1.8% to $0.33850 and Litecoin was up 1.0% to $80.572.

CoinMarketCap is launching two cryptocurrency benchmark indices on NASDAQ GIDS, Bloomberg Terminals, Thomson Reuters Eikon (Refinitiv), and Börse Stuttgart, according to various media earlier this week, which added that the two indices will cover the top 200 cryptocurrencies.

“We are excited to launch and share these indices with the market. These indices will promote greater accessibility to cryptocurrency data in an easier-to-digest format. In partnership with Solactive, our chosen index administrator, we hope these professionally-calculated indices will serve to expand the reach of cryptocurrencies into the larger financial markets,” said Brandon Chez, CEO of CoinMarketCap.

In other news, major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has expanded its crypto-to-crypto trading to 11 more countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia, according to its blog post on Tuesday.

It was reported earlier this week that the exchange are forming a partnership with Visa (NYSE:V) to launch a cryptocurrency card that allows card holders to “spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank,” as well as ATM withdrawals to replace the traditional time-consuming crypto-to-fiat withdrawal process that often takes over 24 hours to complete.

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Oil Prices Near Flat Amid Fall in U.S. Inventory

- Oil prices traded near flat after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the first drawdown in crude stocks in four weeks.

U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures last traded at $63.80 by 1:35 AM ET (05:35 GMT), while international Brent Oil Futures was unchanged at $71.61.

Overnight, the EIA said crude stockpiles fell by 1.4 million barrels last week, higher than the 1.2 million-barrel drop forecast by the market. Crude inventories had built by roughly 17 million barrels in three previous weeks.

The EIA also reported that gasoline inventories declined by 1.17 million barrels, compared to expectations for a draw of 2.13 million barrels.

Distillate stockpiles, however, dropped by just 0.36 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a decline of 0.85 million.

Oil prices have been supported this year by an agreement reached by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to reduce their oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day since the beginning of 2019.

In June, they will decide whether to continue to curb their production, although recent reports suggested that Russia is reluctant to extend the current production cut agreement.

The oil market is also supported by steady economic growth in China.

Its economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter, official data showed on Wednesday. Analysts had expected growth to slow to 6.3%.

Meanwhile, U.S. sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran were also cited as tailwind for oil prices.

Traders are also closely monitoring developments in trade talks between China and the U.S., the world’s two biggest oil importers.

Citing two people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that the two sides are aiming for an early May announcement on a trade agreement.

Officials are hoping to announce the two countries have struck a deal and when Chinese Vice Premier Liu He travel to Washington for negotiations in the first week of May, according to the report.

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Asian Markets Fall; ASX Edges Down Despite Strong Jobs Data

- Asian markets fell in morning trade on Thursday. Australia’s ASX 200 edges down despite stronger-than-expected jobs data for March.

25,700 jobs were added on a seasonally adjusted basis in March , data showed, much higher than a forecast gain of 12,000.

South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.6%. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KS:005930) slumped more than 2% amid reports that its newest flagship phone, Galaxy Fold, broke for some users after two days of uses.

Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were down 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.6%.

Despite today’s losses, Chinese stocks have skyrocketed more than 30% since 2019 amid optimism about a possible trade deal with the U.S. and signs that the economy is improving.

On Wednesday, official data showed China’s economy grew more than expected in the first quarter.

A slew of recent data, including trade data, output production and retail sales, have also pointed to an improvement in the Chinese economy

Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.8%. Finance Minister Taro Aso is set to travel to Washington next week to meet U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Reuters reported citing a source who has direct knowledge of the matter.

Aso and Mnuchin will discuss issues including currency manipulation that the U.S. hopes to include in a trade agreement with Japan, said the source.

The two sides kicked off a two-day meeting this week.

Looking ahead, traders focus will switch to the release of Purchasing Managers Indexes for the manufacturing and service sectors in Europe later in the day.

Some major exchanges in Asia will be closed on Friday for Easter holiday, although exchanges in Japan and China will be open.

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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

- Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. Pinterest, Zoom to Debut’

A pair of big IPOs hit Wall Street tomorrow.

Image-sharing social media company Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) had yet to price its shares at 7:30 PM ET (23:30 GMT). But it’s expected to raise about $1.2 billion.

The company is looking to price 75 million shares between $15 and $17 per share. But according to published reports the IPO is likely to price above the expected range.

Pinterest is set to debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PINS.

Meanwhile, Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) raised $751.3 million, more than anticipated, with its IPO.

The video conferencing company priced 20.9 million shares at $36 per share, above its upwardly revised range of $33 to $35 per share.

The company will trade on the Nasdaq as ZM.

2. More Big-Name Earnings Before the Bell

Tomorrow’s earnings report might be a bit more numerous than usual, with markets closed for Good Friday this week.

Among the most important reports before the bell, Honeywell’s first-quarter earnings are expected at $1.83 a share, down 6.2% from $1.95 a year ago, according to analysts polled by .

Revenue is forecast at $8.63 billion. That’s off from a year ago, but Honeywell (NYSE:HON) sold off some businesses in the meantime. Its traditional businesses are expected to be strong.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) is expected to earn $1.99 a share in the first quarter. That would be up 7% from a year ago. Analysts also see revenue rising 7.7% from a year ago to $10.5 billion. The shares were flat on Wednesday, but are up 17% on the year.

Oil service giant Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) is seen as an early indicator of the health of the oil-and-gas sector. Earnings are expected at 30 cents a share, down 21% from a year ago. Revenue is estimated at $7.81 billion, down slightly from a year ago’s $7.83 billion.

Shares are up 31% this year, reflecting the big jump in energy prices.

Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) is forecast to earn $1.90 a share in the first quarter. That would be up 13% from a year ago. Analysts see revenue up 1.1% to $5.54 billion. Union Pacific and other railroads are quickly implementing new operating processes, generally called precision scheduled railroading, designed to move freight more efficiently and reduce operating costs.

Shares are up 23.4% this year. Last year, the shares rose 3.1% after falling 15.1% in the fourth quarter.

3. Retail Sales Expected to Bounce Back

The economic calendar is fairly busy tomorrow, even though it’s just a day before a long weekend for the markets.

The Commerce Department will report the latest figures on retail sales at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT).

Economists expect that retail sales rose 0.9% in March, with core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, climbing 0.7%, according to forecasts compiled by .

At the same time, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve will release its measure of manufacturing activity in its reason.

The April Philly Fed index is forecast to have dipped to 10.4.

And, as usual, the weekly initial jobless claims figures also come out at 8:30 AM ET.

Claims for first-time unemployment benefits are expected to rise to 205,000 from their lowest level since 1969 reported the week before.

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Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.25%

– Canada stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Energy, Consumer Discretionary and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite gained 0.25% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Hexo Corp (TO:HEXO), which rose 12.03% or 0.9500 points to trade at 8.8500 at the close. Meanwhile, Lundin Mining Corporation (TO:LUN) added 6.15% or 0.460 points to end at 7.940 and CannTrust Holdings Inc (TO:TRST) was up 6.04% or 0.5500 points to 9.6600 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Alaris Royalty Corp . (TO:AD), which fell 10.10% or 2.040 points to trade at 18.160 at the close. Aphria Inc (TO:APHA) declined 9.59% or 1.110 points to end at 10.470 and Bausch Health Companies Inc (TO:BHC) was down 4.50% or 1.45 points to 30.77.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 533 to 527 and 131 ended unchanged.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was up 2.51% to 11.01.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.08% or 1.00 to $1276.20 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.47% or 0.30 to hit $63.75 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to trade at $71.62 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.01% to 0.7493, while CAD/EUR fell 0.02% to 0.6631.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.00% at 96.648.

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Stocks - Dow Flat as Health Care Stocks Slump Amid Fears Over Reforms

- The Dow ended the day flat Wednesday, with earnings providing little direction and health care stocks slumping on concerns that potential reforms may wreak havoc on the sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.01%, the S&P 500 lost 0.23%, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.05%.

Health care stocks added to losses from a day earlier, led by slip in UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) as analysts from Citi downgraded their price target on the stock and delivered a bearish assessment on the wider healthcare industry.

Citi lowered its price target for UnitedHealth to $247 from $288, citing concerns over government reforms including "regulatory uncertainties around Medicare for All and concerns around (point-of-sale) rebates."

The healthcare sector fell 2.9%.

Mixed earnings, meanwhile, did little to bolster sentiment on stocks.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) fell 4.2% after it beat on earnings but posted a larger-than-expected decline in revenues after the bell yesterday. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) fell nearly 1.3% as its guidance for the second-quarter fell short of expectations, offsetting better-than-expected first-quarter results.

But there were some bright spots in tech, as Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) said it expects incremental earnings per share of $2 in 2020 as product shipments ramp up following the end of its longstanding legal dispute with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The new license between the two companies is six years, with a two-year option to extend, according to Qualcomm.

Energy stocks, meanwhile, were roughly unchanged as oil prices slipped modestly despite an unexpected draw in crude stockpiles.

In consumer staples, PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) hit a record high ofter its first quarter earnings and revenue topped analysts' expectations.

On the trade front, media speculation that the U.S. and China could lock in a final trade meeting, before signing a trade deal, as soon as May or June, had a muted impact on trade sensitive sectors like industrials and materials.

In other company news, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) jumped 3.3% after chipmaker said it would be existing its 5G smartphone modem business, citing "no clear path to profitability and positive returns."

The weakness in the broader market comes despite strong Chinese economic overnight and better-than-expected U.S. trade data.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), United Continental (NASDAQ:UAL) and Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK), Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ALXN) and DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc (NYSE:DVA) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

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Pfizer Falls 3%

- Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) fell by 3.02% to trade at $39.69 by 13:51 (17:51 GMT) on Wednesday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of Pfizer shares traded since the start of the session was 22.15M. Pfizer has traded in a range of $39.68 to $40.96 on the day.

The stock has traded at $43.0000 at its highest and $39.6500 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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StockBeat - UnitedHealth Deepens Losses as Fears Over Political Risk Rise

- UnitedHealth Group fell deeper into the red Wednesday as analysts turned bearish on the stock in the wake of its CEO's warning on political risk.

UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) CEO David Wichmann's warning on Tuesday that a Medicare for All system would destabilize the system put health care stocks on notice and prompted negative calls on the sector from analysts.

Shares fell more than 4%.

The measures proposed by Democrats would "surely jeopardize the relationship people have with their doctors, destabilize the nation’s health system and limit the ability of clinicians to practice medicine at their best," Wichmann said. "And the inherent cost burden would surely have a severe impact on the economy and jobs -- all without fundamentally increasing access to care."

Citi lowered its price target for UnitedHealth to $247 from $288, citing concerns over government reforms including "regulatory uncertainties around Medicare for All and concerns around (point-of-sale) rebates."

The negative sentiment in the sector has overshadowed better-than-expected earnings from health care companies, pressuring the health care sector to a three-month low.

Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) fell 4%, even as the company reported first-quarter results that ttopped expectations.

The company reported earnings per share of $0.63 on revenue of $7.54 billion, above estimates from for earnings of $0.61 a share on revenue of $7.47 billion.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) bucked the trend lower as it continued to add to gains following its above-consensus earnings reported a day earlier.

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U.K. stocks lower at close of trade; Investing.com United Kingdom 100 down 0.02%

– U.K. stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Forestry&Paper, Real Estate Investment Trusts REITs and Real Estate sectors led shares lower.

At the close in London, the United Kingdom 100 fell 0.02%.

The best performers of the session on the United Kingdom 100 were Mediclinic International PLC (LON:MDCM), which rose 7.80% or 23.70 points to trade at 327.50 at the close. Meanwhile, Tui AG (LON:TUIT) added 4.54% or 37.00 points to end at 852.60 and ITV PLC (LON:ITV) was up 2.72% or 3.65 points to 137.80 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Bunzl PLC (LON:BNZL), which fell 9.29% or 237.00 points to trade at 2314.00 at the close. Intu Properties PLC (LON:INTUP) declined 3.97% or 4.05 points to end at 98.00 and Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO) was down 2.69% or 125.50 points to 4547.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the London Stock Exchange by 1081 to 962 and 347 ended unchanged.

Shares in Intu Properties PLC (LON:INTUP) fell to all time lows; losing 3.97% or 4.05 to 98.00.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.08% or 1.05 to $1276.15 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.11% or 0.07 to hit $63.98 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.03% or 0.02 to trade at $71.74 a barrel.

GBP/USD was down 0.07% to 1.3039, while EUR/GBP rose 0.26% to 0.8667.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.00% at 96.648.

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France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.62%

– France stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Basic Materials, Financials and Utilities sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.62% to hit a new 6-months high, while the SBF 120 index gained 0.51%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT), which rose 4.13% or 0.845 points to trade at 21.285 at the close. Meanwhile, Valeo SA (PA:VLOF) added 3.26% or 1.00 points to end at 31.65 and EssilorLuxottica SA (PA:ESLX) was up 3.23% or 3.35 points to 107.10 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Sanofi SA (PA:SASY), which fell 2.72% or 2.04 points to trade at 73.06 at the close. Carrefour SA (PA:CARR) declined 1.38% or 0.23 points to end at 16.77 and WFD Unibail Rodamco NV (AS:URW) was down 0.89% or 1.40 points to 155.10.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Vallourec (PA:VLLP) which rose 13.21% to 2.400, Tarkett (PA:TKTT) which was up 9.88% to settle at 20.24 and Maisons du Monde SAS (PA:MDM) which gained 6.68% to close at 19.470.

The worst performers were GTT (PA:GTT) which was down 5.37% to 82.80 in late trade, Sartorius Stedim Biotech SA (PA:STDM) which lost 5.17% to settle at 106.40 and Biomerieux SA (PA:BIOX) which was down 3.83% to 72.80 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 314 to 264 and 83 ended unchanged.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 0.79% to 11.73.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.13% or 1.65 to $1275.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.02% or 0.01 to hit $64.06 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.14% or 0.10 to trade at $71.82 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.15% to 1.1297, while EUR/GBP rose 0.24% to 0.8665.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.02% at 96.672.

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Denmark stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 down 1.27%

– Denmark stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Healthcare, Consumer Goods and Personal&Household Goods sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 declined 1.27%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were AP Moeller - Maersk A/S B (CO:MAERSKb), which rose 2.48% or 218 points to trade at 8994 at the close. Meanwhile, FLSmidth&Co. (CO:FLS) added 1.32% or 4.3 points to end at 330.6 and Jyske Bank A/S (CO:JYSK) was up 0.47% or 1.3 points to 277.3 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were GN Store Nord (CO:GN), which fell 3.42% or 11.6 points to trade at 328.0 at the close. Novo Nordisk A/S Class B (CO:NOVOb) declined 2.57% or 8.5 points to end at 322.8 and Coloplast A/S (CO:COLOb) was down 1.66% or 11.6 points to 685.4.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 66 to 59 and 21 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.09% or 0.06 to $64.11 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.24% or 0.17 to hit $71.89 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.07% or 0.85 to trade at $1276.35 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was down 0.11% to 6.6066, while EUR/DKK rose 0.05% to 7.4645.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.00% at 96.653.

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Merck&Co Falls 3%

- Merck&Co fell by 3.09% to trade at $75.16 by 12:07 (16:07 GMT) on Wednesday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of Merck&Co shares traded since the start of the session was 11.28M. Merck&Co has traded in a range of $75.15 to $77.59 on the day.

The stock has traded at $81.3200 at its highest and $75.1400 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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UnitedHealth Falls 4%

- UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) fell by 4.04% to trade at $212.09 by 12:00 (16:00 GMT) on Wednesday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of UnitedHealth shares traded since the start of the session was 11.59M. UnitedHealth has traded in a range of $208.07 to $224.24 on the day.

The stock has traded at $249.9400 at its highest and $208.4000 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Domino’s Pizza Is Hot Midday

- Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) rose in midday trading on Wednesday after its stock got two votes of confidence from Wall Street analysts.

Maxim Group maintained its buy rating of the company, citing expected solid growth in the first quarter and margin expansion, according to Briefing.com.

Maxim raised their earnings per share estimates to $2.12 from $2.10, as a popular promotion at the company helped lift earnings.

With the share price down 16% from the August 2018 high, the firm argued Domino's shares have an attractive valuation, Briefing.com said.

In addition, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) upgraded the stock to overweight from equal, citing attractive valuation relative to peers.

Morgan Stanley boosted its price target to $283 from $268.

Domino’s rose 4.2%, while rival Papa John's International (NASDAQ:PZZA) fell 0.4% and Pizza Hut owner Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) inched up 0.2%.

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Intel Rises 5%

- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) rose by 5.01% to trade at $59.56 by 10:38 (14:38 GMT) on Wednesday on the NASDAQ exchange.

The volume of Intel shares traded since the start of the session was 14.71M. Intel has traded in a range of $58.12 to $59.58 on the day.

The stock has traded at $59.5600 at its highest and $54.9000 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Stocks - Wall Street Mixed After Pepsi, Morgan Stanley Earnings

– Wall Street was mixed on Wednesday even after upbeat earnings from Morgan Stanley and PepsiCo, while positive Chinese economic data eased global slowdown concerns.

The S&P 500 rose 1 point or 0.05% by 9:47 AM ET (13:47 GMT), while the Dow was down 41 points or 0.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite gained 28 points or 0.4%.

China’s economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter, which, along with retail sales and industrial production data, eased concerns that the second largest economy in the world is slowing. Still, the U.S. and China have yet to reach a trade deal and concerns remain that the growth could be temporary.

PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) gained 2.6% its first-quarter results were better than expected, with organic revenue growing by 5.2%. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) surged 16% after rising 23% on Tuesday after news that it settled with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on a patent dispute.

The last of the big banks to report, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was up 0.6% after its revenue fell less than expected during a weak quarter. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) also joined other banks in a less-than-ideal quarter as market volatility ate into profits.

Meanwhile, CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) fell 1.2%, while Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) slipped 2% despite reporting a strong first quarter. Healthcare stocks were also down, with Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) down 4.6% and UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) losing 3.3%.

In commodities, gold futures inched up 0.07% to $1,278.05 a troy ounce while crude oil gained 0.3% to $64.20 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down slightly at 96.618.

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Gold Hovers Near 4-Month Low as China Data Lift Risk Appetite

- Gold prices were little changed near a four-month low on Wednesday, as better-than-expected economic data from China kept global appetite for risk assets healthy and capped demand for havens.

At 7:41 AM ET (11:41 GMT), gold futures for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up 75 cents, or 0.1%, at $1,277.95 a troy ounce, barely above the four-month low of $1,272.20 hit on Tuesday.

China reported 6.4% growth for the first quarter, beating expectations for a slowdown to 6.3%. Other data released overnight also showed larger-than-forecast increases in industrial production and retail sales for March.

Wednesday's dump of upbeat numbers added to other signs - including house prices, exports and credit growth - that suggest the world’s second-largest economy is responding to stimulus measures taken at the start of the year by Beijing.

The data have also lifted bond yields, making the most common "haven" alternative to gold more attractive. The yields on both German and U.S. 10-year debt hit their highest in a week on the news.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.1% to 96.57. A weaker greenback makes the dollar-denominated precious metal more affordable for holders of foreign currencies, all other things being equal.

The dollar came under pressure earlier this week after Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Fed, said he would be “comfortable” with standing pat on interest rates until the fall of 2020. The central bank’s current forecast to hold interest rates steady for the rest of the year puts a lid on the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

St. Louis Fed president James Bullard and Philadelphia Fed chief Patrick Harker are scheduled to speak on monetary policy and the economic outlook later on Wednesday.

In other metals trading, silver futures rose 0.2% at $14.947 a troy ounce by 7:47 AM ET (11:47 GMT).

Palladium futures advanced 0.5% to $1,335.60 an ounce, while sister metal platinum traded up 0.7% at $890.05.

In base metals, copper gained 1.0% to $2.960 a pound, and is now less than 0.3% away from what would be its highest level since June last year.

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Morgan Stanley Shares Rise After 1Q Revenue Drops Less Than Feared

- Shares in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) rose to their highest level in seven months after the bank appeared to navigate volatility in global markets in the first quarter slightly better than the market had expected.

Wall Street’s second-biggest investment bank said revenue fell by 7.1% from a year earlier, due to declines in revenue from both equity and bond markets, as well as in its advisory business. Investment banking revenues were down 24% from a year ago. Earnings per share fell to $1.39 from $1.45, as the bank offset the drop in revenue by setting aside less money for variable compensation.

As of 0730 AM ET (1130 GMT), the shares were up 3.2% in premarket trading at $48.50

All of Morgan Stanley’s major rivals have posted weak returns on their markets-focused businesses – not least because of comparison effects with an extraordinarily high base a year earlier. However, in contrast to Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Citigroup (NYSE:C), Morgan Stanley has no meaningful exposure to the consumer or small business lending to compensate.

Even so, revenue of $10.29 billion was nearly 4% better than a consensus forecast of $9.91 billion, while earnings per share of $1.33 was some 14% ahead of forecasts. The bank said around 6c of the earnings improvement was due to “intermittent” tax-related factors.

In a statement, chairman and chief executive James Gorman acknowledged that the bank had had a “slow start” to the year, but said the bank was “well positioned to serve our clients and invest in our business.”

Morgan Stanley follows other major Financial sector earnings this month

On Friday, JPMorgan reported first quarter EPS of $2.65 on revenue of $29.85B, compared to forecasts of EPS of $2.35 on revenue of $28.44B.

Bank of America earnings Beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday, with first quarter EPS of $0.7 on revenue of $23B. analysts expected EPS of $0.66 on revenue of $23.2B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 0.83%

– India stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Banking, Consumer Durables and Capital Goods sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 added 0.83% to hit a new all time high, while the BSE Sensex 30 index added 0.95%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were IndusInd Bank Ltd. (NS:INBK), which rose 3.79% or 66.25 points to trade at 1815.15 at the close. Meanwhile, ICICI Bank Ltd (NS:ICBK) added 3.63% or 14.25 points to end at 407.00 and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (NS:HPCL) was up 2.94% or 7.55 points to 264.65 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Wipro Ltd (NS:WIPR), which fell 2.36% or 6.80 points to trade at 280.90 at the close. Cipla Ltd. (NS:CIPL) declined 1.23% or 6.95 points to end at 559.35 and GAIL Ltd (NS:GAIL) was down 0.69% or 2.45 points to 351.60.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were IndusInd Bank Ltd. (BO:INBK) which rose 3.96% to 1815.85, ICICI Bank Ltd (BO:ICBK) which was up 3.58% to settle at 406.80 and Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (BO:ONGC) which gained 2.49% to close at 160.45.

The worst performers were Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (BO:PGRD) which was down 0.63% to 196.85 in late trade, Infosys Ltd (BO:INFY) which lost 0.39% to settle at 723.85 and Tata Motors Ltd (BO:TAMO) which was down 0.22% to 230.55 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 0 to 0; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 0 fell and 0 advanced.

Shares in ICICI Bank Ltd (NS:ICBK) rose to all time highs; rising 3.63% or 14.25 to 407.00. Shares in ICICI Bank Ltd (BO:ICBK) rose to all time highs; up 3.58% or 14.05 to 406.80.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was up 1.43% to 21.6925 a new 3-years high.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.09% or 1.15 to $1278.35 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.69% or 0.44 to hit $64.49 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.77% or 0.55 to trade at $72.27 a barrel.

USD/INR was down 0.21% to 69.409, while EUR/INR rose 0.09% to 78.4910.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.08% at 96.575.

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Bank of NY Mellon Earnings, Revenue Miss in Q1

- Bank of NY Mellon (NYSE:BK) reported first quarter earnings that missed analysts' expectations on Wednesday and revenue that fell short of forecasts.

The firm reported earnings per share of $0.94 on revenue of $3.9B. Analysts polled by forecast EPS of $0.96 on revenue of $3.99B. That compared to EPS of $1.1 on revenue of $4.18B in the same period a year earlier. The company had reported EPS of $0.84 on revenue of $4.01B in the previous quarter.

Bank of NY Mellon follows other major Financial sector earnings this month


On Friday, JPMorgan reported first quarter EPS of $2.65 on revenue of $29.85B, compared to forecasts of EPS of $2.35 on revenue of $28.44B.

Bank of America earnings Beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday, with first quarter EPS of $0.7 on revenue of $23B. analysts expected EPS of $0.66 on revenue of $23.2B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Tuesday

- Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, April 17:

1. China’s economy grows 6.4%, dampening slowdown concerns

China released a deluge of better-than-expected economic data overnight, easing concerns over the slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.

Gross domestic product grew 6.4% in the first quarter, a touch better than the 6.3% forecasts by economists.

Industrial production and retail sales also increased more than expected in March, suggesting that the economy has momentum going into the second quarter.

In reaction to the news, prices on safe haven sovereign bonds fell, pushing yields on the U.S. 10-year Treasury and the comparable German Bund to one-month highs. Stocks in Europe rose, as did commodities such as crude oil and copper.

Analysts did warn however that it was too soon to predict a sustainable turnaround, suggesting that Beijing would need to provide further fiscal stimulus to support growth.

2. IBM , Netflix earnings strike wrong notes

Tech earnings released after Tuesday’s close were set to dampen investor sentiment on Wednesday, fueling fears of a first overall decline in quarterly profit from S&P 500 firms since 2016.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) fell 2.6% in premarket trade after reporting a bigger-than-expected decline in revenue, casting fresh doubt over its cloud-based turnaround strategy.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) also dampened spirits after its forecast for second-quarter earnings missed analysts’ expectations. Shares were off 1.2%.

The financial sector will remain in focus Wednesday with Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and US Bancorp (NYSE:USB) reporting ahead of the open. PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) and Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) are also due to report later.

3. U.S. futures higher ahead of Zoom, Pinterest IPO pricings

U.S. futures pointed to a higher open as the positive economic data from China boosted risk sentiment. At 5:32 AM ET (9:32 GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures were up 22 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 futures traded up 5 points, or 0.2%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures ,had advanced 18 points, or 0.2%.

Two of the year's biggest IPOs to date, Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) and Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM), are expected to price after the close ahead of their stock market debut on Thursday. Zoom, which is already profitable, was reported to have raised its price band due to higher-than-expected demand, while Pinterest appears to have had more difficulty attracting investors, setting a valuation range below that of its last private funding round.

With U.S.-China negotiations in the background, economic data on U.S. trade figures will deserve attention when released at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT). On average, economists expect that the U.S. trade deficit widened to $53.5 billion in February, according to forecasts compiled by .

Read more: 3 China Tech Stocks Poised To Outperform As Potential Trade Deal Nears - Jesse Cohen

Also on the calendar, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard and Philadelphia Fed chief Patrick Harker are scheduled to speak on monetary policy and the economic outlook later on Wednesday.

4. Qualcomm jumps on settlement with Apple, Intel receives a boost

Shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) soared 6% in premarket trade Wednesday after it reached a reached a surprise settlement with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) that will force the iPhone to once again use the company’s modem chips.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), which had supplied chips for the iPhone after Apple's rift with Qualcomm, announced hours later that it would exit the 5G smartphone modem business. Markets applauded the decision to abandon a high-cost investment, pushing the shares up 2.6%.

5. Oil prices get China boost ahead of expected crude inventory draw

Oil traded higher on Wednesday as the upbeat Chinese data bode well for crude demand and attention shifted to official U.S. government data on inventories.

U.S. crude oil futures gained 42 cents, or 0.7%, to $64.47 by 5:36 AM ET (9:36 GMT), while Brent oil rose 39 cents, or 0.5%, to $72.11.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release weekly data on U.S. crude oil inventories at 10:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT) amid expectations for a draw of 1.2 million barrels, in what would be the first decline in four weeks.

The American Petroleum Institute data released Tuesday - although not perfectly correlated with the EIA's report - showed weekly crude stockpiles fell by 3.1 million barrels last week.

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Japan stocks higher at close of trade; Nikkei 225 up 0.25%

– Japan stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Communication, Construction and Financial Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.25% to hit a new 3-months high.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Rakuten Inc (T:4755), which rose 10.34% or 110.0 points to trade at 1174.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd. (T:7735) added 6.20% or 325.0 points to end at 5565.0 and Advantest Corp. (T:6857) was up 5.48% or 170.0 points to 3270.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Chiyoda Corp. (T:6366), which fell 3.68% or 14.0 points to trade at 366.0 at the close. Nichirei Corp. (T:2871) declined 3.11% or 80.0 points to end at 2490.0 and Terumo Corp. (T:4543) was down 2.78% or 94.0 points to 3286.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1985 to 1436 and 280 ended unchanged.

