Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Good morning. Trade talks are complicated, growth is concerning and unicorns keep coming. A special note to our readers: We’re planning to make the redacted Mueller report available soon after the Department of Justice releases it on Thursday. Here’s what’s moving markets.
Much to ponder for President Donald Trump going into the Easter break. China’s economy is holding up pretty well, strengthening its hand in trade negotiations with the U.S., and China is also said to be considering more stimulus measures to try to bolster sales of cars and electronics in order to keep the good times going. But, complicating the picture further, the U.S. trade gap narrowed to an eight-month low following a surge in aircraft exports, a measure likely to come under pressure amid the woes faced by Boeing Co. which which has increased optimism about the U.S. GDP outlook. All eyes on a planned deal announcement in early May.
Its navel-gazing time for watchers of Europe’s economy as well. Germany slashed its growth forecast, pointing to the worst year for the country in six and prompting calls for the government to open up the coffers, even if equity analysts are sanguine about the manufacturing engine. Europe's car market is also getting worse. Another European Central Bank member, Ewald Nowotny, said growth in Europe will pick up in the second half of the year, keeping the attention focused on what the ECB will do next given how it sees the economy progressing.
IPOs have been the flavor of April and are showing few signs of slowing down. Digital bulletin board site Pinterest Inc. is likely to command much attention as the latest unicorn to go public, albeit one trying to keep from being tagged under the social media banner. Video conferencing firm Zoom Video Communications Inc. has one unique feather in its cap: it’s a profitable unicorn. Morgan Stanley Inc. sees the IPO flurry continuing, albeit only if the companies that list have a successful start to public life.
Don’t Forget Brexit
Parliament is in recess and Brexit’s been delayed until Halloween, but don’t let that stop the disappointing news flow for the U.K. to digest. The head of a manufacturing industry lobby group said he could see “ no good news” in the extension to the Brexit deadline and U.K. house prices stagnated in March as the number of home transactions dropped, blamed, as much is, on Brexit-related anxiety. Still, could be worse.
Asian stocks pulled back from six-month highs after little impact from a batch of corporate earnings in the U.K. and as Samsung Electronics Co. was weighed down in South Korea on concerns about its new foldable phone. In the U.S., another unicorn is due to go public in the shape of image-sharing site Pinterest Inc. Watch too for results from industrial bellwether Honeywell Inc., tobacco giant Philip Morris International Inc. and oil services group Schlumberger Ltd.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
- Getting divorced in London may be about to get easier.
- Central banks are pushing for better climate change risk assessments.
- Philip Morris doesn’t want you to buy its cigarettes.
- Netflix and Hulu may face subpoenas over their Fyre Festival documentaries.
- Car-sharing lobbying is proving exhausting for U.S. states.
- The Pay Check podcast on pregnancy discrimination.
- On the “ Salvator Mundi,” a painting now worth $450 million.
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