#PreMarket Primer: Wednesday, April 16: Chinese GDP Slows, But Surpasses Expectations

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The world's second largest economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months during the first quarter, but came in above expectations.

China's economy grew 7.4 percent from January to March, slightly below Chinese policymakers' target of 7.5 percent.

The data, although not overly positive, could persuade Beijing to hold off on policy changes designed to support the nation's growth.


The nation currently relies heavily on investment and consumption, both of which have taken a hit in recent months, causing the economy to sputter.

Top News

In other news around the markets:

Recent US housing market data is causing many to worry that the traditionally busy spring selling season isn't going to be all that markets were hoping for. After poor housing data throughout the winter was blamed on severe cold and storms, a lot has been riding on a marked improvement in the spring; however pending home sales declined 11 percent in February from the same time last year. In an effort to regain control of several eastern Ukrainian cities, now occupied by pro-Russian separatists, Kiev sent armed troops to eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. The Ukrainian military fired the first shots since the conflict began as soldiers tried to protect a military base from an angry, armed mob. Mt. Gox, the failed bitcoin exchange, has decided against rebuilding and plans to be liquidated. The company has asked a Tokyo court for permission to dismantle the company, citing the complexity of rebuilding and the lack of a realistic rehabilitation plan as its reason for giving up on making a comeback under bankruptcy protection. Twitter inked a deal to acquire the data analysis company Gnip this week, an indication that the social networking sight is ramping up its social media insights. With around 500 million tweets being sent from Twitter each day, businesses are increasingly interested in how customers view the messages and go to companies like Gnip for analytic tools.

Asian Markets

Asian markets improved on Wednesday; the Japanese NIKKEI rose 3.01 percent, the Shanghai composite was up 0.17 percent and the Shenzhen composite gained 0.08 percent.  The Hang Seng index was up 0.11 percent and Australia's ASX 200 rose 0.60 percent.

European Markets

European markets were up across the board; the UK's FTSE rose 0.34 percent and the eurozone's STOXX 600 was up 0.81 percent. The German DAX gained 1.02 percent, France's CAC 40 was up 0.99 percent and Italy's MIB rose 1.89 percent.

Commodities

Energy futures gained as the problems in Ukraine threatened to worsen. Brent futures for June delivery gained 0.41 percent to $109.81 per barrel and WTI futures for May delivery were up 0.78 percent to $104.56 per barrel. Gold and silver lost 1.77 percent and 2.00 percent respectively and industrial metals also declined. Copper lost 1.51 percent, aluminum was down 1.59 percent and zinc fell 0.41 percent.

Currencies

The euro continued to strengthen on Wednesday, up 0.25 percent against the dollar and 0.68 percent against the yen. The pound rose 0.23 percent against the common currency and gained 0.47 percent against the dollar. The dollar was strong against the yen, up 0.41 percent, but lost 0.15 percent against the franc.

Earnings

Notable earnings released on Tuesday included:

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC ) reported first quarter EPS of $0.38 on revenue of $12.76 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.40 on revenue of $12.58 billion. Coca-Cola Company  (NYSE: KO ) reported first quarter EPS of $0.44 on revenue of $10.58 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.46 on revenue of $11.04 billion.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) reported first quarter EPS of $1.54 on revenue of $18.12 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.44 on revenue of $17.50 billion.

CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX ) reported first quarter EPS of $0.41 on revenue of $2.99 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.45 on revenue of $2.96 billion. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO ) reported first quarter EPS of $0.38 on revenue of $1.09 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.38 on revenue of $1.07 billion.

Pre-Market Movers

Stocks moving in the Premarket included:

Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC ) gained 0.94 percent in premarket trade after losing 1.14 percent over the past five days. JP Morgan Chase and Co (NYSE: JPM ) was up 0.66 percent in premarket trade after losing 6.88 percent over the past five days. Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC ) rose 0.55 percent in premarket trade after gaining 2.44 percent on Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE: WMT ) was down 0.69 percent in premarket trade after falling 0.65 percent on Tuesday.

Notable earnings releases expected on Wednesday include:

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG ) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.23 on revenue of $526.41 million, compared to last year's EPS of $0.23 on revenue of $503.85 million. International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM ) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $2.54 on revenue of $22.94 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $3.00 on revenue of $23.41 billion. Bank Of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC ) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $0.28 on revenue of $22.51 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $0.10 on revenue of $23.50 billion. American Express Company (NYSE: AXP ) is expected to report first quarter EPS of $1.29 on revenue of $8.36 billion, compared to last year's EPS of $1.15 on revenue of $7.88 billion.

Economics

Wednesday will be a busy day on the economic calendar with several important releases including, Japanese industrial production, eurozone's current account, Italian trade balance, British unemployment rate, eurozone CPI, US housing starts, US crude inventory data, and the US beige book.

For a recap of Tuesday's market action, click .

Tune into Benzinga's pre-market info show with Dennis Dick and Joel Elconin here .

© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.




This article appears in: Investing , Commodities , Economy , Futures , International

Referenced Stocks: GOOG , INTC , YHOO , AXP , BAC

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