Shares in Rakuten Inc (T:4755) rose to 52-week highs; up 10.34% or 110.0 to 1174.0. Shares in Nichirei Corp. (T:2871) fell to 52-week lows; losing 3.11% or 80.0 to 2490.0. Shares in Advantest Corp. (T:6857) rose to 5-year highs; up 5.48% or 170.0 to 3270.0.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 3.15% to 15.72.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.66% or 0.42 to $64.47 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.46% or 0.33 to hit $72.05 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.30% or 3.85 to trade at $1281.05 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was up 0.00% to 112.00, while EUR/JPY rose 0.34% to 126.75.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.15% at 96.507.

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Strong China 1Q GDP Sends Yuan, Euro, Aussie Higher

-- The dollar was broadly lower in early trading in Europe on Wednesday after China’s slightly faster-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter encouraged a new leg up in commodity currencies.

At 04:00 AM ET (0800 GMT), the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flirting with a three-week low at 96.578, down 0.1% from late Tuesday in Europe.

Earlier, China’s statistics office had said gross domestic product grew 6.4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, a touch above the 6.3% expected. That was due to signs of a strong recovery in both industrial production and retail sales in March, suggesting that the two key pillars of China’s economy are both responding to government stimulus measures and now regaining momentum.

The Chinese yuan rose to a four-week high against the dollar after the news, but the biggest gainer was the AUD/USD pair, which rose 0.25% to its highest level since February, as traders priced in a more optimistic scenario for Chinese commodity demand.

Amy Yuan Zhuang, an analyst with Nordea Markets, said it’s still too early to call a turnaround in China, and said she expected the authorities to keep all the recent stimulus measures in place.

“A growth double dip is the last thing Beijing needs amid ongoing trade negotiations with the US and the upcoming 30-year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest,” she said.

The euro also rebounded after sliding on Tuesday and traded back above $1.1300 by the European morning. Sterling continued to drift as the parliamentary recess stopped any significant progress in the Brexit drama.

The dollar has, however, risen against both the yen and the kiwi. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told CNBC that he still sees potential to ease monetary policy further, while lower-than-expected inflation data emboldened those who think that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s next rate move will be downward.

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Australia stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.33%

– Australia stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Metals&Mining, Resources and Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.33%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Duluxgroup Ltd (AX:DLX), which rose 27.25% or 2.090 points to trade at 9.760 at the close. Meanwhile, Blackmores Ltd (AX:BKL) added 6.46% or 5.70 points to end at 94.00 and Syrah Resources Ltd (AX:SYR) was up 6.11% or 0.070 points to 1.215 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (AX:FMG), which fell 8.64% or 0.700 points to trade at 7.400 at the close. Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (AX:APT) declined 5.89% or 1.460 points to end at 23.340 and Wisetech Global Ltd (AX:WTC) was down 5.81% or 1.350 points to 21.900.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 626 to 544 and 357 ended unchanged.

Shares in Duluxgroup Ltd (AX:DLX) rose to all time highs; up 27.25% or 2.090 to 9.760.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 6.53% to 11.122.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.24% or 3.05 to $1280.25 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.64% or 0.41 to hit $64.46 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.33% or 0.24 to trade at $71.96 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.24% to 0.7192, while AUD/JPY rose 0.26% to 80.56.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.07% at 96.588.

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Crypto Prices Rise; Visa and Coinbase to form partnership

- Cryptocurrencies prices rose on Wednesday in Asia. News that Visa (NYSE:V) and Coinbase are forming a partnership to launch a cryptocurrency card received some attention.

According to a Computer World report, the two companies are launching a new “Coinbase card” that would be be linked to the holder’s cryptocurrency wallet, allowing card holders to “spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank.”

The card would also allow for ATM withdrawals, the reports said, noting that it would bypass the traditional time-consuming crypto-to-fiat withdrawal process that often takes over 24 hours to complete.

“Customers can use their card in millions of locations around the world, making payments through contactless chip and PIN. When customers use their Coinbase Card, we instantly convert crypto to fiat currency,” wrote Coinbase UK CEO Zeeshan Feroze in a Medium post.

On Wednesday, Bitcoin gained 2.7% to $5,188.6 by 1:53 AM ET (05:53 GMT). Ethereum traded 2% higher to $165.41, XRP edged up 0.8% to $0.32176 and Litecoin was up 1.8% to $79.639.

In other news, Binance, a major cryptocurrency exchange, reported $78 million in profits in the first quarter this year, up 66% quarter-on-quarter, according to news outlet “The Block.” The article also said that in the fourth quarter in 2018, the company received about $47 million in net profit.

Binance Coin is currently the seventh-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap.

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Oil Prices Gain on Steady Demand Growth in China; Unexpected Fall in Crude Stocks

- Oil prices gained on Wednesday in Asia amid signs of steady demand growth in China and data that showed an unexpected fall in U.S. crude stocks.

U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures were up 0.6% to $64.45 by 12:50 AM ET (04:50 GMT) while international Brent Oil Futures gained 0.4% to $71.97.

WTI is up 41% on the year; Brent is up 33%.

The National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday that China's refinery throughput in March rose 3.2% from a year earlier to 53.04 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute reported overnight that U.S. crude inventories fell by 3.1 million barrels in the week ended April 12 to 452.7 million, compared with the expectations for an increase of 1.7 million barrels.

In June, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners will decide whether to continue to curb their production, although there are worries that Russia is reluctant to extend the current production cut agreement with OPEC.

TASS news agency cited Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying that Moscow and the cartel may decide to boost production in order to recover market share from the U.S.
Official data on U.S. inventories from the Energy Information Administration is due to be released later in the day.

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Aussie Gains Amid Strong China Data; BOJ’s Comments in Focus

- The Australian dollar gained on Wednesday in Asia after China, its biggest trading partner, reported strong GDP data.

The AUD/USD pair gained 0.2% to 0.7190 by 12:18 AM ET (04:18 GMT).

China’s economy expanded at an annualized rate of 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019, beating the expected growth rate of 6.3%. Industrial output and retail sales were also stronger than expected.

Yesterday, data showed housing prices in China rose at the fastest pace since 2017 in March.

The Aussie took a brief hit overnight after the Reserve Bank of Australia said it believes a cut in interest rates would be "appropriate" should inflation stay low and unemployment trend higher.

Meanwhile, the NZD/USD pair lost 0.5% as the country’s annual inflation slowed in the first quarter, raising the chances of an interest rate cut in the coming months.

The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies traded near flat at 96.600.

Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Fed, told CNBC earlier this week that he would be “comfortable” with interest rates staying put until the autumn of 2020 to help ensure inflation returns to the Fed’s target rate of 2%.

“I can see the funds rate being flat or unchanged into the fall of 2020. For me that’s to help support the inflation outlook and make sure that its sustainable at 2% or a little above,” Evans said.

The GBP/USD pair edged up 0.1% to 1.3059 after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denied a report that Brexit talks with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government had stalled.

The USD/JPY pair was largely unchanged at 111.95. Bank of Japan’s deputy governor Masayoshi Amamiya said on Wednesday that the central bank is ready to deploy monetary policy tools in event of financial crisis.

"One of the factors that led to Japan's asset-inflated bubble (in the late 1980s) was the fact we kept monetary policy easy even as the economy continued to expand," Amamiya said in parliament.

"The BOJ must be mindful of the potential risks to the economy and prices, including financial imbalances," he said, adding that "in terms of monetary policy, we're ready to respond if financial problems have a big impact on the economy."

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Asian Markets Mixed; Chinese Stocks Turn Positive on Strong GDP Data

- Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Wednesday. Chinese stocks turned positive after opening lower following the release of stronger-than-expected GDP data.

The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component both rose 0.2% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1% but still traded above the key 30,000 level.

China's economy grew 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019 from a year earlier, official data showed on Wednesday. Analysts have previously expected the growth to slow to 6.3%.

Meanwhile, the country’s industrial production for March jumped 8.5% year-on-year, easily beating the 5.9% estimated by analysts.

Retail sales were also better than expected, as the figure rose by 8.7% in March compared to a year ago, beating expectation of a 8.4% growth.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.3% even after data from the Ministry of Finance showed the country’s exports fell for a fourth straight month in March.

Exports fell 2.4% from a year earlier, compared with the expected 2.7% drop and followed a 1.2% decline in February.

Exports to China, Japan's biggest trading partner, fell 9.4% year-on-year during the month, reversing from a 5.6% gain in February.

Last week, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda warned that the outcome of U.S.-China trade talks and Brexit could have lingering risks to the global economic growth outlook.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.1%. Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 dropped 0.2%.

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U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.26%

– U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Basic Materials, Oil&Gas and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.26% to hit a new 6-months high, while the S&P 500 index added 0.05%, and the NASDAQ Composite index added 0.30%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Boeing Co (NYSE:BA), which rose 1.67% or 6.26 points to trade at 381.72 at the close. Meanwhile, Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) added 1.27% or 1.78 points to end at 142.03 and Dow Inc (NYSE:DOW) was up 1.25% or 0.72 points to 58.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), which fell 4.01% or 9.24 points to trade at 220.96 at the close. Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) declined 2.78% or 1.17 points to end at 40.92 and Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) was down 1.62% or 2.14 points to 129.90.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) which rose 23.21% to 70.45, Progressive Corp (NYSE:PGR) which was up 6.92% to settle at 77.26 and Omnicom Group Inc (NYSE:OMC) which gained 5.66% to close at 81.25.

The worst performers were HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA) which was down 10.00% to 114.38 in late trade, Cigna Corp (NYSE:CI) which lost 7.80% to settle at 151.04 and Humana Inc (NYSE:HUM) which was down 7.44% to 235.10 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were 360 Finance Inc (NASDAQ:QFIN) which rose 31.92% to 22.69, Iconix Brand Group Inc (NASDAQ:ICON) which was up 26.14% to settle at 1.93 and Jaguar Health Inc (NASDAQ:JAGX) which gained 25.84% to close at 0.280.

The worst performers were Uxin Ltd (NASDAQ:UXIN) which was down 36.07% to 1.95 in late trade, Chinanet Online Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CNET) which lost 33.33% to settle at 1.4600 and Wave Life Sciences Ltd (NASDAQ:WVE) which was down 28.07% to 24.47 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1566 to 1405 and 118 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1468 rose and 1168 declined, while 90 ended unchanged.

Shares in Progressive Corp (NYSE:PGR) rose to all time highs; rising 6.92% or 5.00 to 77.26. Shares in Cigna Corp (NYSE:CI) fell to 52-week lows; falling 7.80% or 12.78 to 151.04. Shares in Omnicom Group Inc (NYSE:OMC) rose to 52-week highs; rising 5.66% or 4.35 to 81.25. Shares in Humana Inc (NYSE:HUM) fell to 52-week lows; down 7.44% or 18.90 to 235.10. Shares in UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) fell to 52-week lows; losing 4.01% or 9.24 to 220.96. Shares in 360 Finance Inc (NASDAQ:QFIN) rose to all time highs; up 31.92% or 5.49 to 22.69. Shares in Uxin Ltd (NASDAQ:UXIN) fell to all time lows; losing 36.07% or 1.10 to 1.95. Shares in Wave Life Sciences Ltd (NASDAQ:WVE) fell to 52-week lows; down 28.07% or 9.55 to 24.47.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 1.14% to 12.18.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.92% or 11.85 to $1279.45 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 1.45% or 0.92 to hit $64.32 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.06% or 0.04 to trade at $71.90 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.07% to 1.1287, while USD/JPY rose 0.01% to 112.00.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.17% at 96.722.

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Canada stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite down 0.08%

– Canada stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the REITs, Real Estate and Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite fell 0.08%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Canada Goose Holdings Inc (TO:GOOS), which rose 4.49% or 2.88 points to trade at 67.05 at the close. Meanwhile, Aurora Cannabis Inc (TO:ACB) added 3.96% or 0.45 points to end at 11.82 and Bombardier Inc (TO:BBDb) was up 2.66% or 0.070 points to 2.700 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Yamana Gold Inc (TO:YRI), which fell 7.27% or 0.24 points to trade at 3.06 at the close. Eldorado Gold Corp (TO:ELD) declined 4.51% or 0.27 points to end at 5.72 and Alamos Gold Inc (TO:AGI) was down 4.41% or 0.29 points to 6.29.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 634 to 429 and 128 ended unchanged.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was down 0.09% to 10.74.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.92% or 11.85 to $1279.45 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 1.45% or 0.92 to hit $64.32 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.06% or 0.04 to trade at $71.90 a barrel.

CAD/USD was unchanged 0.00% to 0.7489, while CAD/EUR fell 0.02% to 0.6637.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.17% at 96.722.

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Gold Dips Amid Risk-on Trade; Low of $1,200 Seen

By Barani Krishnan

- Bullion and gold futures sank further beneath the $1,300 level Tuesday as investors returned to a risk-on mode after encouraging Wall Street earnings, upbeat Chinese economic data and improved consumer sentiment in Germany.

Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was down $10.93, or 0.85%, at $1,277.00 per ounce by 4:47 PM ET (20:47 GMT).

Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled the official session down $14.10, or 1%, at $1,277.20 per ounce.

"Demand for gold from traders is slowing again, with even ETFs losing ground after the strong economic numbers out of China and other centers," said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.

"With the holiday-shortened week due to Good Friday, it seems like a trading range will form below $1,275."

Various technicians see $1,275 as an important support for gold and think the yellow metal could possibly break below the next support of $1,250 if that first level is broken.

A stronger dollar also weighed on gold. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.1% to 96.863 after hovering near a three-week low of 96.365 in the previous session.

Gold could take a further knock in coming days if Chinese GDP numbers turn out to be better than expected.

First-quarter China growth is expected to have cooled to 6.3% year over year, the weakest pace in at least 27 years, according to economists surveyed by . But a flurry of measures announced by Beijing in March to boost domestic demand may have put a floor under slowing activity.

Palladium slid for a fourth-straight day, while remaining as the world's priciest traded metal. Spot palladium was down $8, or 0.6%, at $1,355.75 an ounce.

Trades in other Comex metals as of 4:50 PM ET (20:50 GMT):

Palladium futures down $3, or 0.2%, at $1,331.70 per ounce.

Platinum futures down $8.40, or 0.9%, at $886.10 per ounce.

Silver futures down 2 cents, or 0.1%, at $14.95 per ounce.

Copper futures flat at $2.93 per pound.

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Sweden stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 up 0.30%

– Sweden stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Financials, Industrials and Consumer Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 rose 0.30% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Kinnevik, Investment AB ser. B (ST:KINVb), which rose 2.47% or 6.2 points to trade at 257.2 at the close. Meanwhile, Alfa Laval AB (ST:ALFA) added 1.87% or 4.2 points to end at 229.2 and Swedbank AB ser A (ST:SWEDa) was up 1.52% or 2.3 points to 153.3 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Skanska AB ser. B (ST:SKAb), which fell 0.83% or 1.45 points to trade at 174.15 at the close. Tele2 AB (ST:TEL2b) declined 0.76% or 0.95 points to end at 124.05 and Svenska Cellulosa SCA AB B (ST:SCAb) was down 0.71% or 0.6 points to 81.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 332 to 303 and 56 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.65% or 0.41 to $63.81 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.48% or 0.34 to hit $71.52 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.03% or 13.25 to trade at $1278.05 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was down 0.37% to 10.4398, while USD/SEK fell 0.18% to 9.2498.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.11% at 96.667.

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Dollar Inches Higher Despite Softer Industrial Production

- The U.S. dollar inched higher against its rivals on Tuesday, even as weaker-than-expected U.S. industrial production data added to expectations the Federal Reserves is likely to stay on pause for prolonged period.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.12% to 96.67.

Industrial production -- a measure of output at factories, mines and utilities -- fell 0.2% in March from the prior month. That confounded economists’ expectations for a 0.2% rise.

"The data have been volatile in recent months, led by swings in autos, but the net result has been weakening; manufacturing is especially export-oriented," High Frequency Economics said in a note.

The data arrived as the Boston Fed's Eric Rosengren talked up the prospect of keeping rates lower for longer, saying the central bank does not need to adjust monetary policy at the moment. Rosengren's dovish remarks come a day after Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said rates can stay unchanged until the fall of 2020.

GBP/USD fell 0.32% to 1.3049 on Brexit uncertainty despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denying a report that Brexit talks with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government had stalled.

EUR/USD fell 0.19% to $1.1286 as better-than-expected euro zone economic sentiment data was offset by reports European Central Bank members are uncertain over whether the trading bloc will mount an economic recovery in the second half of the year.

USD/CAD fell 0.04% to C$1.3357 as oil prices bounced from session lows to support the loonie. The loonie, however, could be set to come under pressure amid expectations that the Bank of Canada may cut rates. The first quarter "was very weak," said David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff in Toronto. So weak, in fact, that Rosenberg believes the odds of a BOC rate cut should be much higher than they are now.

USD/JPY fell 0.04%% to Y111.99

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StockBeat - UnitedHealth Tumbles After CEO Sounds Alarm on Medicare for All

- UnitedHealth fell Tuesday, giving up early post-earnings gains as political concerns overshadowed solid results.

Among Democratic presidential hopefuls, "healthcare for all" has proved a popular narrative. Proponents of a universal Medicare plan, where people could be guaranteed coverage without using private insurance, argue that a government-led measure would iron out the administrative creases currently bedeviling the U.S. health care system. But UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann warned that a Medicare for All system would destabilize the health care system and ultimately fail to expand access to care.

The measures proposed by Democrats would "surely jeopardize the relationship people have with their doctors, destabilize the nation’s health system and limit the ability of clinicians to practice medicine at their best," Wichmann said. "And the inherent cost burden would surely have a severe impact on the economy and jobs -- all without fundamentally increasing access to care."

Wichmann's remarks served as a reminder that health care will likely continue to remain a focal point and stocks will be vulnerable to negative headline risk as the 2020 presidential race heats up. In recent weeks, the sector has been pressured as lawmakers considered plans to curb drug prices.

UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) fell 5.6% even as the company delivered above-consensus earnings and raised its 2019 earnings per share guidance to $14.50 to $14.75 from $14.40 to $14.70. The earnings beat and raise led to some bullish calls from analysts on Wall Street.

But UnitedHealth's shares hit a 52-week low after the Wichmann comments and subtracted more than 80 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The shares are off more than 12% this year.

"We think UNH's strong growth in Q1 demonstrates its value to stakeholders across the health care system, and reinforces our view that any future reforms will still allow UNH to continue making its customers happy," CFRA said in a note.

Other healthcare insurers including Community Health (NYSE:CYH), Humana (NYSE:HUM) and Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) also slumped, leaving the wider healthcare sector nursing a 1% loss.

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U.K. stocks higher at close of trade; Investing.com United Kingdom 100 up 0.42%

– U.K. stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Industrial Metals&Mining, Life Insurance/Assurance and General Retailers sectors led shares higher.

At the close in London, the United Kingdom 100 rose 0.42% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the United Kingdom 100 were St. James’s Place PLC (LON:SJP), which rose 2.76% or 30.00 points to trade at 1117.00 at the close. Meanwhile, WPP PLC (LON:WPP) added 2.76% or 24.40 points to end at 909.60 and Prudential PLC (LON:PRU) was up 2.73% or 46.50 points to 1748.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Mediclinic International PLC (LON:MDCM), which fell 2.66% or 8.30 points to trade at 303.80 at the close. Mondi PLC (LON:MNDI) declined 2.49% or 45.00 points to end at 1759.00 and Centrica PLC (LON:CNA) was down 1.88% or 2.05 points to 107.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the London Stock Exchange by 1311 to 746 and 327 ended unchanged.

Shares in Centrica PLC (LON:CNA) fell to 5-year lows; down 1.88% or 2.05 to 107.00.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 1.10% or 14.25 to $1277.05 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.46% or 0.29 to hit $63.69 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.27% or 0.19 to trade at $71.37 a barrel.

GBP/USD was down 0.33% to 1.3054, while EUR/GBP rose 0.19% to 0.8647.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.12% at 96.675.

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Norway stocks lower at close of trade; Oslo OBX down 0.08%

– Norway stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Auto&components, Healthcare Equipment&Services and Energy sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX declined 0.08%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Aker ASA (OL:AKER), which rose 1.72% or 11.5 points to trade at 681.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Yara International ASA (OL:YAR) added 1.38% or 5.0 points to end at 368.0 and Orkla ASA (OL:ORK) was up 0.87% or 0.58 points to 67.20 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Adevinta ASA (OL:ADEA), which fell 1.99% or 1.75 points to trade at 85.99 at the close. Grieg Seafood (OL:GSFO) declined 1.67% or 1.80 points to end at 106.00 and SalMar ASA (OL:SALM) was down 1.36% or 5.60 points to 404.90.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 106 to 96 and 31 ended unchanged.

Shares in Adevinta ASA (OL:ADEA) fell to all time lows; losing 1.99% or 1.75 to 85.99.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.41% or 0.26 to $63.66 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.30% or 0.21 to hit $71.39 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.09% or 14.05 to trade at $1277.25 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was down 0.33% to 9.5731, while USD/NOK fell 0.13% to 8.4834.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 96.683.

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BlackRock Rises 3%

- BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) rose by 3.03% to trade at $465.55 by 12:58 (16:58 GMT) on Tuesday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of BlackRock shares traded since the start of the session was 515.32K. BlackRock has traded in a range of $454.00 to $465.57 on the day.

The stock has traded at $465.7000 at its highest and $438.5200 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 0.58%

– Israel stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Banking, Real Estate and Communication sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 added 0.58% to hit a new 3-months high.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp Ltd (TA:BEZQ), which rose 5.05% or 12.6 points to trade at 262.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Airport City Ltd (TA:ARPT) added 2.30% or 140 points to end at 6225 and Bazan Oil Refineries Ltd (TA:ORL) was up 1.67% or 3.0 points to 182.9 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Phoenix Holdings Ltd (TA:PHOE1), which fell 2.04% or 44 points to trade at 2115 at the close. Harel (TA:HARL) declined 1.05% or 29 points to end at 2735 and Gazit Globe Ltd (TA:GZT) was down 1.01% or 30 points to 2955.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 227 to 163 and 33 ended unchanged.

Shares in Airport City Ltd (TA:ARPT) rose to all time highs; rising 2.30% or 140 to 6225.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.38% or 0.24 to $63.64 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.18% or 0.13 to hit $71.31 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.11% or 14.35 to trade at $1276.95 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was up 0.26% to 3.5684, while EUR/ILS rose 0.09% to 4.0277.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 96.653.

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Netflix Rises 3%

- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) rose by 3.03% to trade at $359.45 by 12:02 (16:02 GMT) on Tuesday on the NASDAQ exchange.

The volume of Netflix shares traded since the start of the session was 6.40M. Netflix has traded in a range of $352.72 to $359.50 on the day.

The stock has traded at $370.1200 at its highest and $342.4000 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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AMD Climbs Midday on PlayStation 5 Inclusion

- Advanced Micro Devices was higher in midday trading after news that the next generation of Sony’s PlayStation consoles will include the semiconductor maker's hardware.

The PlayStation 5 is more than an upgrade, video game designer Mark Carny told Wired, and will include updated hardware and processors, including a custom GPU based on AMD's Radeon Navi hardware and an eight-core CPU based on its third-gen Ryzen line.

Sony has not yet set a release date for the console, but it is not expected this year.

AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) jumped 2.2%, while Sony (NYSE:SNE) gained 1.1%.

Meanwhile, gaming stocks were mixed, with GameStop (NYSE:GME) rising 1.7% and Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) down 1.3%, while Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) slipped 0.9%.

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U.S. Dollar Flat as Investors Turn to Stocks

- The greenback was flat as upbeat Chinese and European data eased investor concern over the global economy and investors flocked to equities after upbeat earnings.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.06% to 96.618 as of 11:17 AM ET (15:17 GMT).

Housing prices in China rose at the fastest pace since April 2017 in March, helping ease concerns over the slowing economy, while the German ZEW economic sentiment index jumped more than expected in April.

Upbeat earnings reports also shifted investor focus on U.S. equities after better-than-expected earnings from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and others.

The dollar was down against the safe-haven yen, with USD/JPY slipping 0.08% to 111.98.

Elsewhere, sterling fell as Brexit talks stalled within the U.K. government, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn told The Guardian. The two sides have failed to agree on a customs union or workers rights and talks were halted due to the Conservative party wanting deregulation post-Brexit.

"The government doesn't appear to be shifting the red lines because they've got a big pressure in the Tory party that actually wants to turn this country into a deregulated low-tax society which will do a deal with Trump. I don't want to do that," he said.

GBP/USD fell 0.4% to 1.3048.

Elsewhere, USD/CAD inched down 0.07% to 1.3352 and EUR/USD slipped 0.1% to 1.1292.

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Stocks - Bank of America, BlackRock Fall in Premarket; Netflix Rises

- Stocks in focus in premarket trading on Tuesday:

  • Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) fell 0.5% by 8:15 AM ET (12:15 GMT) after it reported a miss on revenue, even as earnings per share were higher than expected. The company’s first-quarter results were largely driven by consumer banking, with net income up 25% to $3.2 billion.

  • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) jumped 1.8% after Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) upgraded the streaming company to buy from hold ahead of its earnings reports after the closing bell on Tuesday.

  • BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) fell 0.6% after the asset manager reported a 3.3% drop in quarterly profit, due to investors turning away from its more expensive products to its low risk, inexpensive funds. The news offset its higher than expected earnings and revenue for the first quarter.

  • UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) jumped 3% after its earnings reports beat estimates and it raised its 2019 forecast.

  • AT&T (NYSE:T) inched up 0.5% on news that it is selling back its stake in Hulu for $1.43 billion, which gives more control of the company to Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS).

  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) skyrocketed 1.9% after its earnings per share and revenue were better than expected. The company reported EPS of $1.39 on revenue of $20 billion.

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Oil Prices Edge Higher Ahead of U.S. Inventory Data

- Oil prices traded slightly higher on Tuesday ahead of incoming information on the state of U.S. crude stockpiles.

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 13 cents, or 0.2%, at $63.53 a barrel by 7:53 AM ET (11:53 GMT), in the absence of any major news on supply.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., edged forward 9 cents, or 0.1%, to $71.27.

The American Petroleum Institute will release its weekly data on U.S. crude inventories at 4:30 PM ET (20:30 GMT) Tuesday in what may be a third straight weekly build.

The API data arrives a day ahead of official government figures and expectations for an increase of 2.29 million barrels.

A degree of caution has entered the market due to worries that Russia is reluctant to extend the current production cut agreement with OPEC beyond June. TASS news agency cited Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying that Moscow and the cartel may decide to boost production in order to recover market share from the U.S. -

Russia's compliance with that deal has in any case been less enthusiastic than Saudi Arabia's. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Russia had cut barely half what it promised to cut at the end of last year by March, By contrast, Saudi Arabia's March output was over 800,000 barrels a day lower than in December, well beyond the 322,000 cut b/d it had pledged.

According to last week’s EIA report, U.S. crude production held at a record 12.2 million barrels per day, more than both Russia and Saudi Arabia.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures fell 0.4% to $2.0030 a gallon by 7:55 AM ET (11:55 GMT), while heating oil advanced 0.2% to $2.0659 a gallon.

Lastly, natural gas futures were unchanged at $2.590 per million British thermal unit.

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India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 0.83%

– India stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Banking, Consumer Durables and Capital Goods sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 rose 0.83% to hit a new all time high, while the BSE Sensex 30 index added 0.95%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were IndusInd Bank Ltd. (NS:INBK), which rose 3.95% or 69.10 points to trade at 1815.15 at the close. Meanwhile, ICICI Bank Ltd (NS:ICBK) added 3.87% or 15.20 points to end at 407.00 and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (NS:HPCL) was up 2.64% or 6.80 points to 264.65 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Wipro Ltd (NS:WIPR), which fell 2.12% or 6.10 points to trade at 280.90 at the close. Cipla Ltd. (NS:CIPL) declined 1.35% or 7.65 points to end at 559.35 and GAIL Ltd (NS:GAIL) was down 0.69% or 2.45 points to 351.60.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were IndusInd Bank Ltd. (BO:INBK) which rose 3.96% to 1815.85, ICICI Bank Ltd (BO:ICBK) which was up 3.58% to settle at 406.80 and Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (BO:ONGC) which gained 2.49% to close at 160.45.

