Good morning! Here's what you need to know:
- During a Q+A after his speech in Boston yesterday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sounded a distinctly dovish tone about the direction of monetary policy. He signaled rates would stay low for a long time, citing an unemployment rate that probably overstates the health of the labor market.
- Markets were up big, led by the Shanghai Composite, which gained 3.2% on the day. The Hang Seng ticked +2.55%, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained +1.31%. European markets are higher across the board, led by the DAX at +1.08%.
- Gold futures are staging a comeback after Chairman Bernanke's speech, and are now 2.88% higher than they were prior to 4 pm Wednesday. Mike O'Rourke of JonesTrading says gold is best-positioned to take advantage of the dovish Bernanke struck yesterday. Meanwhile the dollar is falling . The DXY dollar index was down -1.32%, and off -1% against the Swiss franc.
- Initial jobless claims will be published at 8:30 am. Consensus is for 337,000 against 343,000 prior. Import/export prices and the Bloomberg consumer comfort index also come out this morning.
- The Bank of Japan issued its most sunny outlook for the country's economy since 2011, the FT's Jonathan Soble reports, saying the economy was "starting to recover moderately." They cited a 10.5% gain in machinery orders for May as evidence.
- Greece's unemployment situation continues to worsen as the April jobless rate hit 26.9%, a 3.8 point rise from last year and a 0.1 point increase from March.
- Samsung has topped Apple for mobile web use. They now control 25.47% of that market, ahead of Apple's 25.09%. Nokia clocks in at 22%.
- Russia convicted a deceased lawyer who died in police custody while investigating tax fraud. Sergei Magnitsky was found guilty in a Moscow court of tax evasion. Last year, the US passed the Magnitsky Act, which blacklisted 18 Russian officials connected to the case from conducting trade with the U.S.
- The Wall Street Journal's William Harless says some passengers from the flight that crashed at San Francisco's airport appear to have been injured by the standard lap-band seat belt. A business class passenger with access to a chest harness emerged relatively unscathed.
- Eliot Spitzer came out ahead in a new WSJ poll for NYC comptroller. It showed him leading Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer 42% to 33%.
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