The Closer | FT Alphaville

The Closer


The day was split in two for US equities as they overcame an early decline to rally nearly back into the black by the close of trading. European shares had a rougher day, the Euro fell against the dollar, and Spanish and Italian bond yields climbed. (Reuters)

US GDP for the fourth quarter remained unchanged in the third estimate, though some commentators also noted the big divergence between GDP and GDI, the latter of which indicated that the economy is growing faster than previously thought. (Financial Times)

US initial weekly unemployment insurance claims were revised higher for prior weeks, while declining from the higher base last week. The overall trend is that they continue to fall gradually. (Reuters and Modeled Behavior)

Some of the strikes and protests in Spain have turned violent, leading to comparisons with Greece’s situation a couple of years ago. (Gongloff and Business Insider)

The Brics want more voting power on the IMF board, and their heads of state are now threatening to withhold financing if they don’t get it. Regardless, their leaders issued a joint statement on Thursday in which they “said there was an urgent need to ‘better reflect economic weights’ and ‘enhance the voice and representation of emerging market and developing countries’ at the IMF,” writes the FT.  (Financial Times)

Global dealmaking fees at investment banks fell to their lowest quarterly amount in three years, according to Thomson Reuters data. (Financial Times)

RIMM’s struggles continue as the Blackberry maker reported that earnings in the quarter ending in February declined by 19 per cent from the same quarter last year. One of its co-CEOs has also resigned as a director. (Barron’s)

Up next

– In the US we get the personal income and outlays report for February.

– Bond investors will anxiously awaiting Spain’s budget presentation on Friday, especially given recently rising bond yields and the worker protests.

Further further reading

– Would you want Carl Icahn to run your company?

LTRO, interbank stress, and banks’ stock prices: a conundrum?

– Saudi Arabia: paper tiger?

– Defending analysts: the Mouth of Sauron, not the Dark Lord himself.

– Would the US save money by going cashless?

– More on GDP vs GDI.