The worst performers were Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (BO:PGRD) which was down 0.63% to 196.85 in late trade, Infosys Ltd (BO:INFY) which lost 0.39% to settle at 723.85 and Tata Motors Ltd (BO:TAMO) which was down 0.22% to 230.55 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 797 to 775 and 83 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1240 fell and 1232 advanced, while 145 ended unchanged.

Shares in ICICI Bank Ltd (NS:ICBK) rose to all time highs; rising 3.87% or 15.20 to 407.00. Shares in ICICI Bank Ltd (BO:ICBK) rose to all time highs; up 3.58% or 14.05 to 406.80.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was up 1.43% to 21.6925 a new 3-years high.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.40% or 5.15 to $1286.15 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.14% or 0.09 to hit $63.49 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.01% or 0.01 to trade at $71.19 a barrel.

USD/INR was up 0.28% to 69.647, while EUR/INR rose 0.34% to 78.7185.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.05% at 96.600.

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BlackRock Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q1

- BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) reported first quarter earnings that Beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday and revenue that topped forecasts.

The firm reported earnings per share of $6.61 on revenue of $3.35B. Analysts polled by expected EPS of $6.12 on revenue of $3.33B. That compared to EPS of $6.7 on revenue of $3.58B in the same period a year earlier. The company had reported EPS of $6.08 on revenue of $3.43B in the previous quarter.

BlackRock follows other major Financial sector earnings this month


On Friday, JPMorgan reported first quarter EPS of $2.65 on revenue of $29.85B, compared to forecasts of EPS of $2.35 on revenue of $28.44B.

UnitedHealth earnings Beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday, with first quarter EPS of $3.73 on revenue of $60.31B. analysts expected EPS of $3.59 on revenue of $59.66B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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UnitedHealth Earnings, Revenue Beat in Q1

- UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) reported first quarter earnings that Beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday and revenue that topped forecasts.

The firm reported earnings per share of $3.73 on revenue of $60.31B. Analysts polled by forecast EPS of $3.59 on revenue of $59.66B. That compared to EPS of $3.04 on revenue of $55.19B in the same period a year earlier. The company had reported EPS of $3.28 on revenue of $58.42B in the previous quarter.

UnitedHealth follows other major Financial sector earnings this month


On Friday, JPMorgan reported first quarter EPS of $2.65 on revenue of $29.85B, compared to forecasts of EPS of $2.35 on revenue of $28.44B.

Wells Fargo&Co earnings Beat analysts' expectations on Friday, with first quarter EPS of $1.2 on revenue of $21.61B. analysts expected EPS of $1.11 on revenue of $20.99B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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StockBeat - Europe at Nine-Month High on Signs of Chinese Rebound

By Geoffrey Smith

-- Europe’s stock markets are rallying again on Tuesday, on increasing confidence that the world economy is coming out of a six-month slowdown, and on hopes that the EU and U.S. will avoid making their trade quarrel any more serious.

At 04:20 AM ET (0820 GMT), the benchmark Euro Stoxx 600 was up 1.5 points, or 0.4% at 389.54, its highest level since July last year. Germany's Dax was leading the way, up 0.7%, while the FTSE 100 was up 0.3%.

Data showing a solid increase in Chinese house prices has been the immediate trigger, but they merely add to recent evidence that the world’s second-largest economy is bottoming out, responding to fiscal and monetary stimulus measures from Beijing.

Other macro issues are also helping. Markets have responded particularly brightly to the recent drip of news out of trade talks between China and the U.S., suggesting that they’re close to an agreement to remove the threat of a full-blown trade war for the foreseeable future.

EU members also last week signed off on a mandate for the European Commission in trade talks with the U.S. The talks are unlikely likely to lead anywhere in the short term, due to political resistance from France, but they may at least stop the U.S. imposing new tariffs on EU exports.

Such issues generally outweigh many of the company-specific problems punctuating this week’s news. Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p), for example, has hit a 10-month high this morning despite Monday’s news that German prosecutors have filed charges against former CEO Martin Winterkorn – a step that also raises questions over current board members such as Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch.

Corporate news so far Tuesday has been mixed. Italy’s Unicredit (MI:CRDI) is up 1.0% after announcing it would pay $1.3 billion to settle U.S. allegations of violating sanctions. German online retailer Zalando (DE:ZALG)has risen over 10% after announcing better-than-expected results for the first quarter late Monday, but airlines are under pressure after Germany’s Lufthansa (DE:LHAG) warned its first-quarter loss would be wider than expected due to higher fuel costs.

French media group Vivendi (PA:VIV) was down 2.0% after shareholders voted to approve a buyback that will increase the stake of its biggest shareholder, Vincent Bollore. The move had been opposed by corporate governance activists who argued the step allowed Bollore to sidestep requirements on making an offer to all shareholders.

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U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.10%

– U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Financials and Basic Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.10%, while the S&P 500 index fell 0.06%, and the NASDAQ Composite index declined 0.10%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), which rose 3.13% or 6.98 points to trade at 230.20 at the close. Meanwhile, Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) added 1.52% or 1.98 points to end at 132.04 and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) was up 1.48% or 0.79 points to 54.24 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which fell 3.82% or 7.93 points to trade at 199.91 at the close. JPMorgan Chase&Co (NYSE:JPM) declined 1.14% or 1.27 points to end at 109.94 and Merck&Company Inc (NYSE:MRK) was down 1.13% or 0.90 points to 78.53.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) which rose 3.97% to 262.88, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) which was up 3.13% to settle at 230.20 and Pacific Gas&Electric Co (NYSE:PCG) which gained 2.77% to close at 23.72.

The worst performers were Alliance Data Systems Corp (NYSE:ADS) which was down 9.34% to 164.04 in late trade, Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ:EA) which lost 3.91% to settle at 97.85 and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) which was down 3.82% to 199.91 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Fibrocell Science Inc (NASDAQ:FCSC) which rose 42.70% to 2.540, Precipio Inc (NASDAQ:PRPO) which was up 41.82% to settle at 0.3971 and Bio Path Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BPTH) which gained 32.52% to close at 20.740.

The worst performers were Achaogen Inc (NASDAQ:AKAO) which was down 68.55% to 0.156 in late trade, Reebonz Holding Ltd (NASDAQ:RBZ) which lost 55.61% to settle at 5.10 and Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT) which was down 34.42% to 0.800 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1648 to 1313 and 133 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1648 fell and 999 advanced, while 81 ended unchanged.

Shares in Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) rose to all time highs; rising 1.52% or 1.98 to 132.04. Shares in Achaogen Inc (NASDAQ:AKAO) fell to all time lows; losing 68.55% or 0.339 to 0.156. Shares in Reebonz Holding Ltd (NASDAQ:RBZ) fell to all time lows; down 55.61% or 6.39 to 5.10. Shares in Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CNAT) fell to all time lows; falling 34.42% or 0.420 to 0.800.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 2.58% to 12.32.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.34% or 4.35 to $1290.85 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.52% or 0.33 to hit $63.56 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.03% or 0.02 to trade at $71.29 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.01% to 1.1308, while USD/JPY fell 0.04% to 111.98.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.06% at 96.537.

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Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.21%

– Canada stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Materials, Financials and Telecoms sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite added 0.21% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Lundin Mining Corporation (TO:LUN), which rose 8.13% or 0.555 points to trade at 7.385 at the close. Meanwhile, Osisko Gold Ro (TO:OR) added 4.00% or 0.59 points to end at 15.34 and Endeavour Mining Corp (TO:EDV) was up 3.32% or 0.630 points to 19.630 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Aphria Inc (TO:APHA), which fell 14.17% or 1.900 points to trade at 11.510 at the close. Cronos Group Inc (TO:CRON) declined 6.57% or 1.4900 points to end at 21.1800 and Ero Copper Corp (TO:ERO) was down 5.35% or 0.90 points to 15.91.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 576 to 479 and 133 ended unchanged.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was down 0.74% to 10.75.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.34% or 4.35 to $1290.85 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.52% or 0.33 to hit $63.56 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.03% or 0.02 to trade at $71.29 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.05% to 0.7479, while CAD/EUR rose 0.02% to 0.6615.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.06% at 96.537.

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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

- Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. Netflix, IBM, J&J and UnitedHealth to Report

The first-quarter earnings season is in full swing. Tomorrow’s reports include three Dow stocks and one of the fastest-growing media companies.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is due after the close. Analysts polled by expect the company report a profit of 57 cents a share in the quarter, down from 64 cents a year ago. But revenue is expected to rise 21% to $4.5 billion.

The video-streaming business is filling up with competitors. Disney expects to start a streaming service in November, which has depressed Netflix shares since last week. While up 30.3% for the year, Netflix shares are off nearly 18% from their 52-week high reached in June 2018.

Also after the bell, IBM (NYSE:IBM) is expected to report $2.22 a share for the quarter, down from $2.45 a year ago. Revenue is projected at $18.5 billion, down 2.9% from a year ago. Investors may focus most closely on the performance of IBM’s cloud business. The stock is up 26% this year.

Ahead of trading, UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) releases results. The health-insurance giant rose 3.1% on Monday but is down 7.6% this year on unease over calls for Medicare for all.

Analysts expect the company to report $3.59 a share for the quarter, up from $3.04 a year ago. Revenue is projected at $59.7 billion, up 8.7% from a year ago.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is expected to report $2.04 a share in earnings, down slightly from a year ago’s $2.06, with revenue slipping 1.9% to $19.62 billion. The stock is up 5.5% this year.

2. Housing, Industrial Production Data Due

While earnings season is garnering the most attention, there are still economic indicators through the week.

Tomorrow brings data on housing and industrial production.

At 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT), the National Association of Home Builders issues its April housing market index.

On average, economists expect the index to edge up to 63, about the same as the past two months, according to forecasts compiled by .

March industrial production numbers come from the Federal Reserve at 9:15 AM ET.

Industrial production is expected to have risen 0.2% in March, with capacity utilization staying at 79.1%.

3. Will API Build Streak Continue?

Oil prices took a breather from their recent tearaway rally today on concerns about how much Russia wants to adhere to the OPEC+ production cut agreements.

Crude oil futures settled 49 cents lower at $63.40 after Russia’s finance minister touted the prospect of boosting output to protect market share.

Bears could get another hand tomorrow when the American Petroleum Institute’ snapshot of weekly U.S. oil inventories arrives, a day ahead of the official government tally.

The API data has shown three-straight weeks of builds.

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JB Hunt Earnings, Revenue Miss in Q1

- JB Hunt (NASDAQ:JBHT) reported first quarter earnings that missed analysts' expectations on Monday and revenue that fell short of forecasts.

The firm reported earnings per share of $1.09 on revenue of $2.09B. Analysts polled by expected EPS of $1.26 on revenue of $2.19B. That compared to EPS of $1.07 on revenue of $1.95B in the same period a year earlier. The company had reported EPS of $1.78 on revenue of $2.32B in the previous quarter.

JB Hunt shares lost 3.55% to trade at $101.75 in after-hours trade following the report.

JB Hunt follows other major Transportation sector earnings this month


On March 19, FedEx reported third quarter EPS of $3.03 on revenue of $17B, compared to forecasts of EPS of $3.08 on revenue of $17.58B.

Delta Air Lines earnings Beat analysts' expectations on Wednesday, with first quarter EPS of $0.96 on revenue of $10.42B. analysts expected EPS of $0.91 on revenue of $10.41B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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Stocks - S&P Ends Flat; Goldman Sachs Leads Financials Lower

- Stocks ended little changed on Monday as Goldman Sachs led banking stocks down following mixed quarterly results.

The S&P 500 lost 0.06% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1%.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) reported earnings that beat on the bottom line, but revenue fell short, sending shares down nearly 4%.

Analysts at Evercore said that investors are likely to take the show-me approach on Goldman for the rest of the year.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) also reported mixed results. Earnings topped expectations, but weaker-than-expected equity trading performance weighed on overall revenue, which missed estimates from . Its shares ended the day a tad lower.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), which report earnings on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, ended 1% lower.

Beyond earnings, falling energy stocks also weighed on the broader market as U.S. oil prices settled lower. Russia’s finance minister said Russia and OPEC may decide to boost production to protect market share amid a ramp-up in U.S. crude output.

Elsewhere, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) fell 2.7% after extending the cancellation of its Boeing 737 Max 8 flights from June until mid-August. The move comes as 737 Max jets were grounded worldwide following two deadly crashes in recent months. Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and United Continental (NASDAQ:UAL) also ended the day lower.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) fell 1% with U.S. President Donald Trump tweeting that the aircraft maker should upgrade and rebrand its troubled jet.

In a sign of investor skittishness, defensive corners of the market like consumer staples and health care provided some respite.

A slump in shares of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), meanwhile, weighed on the communication services sector, even as Piper Jaffray's Michael Olson said company's rollout of its hit game Apex Legends saw its minutes on Twitch more than triple in first quarter of this year from fourth quarter last year.

EA's Twitch viewership rose 281%, Take-Two's (NASDAQ:TTWO) rose 38% and Activision Blizzard's (NASDAQ:ATVI) fell 22%.

In other company news, Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) slumped 4.4% as competition looks set to heat up after a report that Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) was in talks to launch a free ad-supported music service as soon as this month.

On the economic front, a better-than-expected Empire State manufacturing report drew a fairly muted reaction Wall Street reaction.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM), UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) and Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS), Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) and Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

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Gold Dips With Sluggish Week Seen

By Barani Krishnan

- For gold longs, it's just not enough that the dollar dips whenever there's progress reported on the U.S.-China trade talks. Equities have to see a decent slide, too.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's remarks on Monday that Washington and Beijing might be “close to the final round” of their trade negotiations not only weakened the dollar, which had been a hedge to the trade war, but also limited Wall Street's downside from weaker financial earnings.

The S&P 500 remained about flat, and that wasn't too good for gold.

Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was down $2.63, or 0.2%, at $1,288.06 per ounce by 2:37 PM ET (18:38 GMT).

Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled the official session down $3.90, or 0.3%, at $1,291.30 per ounce.

U.S. data last week showing import prices rose for a third-straight month in March, coupled with positive Chinese export and euro zone industrial production numbers, assuaged some concerns over global growth that limited demand for gold as a safe haven.

The U.S. dollar index dipped about 0.03%.

"Optimistic outlook for trade agreements and tariffs bring unknown to gold traders," said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.

A shorter trading week from the upcoming Good Friday holiday was likely to keep gold bobbing at around $1,275 an ounce, with the possibility of a $50 premium to the upside if sentiment changed, he said.

"For now, outflows from funds and ETFs continue, and metals in general are seeing money come off the table," Gero added.

Palladium slid for a third-straight day, while remaining as the world's priciest traded metal.

Spot palladium was down $11.20, or 0.8%, at $1,362.90 an ounce. The silvery-white auto-catalyst metal, used for purifying gasoline emissions, traded some $300 above gold early last month before cutting that premium to less than $100 lately.

Trades in other Comex metals as of 2:37 PM ET (18:37 GMT):

Palladium futures down $14.85, or 1.1%, at $1,335.35 per ounce.

Platinum futures down $7.20, or 0.8%, at $891.30 per ounce.

Silver futures down 2 cents, or 0.1%, at $14.94 per ounce.

Copper futures down 1 cent, or 0.4%, at $2.93 per pound.

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Dollar Little Changed, Shrugs off Firmer NY Manufacturing Data

- The U.S dollar was little changed on Monday as a better-than-expected regional manufacturing report and dovish remarks on monetary policy from Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans failed to trigger a meaningful move in the greenback.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.05% to 96.55.

The Empire State manufacturing index rose 6.4 points in April to a reading of 10.10, the New York Federal Reserve said Monday. That beat estimates for a reading of 6.70.

"The Empire State headline bounced in April to a 4-month high of 10.1 from a 2-year low of 3.7 in March ... leaving solid growth prospects for the Q2 factory sector that bucks the market’s fears earlier in the year," Action Economics said in a note.

The report arrived as Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans, one of the dovish voters on the Fed's rate-setting committee, said he expected the central bank to remain on pause until the fall of 2020.

“I can see the funds rate being flat and unchanged into the fall of 2020,” he said Monday during a television interview on CNBC. “For me, that’s to help support the inflation outlook and make sure that it’s sustainable at two or a little bit above; that would be fine, too.”

Evans' remarks come as President Donald Trump launched a fresh onslaught on the Fed, accusing the central bank of not doing its job properly in its pursuit of quantitative tightening strategies.

"Quantitative tightening was a killer, should have done the exact opposite!," Trump said in a tweet.

GBP/USD rose 0.10% to $1.3094 amid a lack of Brexit-related news and top-tier economic data.

EUR/USD rose 0.02% to $1.1304 and USD/JPY rose 0.01% to Y112.02.

USD/CAD climbed 0.36% to C$1.3368, with the loonie coming under pressure on falling U.S. oil prices after Russia’s finance minister said Russia and OPEC may decide to boost production to protect market share amid a ramp up in U.S. crude output.

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Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 0.17%

– Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Technology, Financials and Basic Materials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX added 0.17%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV (AS:AD), which rose 2.01% or 0.440 points to trade at 22.370 at the close. Meanwhile, Koninklijke Philips NV (AS:PHG) added 1.35% or 0.47 points to end at 35.70 and ABN AMRO Group NV (AS:ABNd) was up 1.32% or 0.28 points to 21.48 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG), which fell 2.25% or 2.450 points to trade at 106.500 at the close. ASML Holding NV (AS:ASML) declined 0.93% or 1.66 points to end at 177.06 and Adyen NV (AS:ADYEN) was down 0.69% or 4.80 points to 689.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 92 to 43 and 7 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 1.48% to 10.52 a new 6-months low.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 0.81% or 0.52 to $63.37 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.60% or 0.43 to hit $71.12 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.31% or 4.00 to trade at $1291.20 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.02% to 1.1303, while EUR/GBP fell 0.19% to 0.8629.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.05% at 96.547.

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U.K. stocks higher at close of trade; Investing.com United Kingdom 100 up 0.03%

– U.K. stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Mobile Telecommunications, Electronic&Electrical Equipment and Fixed Line Telecommunications sectors led shares higher.

At the close in London, the United Kingdom 100 added 0.03%.

The best performers of the session on the United Kingdom 100 were Paddy Power Betfair PLC (LON:PPB), which rose 3.05% or 188.00 points to trade at 6348.00 at the close. Meanwhile, EasyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) added 2.21% or 25.50 points to end at 1176.50 and Travis Perkins PLC (LON:TPK) was up 2.04% or 28.50 points to 1427.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Compass Group PLC (LON:CPG), which fell 2.20% or 39.50 points to trade at 1753.50 at the close. Anglo American PLC (LON:AAL) declined 2.01% or 44.50 points to end at 2165.00 and Antofagasta PLC (LON:ANTO) was down 1.96% or 20.00 points to 1002.50.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the London Stock Exchange by 1271 to 829 and 323 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.24% or 3.05 to $1292.15 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.74% or 0.47 to hit $63.42 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.53% or 0.38 to trade at $71.17 a barrel.

GBP/USD was up 0.16% to 1.3102, while EUR/GBP fell 0.17% to 0.8630.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.07% at 96.532.

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Denmark stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 up 0.22%

– Denmark stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Consumer Services, Oil&Gas and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 gained 0.22%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were Ambu A/S (CO:AMBUb), which rose 7.40% or 13.0 points to trade at 188.7 at the close. Meanwhile, AP Moeller - Maersk A/S B (CO:MAERSKb) added 1.22% or 104 points to end at 8618 and Carlsberg A/S B (CO:CARLb) was up 1.04% or 8.8 points to 856.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Genmab (CO:GEN), which fell 0.86% or 10.0 points to trade at 1149.0 at the close. Chr. Hansen Holding A/S (CO:CHRH) declined 0.78% or 5.2 points to end at 659.4 and Novo Nordisk A/S Class B (CO:NOVOb) was down 0.43% or 1.4 points to 332.4.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 78 to 50 and 19 ended unchanged.

Shares in Carlsberg A/S B (CO:CARLb) rose to all time highs; gaining 1.04% or 8.8 to 856.0.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 1.08% or 0.69 to $63.20 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.70% or 0.50 to hit $71.05 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.23% or 2.95 to trade at $1292.25 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was down 0.05% to 6.6025, while EUR/DKK fell 0.06% to 7.4649.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.08% at 96.518.

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Israel stocks lower at close of trade; TA 35 down 0.13%

– Israel stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Biomed, Oil&Gas and Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 declined 0.13%.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Strauss Group (TA:STRS), which rose 2.36% or 215 points to trade at 9340 at the close. Meanwhile, Airport City Ltd (TA:ARPT) added 1.67% or 100 points to end at 6085 and Azrieli Group Ltd (TA:AZRG) was up 1.26% or 280 points to 22580 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp Ltd (TA:BEZQ), which fell 3.71% or 9.6 points to trade at 249.4 at the close. Isramco Negev 2 LP (TA:ISRAp) declined 3.66% or 1.4 points to end at 36.9 and Delek Drilling LP (TA:DEDRp) was down 2.92% or 34 points to 1130.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 208 to 170 and 44 ended unchanged.

Shares in Strauss Group (TA:STRS) rose to all time highs; up 2.36% or 215 to 9340. Shares in Airport City Ltd (TA:ARPT) rose to all time highs; rising 1.67% or 100 to 6085. Shares in Azrieli Group Ltd (TA:AZRG) rose to all time highs; gaining 1.26% or 280 to 22580.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 1.05% or 0.67 to $63.22 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.66% or 0.47 to hit $71.08 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.24% or 3.15 to trade at $1292.05 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was down 0.07% to 3.5630, while EUR/ILS fell 0.10% to 4.0283.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.07% at 96.530.

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Turkey stocks lower at close of trade; BIST 100 down 0.82%

– Turkey stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Basic Metals, Holdings&Investments and Chemical, Petroleum&Plastic sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Istanbul, the BIST 100 declined 0.82%.

The best performers of the session on the BIST 100 were Gersan Elektrik Ticaret ve Sanayi AS (IS:GEREL), which rose 4.95% or 0.100 points to trade at 2.120 at the close. Meanwhile, Vestel Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS (IS:VESTL) added 4.00% or 0.510 points to end at 13.250 and Ittifak Holding AS (IS:ITTFH) was up 2.80% or 0.130 points to 4.770 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ihlas Holding AS (IS:IHLAS), which fell 4.65% or 0.020 points to trade at 0.410 at the close. Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS (IS:SAHOL) declined 3.29% or 0.26 points to end at 7.64 and Turkiye Sise ve Cam Fabrikalari AS (IS:SISE) was down 3.13% or 0.190 points to 5.890.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Istanbul Stock Exchange by 185 to 168 and 51 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.23% or 2.95 to $1292.25 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 1.08% or 0.69 to hit $63.20 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.73% or 0.52 to trade at $71.03 a barrel.

USD/TRY was up 0.82% to 5.8159, while EUR/TRY rose 0.85% to 6.5768.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.09% at 96.507.

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Tesla Falls Midday as Musk Tweets Production Forecasts

- Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk just can’t keep off social media and with the Securities and Exchange Commission keeping close watch, investors are weary.

Tesla stock fell 2.8% in midday trading Monday after Musk tweeted a production forecast, which was similar to the one that the SEC sued him over a few months ago. The agency said previously that the comments from two months ago were a violation of a settlement he made with the SEC.

Musk wrote via Twitter that Tesla will make more than 500,000 cars in the next 12 months.

The tweet comes as Musk is negotiations with the SEC over attempts to put in controls over his tweeting. A U.S. judge has given the two until April 18 to resolve their differences or she will rule whether or not Musk is in contempt of court.

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U.S. Dollar Flat as Trump Renews Fed Criticism

- The greenback remained under pressure Monday as investors remained cautious after U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his criticism of the Federal Reserve over the weekend.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.1% to 96.495 as of 10:52 AM ET (14:52 GMT).

On Friday, Trump blamed the Fed for slowing growth in the U.S. and falling stock prices due to its tightening monetary policy, saying via Twitter that “it the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5,000 to 10,000 additional points, and GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3%.”

Trading is expected to be slow this week, as markets are closed for the Easter holiday on Friday.

The dollar rose against the safe-haven yen, with USD/JPY gaining 0.02% to 112.00.

Elsewhere, sterling was higher, even as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said the country was making plans for a hard Brexit despite an October deadline for the country’s exit from the European Union. The U.K. had originally been due to leave the EU on March 29, but the deadline has since been extended multiple times. GBP/USD inched up 0.2% to 1.3108.

Elsewhere, USD/CAD rose 0.5% to 1.3382 and EUR/USD inched up 0.05% to 1.1306.

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NVIDIA Falls 3%

- NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) fell by 3.02% to trade at $184.29 by 10:29 (14:29 GMT) on Monday on the NASDAQ exchange.

The volume of NVIDIA shares traded since the start of the session was 3.31M. NVIDIA has traded in a range of $184.26 to $189.90 on the day.

The stock has traded at $193.4700 at its highest and $184.0600 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Stocks - Goldman Sachs, Boeing Fall Premarket; Waste Management Rises

- Stocks in focus in premarket trading on Monday:

  • Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) stock fell 1.75% by 8:42 AM ET (12:42GMT) after its revenue disappointed due to market conditions, even as its earnings rose.
  • Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) stock was down 1.6% after the bank lowered its outlook for net interest income on Friday.
  • Citigroup (NYSE:C) stock rose 0.86% after it reported earnings of $1.87 per share, compared to expectations of EPS of $1.80, while its revenue was less than expected. The results follow news of President Jamie Forese's retirement on Thursday. He was thought to be a potential successor to CEO Michael Corbat.
  • Boeing (NYSE:BA) stock slipped 1.16% after news that American Airlines has joined Southwest in cancelling all 737 Max 8 flights over the summer high travel season.
  • Waste Management (NYSE:WM) stock gained 3.99% on news that it is buying Advanced Disposal in a $5 billion deal.
  • Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) stock was down 1.2% after its board elected Corie Barry to become the company's new CEO. Barry is currently chief financial and strategic transformation officer.
  • Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS) slumped 4.8% after announcing it is selling its Epsilon unit to French advertising group Publicis (PA:PUBP).
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Citigroup Earnings Beat, Revenue Misses In Q1

- Citigroup (NYSE:C) reported first quarter earnings that Beat analysts' expectations on Monday and revenue that fell short of forecasts.

The firm reported earnings per share of $1.87 on revenue of $18.58B. Analysts polled by forecast EPS of $1.8 on revenue of $18.61B. That compared to EPS of $1.68 on revenue of $18.87B in the same period a year earlier. The company had reported EPS of $1.61 on revenue of $17.12B in the previous quarter.

Citigroup shares gained 0.04% to trade at $67.45 in pre-market trade following the report.

Citigroup follows other major Financial sector earnings this month


On Friday, JPMorgan reported first quarter EPS of $2.65 on revenue of $29.85B, compared to forecasts of EPS of $2.35 on revenue of $28.44B.

Wells Fargo&Co earnings Beat analysts' expectations on Friday, with first quarter EPS of $1.2 on revenue of $21.61B. analysts expected EPS of $1.11 on revenue of $20.99B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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Stocks - U.S. Futures Muted Ahead of Goldman, Citi Earnings

- U.S. futures pointed to a flat opening, as investors waited for earnings results from financial giants Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C).

With markets closed on Friday for the Easter holiday, trading is expected to be muted this week, even as earnings season kicks off. JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) started off the first-quarter season with a bang on Friday when it posted record revenue and profit.

Dow futures rose 41 points or 0.2% by 6:40 AM ET (10:40 GMT), while S&P 500 futures gained half-a-point or 0.03% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures was down one-and-a-half points or 0.02%.

Besides Goldman and Citi, Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) and M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB) are also expected to report before the morning bell.

Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) was among the top gainers in premarket trading, rising 2.3%, while Micron (NASDAQ:MU) gained 0.8% and Nike (NYSE:NKE) gained 0.8%.

Elsewhere, Boeing (NYSE:BA) inched down 0.1% after news that American Airlines has joined Southwest in cancelling all 737 Max 8 flights over the summer. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) slipped 0.1% while Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) fell 1.3% after the bank lowered its outlook for net interest income on Friday.

On the economic front, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans speaks on CNBC at 8.30 AM ET (12:30 GMT), while Empire State manufacturing data is also out at the same time.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,289.45 a troy ounce, while crude oil slumped 0.9% to $63.34 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.1% to 96.48.

