Daily Comments

Asian markets were mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose +0.86%. Some indications that the government may ease its current restrictive monetary stance to boost domestic growth sent the Shanghai Composite up +1.97%. The German April IFO business climate survey fell more than expected to a 1-1/4 year low. European equities closed narrowly mixed. The DAX slipped -0.17%. Yields on 10-yr. Bunds edged down to 0.631%. The February S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index was strong, up +0.8%.as was the FHFA House Price Index, up +0.6%. March New Home Sales handily beat expectations at 694K on top of an upward revision to February. April Consumer Confidence did not disappoint, rising to 128.7. Yields on 10-Year Notes crept up to 2.996%. The US$ Index was lower. June gold rebounded +0.7% to $1333.00. June crude tumbled -1.4% to $67.70. Equities remained buoyant early on corporate earnings and positive economic data even as yields on 10-Year Notes broke 3% for the 1st time in 4 years. By mid-morning, selling pressure resumed and cascaded through the day. Markets finished with steep losses but off the lows.

Asian markets were mostly lower. Concern is building over the outlook for iPhone shipments and that has spilled into a variety of technology issues. The Nikkei 225 fell -0.33% while the Shanghai Composite was off a modest -0.09%. The Eurozone April Markit composite PMI was unchanged, stronger than expected, but the manufacturing PMI fell more than expected to a 14-month low. European equities were modestly higher. The DAX rose +0.25%. Yields on 10-yr. Bunds are at 0.633%. April PMI Composite Flash was solid at 54.8. The Manufacturing component was 56.5 and the services component was 54.4. March Existing Home Sales were also solid at 5.600M units. Yields on 10-Year Notes settled just below 3% at 2.977%. The US$ Index jumped to its highest level since early January. June gold fell -1.1% to $1324.00, its lowest level in nearly 4 weeks. June crude reversed early losses and closed up +0.4% to $68.64. Equities began the session looking to recover from Friday’s selloff. Volume was decidedly on the light side. Early gains turned into losses by midday, but there was no selling enthusiasm. At the close major markets were narrowly mixed.

The China March trade balance surprised by falling into a deficit blamed on the Chinese New Year, and new yuan loans and aggregate financing rose less than expected. Asian markets settled mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose +0.55% while the Shanghai Composite fell -0.65%. European equities were modestly higher. The DAX was up +0.22%. Yields on 10-yr. Bunds edged a bit higher to 0.515%. The February JOLTS – Job Openings at 6.052M were slightly below expectations. Preliminary April Consumer Sentiment at 97.8 fell below the consensus range. Baker-Hughes reported that the U.S. Oil Rig Count rose again by 7 to 815. Yields on 10-Year Notes edged down to 2.821%. The US$ Index was flat. June gold climbed +0.5% to $1347.90. May crude rose another +0.5% to $67.39. The money-center banks reporting earnings this morning all beat top and bottom line expectations and equities got off to a strong start. The gains didn’t hold, and markets slipped into the red. For the next few hours, equities traded in a narrow range near unchanged. Bears tried to push markets lower late, but volume was light, markets steadied, and closed modestly lower.