US FINANCIAL MARKET
- U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a second straight advance, ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
- Russia and the U.S. agree on the need for a diplomatic solution to tensions over Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday.
- GE is exploring the sale of its GE Money Bank unit in the Nordic region, which could fetch up to 2 billion euros ($2.75 billion).
- AT&T approved a plan to repurchase 300 million shares, or about 6% of its outstanding stock. At current price, repurchasing 300 million shares would cost about $10.6 billion. The company has acquired 775 million shares since 2012.
- Johnson & Johnson accepted the $4 billion offer from Carlyle Group made in January to acquire the health-care products company’s only diagnostics division.
- Biogen won U.S. approval for a long-lasting hemophilia B drug that may reduce the need for infusions.
- Novartis plans to seek approval of a medicine for chronic heart failure sooner than expected, advancing its effort to build a portfolio of cardiac therapies. Novartis shares rose as much as 3.5% in Zurich, the biggest intraday gain in more than a year.
- Viacom’s “Noah” took in $44 million in its weekend debut, 7% higher than the $41 million projected by boxoffice.com.
- New York state joined New York City in suing package delivery company FedEx for allegedly violating state and federal laws by illegally delivering contraband cigarettes to people’s homes. The New York state alleged that FedEx knowingly shipped nearly 400,000 cartons of unstamped cigarettes to homes in the state, depriving it of $15, $27.50 or $43.50 on each carton in tax revenue.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that the U.S. central bank’s “extraordinary” commitment to boosting the economy, especially the still struggling labor market, will be needed for some time to come.
- Yellen said today “considerable slack” in the labor market is evidence that the central bank’s unprecedented accommodation will still be needed for “some time” to put Americans back to work.
- ISM-Chicago’s business barometer fell to 55.9 from 59.8 in February. Economists expected a drop to 59.5.
- Obamacare Enrollment Heading to 7 Million at Deadline. The first yearly sign-up period for Obamacare closes today.
EUROPE & WORLD
- Euro zone inflation hit its lowest level since November 2009 in March. Annual consumer inflation in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.5% in March. Economists had predicted a 0.6%.
- U.K. house prices increased for a 14th consecutive month in March, the longest run of gains in almost seven years, as momentum spread across the country. Values in England and Wales rose 0.6% from February. Prices in London climbed 0.7%. Nationally, prices rose 5.7% in March from a year earlier.
- Japan’s factory output unexpectedly fell in February at the fastest pace in eight months. Industrial output fell 2.3% in February from the previous month, versus a 0.3% rise seen by economists.
- Japan March manufacturing PMI was also slow in February. The Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to a seasonally adjusted 53.9 in March from 55.5 in February.
- Erdogan Claims Victory in Local Turkish Election, Promises Stability. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, won 46% of the vote yesterday.
- The data released today showed that Turkish economy grew 4.4% in the fourth quarter of 2013 from a year earlier, accelerating from a revised 4.3% in the previous three months. Household consumption fueled growth, expanding by 5.3%. The Turkish economy expanded by 4% last year and is expected to grow 2.25 in 2014.
- Hollande’s Socialists Lose Cities amid Voter Disillusionment. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister has resigned, Manuel Vals to be nominated as replacement.
TODAY in HISTORY
- Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain expelled Jews who would not accept Christianity (1492)
- The United States took possession of the Virgin Islands (1917)
- Daylight Saving Time went into effect in the United States (1918)
- The Dalai Lama, fleeing Chinese repression of an uprising in Tibet, arrived at the Indian border and was granted political asylum (1959)
- The Eiffel Tower in Paris officially opened (1889)
Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg.
This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S & P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.