Overnight economic data from China solidified prior news that Chinese homebuyers were aggressively speculating on further home price gains. Chinese home prices rose in 67 of 70 cities, including 11% gains in areas like Guangzho. In March, the Chinese government began restricting perspective homebuyers on their second mortgages.
US equities opened the day higher but only stayed in positive territory for a few minutes before selling off into the red. A brief bout of selling dropped the S&P 500 to its low of the days before retesting the flatline. However, late selling overcame all of the positive momentum and the index closed near its low of the day at 1541.
US economic data was unchanged from last week and has returned to a normalized trend after fluctuations due to seasonal adjustments surrounding Easter. Weekly initial jobless claims rose to 352,000 from last week's revised higher print of 348,000. The 4-week moving average stands at 361,300. The Philadelphia regional manufacturing survey fell to 1.3 from last month's 2.0, and below the 3.0 consensus. The downdraft was highlighted by weaknesses in new orders, employment, and prices paid.
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Google (GOOG) reported earnings after market close, beating on EPS and missing on revenues after traffic acquisition costs. Microsoft (MSFT) had a middling quarter, beating slightly on EPS and inline revenues, but guiding down on full-year expenses. IBM (IBM) missed on both EPS and revenues and fell more than 4% in the post-market.
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Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
Tomorrow is monthly stock options expiration, so it is unlikely that there will be high volatility as stocks tend to come to rest on round numbers. There will be no major economic reports in the US.
Global economic data is equally light with Germany reporting its producer price index and Canada reporting consumer inflation. Year-over-year consumer inflation is expected to decline to 1.1% in March from 1.2% the prior month.
Earnings will continue with Honeywell (HON), McDonald's (MCD), General Electric (GE), Baker Hughes (BHI), Under Armour (UA), Schlumberger (SLB), and State Street (STT) reporting.