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Crypto Wrap: Digital Currency Prices Slip after Hitting 2019 Highs

- Cryptocurrency prices are down slightly since hitting a 2019 high last Wednesday on news that Visa (NYSE:V) is launching a crypto card with Coinbase.

The market paused as investors wait to see if digital currencies can continue to hold onto their momentum.

Last Wednesday, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization hit a year-to-date high of $186 billion, according to CoinMarketCap, before pulling back.

The upward trend started in April, after Bitcoin prices skyrocketed for no apparent reason and virtual coins seem to be holding on to those gains.

Bitcoin fell 1.2% in the last seven days to $5,144.10, despite surging to a 2019 high of $5,372 on the Index on Wednesday.

Cryptocurrencies overall were at $176 billion at the time of writing.

In the seven days to Monday, Ethereum was down 6.8% to $166.67 and XRP fell 8% to $0.32581, while Litecoin slipped 7.5% to $82.54.

The move lower comes amid news that the IMF and World Bank are launching a digital coin to study how alternative currencies work and reports that Visa is teaming up with Coinbase to offer a debit card for users in the U.K.

The debit card, which is issued by Visa, will allow Coinbase users to spend their bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin balances. It works by converting the cryptocurrency to fiat when the card is used, with the merchant receiving the local currency.

"This is the first debit card to link directly with a major cryptocurrency exchange, allowing people to spend their crypto balances direct from their Coinbase account," Coinbase said in a statement. "Previously available crypto cards required users to pre-load a specified amount of crypto onto their card, adding a point of friction to the process."

Meanwhile, the IMF and World Bank have launched a Learning Coin, which the bank will use to understand the technology behind digital assets. The coin has no monetary value and will only be accessible to the IMF and World Bank, the Financial Times reported.

Still, the news is welcome to crypto enthusiasts, as it could help regulators better understand the risks associated with Bitcoin and other assets and lead to more consistent regulation from financial watchdogs.

The testing of the coin could also lead to smart contracts and help the bank combat money laundering.

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Japan stocks higher at close of trade; Nikkei 225 up 1.37%

– Japan stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Transportation Equipment, Communication and Retail sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.37% to hit a new 3-months high.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Taiyo Yuden Co., Ltd. (T:6976), which rose 5.42% or 134.0 points to trade at 2606.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd. (T:7735) added 4.99% or 245.0 points to end at 5150.0 and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (T:9107) was up 4.86% or 67.0 points to 1446.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd. (T:1925), which fell 3.80% or 124.0 points to trade at 3142.0 at the close. Suzuki Motor Corp. (T:7269) declined 2.32% or 115.0 points to end at 4834.0 and Rakuten Inc (T:4755) was down 1.47% or 16.0 points to 1073.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2820 to 722 and 195 ended unchanged.

Shares in Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd. (T:1925) fell to 52-week lows; losing 3.80% or 124.0 to 3142.0. Shares in Suzuki Motor Corp. (T:7269) fell to 52-week lows; falling 2.32% or 115.0 to 4834.0.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 2.31% to 15.24 a new 6-months low.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 0.53% or 0.34 to $63.55 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.24% or 0.17 to hit $71.38 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.42% or 5.45 to trade at $1289.75 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was down 0.05% to 111.94, while EUR/JPY rose 0.05% to 126.69.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.15% at 96.453.

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Dollar Lower on Trump Tirades, Risk-Friendly Backdrop

nvesting.com -- The dollar was slightly lower in early trading in Europe Monday, as risk assets around the world benefit from last week’s events that included an encouraging start to earnings season in the U.S. and further signs that the Chinese economy is regaining momentum.

At 04:00 AM ET (0800 GMT), the euro was up 0.1% from late Friday in Europe at $1.1315, while the British pound was also a fraction higher at $1.3085 but still hamstrung by the continued political deadlock over Brexit.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was at 96.480, down 0.1%

The dollar came under attack again from the White House at the weekend, as President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on the Federal Reserve via Twitter, blaming it for slowing growth and damping stock prices by tightening monetary policy.

Trump’s repeated attacks on the Fed go starkly against the convention of letting it conduct monetary policy without political pressure, making it harder for the central bank to raise interest rates, even if it were minded to. Its own data suggest policy makers don’t intend to tighten policy any further this year after halting a process of balance sheet reduction in September.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said at the International Monetary Fund’s meeting on Saturday that he was “certainly concerned about central bank independence,” and especially “in the most important jurisdiction in the world.”

There have been recent signs that the administration is trying to put its stamp on Fed policy by nominating Trump loyalists to the Fed’s board. However, Republican senators signalled last week they weren’t prepared to support Herman Cain, one Trump ally mooted as a future Fed governor.

Draghi and other ECB officials were also cautiously upbeat about a recovery in the Eurozone economy in the second half of the year, something that economists say looks more likely now that the Chinese economy appears to have stabilized. Analysts at Nordea Markets said on Sunday they’re now targeting EUR/USD at $1.1650.

Elsewhere, the dollar was also a fraction lower against the yen, but higher against the kiwi after some weak economic data in New Zealand.

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Crypto Up; IMF and World Bank Launch Quasi-Cryptocurrency

- Bitcoin rebounded to above the $5,000 level and other major cryptocurrencies traded higher as the week opened in Asia. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have jointly introduced a quasi-cryptocurrency called “Learning Coin” for research.

Bitcoin rose 2.07% to $5,142 by 12:00 PM ET (04:00 AM GMT). The digital coin lost its grip on the $5,000 level last Friday but regained momentum on Monday morning.

Ethereum added 3.32% to $167.12, XRP gained 0.72% to $0.32699 and Litecoin surged 7.46% to $83.138.

The crypto market cap went higher to $176.5 billion from $169 billion last Friday.

The Financial Times reported that the IMF and World Bank launched the “Learning Coin” to study the technologies that underlie the cryptocurrencies. The coin will be used only within the IMF and the World Bank and has no money.

“The development of crypto-assets and distributed ledger technology is evolving rapidly, as is the amount of information (both neutral and vested) surrounding it. This is forcing central banks, regulators and financial institutions to recognize a growing knowledge gap between the legislators, policymakers, economists and the technology,” the Financial Times cited the IMF.

By launching a private blockchain and the coin, both institutions aim to understand better the technologies revolving around cryptocurrencies, such as smart contract, distributed ledger, challenges across crypto-ecosystem, and so forth.

While the IMF signifies a willingness to learn more about the technologies that underpin cryptocurrencies, its head Christine Legarde delivered a sharp criticism to the digital tokens last week.

Speaking to CNBC last Wednesday, Legarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, warned that cryptocurrencies could act as a catalyst to shake up the banking and finance industries.

“I think the role of the disruptors and anything that is using distributed ledger technology, whether you call it crypto, assets, currencies, or whatever ... that is clearly shaking the system,” she said.

In other news, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) CEO David Solomon said the bank did not have plans to open a crypto trading desk.

On April 10, Solomon said before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee that the bank has engaged with clients involving in clearing physically-settled crypto futures, but there were no plans for a trading desk as reported.

“The first [Bloomberg article] wasn’t correct. Like others, we are watching and [...] doing work to try to understand the cryptocurrency market as it develops [...] but we never had plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk,” he said.

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Oil Prices Fall, Still Up By More Than 30% YTD; Libya Conflict in Spotlight

- Oil prices fell on Monday in Asia but still surged by more than 30% year-to-date. Libya conflict is back under the spotlight today.

U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures fell 0.4% to $63.62 by 12:10 AM ET (04:10 GMT), while international Brent Oil Futures slipped 0.2% to $71.42.

Year-to-date, U.S. crude is up 41% while the U.K. benchmark shows a 32% rise, supported by production cuts led by the OPEC.

OPEC, Russia and other non-member producers have been reducing output by 1.2 million bpd since the beginning of 2019. The producers are due to meet in June to decide whether to extend the pact.

In an earlier report, Reuters cited an OPEC source that said oil producers might decide to end their output cuts during the meeting if he Libya, Venezuelan and Iranian supply crises weren’t resolved by then.

In other news, the U.S. oil rig count, published by industry firm Baker Hughes, rose by two units this week after last week's 15-rig climb.

last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in its weekly supply-demand report that production had reached a new high of 12.2 million barrels per day.

Meanwhile, the Libyan conflict remained in focus as reports on Friday suggested that renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar had vowed to wipe out the North African country's oil production if he gained control of the capital, Tripoli.

The North African country, which produces about 1.1 million barrels per day of oil, has been vulnerable since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gadaffi. Haftar’s forces control more than 40% of Libya’s oilfields and the key ports that export its crude.

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U.S. Dollar Down on Downbeat Consumer Sentiment Data; Yuan Slightly Lower

- The U.S. dollar edged down on Monday in Asia after the University of Michigan reported on Friday that U.S. consumer sentiment was below expectations.

It will be a holiday-shortened week, with most major financial markets closed on Friday for the start of the Easter holidays.

U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was down 0.1% to 96.477.

The Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to a reading of 96.9, well below expectations for a reading of 98.1, following two-straight months that saw gains above expectations.

The data is unlikely to prompt the Federal Reserve to divert from its wait-and-see approach to monetary policy.

Meanwhile, the Yuan is trading slightly lower against the U.S. dollar even after Washington softened demand in the trade deal, Reuters reported on Monday, noting that US negotiators have tempered demands that China curbs industrial subsidies as a condition for a trade agreement.

On Friday, China released stronger-than-expected trade and credit data that showed exports rebounded last month, easing concerns of a global economic growth slowdown.

Data on fixed asset investment, industrial production and first quarter growth are set to be released on Wednesday.

The AUD/USD pair traded near flat at 0.7172. The Reserve Bank of Australia is due to publish the minutes of its latest policy meeting on Tuesday. The jobs report is due later in the week.

The GBP/USD pair inched up 0.1% to 1.3095. The EU granted a delay to Brexit until October 31 to allow moew time for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to come up with a deal that lawmakers are willing to support.

The USD/JPY pair slipped 0.1% to 111.92.

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Asian Stocks Rise as Stronger-Than-Expected China Data Lift Investor Sentiment

- Asian stocks rose in morning trade on Monday as stronger-than-expected China trade and credit data released on Friday boosted investor sentiment.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component both rose 1.8% by 10:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 1.2%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.3%, while South Korea’s KOSPI edged up 0.7%.

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened to impose levies of as much as 25% on all imported cars, including those made in Japan.

“Japan is now negotiating,” Trump told reporters. “They haven’t wanted to negotiate for many years, but now they’re negotiating. It’s called ‘tariffs.’”

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 edged down 0.1%.

The release of China’s trade and credit data on Friday, which came better than expected, eased concerns about a global economic growth slowdown provided some continuing support to Asian equities today.

The data came a couple of days after the International Monetary Fund slashed its global economic growth forecast for 2019.

Meanwhile, positive developments in the Sino-U.S. trade talks also lifted investor sentiment.

It was reported earlier last week that the two sides have agreed on an enforcement mechanism to police any trade deal they agree on in the future.

“There are certain commitments that the United States is making in this agreement, and there are certain commitments that China is making,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Saturday at the IMF meetings in Washington.

“I would expect that the enforcement mechanism works in both directions, that we expect to honor our commitments, and if we don’t, there should be certain repercussions, and the same way in the other direction,” he said, adding that the two countries are considering to hold more in-person meetings.

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Saudi Arabia stocks lower at close of trade; Tadawul All Share down 0.36%

– Saudi Arabia stocks were lower after the close on Sunday, as losses in the Media&Publishing, Financial Services and Retail sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share fell 0.36%.

The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were ACE ARABIA COOPERATIVE INSURANCE (SE:8240), which rose 7.22% or 1.90 points to trade at 28.20 at the close. Meanwhile, Aldrees Petroleum&Transport Svcs (SE:4200) added 5.23% or 1.50 points to end at 30.20 and AXA Cooperative Insurance Company (SE:8250) was up 4.23% or 1.10 points to 27.10 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Allied Cooperative Insurance Group SJSC (SE:8150), which fell 5.92% or 1.26 points to trade at 20.02 at the close. Al Baha Investment and Development Company SJSC (SE:4130) declined 3.50% or 0.74 points to end at 20.40 and BANK ALBILAD (SE:1140) was down 2.45% or 0.65 points to 25.90.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 90 to 84 and 17 ended unchanged.

Shares in ACE ARABIA COOPERATIVE INSURANCE (SE:8240) rose to 52-week highs; rising 7.22% or 1.90 to 28.20.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.35% or 0.22 to $63.80 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.97% or 0.69 to hit $71.52 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.03% or 0.35 to trade at $1293.65 a troy ounce.

EUR/SAR was up 0.44% to 4.2375, while USD/SAR rose 0.00% to 3.7504.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.26% at 96.560.

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Economic Calendar - Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

- Dozens of companies from a range of industries, including technology, financials and consumer products, will report quarterly results in the week ahead as the first-quarter earnings season on Wall Street gets underway.

Meanwhile, U.S. economic reports will remain in focus as investors watch for further signals on the strength of the economy, with the latest retail sales report topping the agenda.

Elsewhere, China will be the first major economy to report first-quarter growth data when it publishes its GDP numbers this week. While the world's second-largest economy has shown some signs of steadying recently, analysts caution it is too early to tell if the newfound momentum can be sustained.

In Europe, markets are keeping an eye on flash PMI surveys on manufacturing and service sector activity, which should give further indication of how the region's economy is faring amid global trade conflicts and messy Brexit negotiations.

Market players will also focus on this week's Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

1. U.S. Q1 Earnings Season

The U.S. first-quarter earnings season got off to a strong start with JPMorgan Chase's (NYSE:JPM) quarterly earnings report on Friday.

Rival Wall Street lenders Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) report their latest results on Monday, followed by Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) on Tuesday and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) on Wednesday.

Some of other high-profile names reporting this week are Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and IBM (NYSE:IBM), both due Tuesday after the closing bell.

Results from Netflix will be particularly in focus after Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) gave details last week about its direct-to-consumer streaming service, which will launch on Nov. 12 at a cost of $6.99 per month.

Pepsico (NASDAQ:PEP), UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), United Continental (NASDAQ:UAL), CSX (NASDAQ:CSX), Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT), Honeywell (NYSE:HON), and American Express (NYSE:AXP) are also slated to post earnings during the week.

2. U.S. Retail Sales

The Commerce Department will release data on retail sales for March at 8:30AM ET (12:30 GMT) on Thursday.

The consensus forecast is that the report will show retail sales rose 0.9%, following a shock decline of 0.2% in February.

Excluding the automobile sector, sales are expected to grow 0.7%, after falling 0.4% in the preceding month.

Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy.

Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.

This week's holiday-shortened calendar also features the latest Empire State and Philadelphia Fed surveys, as well as data on building permits and housing starts.

U.S. markets will remain closed on Friday for Good Friday.

3. China Q1 GDP

China will post its first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) on Wednesday morning.

The data is expected to show the world's second-largest economy grew 6.3% in the first three months of 2019, slowing from the previous quarter's 6.4% pace, as sluggish demand at home and abroad weigh on activity despite a flurry of policy support measures.

The Asian nation will also publish data on March industrial production, fixed asset investment and retail sales along with the GDP report.

Recent data has shown that China's economy may be losing steam, underlining concerns about the fallout from the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute.

4. Flash Euro Zone PMIs

IHS Markit's composite flash Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the euro zone is due at 4:00AM ET (09:00 GMT) on Thursday, amid expectations for a slight increase to 51.7 from the prior month's reading of 51.6.

The index measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors and is seen as a good guide to overall economic health.

Ahead of the euro zone PMI's, France and Germany will release their own PMI reports at 3:15AM ET (8:15 GMT) and 3:30AM ET (8:30 GMT) respectively.

With the economy and inflation both slowing, the European Central Bank has already backtracked on its plans to tighten policy this year, unveiling instead even more stimulus to prop up an export-focused economy now struggling amid a global slowdown in trade.

5. OPEC Meeting

Oil ministers from OPEC, Russia and other major producing countries will meet in Vienna on Wednesday and Thursday to decide on production policy for the next six months.

According to sources, OPEC and its partners are unlikely to decide on their output policy this week as it would be too early to get a clear picture of the impact of their supply cuts on the market by then.

Instead, the sources said the production policy by the so-called OPEC+ alliance is expected to be agreed on in June with an extension of the pact the likely scenario so far.

OPEC, which together with some non-affiliated producers like Russia, known as 'OPEC+', agreed late last year to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months.

The combined supply cuts have helped to drive a 32% rally in crude prices this year to nearly $72 a barrel, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to call on OPEC to ease its market-supporting efforts.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

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Weekly Outlook: April 15 -19

- The economic calendar in the U.S. is busy this week, with updates due on the housing market, retail sales, industrial production and trade which will give investors fresh insights into the health of the broader economy.

A number of Fed speakers are also on the docket, including Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard.

China is to release what will be closely watched economic data, including a look at first quarter growth on Wednesday, after a flurry of soft data from the world’s second largest economy spooked investors earlier this year.

It will also be a holiday shortened week, with most major financial markets closed on Friday for the start of the Easter holidays.

The U.S. dollar slid to its lowest level in two weeks against the euro on Friday as risk appetite was boosted by signs of economic stabilization in China and a strong start to U.S. corporate earnings season.

Chinese data showed exports rebounded last month, helping offset weaker imports, and reports of another reduction in Germany’s growth forecasts, analysts said.

Data from Europe was encouraging, with euro zone industrial output declining by less than expected in February.

“It’s a party-like atmosphere for markets. Good news from China and U.S. earnings off to an auspicious start,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.

“This has safe-havens on their back foot, that’s why the dollar is underperforming,” he said.

Against the Japanese yen, which tends to benefit during geopolitical or financial stress as Japan is the world’s biggest creditor nation, the dollar rose 0.34%.

The Australian dollar, which is sensitive to shifts in risk sentiment, was up 0.69%.

The British pound pushed higher against the greenback as traders were encouraged by the immediate risks around Brexit being pushed back by this week’s delay to the exit date. Sterling was up 0.19% at $1.3077.

The pound was weaker against the firmer euro, with the single currency up 0.23% to 0.8632 in late trade.

ING analysts said they expect sterling to fall over the next few months, in part because a Conservative party leadership battle could result in a hardline eurosceptic prime minister, and also because the six-month Brexit delay was too short for the Bank of England to tighten monetary policy.

The “partial clean-up of the GBP short positioning (and some built-up of new speculative longs) since the beginning of the year can also add to the reversal as GBP positioning is no longer meaningfully skewed one way,” the analysts wrote.

The Dutch bank predicts sterling will test levels of 88 pence per euro and $1.27.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, April 15

The Bank of Canada is to publish its business outlook survey.

Fed Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren are on the docket to speak.

Tuesday, April 16

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest policy meeting.

The U.K. is to release its employment report.

The ZEW Institute is to publish a report on German economic sentiment.

Canada is to release data on manufacturing sales.

The U.S. is to report on industrial production.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan is to speak.

Wednesday, April 17

New Zealand is to publish inflation data.

China is to release figures on first quarter growth along with data on fixed asset investment and industrial production.

The U.K. is to report on inflation.

Canada is to produce data on trade and inflation.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is to speak at an event in Paris.

The Fed is to publish its Beige Book.

Philly Fed President Patrick Harker and St. Louis Fed head James Bullard are to speak.

Thursday, April 18

Australia is to publish its jobs report.

The euro zone is to release data on private sector activity.

The U.K. is to release data on retail sales.

Canada and the U.S. are both to publish figures on retail sales and the U.S. is also to release the Philly Fed manufacturing index and the weekly report on jobless claims.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is to speak.

Friday, April 19

Financial markets in Hong Kong, Europe and the U.S. will be closed for the start of the Easter holidays.

The U.S. is to publish data on building permits and housing starts.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

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Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.49%

– Canada stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Energy, IT and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite gained 0.49% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Canopy Growth Corp (TO:WEED), which rose 5.46% or 2.920 points to trade at 56.370 at the close. Meanwhile, Encana Corporation (TO:ECA) added 5.43% or 0.52 points to end at 10.09 and Crescent Point Energy Corp . (TO:CPG) was up 5.04% or 0.27 points to 5.63 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Bausch Health Companies Inc (TO:BHC), which fell 4.78% or 1.66 points to trade at 33.08 at the close. Torex Gold Resources Inc (TO:TXG) declined 3.93% or 0.550 points to end at 13.440 and MAG Silver Corp (TO:MAG) was down 3.79% or 0.51 points to 12.95.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 621 to 443 and 136 ended unchanged.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was down 7.75% to 10.83.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.03% or 0.35 to $1293.65 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.35% or 0.22 to hit $63.80 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.97% or 0.69 to trade at $71.52 a barrel.

CAD/USD was up 0.46% to 0.7503, while CAD/EUR rose 0.12% to 0.6644.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.26% at 96.560.

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France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.31%

– France stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Consumer Goods, Consumer Services and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.31% to hit a new 6-months high, while the SBF 120 index climbed 0.38%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Societe Generale SA (PA:SOGN), which rose 3.97% or 1.07 points to trade at 28.00 at the close. Meanwhile, BNP Paribas SA (PA:BNPP) added 3.37% or 1.51 points to end at 46.31 and Valeo SA (PA:VLOF) was up 3.24% or 0.95 points to 30.24 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Sanofi SA (PA:SASY), which fell 2.26% or 1.74 points to trade at 75.40 at the close. Accor SA (PA:ACCP) declined 1.49% or 0.56 points to end at 37.13 and Engie SA (PA:ENGIE) was down 1.31% or 0.17 points to 13.20.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Eutelsat Communications SA (PA:ETL) which rose 4.71% to 15.90, Eramet SA (PA:ERMT) which was up 4.69% to settle at 59.32 and Technicolor (PA:TCH) which gained 4.20% to close at 1.166.

The worst performers were Rubis SCA (PA:RUBF) which was down 3.77% to 48.00 in late trade, Sanofi SA (PA:SASY) which lost 2.26% to settle at 75.40 and Klepierre SA (PA:LOIM) which was down 2.02% to 32.03 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 353 to 217 and 99 ended unchanged.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 3.30% to 12.24 a new 6-months low.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.07% or 0.85 to $1294.15 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.39% or 0.25 to hit $63.83 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 1.06% or 0.75 to trade at $71.58 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.43% to 1.1299, while EUR/GBP rose 0.32% to 0.8642.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.25% at 96.570.

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Netherlands stocks lower at close of trade; AEX down 0.04%

– Netherlands stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Technology, Healthcare and Consumer Goods sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX fell 0.04%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were ING Groep NV (AS:INGA), which rose 3.62% or 0.414 points to trade at 11.866 at the close. Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT) added 2.33% or 0.457 points to end at 20.055 and Aalberts Industries NV (AS:AALB) was up 2.17% or 0.71 points to 33.45 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV (AS:AD), which fell 4.40% or 1.010 points to trade at 21.930 at the close. Koninklijke KPN NV (AS:KPN) declined 3.90% or 0.112 points to end at 2.763 and Relx PLC (AS:REL) was down 1.89% or 0.365 points to 18.990.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 71 to 61 and 11 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 2.96% to 10.68 a new 6-months low.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.36% or 0.23 to $63.81 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 1.04% or 0.74 to hit $71.57 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.06% or 0.80 to trade at $1294.10 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.42% to 1.1297, while EUR/GBP rose 0.31% to 0.8642.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.24% at 96.572.

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3 Things Under the Radar This Week

- Here’s a look at three things that were under the radar this past week.

1. Not All Yield Curve Inversions Are Created Equal

To many, an inverted yield curve is taken as gospel of economic doom and gloom, having preceded every recession over the past four decades. But some question whether shorter-term rates rising faster than longer-term rates (an inverted yield curve) carries the harrowing threat it once did.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard certainly thinks it does.

In a speech in Mississippi earlier this week, Bullard argued a "meaningful and sustained inversion of the Treasury yield curve would be a bearish signal for the U.S. economy."

An inversion would suggest that financial markets expect less inflation and less growth ahead for the U.S. economy than does the FOMC, he added.

Bullard's comments are hardly a new take on the implication of an inverted yield curve - far from it - but they are somewhat out of kilter with those of his colleagues.

In typical Fed speak, members said that the "unusually low level of term premiums in longer-term interest rates made historical relationships a less reliable basis for assessing the implications of the recent behavior of the yield curve," according to the minutes of Fed's March meeting released Wednesday.

The Fed ranks high on the list of suspects culpable for the low level of term premium, which is what investors get for holding a longer-term bond over a shorter-term one.

At the height of the Financial Crisis, the Fed's main tool, its benchmark rate, ran out of road after rates were slashed to zero. So, the Fed hatched a plan to buy longer-dated bonds in an effort to jumpstart credit markets and the broader economy.

With its printing press, or QE program, in full flow, the Fed, during a five-year stint, was the only game in town at the longer end of the curve. It ramped up purchases of Treasuries, ushering in an era of unusually low yields in longer-term bonds.

The Fed's meddling in the bond market led many to believe that the Treasury curve's prophetic powers are not as strong as they were. In the face of an inverted yield curve, therefore, some are quick to say "this time it's different" and an imminent recession is unlikely.

Bullard's New York counterpart John Williams (NYSE:WMB) agrees with that assessment. Earlier this week, Williams said the flattening yield curve is not signaling a recession, as its reputation for predicting downturns may be weaker in the current era of unconventional monetary policy.

But for all the hoopla that comes with an inverted yield curve, most agree that a prolonged inversion, with or without the Fed's intervention, is something to worry about.

2. Gasoline Is Fueling Inflation

The headline for this week’s retail inflation numbers was that consumer prices were well contained. That’s because the market focuses on the core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes food and energy prices due to their volatility.

The core CPI rose 0.1% in March, less the than 0.2% rise economists forecast, according to compilations by . The annual rise in core CPI came in at 2%, below expectations of 2.1%.

The core number gets all the attention no just because it smooths out the data, but because the Federal Reserve really loves core inflation. It tends to favor the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, but the core CPI is also in its sights.

But those looking at the core numbers might have missed the big reason why the full CPI rose 0.4%, more than expected: gas prices.

Gas was responsible for 60% of the increase in March total prices. And there are signs this week that’ll keep getting worse.

On Wednesday the Energy Information Administration said gasoline inventories plunged by more than 7 million barrels, more than expected, sending gasoline futures up more than 3% for the day. Futures are up more than 30% year to date.

Retail gasoline prices are higher, too. AAA's daily survey of retail gas prices put the U.S. national average at $2.761 a gallon, up nearly 22% for the year.

That not only means higher input costs for lots of companies and less spending power for U.S. drivers. It could have an impact on the Fed in the future, despite its dedication to the core.

Trump Fed nominee Stephen Moore “has argued that the Fed should base its decisions on shifts in commodity prices,” GrantThornton Chief Economist Diane Swonk wrote in a note this week.

But Swonk also said Moore looks like he’s already changed his tune.

“He was using a sustained drop in prices to justify a rate cut a few months ago,” she said. “One would assume higher prices at the pump would change his position; it has not.”

3. Will AI Discriminate?

The World Economic Forum tweeted out an article on gender inequality that featured a fascinating chart on the perceptions of C-suite diversity.

The chart, which comes from Statista, shows that people across the globe vastly overestimate the proportion of CEOs who are women.

According to the chart, while just 3% of the top 500 global companies have female chief executives, those surveyed worldwide thought the percentage was much higher.

Mexico overestimated the most, guessing 29% of CEOs were women, while Brazil and India both thought it was more than 20%.

At the other end of the spectrum, South Korea was closer with an estimate of 9%, while Australia and the U.K. went for 12%.

This is already important for the market, as companies may not feel the need to press for diversity (which can improve results) if the consensus is that representation of women at the top is at a much higher level.

But the WEF takes it further in its article, postulating that artificial intelligence could exacerbate these mistaken assumptions and increase gender inequality.

“With the rapid deployment of AI, this biased data will influence the predictions that machines make,” Bettina Buchel, professor of strategy and organization at IMD Business School, wrote. “Whenever you have a dataset of human decisions, it naturally includes bias.”

Any journalist who’s had to find an image for a story by searching for “CEO” (the most basic of algorithms) will know what gender will dominate the results.

AI is definitely one of the buzzwords the market likes to hear companies tout in their R&D plans (often no matter what the sector). But investors may want to dig a little deeper into how the companies plan to deploy those research dollars and what datasets they are relying on.

