The world's second largest economy grew at its slowest pace in
18 months during the first quarter, but came in above
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
The nation currently relies heavily on investment and
consumption, both of which have taken a hit in recent months,
causing the economy to sputter.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
Notable earnings released on Tuesday included:
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:
) 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:
) 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:
) 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
CSX Corporation (NYSE:
) 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:
) 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.
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE:
) gained 0.94 percent in premarket trade after losing 1.14 percent
over the past five days. JP Morgan Chase and Co (NYSE:
) was up 0.66 percent in premarket trade after losing 6.88 percent
over the past five days. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:
) rose 0.55 percent in premarket trade after gaining 2.44 percent
on Tuesday. Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:
) 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:
) 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:
) 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:
) 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:
) 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
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
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