-- Written and compiled by Yasin Ebrahim and Kim Khan

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Germany stocks higher at close of trade; DAX up 0.54%

– Germany stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Technology, Basic Resources and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX gained 0.54%, while the MDAX index added 0.84%, and the TecDAX index gained 0.69%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were BASF SE NA O.N. (DE:BASFN), which rose 3.13% or 2.180 points to trade at 71.790 at the close. Meanwhile, Infineon Technologies AG NA O.N. (DE:IFXGn) added 3.01% or 0.605 points to end at 20.720 and Covestro AG (DE:1COV) was up 2.94% or 1.580 points to 55.320 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Merck KGaA (DE:MRCG), which fell 2.08% or 2.06 points to trade at 97.18 at the close. E.ON SE NA (DE:EONGn) declined 1.29% or 0.130 points to end at 9.918 and Beiersdorf AG O.N. (DE:BEIG) was down 0.89% or 0.840 points to 93.660.

The top performers on the MDAX were Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (DE:AFXG) which rose 6.58% to 76.100, Aareal Bank AG (DE:ARLG) which was up 3.46% to settle at 29.310 and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG (DE:PBBG) which gained 3.34% to close at 11.46.

The worst performers were Gerresheimer AG (DE:GXIG) which was down 1.78% to 69.100 in late trade, Drillisch AG (DE:DRIG) which lost 1.39% to settle at 32.600 and LEG Immobilien AG (DE:LEGn) which was down 1.18% to 104.300 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were Aixtron SE NA O.N. (DE:AIXGn) which rose 6.60% to 9.4340, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (DE:AFXG) which was up 6.58% to settle at 76.100 and Draegerwerk VZO O.N. (DE:DRWG_p) which gained 5.19% to close at 45.380.

The worst performers were Medigene NA O.N. (DE:MDG1k) which was down 4.36% to 8.985 in late trade, Drillisch AG (DE:DRIG) which lost 1.39% to settle at 32.600 and Software AG (DE:SOWGn) which was down 1.10% to 30.560 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 412 to 272 and 90 ended unchanged.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was down 2.86% to 12.91 a new 6-months low.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.07% or 0.95 to $1294.25 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.35% or 0.22 to hit $63.80 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 1.03% or 0.73 to trade at $71.56 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.40% to 1.1296, while EUR/GBP rose 0.29% to 0.8640.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.24% at 96.575.

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Stocks - S&P Record Within Sight as Earnings Fuel Rally

- Stocks racked up gains Friday, led by financials as JPMorgan delivered blowout earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 1.03%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.66%, ending the day just 1% below its all-time high. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.46%.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) got the earnings season underway on a good note, beating the consensus from on the both the top and bottom lines. Its share price rose 4.6%.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) fell 2.6% as its above-consensus earnings was overshadowed by a weakness in its consumer lending business. Investors also had to contend with more bad news after interim CEO Allen Parker downgraded the bank's outlook on net interest income to range of -2% to -5% from a -2% to 2% range previously, citing a lower absolute rate outlook, a flatter curve and tightening loan spreads.

PNC Financial Services (NYSE:PNC), meanwhile, delivered in-line earnings and a revenue beat, sending its share more than 3% higher.

With many fearing the first-quarter earnings would prove one of the most challenging in years, the mostly upbeat results appeared to cast aside some of the doubt.

Beyond earnings, Disney (NYSE:DIS) also powered the rally in the broader market, surging 11% after the company gave details late Thursday on its new streaming service, Disney+.

The service isn't likely to turn a profit for at least five years and will be priced at $7.99 per month/$69.99 per year, with two-thirds of the sales of the service expected to come from overseas markets, according to Disney.

That subscription price is well below that of rival Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), which crumbled in the shadow of Disney, down nearly 4.5% on the day.

Swashbuckling gains were not on display in all corners of the markets as energy stocks lagged the move the higher, rising just 0.18% as U.S. oil prices gave up some gains following an uptick in rig counts.

Among the highlights in energy, Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) rallied 32% after Chevron (NYSE:CVX) agreed to buy the company for $33 billion.

Health care stocks, meanwhile, ended the day down nearly 1% as ongoing uncertainty about the fate of the Affordable Care Act and fears lawmakers may impose measures to curb drug prices continue to stifle the sector.

On the economic front, weaker-than-expected consumer sentiment data had a muted impact on stocks.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM), National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

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Dollar Set to Snap Three-Week Win Streak as Sterling, Euro Gain

- The U.S. dollar looks set to snap a three-week winning streak as downbeat consumer sentiment data did little to help the greenback offset losses against the euro and sterling.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.25% to 96.57.

The Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to a reading of 96.9, well below expectations for a reading of 98.1, following two-straight months that saw gains above expectations, according to economist forecasts compiled by .

The data is unlikely to prompt the Federal Reserve to divert from its wait-and-see approach to monetary policy.

"These numbers won't alter the FOMC's view that a patient approach is warranted," Action Economics said.

A rise in the pound and euro also stifled the dollar's attempt at clawing back losses.

GBP/USD rose 0.20% to $1.3080 on reports of progress on talks between U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. The pound was also given a second wind on expectations that holding a second referendum on Brexit may be put to a vote in parliament.

This comes just days the EU granted a delay to Brexit until October 31 to allow ample time for May to hash out a deal that lawmakers are willing to back.

EUR/USD climbed 0.43% to $1.1298 and USD/JPY rose 0.34% to $112.03, with the latter pair boosted by a fall in the yen as risk appetite returned on Wall Street following mostly upbeat earnings from major banks.

USD/CAD fell 0.41% C$1.3329 as rising oil prices propped up the loonie.

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Gold up in Cat-and-Mouse Play With Dollar, Equities

- Gold and the dollar are offsetting each other's strength as neither seem to have an overwhelming edge now.

Prices for bullion and gold futures diverged in a rare performance on Friday as investors tried to discern direction for the yellow metal amid conflicting data and fundamentals.

Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was down $1.20, or 0.1%, at $1,291.52 an ounce by 1:50 PM ET (17:50 GMT).

Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled the official session up $1.90, or 0.1%, at $1,295.20 per ounce and finished the week basically flat.

The divergence came as the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, fell 0.23% to 96.58. The yield on the 10-Year Treasury, meanwhile, advanced 4.5 basis points to 2.55%.

Key stock indexes on Wall Street rose on runaway first-quarter earnings for JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and a multibillion-dollar energy takeover by Chevron (NYSE:CVX). Chevron announced a deal to buy Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) for $65 in cash and stock. That spurred confidence that the equities rally could go further despite a slowing economy.

The dollar and stocks are key contrarian trades to gold.

“Given the marked decline we expect in U.S. equities this year, we suspect that safe-haven assets will soon surge,” Capital Economics analysts said in a note.

“We think gold investment should be strong, particularly in the form of exchange-traded fund buying. As a result, we expect the price of gold to rally to $1,400 per ounce by end-2019.”

Yet, Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank, told Reuters that the outlook for inflation was tame.

"The (U.S.-China) trade situation is getting resolved, and Brexit looks like it’s going to be pushed down the road," Gaffney said. "So right now investors don’t have any incentive to buy gold.”

Palladium rose after a two-day slide to remain the world's priciest traded metal.

Spot palladium was up $6.20, or 0.5%, at $1,375.80 an ounce. The silvery-white auto-catalyst metal, used for purifying gasoline emissions, traded some $300 above gold early last month before cutting that premium to less than $100-an-ounce lately.

Trades in other Comex metals as of 1:50 PM ET (17:50 GMT):

Palladium futures up $17.95, or 1.3%, at $1,350 per ounce.

Platinum futures up $4, or 0.5%, at $899.30 per ounce.

Silver futures up 10 cents, or 0.7%, at $14.97 per ounce.

Copper futures up 6 cents, or 2.1%, at $2.95 per pound.

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UnitedHealth Falls 4%

- UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) fell by 4.06% to trade at $225.81 by 13:18 (17:18 GMT) on Friday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of UnitedHealth shares traded since the start of the session was 7.94M. UnitedHealth has traded in a range of $224.74 to $236.75 on the day.

The stock has traded at $249.9400 at its highest and $224.7300 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Oil Rises as Bulls Eye $65 WTI Again; Rig Count Could Be Key

By Barani Krishnan

- The $65 level for WTI seems to be on its way. But ahead of that, the oil rig count has to be supportive.

Crude futures rose again on Friday, heading for a sixth-straight week of gains, as threats of a wipeout in Libyan crude supply bolstered an already squeezed market.

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude was up 62 cents, or 1%, at $64.20 per barrel by 11:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT). It hit a session high of $64.65 earlier in a fresh attempt by long-oil hedge funds to reach the $65 target.

London-traded Brent, the global benchmark for oil, was up 66 cents, or 1%, at $71.49. It hit a November high of $71.78 on Wednesday.

For the week, both benchmarks were up nearly 2% each. Year to date, WTI was up 41%, while Brent rose 32%.

Traders and investors will be on the lookout for the weekly U.S. oil rig count due after 1:00 PM ET from industry firm Baker Hughes to ensure the number wouldn't be disruptive to the bullish underpinnings of the market.

Last week, Baker Hughes reported that rigs rose by 15, the first climb in seven weeks. Though the rig count itself is a lagging indicator, with additional production showing up with a five-to-six-week latency after new drilling is reported, it is an important gauge to market participants trying to determine if U.S. output is surging again. Just last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated in its weekly supply-demand report that production had reached a new high of 12.2 million barrels per day.

Some analysts also wondered if the Libyan conflict was being overplayed.

Reports on Friday suggested that renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar had vowed to wipe out the North African country's oil production if he gained control of the capital, Tripoli. But after an early blitzkrieg, the warlord's advances seem to have slowed.

"Crude oil production has not been affected so far and if we cannot reduce the Libyan risk to zero, we go into this weekend with a lower risk premium for Libya than a week ago," said Olivier Jakob at PetroMatrix in Zug, Switzerland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks this week that Moscow was against "uncontrollable oil price increases" was also a red flag to Jakob.

OPEC, Russia and other non-member producers are reducing output by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1 for six months. The producers are due to meet on June 25-26 to decide whether to extend the pact.

Kirill Dmitriev, the Russian sovereign wealth fund chief who engineered the cooperation with OPEC, indicated this week that he wanted Moscow to pump more, although the Saudis, who virtually run OPEC, would like the curbs to remain. Russia's breakeven price for oil is around $42 per barrel, while the Saudis need the market to be at around $84 to fund their national budget.

But Putin, who's Russia's ultimate dealmaker, said he wasn't decided yet on how Moscow's cooperation with OPEC should go.

Putin aside, U.S. President Donald Trump is also against high oil prices, which he fears will hurt his 2020 reelection campaign.

"We tend to focus on Trump’s reaction to gasoline prices, but the Russian government is also continuously worried about the street discontent factor that comes with rising gasoline prices," Jakob said.

"We think that the Russian comments of this week are a sign that we are starting to approach this zone of divergence of interest (with Saudi Arabia), which will make it difficult to maintain the OPEC+ agreement above current prices."

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Stocks - Dow Jumps Triple Digits as JP Morgan, Chevron Boost Bulls

- U.S. stocks traded higher just after the open as JP Morgan set the stage for what could be a positive surprise for first-quarter earnings and Chevron’s multibillion-dollar acquisition restored confidence that equities had further to go despite a slowing economy.

At 9:33 AM ET (13:33 GMT), the Dow Jones gained 223 points, or 0.9%, at 26,366.07 points, the S&P 500 rose 16 points, or 0.6%, to 2,904.74 points, while the Nasdaq Composite traded up 40 points, or 0.5%, to 7,987.41 points.

JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) saw shares jump 3.6% after the largest U.S. bank by assets smashed consensus with record quarterly profit and sales. The positive start to the first-quarter reporting period eased concerns over what is expected to be, according to FactSet, the first decline in S&P 500 earnings in nearly three years.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) supported the positive view of financial sector with its own better-than-expected report, while PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) was the laggard in the group, but still matched profit forecasts.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) also boosted sentiment as it offered to shell out a cool $33 billion to acquire Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC). The blue-chip oil company saw shares slump 4.8%, setting them at the bottom of the Dow. But shares of its target surged more than 30%.

Apart from JP Morgan, other Dow components stepped up on Friday to outweigh Chevron’s decline and pull the blue-chip index higher.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock led advancers on the Dow, surging 10.2% after the company announced the launch date for its new streaming service and priced its offer below Netflix's (NASDAQ:NFLX) basic fee.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) also had positive news for the markets, with shares up 1%, after CEO Dennis Muilenburg said that software updates for its 737 MAX jet were successful in 96 test flights.

Corporate results aside, the health of the U.S. consumer will dominate Friday’s economic calendar. The University of Michigan will release its preliminary measure of April consumer confidence at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

The Michigan consumer sentiment index is expected to edge down to 98.1, following two-straight months of gains above expectations, according to economist forecasts compiled by .

Outside of equities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, fell 0.4% to 96.43 by 9:37 AM ET (13:37 GMT), while the yield on the 10-year Treasury advanced 4.5 basis points to 2.55%.

In commodities, gold futures edged forward 0.1% to $1,294.45 a troy ounce, while crude oil traded up 1% at $64.19 a barrel.

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Netflix Falls 3%

- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) fell by 3.12% to trade at $356.19 by 09:38 (13:38 GMT) on Friday on the NASDAQ exchange.

The volume of Netflix shares traded since the start of the session was 2.06M. Netflix has traded in a range of $355.88 to $361.75 on the day.

The stock has traded at $372.0500 at its highest and $356.0700 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Bank of America Rises 3%

- Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) rose by 3.10% to trade at $29.97 by 09:34 (13:34 GMT) on Friday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of Bank of America shares traded since the start of the session was 6.15M. Bank of America has traded in a range of $29.57 to $29.98 on the day.

The stock has traded at $29.9800 at its highest and $28.7400 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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JPMorgan Rises 3%

- JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) rose by 3.39% to trade at $109.83 by 09:32 (13:32 GMT) on Friday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of JPMorgan shares traded since the start of the session was 1.57M. JPMorgan has traded in a range of $108.88 to $109.85 on the day.

The stock has traded at $109.8400 at its highest and $104.2500 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Chevron Falls 4%

- Chevron (NYSE:CVX) fell by 4.20% to trade at $120.69 by 09:31 (13:31 GMT) on Friday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of Chevron shares traded since the start of the session was 4.65M. Chevron has traded in a range of $120.53 to $121.94 on the day.

The stock has traded at $127.3400 at its highest and $120.6900 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Stocks - Anadarko Surges, Chevron Falls in Premarket; JP Morgan, Disney, Jump

- Stocks in focus in premarket trade Friday:

• Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) stock surged 32.0% by 8:14 AM ET (12:14 GMT) after Chevron announced it would buy the company for $33 billion in cash and stock. Shares in Chevron (NYSE:CVX) were off 3.8%.

• JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) stock jumped 2.8% after the company reported record first-quarter revenue and profit, beating expectations.

• Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock rose 3.3% after the company announced the launch date for its new streaming service. It has priced its offer below Netflix's (NASDAQ:NFLX) basic fee. Netflix shares fell 1.1% on the news.

• Boeing (NYSE:BA) stock advanced 1.4% as Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg said that software updates for its 737 MAX were successful in 96 test flights.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) stock traded up 2.1% as first-quarter results beat on the top and bottom lines.

• Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock gained 0.2% after the company said it has started taking orders in China for a lower-priced version of its Model 3 car.

• PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) stock inched up 0.1% as first-quarter revenue came in slightly above expectations and profit settled in line with consensus.

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PNC Financial Earnings inline, Revenue beats In Q1

- PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) reported first quarter earnings that matched analysts' expectations on Friday and revenue that topped forecasts.

The firm reported earnings per share of $2.61 on revenue of $4.29B. Analysts polled by forecast EPS of $2.61 on revenue of $4.27B. That compared to EPS of $2.43 on revenue of $4.11B in the same period a year earlier. The company had reported EPS of $2.75 on revenue of $4.34B in the previous quarter.

PNC Financial follows other major Financial sector earnings this month


On Thursday, Commerce Bancshares reported first quarter EPS of $0.85 on revenue of $324.73M, compared to forecasts of EPS of $0.91 on revenue of $335.66M.

Jefferies Financial earnings missed analysts' expectations on March 28, with first quarter EPS of $0.14 on revenue of $828.44M. analysts expected EPS of $0.24 on revenue of $1.01B

Stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming earnings reports by visiting 's earnings calendar

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Euro Higher on Reports of Corporate Buying; Pound

-- The euro was slightly higher against the dollar and pound in early trade in Europe on Friday, supported by reports of buying related to a big cross-border acquisition, while sterling continues to slip amid the prospect of more months of Brexit-related uncertainty.

Reuters reported speculative buying of the euro ahead of the completion of Mitsubishi UFJ’s acquisition of the aviation business of Germany’s DZ Bank, a deal that will cost over 5.3 billion euros ($5.9 billion).

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was at 96.675, having risen against the yen on the back of better-than-expected jobless claims and producer price inflation data on Thursday.

Risk sentiment received another modest fillip from a mixed set of Chinese trade data for March, which showed a sharp rebound in exports, which rose over 14% on the year, well above forecasts for a 7.3% increase.

Imports, however, fell short of expectations, dropping 7.6% on the year, instead of the 1.3% drop expected.

Closer to home, sentiment toward the euro has been subdued in the wake of another dovish press conference from the European Central Bank, but it has still risen against sterling, which has suffered in the wake of the EU’s decision to extend the deadline for Brexit to the end of October.

Reports that the EU’s member states are set to approve a mandate for the European Commission to start trade talks with the U.S. may also help sentiment at the margins, but have had little visible impact so far.

At 04:00 AM ET (0800 GMT), the euro was at $1.1284, up 0.3% from late Thursday in Europe, and at 0.8640 against the pound, up 0.3% and testing a three-week high of 0.8643.

Elsewhere, Turkey’s lira remained under pressure after another drop in the country’s foreign exchange reserves. The fall of over 3% in net reserves in the week to April 5 came on top of a negative reaction to a government plan to strengthen domestic banks, which face challenges refinancing foreign loans.

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Australia stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.75%

– Australia stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Consumer Staples, Financials and IT sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.75%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Perpetual Ltd (AX:PPT), which rose 5.76% or 2.340 points to trade at 43.000 at the close. Meanwhile, CYBG PLC (AX:CYB) added 5.43% or 0.200 points to end at 3.880 and Appen Ltd (AX:APX) was up 4.23% or 0.990 points to 24.390 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Syrah Resources Ltd (AX:SYR), which fell 4.17% or 0.050 points to trade at 1.150 at the close. Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (AX:SAR) declined 3.85% or 0.110 points to end at 2.750 and Bellamys Australia Ltd (AX:BAL) was down 3.17% or 0.320 points to 9.780.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 618 to 490 and 360 ended unchanged.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 4.81% to 10.782 a new 6-months low.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.26% or 3.35 to $1296.65 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.41% or 0.26 to hit $63.84 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.37% or 0.26 to trade at $71.09 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.12% to 0.7131, while AUD/JPY rose 0.25% to 79.72.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.17% at 96.643.

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Oil Prices Gain as IEA Reports Indicate Tightening Supply

- Oil prices gained on Friday in Asia as the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) month report said there are signs of tightening supply.

U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures rose 0.4% to $63.84 by 1:30 AM ET (05:30 GMT). International Brent Oil Futures also gained 0.4% to $71.08.

Supply has been tightened thanks to OPEC-led production curbs and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, the IEA said,

OPEC’s supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela have helped pushing up oil prices by more than a third so far in 2019.

Venezuela pumped 960,000 bpd in March, a drop of almost 500,000 bpd from February, OPEC's April report on Wednesday said.

OPEC and other non-member producers have been reducing output by 1.2 million bpd since the beginning of the year. The producers are due to meet on June 25-26 to decide whether to extend the pact.

However, the IEA also warned that the demand side is also a “very important” piece of the equation for oil market rebalancing, and it was facing a wall of uncertainty given the outlook for global growth.

“As far as 2019 is concerned, amongst the analyst community there is an extraordinarily wide divergence of view as to how strong growth will be,” the IEA said. “We maintain our forecast of 1.4 million barrels per day, but accept that there are mixed signals about the health of the global economy, and differing views about the likely level of oil prices.”

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U.S. Dollar Slips Despite Better-than-expected Labor and Inflation Data

- The U.S. dollar edged down on Friday in Asia despite better-than-expected labour and inflation data released overnight.

The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was down 0.2% to 96.597.

The Labor Department reported on Thursday that its core producer price index (PPI) for final demand increased 0.3% last month, above economists' forecasts for a 0.2% increase. In the 12 months through March, the core PPI rose 2.4%.

It also reported that initial jobless claims dropped by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 196,000 for the week ended April 7, confounding expectations for a rise.

"Many market players had taken a bearish view on the dollar after the U.S. CPI numbers released earlier in the week, but they were forced to abruptly cover short positions as Thursday's data proved to be strong," said Takuya Kanda, general manager at Gaitame.Com Research Institute, in a Reuters report.

"The rise thus lacked conviction and it remains to be seen if the dollar can sustain its bounce. The prospect of a rate cut by the Fed may have diminished in light of the data, but economic views are not yet strong enough to support rate hike expectations," Kanda said.

The minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, released Wednesday, said various Fed officials thought that the appropriate level for rates could “shift in either direction”.

Earlier this year, the Fed said that the next move in U.S. interest rates may be down rather than up.

Meanwhile, the GBP/USD pair edged up 0.2% to 1.3072 after the European Union agreed to push back the U.K.’s departure date as far as Oct. 31.

The AUD/USD pair also inched up 0.1% after the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) latest financial stability review.

The RBA cited the housing market as a risk to the Australian economy while signalling a slower pace of global growth. Growth forecasts were revised down and there are risks of a sharper downturn, the central bank said.

The USD/CNY pair was unchanged at 6.7189.

The USD/JPY pair was up 0.1% to 111.74.

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U.S. stocks mixed at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.05%

– U.S. stocks were mixed after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Industrials, Utilities and Telecoms sectors led shares higher while losses in the Healthcare, Basic Materials and Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.05%, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.00%, and the NASDAQ Composite index declined 0.21%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Boeing Co (NYSE:BA), which rose 1.43% or 5.22 points to trade at 370.16 at the close. Meanwhile, Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) added 1.20% or 1.20 points to end at 100.80 and Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) was up 1.03% or 2.05 points to 201.48 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), which fell 4.31% or 10.61 points to trade at 235.42 at the close. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) declined 1.96% or 1.07 points to end at 53.44 and Dow Inc (NYSE:DOW) was down 1.47% or 0.82 points to 54.89.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) which rose 5.05% to 68.48, Kroger Company (NYSE:KR) which was up 3.04% to settle at 25.74 and United Rentals Inc (NYSE:URI) which gained 2.94% to close at 124.75.

The worst performers were Signet Jewelers Ltd (NYSE:SIG) which was down 5.95% to 23.85 in late trade, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) which lost 4.31% to settle at 235.42 and Keurig Dr Pepper Inc (NYSE:KDP) which was down 4.24% to 26.87 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Future Fintech Group Inc (NASDAQ:FTFT) which rose 162.17% to 2.0500, Phunware Inc (NASDAQ:PHUN) which was up 70.11% to settle at 8.88 and Vital Thera (NASDAQ:VTL) which gained 31.44% to close at 0.77.

The worst performers were China Jo-Jo Drugstores Inc (NASDAQ:CJJD) which was down 43.69% to 1.740 in late trade, Farmmi Inc (NASDAQ:FAMI) which lost 36.13% to settle at 2.2100 and Amyris Inc (NASDAQ:AMRS) which was down 22.93% to 2.890 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1572 to 1377 and 137 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1430 fell and 1193 advanced, while 84 ended unchanged.

Shares in Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) rose to all time highs; up 5.05% or 3.29 to 68.48. Shares in Signet Jewelers Ltd (NYSE:SIG) fell to 5-year lows; down 5.95% or 1.51 to 23.85. Shares in Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) fell to 5-year lows; falling 1.96% or 1.07 to 53.44. Shares in Farmmi Inc (NASDAQ:FAMI) fell to all time lows; falling 36.13% or 1.2500 to 2.2100.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 2.11% to 13.02.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 1.37% or 18.00 to $1295.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 1.36% or 0.88 to hit $63.73 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.03% or 0.02 to trade at $70.97 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.08% to 1.1260, while USD/JPY rose 0.00% to 111.66.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.26% at 96.812.

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Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.02%

– Canada stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the IT, Industrials and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite gained 0.02%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were SSR Mining Inc (TO:SSRM), which rose 3.84% or 0.62 points to trade at 16.76 at the close. Meanwhile, Mullen Group Ltd . (TO:MTL) added 2.90% or 0.35 points to end at 12.41 and Shopify Inc (TO:SHOP) was up 2.55% or 7.020 points to 282.170 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were MTY Food Group Inc (TO:MTY), which fell 8.16% or 4.78 points to trade at 53.79 at the close. Cronos Group Inc (TO:CRON) declined 6.59% or 1.5900 points to end at 22.5400 and Torex Gold Resources Inc (TO:TXG) was down 5.35% or 0.790 points to 13.990.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 574 to 493 and 128 ended unchanged.

Shares in Shopify Inc (TO:SHOP) rose to all time highs; up 2.55% or 7.020 to 282.170.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was down 2.25% to 11.74.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 1.37% or 18.00 to $1295.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 1.36% or 0.88 to hit $63.73 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.03% or 0.02 to trade at $70.97 a barrel.

CAD/USD was up 0.11% to 0.7477, while CAD/EUR rose 0.05% to 0.6639.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.26% at 96.812.

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Netherlands stocks lower at close of trade; AEX down 0.00%

– Netherlands stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Technology, Software&Computer Services and Technology Hardware&Equipment sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX lost 0.00%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Randstad NV (AS:RAND), which rose 1.97% or 0.91 points to trade at 47.21 at the close. Meanwhile, Aegon NV (AS:AEGN) added 1.89% or 0.084 points to end at 4.517 and ING Groep NV (AS:INGA) was up 1.81% or 0.204 points to 11.452 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV (AS:AD), which fell 1.59% or 0.370 points to trade at 22.940 at the close. Adyen NV (AS:ADYEN) declined 1.58% or 11.00 points to end at 686.80 and ASML Holding NV (AS:ASML) was down 0.84% or 1.50 points to 176.30.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 69 to 62 and 13 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 11.00% to 11.01 a new 6-months low.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 1.36% or 0.88 to $63.73 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 1.06% or 0.76 to hit $70.97 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.40% or 18.35 to trade at $1295.55 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.16% to 1.1255, while EUR/GBP rose 0.11% to 0.8619.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.26% at 96.808.

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Denmark stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 down 0.15%

– Denmark stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Healthcare, Software&Computer Services and Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 lost 0.15%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were Pandora A/S (CO:PNDORA), which rose 3.76% or 10.2 points to trade at 281.6 at the close. Meanwhile, Danske Bank A/S (CO:DANSKE) added 2.06% or 2.5 points to end at 124.2 and Tryg A/S (CO:TRYG) was up 1.65% or 3.2 points to 197.3 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Chr. Hansen Holding A/S (CO:CHRH), which fell 2.60% or 17.6 points to trade at 659.2 at the close. ISS A/S (CO:ISS) declined 2.47% or 5.30 points to end at 209.00 and Genmab (CO:GEN) was down 1.44% or 17.0 points to 1162.5.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 77 to 55 and 17 ended unchanged.

Shares in Tryg A/S (CO:TRYG) rose to 5-year highs; up 1.65% or 3.2 to 197.3.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 1.38% or 0.89 to $63.72 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 1.06% or 0.76 to hit $70.97 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.40% or 18.35 to trade at $1295.55 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was up 0.15% to 6.6327, while EUR/DKK fell 0.01% to 7.4654.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.26% at 96.808.

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Germany stocks higher at close of trade; DAX up 0.25%

– Germany stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Transportation&Logistics, Construction and Media sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX rose 0.25%, while the MDAX index climbed 0.34%, and the TecDAX index added 0.01%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DE:LHAG), which rose 3.11% or 0.650 points to trade at 21.530 at the close. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank AG NA O.N. (DE:DBKGn) added 2.90% or 0.210 points to end at 7.452 and Covestro AG (DE:1COV) was up 2.67% or 1.400 points to 53.740 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were RWE AG ST O.N. (DE:RWEG), which fell 1.62% or 0.390 points to trade at 23.730 at the close. Linde PLC (DE:LINI) declined 1.38% or 2.250 points to end at 160.350 and Bayer AG NA (DE:BAYGN) was down 1.11% or 0.68 points to 60.79.

The top performers on the MDAX were Kion Group AG (DE:KGX) which rose 7.09% to 57.40, Commerzbank AG O.N. (DE:CBKG) which was up 3.06% to settle at 7.448 and Wacker Chemie O.N. (DE:WCHG) which gained 2.95% to close at 80.98.

The worst performers were Siltronic AG (DE:WAFGn) which was down 4.36% to 79.480 in late trade, Aurubis AG (DE:NAFG) which lost 4.23% to settle at 47.120 and Morphosys AG O.N. (DE:MORG) which was down 1.73% to 88.0000 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were Dialog Semiconductor (DE:DLGS) which rose 2.24% to 31.0200, Xing AG (DE:OBCGn) which was up 2.06% to settle at 321.50 and Drillisch AG (DE:DRIG) which gained 1.85% to close at 33.060.

The worst performers were Siltronic AG (DE:WAFGn) which was down 4.36% to 79.480 in late trade, SMA Solar Technology AG (DE:S92G) which lost 2.90% to settle at 19.440 and Nordex SE O.N. (DE:NDXG) which was down 2.73% to 14.270 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 405 to 283 and 88 ended unchanged.

Shares in Dialog Semiconductor (DE:DLGS) rose to 52-week highs; rising 2.24% or 0.6800 to 31.0200.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was down 9.22% to 13.29 a new 6-months low.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 1.42% or 18.65 to $1295.25 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 1.41% or 0.91 to hit $63.70 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 1.06% or 0.76 to trade at $70.97 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.15% to 1.1257, while EUR/GBP rose 0.13% to 0.8620.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.26% at 96.805.

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Norway stocks lower at close of trade; Oslo OBX down 0.06%

– Norway stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Healthcare Equipment&Services, Telecoms and Diversified Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX lost 0.06%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OL:NWC), which rose 4.56% or 1.74 points to trade at 39.87 at the close. Meanwhile, Golden Ocean Group Ltd (OL:GOGLT) added 3.15% or 1.46 points to end at 47.74 and BW Offshore Ltd (OL:BWO) was up 3.10% or 1.550 points to 51.550 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Storebrand ASA (OL:STB), which fell 3.27% or 2.32 points to trade at 68.70 at the close. Subsea 7 SA (OL:SUBC) declined 1.88% or 2.1 points to end at 112.3 and Aker BP ASA (OL:AKERBP) was down 1.69% or 5.30 points to 308.70.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 107 to 96 and 35 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 1.39% or 0.90 to $63.71 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 1.07% or 0.77 to hit $70.96 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.41% or 18.55 to trade at $1295.35 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was up 0.38% to 9.6110, while USD/NOK rose 0.52% to 8.5374.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.26% at 96.805.

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Sweden stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 down 0.09%

– Sweden stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Telecoms, Oil&Gas and Consumer Goods sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 declined 0.09%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Autoliv Inc . SDB (ST:ALIVsdb), which rose 2.70% or 19.8 points to trade at 752.8 at the close. Meanwhile, Nordea Bank Abp (ST:NDASE) added 1.24% or 0.94 points to end at 76.54 and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson Class B (ST:ERICb) was up 1.06% or 0.96 points to 91.36 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Telia Company AB (ST:TELIA), which fell 3.42% or 1.46 points to trade at 41.23 at the close. Swedish Match AB (ST:SWMA) declined 2.09% or 9.3 points to end at 436.7 and AstraZeneca PLC (ST:AZN) was down 2.05% or 15.5 points to 740.2.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 330 to 308 and 54 ended unchanged.

Shares in Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson Class B (ST:ERICb) rose to 3-years highs; gaining 1.06% or 0.96 to 91.36.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 1.41% or 0.91 to $63.70 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 1.09% or 0.78 to hit $70.95 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.41% or 18.55 to trade at $1295.35 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was up 0.18% to 10.4594, while USD/SEK rose 0.30% to 9.2889.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.25% at 96.797.

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Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 0.17%

– Israel stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Insurance, Communication and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 added 0.17% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Harel (TA:HARL), which rose 4.56% or 120 points to trade at 2750 at the close. Meanwhile, Phoenix Holdings Ltd (TA:PHOE1) added 4.28% or 86 points to end at 2096 and Bazan Oil Refineries Ltd (TA:ORL) was up 1.89% or 3.3 points to 178.3 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp Ltd (TA:BEZQ), which fell 2.00% or 5.2 points to trade at 255.3 at the close. Azrieli Group Ltd (TA:AZRG) declined 1.71% or 380 points to end at 21820 and Shufersal (TA:SAE) was down 1.14% or 28 points to 2422.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 235 to 151 and 32 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 1.53% or 0.99 to $63.62 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 1.13% or 0.81 to hit $70.92 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.52% or 19.95 to trade at $1293.95 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was up 0.10% to 3.5810, while EUR/ILS fell 0.05% to 4.0306.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.27% at 96.815.

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UnitedHealth Falls 4%

- UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) fell by 4.03% to trade at $236.07 by 13:17 (17:17 GMT) on Thursday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of UnitedHealth shares traded since the start of the session was 3.31M. UnitedHealth has traded in a range of $236.08 to $246.92 on the day.

The stock has traded at $249.9400 at its highest and $236.0600 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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U.K. stocks higher at close of trade; Investing.com United Kingdom 100 up 0.08%

– U.K. stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Construction&Materials, Automobiles&Parts and Support Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in London, the United Kingdom 100 rose 0.08%.

The best performers of the session on the United Kingdom 100 were EasyJet PLC (LON:EZJ), which rose 8.38% or 88.50 points to trade at 1144.50 at the close. Meanwhile, Tui AG (LON:TUIT) added 8.27% or 59.20 points to end at 775.40 and International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A. (LON:ICAG) was up 5.90% or 30.40 points to 545.40 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Fresnillo PLC (LON:FRES), which fell 7.23% or 62.20 points to trade at 798.40 at the close. Standard Life Aberdeen PLC (LON:SLA) declined 3.37% or 9.30 points to end at 266.60 and Aviva PLC (LON:AV) was down 3.12% or 13.40 points to 416.50.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the London Stock Exchange by 1153 to 877 and 344 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 1.30% or 17.05 to $1296.85 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 1.69% or 1.09 to hit $63.52 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 1.35% or 0.97 to trade at $70.76 a barrel.

GBP/USD was down 0.14% to 1.3071, while EUR/GBP rose 0.08% to 0.8616.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.20% at 96.748.

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StockBeat - Fastenal Ekes out Earnings Beat; Shares Rally

- Fastenal surged Thursday after the industrial company reported first-quarter earnings that topped expectations thanks to strong demand and higher pricing.

Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) posted earnings of $0.68 a share, a penny above consensus expectations compiled by , while revenue of $1.31 billion was in line with estimates, sending its share up more than 4%.

The industrial company attributed the upbeat performance to growth drivers including industrial vending, construction and onsite locations, which are defined as dedicated sales from within, or close to, a customer's facility.

"Sales through our vending devices grew at a high-teens pace in the first quarter of 2019 over the first quarter of 2018 due primarily to the increase in the installed base," the company said.

The company signed 5,603 industrial vending devices during the first quarter, with the installed device count up 13% year on year to 83,410 by March 31.

The uptick in its vending machine fleet comes as Fastenal has been shifting its business model toward on-site locations to better integrate with its customers. The company signed 105 new onsite locations in the first quarter.

Sales of fastener products, meanwhile, grew about 12% on a daily basis year on year and accounted for 35% of sales in the overall first quarter. Non-fastener sales, meanwhile, were up 13% on a daily basis and made up 65% of sales.

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Russia stocks lower at close of trade; MOEX Russia down 1.05%

– Russia stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Mining, Oil&Gas and Power sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Moscow, the MOEX Russia lost 1.05%.

The best performers of the session on the MOEX Russia were Yandex NV (MCX:YNDX), which rose 3.54% or 83.20 points to trade at 2434.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Trubnaya Metallurgicheskaya Kompaniya OAO (MCX:TRMK) added 2.90% or 1.60 points to end at 56.74 and NK Rosneft PAO (MCX:ROSN) was up 1.29% or 5.50 points to 431.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were NPK OVK PAO (MCX:UWGN), which fell 3.64% or 16.3 points to trade at 431.3 at the close. Polymetal International PLC (MCX:POLY) declined 3.39% or 24.00 points to end at 685.00 and Gazprom PAO (MCX:GAZP) was down 2.97% or 4.84 points to 158.04.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 158 to 76 and 14 ended unchanged.

Shares in Yandex NV (MCX:YNDX) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 3.54% or 83.20 to 2434.00.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MOEX Russia options, was down 2.34% to 18.400 a new 6-months low.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 1.29% or 16.95 to $1296.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 1.80% or 1.16 to hit $63.45 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 1.37% or 0.98 to trade at $70.75 a barrel.

USD/RUB was up 0.53% to 64.6648, while EUR/RUB rose 0.42% to 72.7900.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.20% at 96.748.

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Keurig Dr Pepper Falls Midday on Coffee Concerns

- Keurig Dr Pepper (NYSE:KDP) slumped in midday trading following an analyst downgrade that highlighted concerns about its main coffee business.

Shares of Keurig fell 3.75%, while the S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector was flat.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) cut the stock to underweight from equal weight and dropped its price target to $24 from $27.

The brokerage said it predicts revenue below corporate guidance due to lower household penetration of its coffee-making systems and pricing pressure on its coffee pods.

The stock has rebounded recently from a sharp drop in late February after the company missed on revenue expectations and issued weaker guidance, even weathering a report on a medical study that said drinking sugary sodas could contribute to colon cancer.

Also in the beverage sector today, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) was flat, PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) lost 0.4% and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) gained 0.5%.

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Oil Prices Pull Back From 5-Month Highs as Uncertainty Over Demand Weighs

- Oil prices trader lower Thursday, pulling back from five-month highs, as the International Energy Agency’s monthly report shifted attention from recent supply-side issues to the uncertainty surrounding demand.

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 7 cents, or 1.2%, at $63.87 a barrel by 10:59 AM ET (14:59 GMT).

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., traded down 40 cents, or 0.6%, to $71.33.

The IEA recognized that a surge in production seen in the second half of 2018 had finally turned around thanks to OPEC-led production curbs and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

While the cuts in output have served to tighten markets, sending West Texas Intermediate up around 40% so far in 2019, the IEA pointed out that demand, a “very important” piece of the equation for oil market rebalancing, was facing a wall of uncertainty given the outlook for global growth.

“As far as 2019 is concerned, amongst the analyst community there is an extraordinarily wide divergence of view as to how strong growth will be,” the IEA said in its report. “We maintain our forecast of 1.4 million barrels per day, but accept that there are mixed signals about the health of the global economy, and differing views about the likely level of oil prices.”

Also taking the wind out of bulls’ sails this week, weekly data from the Energy Information Administration showed yet another surge in U.S. crude stockpiles, while U.S. production held at a record 12.2 million bpd, cementing America’s position as the world’s largest oil producer.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures fell 1.7% to $2.0345 a gallon by 11:02 AM ET (15:02 GMT), while heating oil lost 0.5% to $2.0783 a gallon.

Lastly, natural gas futures traded down 0.3% to $2.691 per million British thermal units.

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U.S. Producer Prices Rise More Than Expected in March

- U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in March, but a slowdown in the annualized figures for the core readings, that exclude more volatile food and energy costs, underlined the case for the Federal Reserve to maintain their current expectations not to tighten policy in 2019.

The Labor Department said its producer price index (PPI) increased 0.3% last month, while the core PPI, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 0.6%.

In the 12 months through February, the growth was 2.2% and 2.4%, respectively.

The Fed watches this data because higher costs for producers often lead to them passing that cost on to consumers, placing upward pressure on inflation.

However, the annualized reading for core PPI slowed from February’s reading of 2.5%, mirroring a similar move seen in consumer prices in data released on Wednesday.

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EOS Falls 10% In Selloff

- EOS was trading at $5.3001 by 07:23 (11:23 GMT) on the Index on Thursday, down 10.02% on the day. It was the largest one-day percentage loss since February 24.

The move downwards pushed EOS's market cap down to $4.9227B, or 2.87% of the total cryptocurrency market cap. At its highest, EOS's market cap was $17.5290B.

EOS had traded in a range of $5.3001 to $5.8441 in the previous twenty-four hours.

Over the past seven days, EOS has seen a rise in value, as it gained 4.18%. The volume of EOS traded in the twenty-four hours to time of writing was $3.7430B or 6.33% of the total volume of all cryptocurrencies. It has traded in a range of $5.0645 to $5.9673 in the past 7 days.

At its current price, EOS is still down 76.94% from its all-time high of $22.98 set on April 29, 2018.

Elsewhere in cryptocurrency trading

Bitcoin was last at $4,994.6 on the Index, down 4.33% on the day.

Ethereum was trading at $162.45 on the Index, a loss of 10.59%.

Bitcoin's market cap was last at $89.5045B or 52.12% of the total cryptocurrency market cap, while Ethereum's market cap totaled $17.4370B or 10.15% of the total cryptocurrency market value.

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Stocks - U.S. Futures Inch Higher with Fed Officials on the Radar

- Wall Street pointed to a slightly higher open on Thursday, as markets weighed ongoing worries about global growth against hints of future support from the Federal Reserve and other central banks.

The blue-chip Dow futures gained 48 points, or 0.2%, to 26,212.5 points by 7:12 AM ET (11:12 GMT), the S&P 500 futures advanced 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,898.88 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures traded up 9 points, or 0.1%, to 7,649.88 points.

Minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting indicated that it no longer expected to hike interest rates this year and that several policy-makers were open to the idea that the next move in rates could be down rather than up.

Market focus will likely be on Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida’s speech on the U.S. economic outlook and monetary policy at 9:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT) amid several appearances from fellow Fed policymakers throughout the day, including John Williams, James Bullard, Randal Quarles, Neel Kashkari and Michelle Bowman.

Ahead of Clarida’s appearance, there will also be initial jobless claims and March producer price inflation figures at 8:30 AM (12.30 GMT).

Elsewhere, European Union officials agreed to give U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May a “flexible” extension to the Brexit deadline which is now set to last until Oct. 31 unless U.K. lawmakers approve the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement earlier.

Outside of equities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, was little changed at 96.59 by 7:14 AM ET (11:14 GMT), while the yield on the 10-year Treasury inched up 0.7 basis points to 2.49%.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,306.35 a troy ounce, while crude oil traded down 0.9% to $64.06 a barrel.

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Stellar Falls 10% In Rout

- Stellar was trading at $0.11496 by 05:54 (09:54 GMT) on the Index on Thursday, down 10.01% on the day. It was the largest one-day percentage loss since February 24.

The move downwards pushed Stellar's market cap down to $2.28191B, or 1.30% of the total cryptocurrency market cap. At its highest, Stellar's market cap was $12.12000B.

Stellar had traded in a range of $0.11492 to $0.12665 in the previous twenty-four hours.

Over the past seven days, Stellar has seen a drop in value, as it lost 3.16%. The volume of Stellar traded in the twenty-four hours to time of writing was $351.33463M or 0.61% of the total volume of all cryptocurrencies. It has traded in a range of $0.1149 to $0.1350 in the past 7 days.

At its current price, Stellar is still down 87.50% from its all-time high of $0.92 set on January 3, 2018.

Elsewhere in cryptocurrency trading

Bitcoin was last at $5,027.8 on the Index, down 3.72% on the day.

Ethereum was trading at $163.86 on the Index, a loss of 9.42%.

Bitcoin's market cap was last at $91.58880B or 52.13% of the total cryptocurrency market cap, while Ethereum's market cap totaled $17.76779B or 10.11% of the total cryptocurrency market value.

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Litecoin Falls 10% In Rout

- Litecoin was trading at $79.910 by 05:32 (09:32 GMT) on the Index on Thursday, down 10.11% on the day. It was the largest one-day percentage loss since February 24.

The move downwards pushed Litecoin's market cap down to $4.986B, or 2.83% of the total cryptocurrency market cap. At its highest, Litecoin's market cap was $14.099B.

Litecoin had traded in a range of $79.690 to $88.393 in the previous twenty-four hours.

Over the past seven days, Litecoin has seen a drop in value, as it lost 6.47%. The volume of Litecoin traded in the twenty-four hours to time of writing was $2.922B or 5.07% of the total volume of all cryptocurrencies. It has traded in a range of $79.6903 to $97.2594 in the past 7 days.

At its current price, Litecoin is still down 80.97% from its all-time high of $420.00 set on December 12, 2017.

Elsewhere in cryptocurrency trading

Bitcoin was last at $5,145.5 on the Index, down 1.36% on the day.

Ethereum was trading at $167.41 on the Index, a loss of 7.46%.

Bitcoin's market cap was last at $91.709B or 52.01% of the total cryptocurrency market cap, while Ethereum's market cap totaled $17.845B or 10.12% of the total cryptocurrency market value.

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Euro, Sterling Inch Higher After Brexit Postponement

-- The euro and pound were little changed against each other and higher against the dollar in early trading in Europe Thursday after the European Union agreed to push back the U.K.’s departure date as far as Oct. 31.

The decision essentially leaves the pound in limbo, with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit still very much alive, and the prospect of a chaotic campaign for European elections to come. As such, it’s unlikely to end the uncertainty that has depressed both business and consumer sentiment in recent weeks. The U.K. will be forced out of the EU on June 1st if it fails to take part in those elections.

At 04:10 AM ET (0810 GMT), the euro was at $1.1287, up 0.2% from late Wednesday in Europe, while the pound was at $1.3096, virtually unchanged.

It’s “the worst of all worlds,” said Helen Thomas, CEO and founder of the consultancy Blonde Money. She said it “removes the time pressure to force a decision but doesn’t quite provide enough time for air to clear through a general election or a second referendum.”

“This is not positive for the U.K. economy, or for U.K. assets in the long run,” Thomas added.

One of the reasons the dollar hasn’t gained against either sterling or the euro is the first explicit admission from the Federal Reserve that the next move in U.S. interest rates may be down rather than up. The minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting, released Wednesday, said various Fed officials thought that the appropriate level for rates could “shift in either direction”.

But the euro too is under the influence of dovish central bank comments. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi again stressed at his regular press conference that the ECB would do everything it can to get inflation back up to its target level, and didn’t steer against the perception that recent talk of ‘tiering’ the penalty rate on excess deposits at the ECB is a preliminary step to cutting rates later this year.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, hit its lowest level in two weeks after the release, but recovered slightly to trade at 96.530 as of 04:10 AM ET.

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U.S. Dollar Flat After Fed Minutes; Euro, Pound Edges Up on Brexit News

- The U.S. dollar was flat on Thursday after the release of the Federal Reserve’s March meeting minutes.

The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies last traded at 96.523 by 1:40 AM ET (05:40 GMT), down 0.04%.

The majority of policymakers expect the central bank to remain on pause for the rest of the year, the minutes showed.

However, Fed officials left the door open for more rate hikes by saying some policymakers under certain circumstances could “judge it appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate modestly later this year.”

“Several participants noted that their views of the appropriate range for the federal funds rate could shift in either direction,” the minutes say.

On Wednesday, the IMF cut its forecast for world growth this year to the lowest since 2009, a mere 3.3%.

Meanwhile, the euro recovered some of its early losses in the wake of the European Central Bank's unchanged decision on interest rates and downbeat economic remarks from ECB President Mario Draghi.

"Incoming data continue to be weak, especially for the manufacturing sector ... The slower growth momentum is expected to extend into the current year," Draghi said.

The EUR/USD pair last traded at 1.1280, up 0.1%.

The GBP/USD pair was also up 0.1% to 1.3103 after European Union leaders and the U.K. agreed to a “flexible extension ” of the Brexit deadline till Oct. 31, which Prime Minister Theresa May has accepted.

In a press conference after the agreement was reached, May said “the choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear”. She acknowledged the “huge frustration” that the UK had not yet left the EU.

The USD/JPY pair edged up 0.1% to 111.07.

The AUD/USD pair and the NZD/USD pair were both down 0.1%.

The USD/CNY pair was largely unchanged at 6.7121.

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U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.03%

– U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Technology, Financials and Consumer Goods sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.03%, while the S&P 500 index climbed 0.35%, and the NASDAQ Composite index added 0.69%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which rose 1.18% or 2.36 points to trade at 202.98 at the close. Meanwhile, Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) added 1.16% or 0.64 points to end at 55.82 and Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) was up 0.92% or 0.91 points to 99.60 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Boeing Co (NYSE:BA), which fell 1.11% or 4.10 points to trade at 364.94 at the close. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) declined 1.11% or 2.76 points to end at 246.03 and Dow Inc (NYSE:DOW) was down 1.00% or 0.56 points to 55.71.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were ConAgra Foods Inc (NYSE:CAG) which rose 6.72% to 29.39, Discovery Inc Class A (NASDAQ:DISCA) which was up 6.07% to settle at 30.59 and Discovery Communications C Inc (NASDAQ:DISCK) which gained 4.71% to close at 28.25.

The worst performers were AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) which was down 4.43% to 74.00 in late trade, Humana Inc (NYSE:HUM) which lost 2.96% to settle at 266.50 and KKR&Co LP (F:KR51) which was down 2.96% to 20.16 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were ATA Inc (NASDAQ:ATAI) which rose 81.60% to 3.850, Inpixon (NASDAQ:INPX) which was up 47.87% to settle at 1.1800 and Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA) which gained 42.44% to close at 3.860.

The worst performers were Helius Medical Technologies Inc Class A (NASDAQ:HSDT) which was down 66.18% to 2.1000 in late trade, OUTLOOK THERAPEUTICS INC (NASDAQ:OTLK) which lost 45.08% to settle at 1.73 and Wave Life Sciences Ltd (NASDAQ:WVE) which was down 18.78% to 33.91 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 2165 to 826 and 92 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1799 rose and 837 declined, while 81 ended unchanged.

Shares in Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) rose to 5-year highs; up 1.16% or 0.64 to 55.82. Shares in Helius Medical Technologies Inc Class A (NASDAQ:HSDT) fell to all time lows; losing 66.18% or 4.1100 to 2.1000. Shares in OUTLOOK THERAPEUTICS INC (NASDAQ:OTLK) fell to all time lows; falling 45.08% or 1.42 to 1.73.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 6.93% to 13.30.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.29% or 3.75 to $1312.05 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.77% or 0.49 to hit $64.47 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to trade at $71.59 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.06% to 1.1280, while USD/JPY fell 0.03% to 110.97.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.09% at 96.520.

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Gold up With Dollar at 2-Week Low; Fed Not Dovish Enough for Some

By Barani Krishnan

- The Federal Reserve signaled it won't be easing as yet. In fact, it may be more inclined to hike.

And the funds that have pushed the precious metals up in the past week might register their disappointment in Thursday's trading.

Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was up $3.87, or 0.3%, at $1,307.97 an ounce by 4:40 PM ET (20:40 GMT), after hitting a two-week high at $1,30.65.

Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled the official session up $5.60, or 0.4%, at $1,313.90 per ounce. It hit a two-week high of $1,314.65 earlier.

Federal Reserve officials have left room (just a little bit) for the possibility of interest rate increases before the end of the year should economic conditions improve, minutes from their March meeting, released after Wednesday's settlement in precious metals, showed. But a majority of Fed members did say they expected rates to remain on hold in 2019.

A rate hike would set the Fed on a collision course with President Donald Trump, who's criticized the central bank's four increases over 2018 as reason for slower U.S. growth this year and now wants it to drop rates to restore some strength to the economy.

A hike in rates would be bearish for gold.

The dollar extended its weaker trajectory for the week as speculation built ahead of Wednesday's release of the Fed minutes that the central bank may actually be pressured into doing Trump's bidding.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.1% to 96.537 after a two-week low earlier at 96.453.

Traders were "trying to read the tea leaves to see if there is any significant information that the Fed chairman (Jerome Powell) didn’t talk about at his last news conference" and will likely react to the update in Thursday's session, Walter Pehowich, executive vice president at Dillon Gage Metals in Addison, Texas, wrote in a note.

Gold was supported in earlier Wednesday trade on expectations that euro zone economies would remain vulnerable from the European Central Bank's decision to stick to its ultra-easy monetary policy.

Palladium slid after a two-day run-up, but remained the world's priciest metal.

Spot palladium was down $2.05, or 0.2%, at $1,389.80 an ounce. The silvery-white auto-catalyst metal, used for purifying gasoline emissions, traded some $300 above gold early last month before cutting that premium to about less than $100 lately.

Trades in other Comex metals as of 4:40 PM ET (20:40 GMT):

Palladium futures down 75 cents, or 0.1%, at $1,361.85 per ounce.

Platinum futures up $8.15, or 1%, at $907.45 per ounce.

Silver futures flat at $15.20 per ounce.

Copper futures down 1 cent, or 0.4%, at $2.94 per pound.

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France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.25%

– France stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Gas&Water, General Financial and Foods&Drugs sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.25%, while the SBF 120 index added 0.27%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were WFD Unibail Rodamco NV (AS:URW), which rose 3.62% or 5.35 points to trade at 153.25 at the close. Meanwhile, Bouygues SA (PA:BOUY) added 1.84% or 0.61 points to end at 33.71 and Vinci SA (PA:SGEF) was up 1.64% or 1.44 points to 89.44 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Airbus Group SE (PA:AIR), which fell 1.69% or 2.00 points to trade at 116.50 at the close. Valeo SA (PA:VLOF) declined 1.67% or 0.48 points to end at 28.34 and Societe Generale SA (PA:SOGN) was down 1.26% or 0.34 points to 26.26.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Television Francaise 1 SA (PA:TFFP) which rose 3.70% to 8.550, Electricite de France SA (PA:EDF) which was up 3.69% to settle at 12.36 and WFD Unibail Rodamco NV (AS:URW) which gained 3.62% to close at 153.25.

The worst performers were Dassault Aviation SA (PA:AVMD) which was down 3.49% to 1300.00 in late trade, Vicat (PA:VCTP) which lost 3.16% to settle at 44.40 and Eutelsat Communications SA (PA:ETL) which was down 3.06% to 15.07 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 325 to 233 and 104 ended unchanged.

Shares in Vinci SA (PA:SGEF) rose to all time highs; up 1.64% or 1.44 to 89.44. Shares in Eutelsat Communications SA (PA:ETL) fell to 5-year lows; falling 3.06% or 0.47 to 15.07.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 4.11% to 14.53.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.29% or 3.75 to $1312.05 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.75% or 0.48 to hit $64.46 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 1.42% or 1.00 to trade at $71.61 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.09% to 1.1272, while EUR/GBP fell 0.12% to 0.8609.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.08% at 96.537.

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Denmark stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 down 0.00%

– Denmark stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Personal&Household Goods, Chemicals and Real Estate sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 lost 0.00%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were Tryg A/S (CO:TRYG), which rose 3.74% or 7.0 points to trade at 194.1 at the close. Meanwhile, FLSmidth&Co. (CO:FLS) added 3.15% or 9.4 points to end at 308.2 and AP Moeller - Maersk A/S B (CO:MAERSKb) was up 2.52% or 204 points to 8304 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Pandora A/S (CO:PNDORA), which fell 3.69% or 10.4 points to trade at 271.4 at the close. Jyske Bank A/S (CO:JYSK) declined 1.41% or 3.8 points to end at 265.8 and Coloplast A/S (CO:COLOb) was down 1.36% or 9.8 points to 710.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 62 to 59 and 21 ended unchanged.

Shares in Tryg A/S (CO:TRYG) rose to 5-year highs; up 3.74% or 7.0 to 194.1.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.75% or 0.48 to $64.46 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 1.42% or 1.00 to hit $71.61 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.29% or 3.75 to trade at $1312.05 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was down 0.07% to 6.6232, while EUR/DKK rose 0.02% to 7.4654.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.08% at 96.532.

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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

- Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. PPI, Jobless Claims Scheduled

More inflation data, this time on the wholesale side, comes tomorrow following today’s core retail inflation that rose less than expected.

The Labor Department will release the March producer price index (PPI) at 8:30 AM ET.

Economists expect that the PPI rose 0.3% last month, according to forecasts compiled by .

The core PPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is forecast to have risen 0.2%, with the year-on-year core PPI ticking down to 2.4%.

At the same time the Labor Department will also release weekly initial jobless claims figures.

Claims for first-time unemployment benefits are expected to rise to 211,000 after dropping to their lowest levels since 1969 the week before.

2. Investors Anxious for Disney+ Streaming Details

Wall Street analysts are pretty excited about Walt Disney 's (NYSE:DIS) investor day, which comes after the bell tomorrow. The stock caught two sell-side upgrades this week going into the event.

S.G. Cowen raised the stock Tuesday to outperform from market perform, saying, “Thursday’s investor day will likely be a deck-clearing event for sentiment.”

On Wednesday, BMO boosted its rating to outperform from market perform.

What everyone will be looking for tomorrow is details on the company’s upcoming streaming service Disney+, which is expected to go toe-to-toe with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), armed with Disney’s stable of classic animated films and the Star Wars franchise.

While investors have a good idea of the content, more precise details like pricing will be what the market wants now.

The company may also update investors on its integration of newly-purchased Fox and on its theme parks. Its Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land opens in Disneyland on May 31.

The investor day presentation starts at 5:00 PM ET (21:00 GMT). Disney was up 0.26% on Wednesday and is up 6.85% this year. The gain is 20th best among the 30 Dow stocks.

3. Fed Speakers Galore

After the market digests today’s Federal Reserve minutes, tomorrow brings a bevy of Fed speakers.

At 9:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT), Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida will give a speech on U.S. economic outlook and monetary policy at the Institute of International Finance Washington Policy Summit.

At 9:35 AM ET, New York Fed President John Williams will deliver the keynote address at the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development conference.

And at 9:40 AM ET, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will speak at the Community Development Foundation of Tupelo, Miss.

Later in the day, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will answer questions on Twitter at 2:00 PM ET.

And Fed Governor Michelle Bowman will give a speech entitled "Community Banking in the Age of Innovation" in San Francisco at 4:00 PM ET.

Meanwhile, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is attending the House Democratic Caucus’ three-day retreat in Virginia, but market-moving quotes are unlikely.

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Norway stocks higher at close of trade; Oslo OBX up 0.42%

– Norway stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Technology Hardware&Equipment, Utilities and Telecoms sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX gained 0.42%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Golden Ocean Group Ltd (OL:GOGLT), which rose 3.26% or 1.46 points to trade at 46.28 at the close. Meanwhile, Petroleum Geo - Services ASA (OL:PGS) added 3.04% or 0.64 points to end at 21.70 and BW Offshore Ltd (OL:BWO) was up 1.96% or 0.960 points to 50.000 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Schibsted ASA A (OL:SBSTA), which fell 2.47% or 6.2 points to trade at 244.8 at the close. SalMar ASA (OL:SALM) declined 0.87% or 3.60 points to end at 408.40 and Storebrand ASA (OL:STB) was down 0.53% or 0.38 points to 71.02.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 124 to 74 and 36 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.77% or 0.49 to $64.47 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 1.47% or 1.04 to hit $71.65 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.30% or 3.95 to trade at $1312.25 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was down 0.64% to 9.5747, while USD/NOK fell 0.73% to 8.4947.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.08% at 96.530.

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Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 0.76%

– Israel stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Insurance and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 added 0.76% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Delek Group (TA:DLEKG), which rose 6.47% or 4130 points to trade at 68000 at the close. Meanwhile, Elbit Systems Ltd (TA:ESLT) added 4.72% or 2310 points to end at 51210 and Delek Drilling LP (TA:DEDRp) was up 4.55% or 50 points to 1150 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TA:TEVA), which fell 4.28% or 233 points to trade at 5214 at the close. OPKO Health Inc (TA:OPK) declined 1.81% or 17 points to end at 910 and Ormat Technologies (TA:ORA) was down 0.99% or 200 points to 20050.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 256 to 122 and 40 ended unchanged.

Shares in Delek Group (TA:DLEKG) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 6.47% or 4130 to 68000. Shares in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TA:TEVA) fell to 52-week lows; losing 4.28% or 233 to 5214. Shares in Elbit Systems Ltd (TA:ESLT) rose to 52-week highs; up 4.72% or 2310 to 51210.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 0.91% or 0.58 to $64.56 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 1.50% or 1.06 to hit $71.67 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.28% or 3.65 to trade at $1311.95 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was up 0.07% to 3.5795, while EUR/ILS rose 0.15% to 4.0346.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.05% at 96.558.

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Lyft Hits All-Time Low as Uber Turns Heads

- Shares of Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) tumbled midday, hitting an all-time low earlier in the session, as investor attention turned to rival Uber.

Lyft was down 6.5%. The stock fell as low as $62.28 earlier, the lowest level for shares since the company went public on March 29.

Sentiment on the ride-sharing company has been waning since its debut and further soured on talk that Uber’s much-anticipated IPO prospectus could be filed as early as tomorrow.

Uber shares could hit the market in May, Briefing.com reported.

The stock has been volatile, bouncing after reports that Carl Icahn had sold out of the company, but also that Citron was boosting its position.

Lyft is off about 19% from where it first opened on the Nasdaq in the high $80s.

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Stocks - Wall Street Drifts Higher Ahead of Fed Minutes

- U.S. stocks drifted higher in early trading on Wall Street, clawing back some of the prior session’s losses as traders evaluated the future path of monetary policy on both sides of the Atlantic.

At 9:40 AM ET (13:40 GMT), the Dow Jones gained 26 points, or 0.1%, to 26,176.42 points, the S&P 500 advanced 6 points, or 0.2%, to 2,884.05 points, while the Nasdaq Composite traded up 10 points, or 0.1%, to 7,919.13 points.

After the market open, focus shifted to upcoming minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting on March 20. At 2:00PM ET (18:00 GMT), investors will get the details from when the central bank switched gears last month, not only saying it no longer expected to increase rates this year but also indicating that it plans to end the reduction of its balance sheet by September.

The minutes will arrive after U.S. inflation figures published ahead of the open that saw the headline consumer price index tick higher to 1.9% on an annualized basis, but the less volatile core CPI unexpectedly slow to 2.0%.

Muted inflation readings have been one of the core reasons the Fed has opted to take its “patient” policy approach, remaining particularly cautious due to concerns about a global slowdown and pending trade issues.

Across the Atlantic, the European Central Bank made no changes to its own monetary policy, maintaining even lower interest rate levels than those in the U.S, as a result of its sluggish economy. The ECB, which surprised markets with its announcement of additional stimulus for banks in the form of low-cost loans, gave no further details of assistance for the financial sector.

Back in the States, big banks were also in the spotlight as their chief executives head to Washington to participate in a scheduled event, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 Years After the Financial Crisis”, with the House Committee of Financial Services.

Their testimony comes as JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) prepare to unofficially kick off the first-quarter earnings season. Both banks report on Friday.

In other company news, airlines capped market attention after positive earnings and guidance from Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and speculation that JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) may announce plans to begin transatlantic flights later on Wednesday.

Outside of equities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, rose 0.1% to 96.732 by 9:44 AM ET (13:44 GMT), while the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell 2.2 basis points to 2.477%.

In commodities, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,310.35 a troy ounce, while crude oil traded up 0.7% at $64.43 a barrel.

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U.S. Inflation Data Supports Fed Patience on Rate Hikes

- Growth in U.S. consumer prices showed little variation in March, underlining the case for the Federal Reserve to maintain its current wait-and-see stance.

The consumer price index rose 1.9% from a year ago, while core inflation, that excludes volatile food and energy costs, increased 2.0%. That's compared to consensus forecasts for them to rise 1.8% and 2.1%, respectively.

For the month, the CPI and core CPI were up 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively.

The dollar held on to modest losses on the news, while stock index futures remained slightly higher.

As the Federal Reserve seeks to maintain core inflation close to 2%, the reading supports its current promise to “be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate”.

The U.S. central bank last month all but swore off raising interest rates again this year and indicated it intends to end the reduction of its massive $4.2 trillion balance sheet by September.

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Stocks - U.S. Futures Recover Ahead of CPI, Fed Minutes

- Wall Street pointed to a slightly higher open on Wednesday as markets turned their attention to U.S. inflation figures and the minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting.

The blue-chip Dow futures gained 58 points, or 0.2%, to 26,216.0 points by 6:47 AM ET (10:47 GMT), the S&P 500 futures advanced 8 points, or 0.3%, to 2,890.38 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures traded up 18 points, or 0.2%, to 7,611.12 points.

U.S. stocks looked to set to stage a small recovery after growth worries and trade concerns snapped an eight-day winning streak for the S&P 500 when the International Monetary Fund lowered its global growth outlook and as President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on $11 billion of European goods.

But research firm Evercore ISI said the IMF may have missed the mark with its gloomy outlook, as both markets and the world economy are showing signs of recovery.

“The IMF lowering its global growth outlook to the lowest since the financial crisis will be viewed in hindsight as a contrarian indicator,” Richard Ross, head of technical analysis at the research firm, wrote in a note. “The technicals suggest that global growth is poised to inflect higher and the backdrop for risk-taking remains strong.”

Separately, economists at Goldman Sachs have lowered the likelihood of a U.S. recession over the next four quarters to slightly over 10% from around 20% at the end of the fourth quarter. They noted that an easing in financial conditions has helped reduce downside risks considerably while the Fed’s pause in hiking interest-rates has lifted sentiment.

Adding further insight into the outlook for monetary policy in the months ahead, the Commerce Department will publish March inflation figures at 8:30AM ET (12:30 GMT). The consumer price index is expected to rise 1.8% on an annualized basis, while core CPI, that excludes volatile food and fuel costs, is forecast to hold steady at 2.1%.

At 2:00PM ET (18:00 GMT), investors will peruse the minutes from the Fed’s meeting on March 20. The central bank switched gears last month, not only saying it no longer expected to increase rates this year but also indicated that it plans to end the reduction of its balance sheet by September.

On the company front, big U.S. banks will be in the spotlight as their chief executives head to Washington to participate in a scheduled event, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 Years After the Financial Crisis”, with the House Committee of Financial Services.

Their testimony comes as JP Morgan and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) prepare to unofficially kick off the first-quarter earnings season. Both banks report on Friday.

Wednesday’s session will also see a trickle of quarterly earnings from the likes of Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) ahead of the open and Bed, Bath & Beyond after the close.

Elsewhere, the European Central Bank was set to deliver its latest decision on monetary policy at 7:45 AM ET (11:45 GMT). While no changes to interest rates are expected, the euro zone monetary authority may provide further details to its program to offer low-cost financing to banks, known as TLTROs.

Also on the docket, European leaders are holding an emergency summit starting at 12:00 PM ET (16:00 GMT) to decide whether to grant the U.K. yet another extension to its departure from the European Union.

Outside of equities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, dipped 0.06% to 96.55 by 6:49 AM ET (10:49 GMT), while the yield on the 10-year Treasury inched up 0.3 basis points to 2.502%.

In commodities, gold futures were little changed at $1,307.75 a troy ounce, while crude oil traded up 0.7% to $67.44 a barrel.

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India stocks lower at close of trade; Nifty 50 down 0.75%

– India stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Technology, Metals and IT sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 declined 0.75%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index lost 0.91%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Tata Motors Ltd (NS:TAMO), which rose 4.81% or 9.90 points to trade at 216.05 at the close. Meanwhile, Cipla Ltd. (NS:CIPL) added 2.72% or 14.45 points to end at 546.45 and Wipro Ltd (NS:WIPR) was up 2.72% or 7.45 points to 281.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Bharti Airtel Ltd. (NS:BRTI), which fell 3.74% or 13.15 points to trade at 340.00 at the close. Hindalco Industries Ltd. (NS:HALC) declined 2.56% or 5.55 points to end at 211.70 and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (NS:TCS) was down 2.29% or 47.85 points to 2040.25.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Tata Motors Ltd (BO:TAMO) which rose 4.68% to 215.65, Tata Motors Ltd DVR (BO:TAMdv) which was up 3.18% to settle at 102.35 and Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (BO:HLL) which gained 0.78% to close at 1691.75.

The worst performers were Bharti Airtel Ltd (BO:BRTI) which was down 3.28% to 340.05 in late trade, Asian Paints Ltd. (BO:ASPN) which lost 2.15% to settle at 1412.45 and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (BO:TCS) which was down 2.12% to 2043.80 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 921 to 652 and 80 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1340 fell and 1097 advanced, while 157 ended unchanged.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was up 4.19% to 21.1300 a new 3-months high.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.05% or 0.65 to $1307.65 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.69% or 0.44 to hit $64.42 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.47% or 0.33 to trade at $70.94 a barrel.

USD/INR was down 0.01% to 69.248, while EUR/INR rose 0.08% to 78.0750.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.05% at 96.562.

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U.K. GDP Slows in February, Matches Consensus

- The rate of economic growth in the U.K. slowed as expected in February, while markets awaited a further extension of the deadline for the U.K. to leave the European Union.

Gross domestic product grew 0.2% in February, the Office for National Statistics reported on Wednesday, slowing from the 0.5% expansion seen in January but in line with consensus.

“Services again drove the economy, with a continued strong performance in IT,” ONS Head of GDP Rob Kent-Smith said in the report. “Manufacturing also continued to recover after weakness at the end of last year with the often-erratic pharmaceutical industry, chemicals and alcohol performing well in recent months.”

In a separate report, manufacturing production grew 0.9% in February, while industrial production increased 0.6%.

With two days to go until the official deadline for the U.K.’s departure from the EU, an extension to that deadline is widely expected to be reached at an emergency EU summit to be held on Wednesday.

The terms, however, still remain uncertain as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May failed to gain approval of a short delay until June 30 and European Council President Donald Tusk has suggested a 12-month delay.

The International Monetary Fund cut its forecasts for world growth on Tuesday and gave a specific warning over not reaching an agreement over their separation.

“A no-deal Brexit that severely disrupts supply chains and raises trade costs could potentially have large and long-lasting negative impacts on the economies of the United Kingdom and the European Union,” the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook..

For the U.K. separately, the IMF predicted that a chaotic departure could result in two years of recession.

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Euro Drifts Ahead of Brexit Summit, ECB Meeting

-- The euro edged higher against the dollar and was little changed against sterling in early trade in Europe on Wednesday, with two big diary events looming large over the market.

At 04:00 AM ET (0800 GMT), the euro was at $1.1271, up around 0.1% from late Tuesday in Europe. The pound was at $1.3076 against the dollar and 1.1602 against the euro, still stuck in the tight range of recent sessions.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was at 96.565, down fractionally from late Tuesday.

The emergency European Union summit on Brexit appears likely to agree some form of extension to the U.K.’s date for leaving the bloc, but the terms it will require are still uncertain, after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s visits to Paris and Berlin on Wednesday failed to gain approval for her proposal of a short delay until June 30.

“The European Union is in no mood to force a hard Brexit, whatever the chatter,” Marc Ostwald, strategist at ADM ISI in London, wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.

The day’s other big event in Europe is the European Central Bank’s regular meeting, brought forward by a day to allow policymakers to get to Washington DC in time for the International Monetary Fund’s spring meeting.

On Wednesday, the IMF cut its forecast for world growth this year to the lowest since 2009, a mere 3.3%, due not least to a slowdown in the euro zone that the ECB is under pressure to stop.

No policy action is expected this week, but market participants will be anxious to hear more detail about the possibility of ‘tiering’ the penalty rate on deposits at the ECB, a step that would allow the bank to cut its official interest rates again without hurting the already weak profitability of Eurozone banks. They’ll also want to hear more about the new long-term loans that are due to start in September, and about whether the ECB wants to use them to increase overall liquidity (thereby loosening monetary conditions), or merely to stop it falling.

Elsewhere, the dollar drifted lower against the Aussie and kiwi overnight, and was also off recent highs against the Turkish lira ahead of an important update on policy reform by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.

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Dollar, Yen Little Changed; U.S.-EU Trade Tensions, Brexit in Focus

- The U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen were little changed on Wednesday in Asia as traders remained cautious amid the Brexit uncertainty and trade tensions between the EU and the U.S.

The Japanese yen received some support earlier in the day, fuelled by escalating U.S.-EU trade tensions and the International Monetary Fund's bearish update on global growth.

The safe-haven currency gave back some of its gain and was last traded at 111.14 against the dollar, down 0.03%.

Reports on Monday said the U.S. and EU could be set to impose tit-for-tat tariffs on each others' products. The U.S. said it could be slapping tariffs on $11 billion worth of EU goods. In response, the EU said it stands ready to launch countermeasures.

The dispute over government subsidies given to Boeing (NYSE:BA) and European rival Airbus had been tied up in ligation since 2004, but the World Trade Organization in May last year ruled that European subsidies to Airbus were illegal.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was also largely unchanged at 96.637.

Investor sentiment was further dampened today after the IMF cut its 2019 U.S. growth outlook to 2.3% from 2.5% in January and cut its 2019 global growth outlook to 3.3%, the lowest level since the financial crisis.

Looking ahead, investors' focus will be on a European Central Bank meeting and the release of minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting.

On Tuesday, U.K. lawmakers voted ahead of a Brexit summit meeting later in the day to approve Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to seek to delay Britain's exit from the European Union to June 30.

The EUR/USD pair was unchanged at 1.1260, while the GBP/USD pair edged up 0.1% to 1.3069.

The AUD/USD pair and the NZD/USD pair were up 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.

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Gold Prices Slip Despite IMF’s Outlook Update

- Gold prices slipped on Wednesday in Asia even as stocks declined after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its economic outlook and puts growth forecast at the lowest levels since 2009.

Gold futures traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange were down 0.1% to $1,306.65 an ounce by 11:10 PM ET (03:10 GMT).

Asian equities and other risk assets fell on Wednesday after the IMF said the global economy should grow by only 3.3% this year, down from the 3.5% forecast back in January.

The safe-haven gold, which usually moves in directions opposite to stocks, also fell today.

The IMF has already cut its forecast twice in the past six months.

“Higher trade policy uncertainty and concerns of escalation and retaliation would reduce business investment, disrupt supply chains, and slow productivity growth,” said the fund. “The resulting depressed outlook for corporate profitability could dent financial market sentiment and further dampen growth.”

Looking ahead, traders will likely switch focus to the upcoming minutes of Federal Reserve’s March meeting.

The minutes, due at 2:00 PM ET on Wednesday, will likely provide clues on whether the central bank will continue with its pause on rates or move into an easing.

Investors will be looking for more clues on both the Fed’s near-term and long-term outlook on international risks and the overall economic outlook in the U.S.

Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested that the central bank should cut rates to combat a seemingly slowing U.S. economic growth.

Markets also keep an close eyes on the trade front, as reports suggested that the U.S. is considering imposing new tariffs on European goods including new passenger helicopters, various cheeses and wines, ski-suits and certain motorcycles.

Better-than-expected manufacturing data coming out from China and the strong U.S. job reports was cited as supporting the safe-haven gold earlier this week.

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Canada stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite down 0.43%

– Canada stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Healthcare, Telecoms and Energy sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite lost 0.43%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were New Gold Inc (TO:NGD), which rose 4.17% or 0.050 points to trade at 1.250 at the close. Meanwhile, NexGen Energy Ltd. (TO:NXE) added 3.45% or 0.080 points to end at 2.400 and Canada Goose Holdings Inc (TO:GOOS) was up 3.40% or 2.15 points to 65.36 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Encana Corporation (TO:ECA), which fell 4.34% or 0.42 points to trade at 9.26 at the close. CannTrust Holdings Inc (TO:TRST) declined 4.28% or 0.4400 points to end at 9.8400 and CES Energy Solutions Corp (TO:CEU) was down 3.63% or 0.110 points to 2.920.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 647 to 400 and 119 ended unchanged.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was up 1.98% to 12.35.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.48% or 6.25 to $1308.15 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.26% or 0.17 to hit $64.23 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.03% or 0.02 to trade at $70.76 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.01% to 0.7501, while CAD/EUR fell 0.01% to 0.6660.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.02% at 96.627.

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Netherlands stocks lower at close of trade; AEX down 0.47%

– Netherlands stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Telecoms, Industrials and Basic Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX declined 0.47%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were ABN AMRO Group NV (AS:ABNd), which rose 1.54% or 0.32 points to trade at 21.10 at the close. Meanwhile, Koninklijke KPN NV (AS:KPN) added 0.94% or 0.026 points to end at 2.806 and Randstad NV (AS:RAND) was up 0.35% or 0.16 points to 45.56 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Adyen NV (AS:ADYEN), which fell 2.19% or 15.40 points to trade at 688.60 at the close. Relx PLC (AS:REL) declined 1.19% or 0.230 points to end at 19.125 and Royal Dutch Shell PLC Class A (AS:RDSa) was down 1.03% or 0.300 points to 28.695.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 80 to 54 and 9 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 0.22% to 13.14.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 0.50% or 0.32 to $64.08 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.60% or 0.43 to hit $70.67 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.49% or 6.35 to trade at $1308.25 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.03% to 1.1262, while EUR/GBP rose 0.14% to 0.8628.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.03% at 96.623.

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Germany stocks lower at close of trade; DAX down 0.94%

– Germany stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Software, Industrials and Basic Resources sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX lost 0.94%, while the MDAX index fell 1.11%, and the TecDAX index declined 0.92%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were Beiersdorf AG O.N. (DE:BEIG), which rose 0.83% or 0.780 points to trade at 94.280 at the close. Meanwhile, RWE AG ST O.N. (DE:RWEG) added 0.51% or 0.120 points to end at 23.850 and Allianz SE VNA O.N. (DE:ALVG) was up 0.12% or 0.25 points to 205.65 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were SAP SE (DE:SAPG), which fell 3.44% or 3.500 points to trade at 98.380 at the close. Merck KGaA (DE:MRCG) declined 2.63% or 2.69 points to end at 99.76 and Henkel&Co KGaA AG Pref (DE:HNKG_p) was down 2.62% or 2.38 points to 88.34.

The top performers on the MDAX were Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (DE:AFXG) which rose 1.89% to 75.300, Axel Springer SE (DE:SPRGn) which was up 1.55% to settle at 48.600 and Gerresheimer AG (DE:GXIG) which gained 1.45% to close at 69.850.

The worst performers were Leoni AG (DE:LEOGn) which was down 3.76% to 19.730 in late trade, MTU Aero Engines NA O.N. (DE:MTXGn) which lost 3.70% to settle at 203.20 and Rocket Internet (DE:RKET) which was down 3.51% to 22.56 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were Cancom SE O.N. (DE:COKG) which rose 3.84% to 43.840, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (DE:AFXG) which was up 1.89% to settle at 75.300 and Dialog Semiconductor (DE:DLGS) which gained 0.59% to close at 30.6300.

The worst performers were Medigene NA O.N. (DE:MDG1k) which was down 4.38% to 9.500 in late trade, SMA Solar Technology AG (DE:S92G) which lost 3.62% to settle at 20.240 and SAP SE (DE:SAPG) which was down 3.44% to 98.380 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 470 to 224 and 83 ended unchanged.

Shares in Dialog Semiconductor (DE:DLGS) rose to 52-week highs; up 0.59% or 0.1800 to 30.6300.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was up 2.36% to 15.17.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.51% or 6.65 to $1308.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.53% or 0.34 to hit $64.06 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.65% or 0.46 to trade at $70.64 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.06% to 1.1265, while EUR/GBP rose 0.13% to 0.8627.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.04% at 96.613.

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Norway stocks lower at close of trade; Oslo OBX down 1.13%

– Norway stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Pharma Biotech&Life Sciences, Transport and Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX lost 1.13%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Storebrand ASA (OL:STB), which rose 0.99% or 0.70 points to trade at 71.40 at the close. Meanwhile, Schibsted ASA A (OL:SBSTA) added 0.84% or 2.8 points to end at 338.0 and Leroy Seafood Group ASA (OL:LSG) was down 0.06% or 0.04 points to 62.38 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OL:NWC), which fell 6.59% or 2.66 points to trade at 37.70 at the close. DNO International ASA (OL:DNO) declined 3.32% or 0.66 points to end at 19.19 and Subsea 7 SA (OL:SUBC) was down 3.14% or 3.7 points to 114.0.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 143 to 63 and 29 ended unchanged.

Shares in Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OL:NWC) fell to 5-year lows; down 6.59% or 2.66 to 37.70.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 0.48% or 0.31 to $64.09 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.59% or 0.42 to hit $70.68 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.51% or 6.65 to trade at $1308.55 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was up 0.16% to 9.6350, while USD/NOK rose 0.09% to 8.5520.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.04% at 96.615.

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Stocks - S&P Snaps 8-Day Win Streak on Global Growth, Trade Scares

- The S&P 500 snapped an eight-day winning streak as global growth jitters and concerns about escalating U.S. and EU trade tensions soured sentiment on U.S. stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 0.72%, the S&P 500 lost 0.61%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.56%.

The EU warned it stands ready to retaliate should the U.S. move ahead with tariffs on $11.2 billion worth of EU goods, raising fears that both nations are on a collision course. Both sides accuse the other of illegally subsidizing their respective aircraft makers, Boeing in the U.S. and Airbus in the EU.

The dispute has been tied up in litigation since 2004, but came to the fore last May when the World Trade Organization ruled that Airbus had received illegal government funding for its A380 and A350 models, adversely affecting Boeing's sales.

Trade aside, Boeing (NYSE:BA) came under fire after the aircraft maker said total orders, a measure of future demand, plunged to 95 aircraft in the first quarter from 180 a year earlier. The aircraft maker's much maligned 737 MAX jets saw orders plunge to zero following a worldwide grounding in March.

Elsewhere, fears over global growth resurfaced, prompting investors to hold off of risky bets after the IMF cut its global growth outlook, citing Brexit-related uncertainties and U.S.-China trade tensions.

The IMF sees global economic growth of 3.3% this year, down from the 3.5% it forecast in January.

The broader market was also pegged back by falling energy stocks on the back of slump in oil prices as oversupply fears returned. The EIA lifted its forecast for 2019 and 2020 average U.S. oil production, while Russian President Vladimir Putin poured cold water on expectations for prolonged oil-production cuts, saying current oil prices were suitable for Moscow.

In tech, semis stumbled amid fears the rally in the sector so far this year has led frothy valuations in chips stocks.

“We downgrade semis to benchmark,” Morgan Stanley wrote in note Monday. "The sector is now discounting above-trend growth in the U.S. We worry about a lengthening smartphone cycle."

Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) ended the day nursing losses.

With just a three days to go until JPMorgan and Wells Fargo kick off the first-quarter earnings season on Friday, investors are seemingly reining in bets on a bullish quarter, with many expecting a tough road ahead.

First-quarter earnings are now expected to decline 4.2% year over year for S&P 500 companies, according to FactSet, compared to a 3.9% decline forecast just one week ago.

On the economic front, weaker-than-expected U.S. job openings added to the day's gloom.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN), Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) and Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Pentair (NYSE:PNR), Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

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Costco Is a Great Stock, but Buy on the Dips

- Numbers suggest Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) stock is overbought.

Even with Tuesday's 0.8% dip, the stock is selling at 32x trailing 12-month earnings.

The technical indicators on rate the stock a sell. The consensus one-year target price for the stock is $241.35 and that's lower than the current price.

Of 30 analysts tracked by , 18 rate the stock a buy and the rest are neutral.

And it has had a terrific run-up since the Christmas slump, rising 30% from its Dec. 26 low to a 52-week high of $247.09 on Monday.

All that said, Costco has a long record of growing its business ($142 billion in revenue in fiscal 2018), growing it profitably and growing it with a well-paid workforce who buy the stock and tend to stay at the company for a long time.

Costco, with its big warehouses filled with a somewhat limited selection, is nonetheless the world's largest seller of choice and prime beef, organic foods, rotisserie chickens and wine.

Its auto-buying program, where it matches buyers with local dealers who agree to limit their markups, resulted in 650,000 sales in 2018, up 25% from a year earlier. If Costco were an auto dealer, it would be one of the largest.

Prices are low in part because Costco has a built-in profit center in the annual membership fees it charges customers, who typically renew every year.

As of March, the Issaquah, Wash.-based company operated 770 warehouses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Spain, France, Japan and South Korea.

And shareholders have done well, with a return of more than 14% a year - plus dividends - since the end of 2014.

When to get into Costco requires good timing because when Costco falls, it falls heavily. It dropped 42% in the turmoil in the year or so after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks; 49% in 2008-2009, the heart of the financial crisis; and nearly 23% from its top in September to the post-Christmas bottom.

The last pullback was triggered in part because its first-quarter earnings and revenue missed Wall Street estimates. But the shares recovered nicely in March after its second-quarter earnings beat estimates. Some of the volatility may be due to the share ownership. Institutions own more than 73% of the stock.

Analysts polled by expect $1.82 in earnings for the third quarter on revenue of $34.6 billion, compared with $1.70 a share and sales of $32.4 billion a year ago. Earnings are due May 31.

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Yen Keeps Dollar in Doldrums Amid Global Growth Jitters

- The U.S dollar slipped against its rivals on Tuesday, pressured by a rise in the yen amid rising safe-haven demand. That was fueled by escalating U.S.-EU trade tensions and the International Monetary Fund's bearish update on global growth.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.11% to 95.93.

USD/JPY fell 0.33% to Y111.10 as safe-haven demand was stoked on fears the U.S. and EU could be set to impose tit-for-tat tariffs on each others' products.

The dispute over government subsidies given to Boeing and European rival Airbus had been tied up in ligation since 2004, but the World Trade Organization in May last year ruled that European subsidies to Airbus were illegal.

The U.S. said it could be slapping tariffs on $11 billion worth of EU goods. In response, the EU said it stands ready to launch countermeasures.

Safe-haven demand was fueled further by global growth concerns after the IMF cut its 2019 U.S. growth outlook to 2.3% from 2.5% in January and cut its 2019 global growth outlook to the lowest level since the financial crisis.

On the domestic economic front, weaker-than-expected U.S. job openings also pinned the dollar back.

GBP/USD fell 0.20% to 1.3035 as U.K. lawmakers voted in favor of Theresa May's plans to delay Brexit until June 30. The prime minister will now travel to to the European Council summit in Brussels on Wednesday, where she will formally request an extension to Brexit.

Ahead of May's trip, a draft EU document circulated to diplomats proposing an extension, but it left blank the length of a delay to Brexit, which will be agreed by leaders at the EU summit on Wednesday.

European Council President Donald Tusk urged the EU leaders to consider offering the U.K a lengthy Brexit delay as there was "little reason to believe" that the U.K. leaders would be able to rubber stamp the withdrawal agreement by the end June.

EUR/USD rose 0.06% to $1.1266 ahead of the European Central Bank decision due Wednesday, with analysts expecting the central bank's monetary policy to be balanced after the dovish outlook provided in the previous in meeting in March.

USD/CAD climbed 0.11% to C$1.3327 with the loonie coming under pressure amid falling U.S. oil prices as Russian President Vladimir Putin poured cold water on expectations for an extension to oil-production cuts, saying the current price of oil suited Moscow.

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StockBeat - Pentair Cuts Guidance as Cold Snap Freezes Growth; Shares Fall

- Pentair plunged on Tuesday after the water solutions company cut its full-year guidance following weaker preliminary first-quarter results due to adverse weather conditions.

For full-year 2019, Pentair (NYSE:PNR) said that it expects adjusted earnings per share in the range of $2.30 to $2.35, below prior guidance of $2.50 to $2.60. Full-year sales, meanwhile, are expected to increase about 1% to 2% on a reported basis, down from previous sales guidance for an increase of about 5% to 6%.

Its shares fell more than 14%.

Pentair reported preliminary first-quarter adjusted earnings of $0.43 per share, missing its prior forecast for earnings in a range of $0.52 to $0.55 per share. Revenue for the quarter slumped 6%, well below the previous estimate of flat to up 1%.

"Our first quarter was significantly impacted by the adverse cold and wet weather in our higher margin aquatics and ag-related businesses," Pentair CEO John L. Stauch said.

The company also highlighted moderating growth in several of its end markets and higher-than-expected inventory levels in some of its key distribution channels as headwinds in the quarter weighed on growth.

"Due to seasonality in PNR's major end markets, it is unlikely the company can fully recoup from Q1 headwinds in 2019, but we expect a return to normal growth in 2020," said CFRA, an independent research provider.

"We forecast 2019 sales up 1%-2%, down from our previous estimate for 5% growth."

Pentair will report full first-quarter results on April 17.

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Oil Dips Ahead of Inventories; Eyes Still on Libya and Iran

By Barani Krishnan

- It's that typical time of the week when the market gets a grip ahead of inventory data, Libya and Iran issues notwithstanding.

With Wall Street rattled by President Donald Trump's latest barrage on trade -- this time with the EU -- hedge funds are holding up their bullish charge to see what the weekly supply-demand snapshot from the American Petroleum Institute will bring in before Wednesday's official numbers.

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude was down 46 cents, or 0.7%, at $63.94 per barrel by 11:44 AM ET (15:44 GMT) after hitting $64.78 earlier, its highest level since November.

London-traded Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, slipped 40 cents, or 0.6%, to $70.70, retreating from a five-month high of $71.34.

Year to date, WTI is up 41%, while Brent has gained 31%.

"The market must be wary of this week’s oil inventories" even as traders were "pricing a very tight market", said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at the Price Futures Group brokerage in Chicago.

"We should see about a 2-million-barrel increase in crude supply and a drop of about 2.5 million barrels on the product side," Flynn added, citing the many issues in the Houston Ship Channel after weather problems and a chemical plant fire threw data issued by the Energy Information Administration over the past two weeks out of whack.

The EIA reported a crude inventory build of 2.8 million barrels for the week ended March 22 and 7.3 million in the subsequent week to March 29, versus drawdowns anticipated by the market.

API's numbers often diverge with those of the EIA. But the agency's reports are still closely followed as a precursor to what the official data could be. Analysts will be able to see if they are close with their consensus for a 2.5-million-barrel build for the week ended April 5. The API releases its numbers at 4:30 PM ET (20:30 GMT).

Away from the inventory watch, the undercurrents of the oil rally seem intact.

In Libya, forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar continued their advance on the capital, striking Tripoli's only working airport and ignoring international calls for a truce. Haftar's forces are already in control of half or more of the oilfields that produce some 1.1 million barrels of the country's daily output.

Any disruption in Libyan oil volumes will further squeeze a global crude market already in panic mode from U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

Trump upped the U.S. ante against Iran by designating the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a foreign terrorist organization.

While the labeling brings an "additional level of uncertainty for any individual doing any transaction with Iran" and "should strengthen the U.S. economic pressure on Iran", it also raises tensions that feed to higher prices, said Olivier Jakob, managing director at PetroMatrix in Zug, Switzerland.

Offsetting some of the bullish fervor were remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Moscow wasn't decided on its cooperation with OPEC on production cuts ahead of meetings in May and June. There has been much speculation that Russia wants to raise output at prices north of $70 per barrel.

Scott Shelton, energy futures broker at ICAP (LON:NXGN) in Durham, N.C., said hedge funds long on oil were largely undeterred in their buying.

"I underestimated the effect of the trend followers and momentum followers in the market, who could care less about supply and demand and OPEC capacity," Shelton said. "What I should have cared about was the capacity of CTA buying, like many did when prices went under $50."

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Disney Rides Upgrade Higher Midday; Streaming Details Eyed

- Disney share rose in midday trading following an analyst upgrade as the market looked forward to details of its streaming service at its investor day Thursday.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) rose 1.4% and the S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector rose 0.4%.

S.G. Cowen upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform and boosted its price target to $131 from $102, Briefing.com reported.

Cowen noted the potential for the streaming service, Disney+, and the company’s strong pipeline of films.

"We view Disney's catalyst path for the next year as highly attractive, and believe Thursday’s investor day will likely be a deck-clearing event for sentiment,” Cowen said.

But the are longer-term concerns about the company’s Fox acquisition, it added.

Wall Street already has a grasp on the content Disney can bring to its streaming service but will be looking for more details of how Disney+ will actually work, including pricing, on Thursday.

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Stocks - Wall Street Slumps as New Trade Worries Emerge

- Stocks fell at the start of trading Tuesday as a new global trade worry about tariffs dented sentiment.

The Dow fell 0.9%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite was off 0.33%.

Global stocks were on edge after the United States threatened to slap tariffs on hundreds of European goods as retaliation for subsidies given to Airbus. The European Union has begun preparations to respond in kind over Boeing (NYSE:BA) subsidies, an EU official said.

Investors were also on edge about quarterly results, with earnings season about to begin and the first-quarter profits of S&P 500 companies expected by analysts to fall.

"Investors are now wondering if companies are no longer growing their earnings, then how much do they want to pay for these earnings," said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners.

"The jobs numbers weren't necessarily as bad as most of us had thought, but everybody is looking at earnings season to tell what individual companies are seeing in the future."

Among active individual stocks, Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) was down 4% after confirming it offered $7.1 billion for Australian-based casino operator Crown Resorts.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) shares fell 2.3% on downwardly revised guidance for the first quarter.

And Novartis ADRs (NYSE:NVS) fell 10.5% after the company spun off its eye-care unit Alcon.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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Stocks - Wynn, Novartis Fall in Premarket; American Airlines, Cerner Rise

-- Stocks in focus in premarket trade on Tuesday include:

• Novartis ADRs (NYSE:NVS) fell 10.6% after the company spun off its eye-care unit Alcon; Alcon’s shares listed in New York and Zurich Tuesday with a market value of some $25 billion.

• American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) stock rose 1.2% after the company’s downwardly revised guidance for the first quarter was less severe than feared.

• Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) stock surged 8.2% after the company shook up its board and increased its buyback program under pressure from activist investor Starboard Capital.

• Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock rose 0.4% after Wedbush raised its target price to $225 from $215, citing a “slow turnaround” in demand in China.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) continued to fall, losing 1.7% after a 5.2% drop on Monday in the wake of a downgrade by analysts at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM).

• Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN)was down 2.6% after confirming it offered $7.1 billion for Australian-based casino operator Crown Resorts.

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India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 0.58%

– India stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Real Estate, Auto and Banking sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 gained 0.58%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index gained 0.62%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Yes Bank Ltd (NS:YESB), which rose 4.50% or 11.70 points to trade at 270.60 at the close. Meanwhile, Wipro Ltd (NS:WIPR) added 4.19% or 11.05 points to end at 273.80 and Tata Motors Ltd (NS:TAMO) was up 3.22% or 6.45 points to 205.90 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Asian Paints Ltd. (NS:ASPN), which fell 3.11% or 46.55 points to trade at 1444.85 at the close. Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (NS:INBF) declined 3.19% or 27.40 points to end at 831.75 and Bharti Airtel Ltd. (NS:BRTI) was down 1.17% or 4.15 points to 351.60.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Yes Bank Ltd (BO:YESB) which rose 4.08% to 270.60, Tata Motors Ltd DVR (BO:TAMdv) which was up 3.17% to settle at 99.20 and Tata Motors Ltd (BO:TAMO) which gained 2.67% to close at 206.00.

The worst performers were Asian Paints Ltd. (BO:ASPN) which was down 3.54% to 1443.50 in late trade, Infosys Ltd (BO:INFY) which lost 0.95% to settle at 759.85 and Bharti Airtel Ltd (BO:BRTI) which was down 0.76% to 351.60 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 902 to 666 and 73 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1338 fell and 1119 advanced, while 142 ended unchanged.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was up 0.63% to 20.2800 a new 3-months high.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.27% or 3.55 to $1305.45 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.19% or 0.12 to hit $64.52 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.06% or 0.04 to trade at $71.06 a barrel.

USD/INR was down 0.43% to 69.265, while EUR/INR fell 0.29% to 78.0815.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.11% at 96.547.

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Tencent-backed Chinese Game-streaming Company Huya Launches Follow-on Offering

- Tencent (HK:0700)-backed Chinese game-streaming company Huya Inc (NYSE:HUYA) announced in a stock exchange filing on April 8 that it is launching a follow-on public offering of American Depositary shares (ADS).

The company is selling 13.6 million primary shares, according to the statement. At the same time, social media platform YY Inc is selling 4.8 million of Huya shares.

Based on Huya’s closing prices on Monday, the combined sale could raise as much as $464 million.

The funds raised from the offering would be used for investment in its content and e-sports partners, the company said.

Citigroup (NYSE:C), Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Jefferies are joint bookrunners for the deal.

Huya, which raised $180 million in 2018 through its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, is China's largest active game live streaming platform, its offering prospectus showed. Its competitor, Douyu, is reportedly planning to go public in New York later in 2019.

Huya’s shares closed down 2.9% on Monday in the U.S. following the announcement.

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Gold Prices Inches Higher as Asian Equities Ease

- Gold prices inched higher on Tuesday in Asia as equities eased following reports that the U.S. is considering imposing new tariffs on European goods.

Gold futures traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange were up 0.1% to $1,303.55 an ounce by 1:20 AM ET (05:20 GMT).

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was little changed at 96.613 after data showed the country’s factory goods orders were largely in line with expectations and did little to ease worries about a slowdown in the economy.

Equities and other risk assets lost momentum today after the U.S. Trade Representative proposed tariffs against the EU on new passenger helicopters, various cheeses and wines, ski-suits and certain motorcycles

The move is part of the process for retaliation against over $11 billion worth of damage from EU subsidies to Airbus, a rival of Boeing (NYSE:BA), that the World Trade Organization said has “repeatedly” caused “adverse effects” to the U.S.

Traders are also monitoring development in the conflicts in Libya as more geopolitical flash-points in the Middle East could hurt risk assets and boost demand in the safe-haven gold.

In the U.K., Prime Minister Theresa May will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday before heading to the EU summit the next day to request another Brexit delay.

On the Sino-U.S. trade front, officials from the two sides will resume negotiations this week remotely after the last two rounds of trade talks concluded in Beijing and Washington respectively earlier this month.

It was reported that the two sides are moving “closer and closer” to a trade agreement, although they are still trying to work out certain details concerning the deal.

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Crypto Drops; QuadrigaCX Officially Declares Bankrupt

- Major cryptocurrencies dropped on Tuesday morning in Asia, with the market cap staying at around $181 billion.

Bitcoin dropped 1.05% to $5,185.1 by 12:08 PM ET (04:08 AM GMT), after reaching as high as $5,299.4 the day before.

Ethereum lost 2.64% to $175.89, XRP slid 3.29% to $0.34981 and Litecoin shed 5.95% to $85.874.

QuadrigaCX, one of Canada’s biggest crypto exchanges, was officially declared bankrupt after the court monitor Ernst & Young recommended that this should be the case earlier this month. Ernst and Young will be granted enhanced investigative powers as a trustee under the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

The crypto exchange is said to be owning 115,000 users more than $260 million in cash and cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

After its founder Gerald Cotton suddenly died in India last year, the crypto exchange was not able to access the money locked in the cold wallets as Cotton was the only person who held the passcodes.

Elsewhere, Lithuania’s Ministry of Finance proposed legal amendments for operating crypto-related businesses.

The move aims to bring more legal certainty to the operation of companies relating to crypto exchanges, crypto wallet operators and initial coin offerings. The financial regulators also plan to introduce requirements to ensure effective prevention of money-laundering and terrorism funding.

"We want to create a transparent legal environment for virtual currency exchanges, depository wallet operators and ICO initiators. We also want to contribute to ensuring better consumer protection," said Sigitas Mitkus, director of the Finance Ministry's financial market policy department.

Clients’ identity will be checked before they receive services if the operation value exceeds 1,000 euros. The move means Lithuania could become the world’s first country to implement recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force.

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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

- Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

1. JOLTs Data Due

Following up from last week’s employment report, the market will get the lagest figures from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTs).

The Labor Department will release its February JOLTs report at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

On average, economists expect that job openings fell to 7.55 million, according to forecasts compiled by .

At 6:00 AM ET, the NFIB small business optimism index is released.

Economists predict that the index ticked down slightly to 101.3 in March.

2. Oil Hits 5-Month High, API on Tap

The American Petroleum Institute's petroleum data, which showed a surprise build last week, will likely come under scrutiny on Tuesday, as some have blamed a well supplied domestic market for keeping a lid on gains in U.S. oil prices.

WTI futures hit a five-month high today, settling at $64.40, but has lagged the move in Brent crude as the U.S. remains "well supplied with its own production," said Fiona Cincotta at City Index.

Oil prices have racked up gains as fears over a glut in global supplies have eased somewhat following expectations for supply disruptions in Libya as fighting has intensified. There are also hopes that OPEC will agree to extend its production-cut accord.

"I think we are getting to a point where inventories are starting to stabilize, but they are still above what I would call a normal level," Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said Monday during the Gulf Intelligence Forum in Riyadh.

Falih also touted Asia as a hotspot for medium-term oil demand growth.

"The underlying drivers for oil will be there, (with) people moving from rural to big cities, that's not going to be dented significantly by GDP growth," he added.

3. WD-40 to Report Results

It’s not the biggest company for investors, but almost everyone deals with it.

WD-40 (NASDAQ:WDFC) reports fiscal second-quarter earnings Tuesday morning and analysts polled by are expecting $1.12 a share, up from $1.05 a year ago. Revenue is projected at $104.1 million, up 3.1% a year ago. WD-40 is best-known for the eponymous product everyone sprays on hard-to-loosen nuts and bolts and the like.

Technically, WD-40 makes maintenance products, and the company says, “We live under the sinks, in the garages and in the toolboxes of the world.” In fact, WD-40 is sold in some 176 countries through mass retail and home center stores, warehouse club stores, grocery stores, hardware stores, automotive parts outlets, sport retailers, independent bike dealers, online retailers and industrial distributors and suppliers.

The San Diego company’s shares are down 7.4% this year as of Monday’s close, but they were up 55% in 2018 and even hit a 52-week high of $187.50 on Dec. 24, a day the stock market was cratering.

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France stocks lower at close of trade; CAC 40 down 0.08%

– France stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Financials, Healthcare and Foods&Drugs sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 fell 0.08%, while the SBF 120 index declined 0.14%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Airbus Group SE (PA:AIR), which rose 1.74% or 2.06 points to trade at 120.74 at the close. Meanwhile, TechnipFMC PLC (PA:FTI) added 1.13% or 0.25 points to end at 22.46 and Dassault Systemes SE (PA:DAST) was up 1.01% or 1.35 points to 134.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Valeo SA (PA:VLOF), which fell 2.14% or 0.64 points to trade at 29.22 at the close. Safran SA (PA:SAF) declined 1.95% or 2.45 points to end at 123.00 and Publicis Groupe SA (PA:PUBP) was down 1.50% or 0.70 points to 45.83.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Genfit (PA:GNFT) which rose 5.87% to 22.740, DBV Technologies (PA:DBV) which was up 5.81% to settle at 16.400 and Euronext (PA:ENX) which gained 1.85% to close at 57.70.

The worst performers were ALD SA (PA:ALDA) which was down 4.03% to 12.86 in late trade, Elior Group (PA:ELIOR) which lost 2.92% to settle at 11.97 and Television Francaise 1 SA (PA:TFFP) which was down 2.56% to 8.195 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 305 to 278 and 87 ended unchanged.

Shares in Airbus Group SE (PA:AIR) rose to all time highs; up 1.74% or 2.06 to 120.74. Shares in Publicis Groupe SA (PA:PUBP) fell to 5-year lows; losing 1.50% or 0.70 to 45.83.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 4.66% to 14.13.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.49% or 6.35 to $1301.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 2.14% or 1.35 to hit $64.43 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 1.05% or 0.74 to trade at $71.08 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.41% to 1.1260, while EUR/GBP rose 0.17% to 0.8620.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.36% at 96.648.

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Norway stocks higher at close of trade; Oslo OBX up 0.76%

– Norway stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Energy, Healthcare Equipment&Services and Software&Computer Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX rose 0.76%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Golden Ocean Group Ltd (OL:GOGLT), which rose 5.10% or 2.22 points to trade at 45.76 at the close. Meanwhile, BW Offshore Ltd (OL:BWO) added 3.70% or 1.780 points to end at 49.860 and Aker BP ASA (OL:AKERBP) was up 2.99% or 9.20 points to 316.80 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Schibsted ASA A (OL:SBSTA), which fell 2.90% or 10.0 points to trade at 335.2 at the close. Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OL:NWC) declined 1.99% or 0.82 points to end at 40.61 and Nel ASA (OL:NEL) was down 1.53% or 0.090 points to 5.800.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 130 to 91 and 19 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 2.17% or 1.37 to $64.45 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 1.07% or 0.75 to hit $71.09 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.48% or 6.25 to trade at $1301.85 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was down 0.30% to 9.6260, while USD/NOK fell 0.71% to 8.5462.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.38% at 96.632.

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Sweden stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 up 0.14%

– Sweden stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Consumer Services and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 rose 0.14% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were H&M Hennes&Mauritz AB B (ST:HMb), which rose 1.55% or 2.5 points to trade at 164.9 at the close. Meanwhile, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson Class B (ST:ERICb) added 1.30% or 1.16 points to end at 90.24 and Getinge AB ser. B (ST:GETIb) was up 0.98% or 1.1 points to 107.8 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Kinnevik, Investment AB ser. B (ST:KINVb), which fell 0.96% or 2.4 points to trade at 247.5 at the close. AB SKF B (ST:SKFb) declined 0.62% or 1.1 points to end at 167.9 and Nordea Bank Abp (ST:NDASE) was down 0.56% or 0.43 points to 75.99.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 360 to 272 and 70 ended unchanged.

Shares in Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson Class B (ST:ERICb) rose to 3-years highs; rising 1.30% or 1.16 to 90.24.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 2.17% or 1.37 to $64.45 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 1.07% or 0.75 to hit $71.09 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.49% or 6.35 to trade at $1301.95 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was down 0.02% to 10.4316, while USD/SEK fell 0.42% to 9.2620.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.38% at 96.632.

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Dollar Dives on Falling U.S. Factory Orders, Euro Strength

– The U.S. dollar fell against its rivals Monday as a modest decline in U.S. factory orders did little to ease worries about a slowdown in the economy.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.37% to 94.64.

Factory goods orders fell 0.5%, in line with economists' expectations amid weak orders for machinery, transportation equipment and computers and electronic products, the Commerce Department said on Monday.

The decline in the greenback was also exacerbated by a firmer euro amid better-than-expected trade data from Germany.

EUR/USD rose 0.42% to $1.1265. The upbeat start to the week for the single currency comes just days ahead of European Central Bank meeting due Wednesday, with many expecting further dovish commentary from ECB President Mario Draghi.

GBP/USD rose 0.22% to $1.3065 as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May continued talks with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to break the Brexit impasse.

May is set to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, in a bid to secure an extension to Brexit with just four days until the April 12 deadline. The prime minister will reportedly also reach out to other leaders before pleading her case for another delay at Wednesday’s EU summit in Brussels. Without an extension, the U.K. risks leaving the EU without a deal.

An extension to Brexit "may depend whether the U.K. can pass the withdrawal agreement before Friday at 23:00 London time," said Societe Generale (PA:SOGN). Sterling "could face a white-knuckle ride week, with the mood swinging between hope and despair," the bank added.

USD/JPY fell 0.23% to Y111.49 as a rise in the yen on the back of safe haven amid a selloff on Wall Street.

USD/CAD fell 0.52% to C$1.3313 as rising oil prices helped the loonie shrugged off weaker-than-expected Canadian housing data.

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Russia stocks higher at close of trade; MOEX Russia up 0.75%

– Russia stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Power and Mining sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Moscow, the MOEX Russia rose 0.75% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the MOEX Russia were NPK OVK PAO (MCX:UWGN), which rose 4.18% or 17.9 points to trade at 445.8 at the close. Meanwhile, Tatneft OAO Pref (MCX:TATN_p) added 3.51% or 19.50 points to end at 574.50 and Tatneft-3 (MCX:TATN) was up 3.15% or 23.00 points to 754.20 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Rosseti ao (MCX:RSTI), which fell 2.90% or 0.0300 points to trade at 1.0050 at the close. Safmar Finansovye Investitsii PAO (MCX:SFIN) declined 2.89% or 14.2 points to end at 478.0 and MTS (MCX:MTSS) was down 1.31% or 3.45 points to 260.85.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 121 to 108 and 17 ended unchanged.

Shares in Safmar Finansovye Investitsii PAO (MCX:SFIN) fell to all time lows; losing 2.89% or 14.2 to 478.0.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MOEX Russia options, was down 0.43% to 20.930.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.49% or 6.35 to $1301.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 1.55% or 0.98 to hit $64.06 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.90% or 0.63 to trade at $70.97 a barrel.

USD/RUB was down 0.55% to 64.9900, while EUR/RUB fell 0.10% to 73.2115.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.39% at 96.627.

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Boeing Falls 5%

- Boeing (NYSE:BA) fell by 5.04% to trade at $372.10 by 12:06 (16:06 GMT) on Monday on the NYSE exchange.

The volume of Boeing shares traded since the start of the session was 7.88M. Boeing has traded in a range of $372.05 to $379.80 on the day.

The stock has traded at $398.6600 at its highest and $372.1000 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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Sony Rises Midday on Hedge Fund Stake Report

- Sony jumped in midday trading after a report that a hedge fund was taking a stake in the company to initiate changes.

Daniel Loeb’s Third Point has amassed a stake in Sony for the second time in six years, Reuters reported, but the size of the position was not known.

Sony (NYSE:SNE) rose 7%.

The company is currently in the midst of a turnaround plan and is looking for the next revenue driver as sales of its PlayStation 4 reach the end of their cycle.

Sony shares are down about 4.5% for the year.

The S&P 500 consumer discretionary was up 0.6% midday.

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Oil Rises Almost 2% as Libya Strife Helps Hedge Funds Target $65 WTI

- Libya has re-entered the oil market lexicon, with a worsening military conflict in the OPEC member giving hedge funds excuse to push U.S. crude toward $65 per barrel, even as Saudi Arabia signals Russian impatience to end output cuts that have already jacked the market up 40% this year.

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude was up $1.10, or 1.7%, at $64.21 per barrel by 11:30 AM ET (15:30 GMT) after hitting $64.39 earlier, its highest since November.

London-traded Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, continued its ascent in $70 territory, trading 60 cents, or 0.9%, up at $70.94 per barrel after a five-month high at $71.16.

Hedge funds long on oil will count on OPEC to tell another intimidating tale of tightening supply in its monthly report slated for Wednesday that could extend the year-to-date rally of 40% in WTI and 31% in Brent.

"The new uncertainty on Libya adds to the uncertainty of the waivers on Iran and to the supply destruction in Venezuela," said Olivier Jakob, managing director at Petromatrix, an oil market consultancy in Zug, Switzerland.

"In an environment where crude oil is moving into backwardation and where the U.S. president is calling for a drop of interest rates, it will be difficult for financial investors to be short crude oil unless Saudi Arabia signals a change of direction," Jakob said, referring to President Donald Trump's pressure on the Federal Reserve to change its stance from a pause on rate hikes to easing.

About 40% of the 1 million barrels per day of oil production in the African state has fallen under the control of Libyan National Army chief Khalifa Haftar, who’s leading a rebellion to unseat the UN-recognized administration in Tripoli.

Libyan oil stockpiles likely fell by 830,000 barrels in the week to April 1, Orbital Insight, a Californian firm that tracks oil tank rooftops using satellites, reported to its clients this week.

Frankfurt-based Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) said if Libyan crude exports were disrupted, it would “noticeably increase the pressure on Saudi Arabia to open up the oil tap again, as it did in the autumn”.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday oil inventories remained higher than average but the market was on its way toward rebalancing.

While the 14-member OPEC and its ten other producer allies led by Russia were expected to vote for extended production cuts at an upcoming meeting in June, Falih indicated that a decision might be taken at a lower-key technical grouping in May and it may not necessarily be an extension.

The Saudi energy minister's comments seemed to reflect the thinking of his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak who, according to those familiar with Moscow's energy policy, was "under too much pressure internally to end the cuts".

"I don't think we will need (to do more) ... the market is on its way toward balance," Falih said, referring to the possibility of Saudi Arabia cutting output further below its target under the global deal.

Petromatrix's Jakob said the Saudis seemed to be grandstanding even as they were slowly acceding to Trump's demands that OPEC turn on the spigots again.

"Saudi Arabia will continue to claim that it does not listen to Trump but we take the small change of tone that can be taken as a first sign of appeasement," Jakob said, adding that Riyadh last week increased most of its overseas selling price, or OSP, for crude particularly to Europe.

Scott Shelton, energy futures at broker at ICAP (LON:NXGN) in Durham, N.C., said the concept of "WTI (as) a cheap barrel is now gone and the market will find a way to make more of it."

"Good thing I am bearish," Shelton added.

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