Stocks shuffled forward, closing higher on optimism over Europe. Comments from the Italian prime minister were blamed for the move. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.3 per cent at 12530, while the Nasdaq fell 0.4 per cent 2839. The S&P 500 closed mostly flat, up 0.1 per cent at 1,321 (Wall Street Journal). Read more
Our US econo-stat of the day:
Vehicle purchases by consumers alone accounted for 30% of all the GDP growth in the last two quarters. Read more
Trouble getting this stuff through compliance…?
Just the one tweet so far from Goldman Sachs on its own shareholder meeting. Read more
After EURCHF had been so boring for so long — the euro spiked against the Swiss franc on Thursday:
Eurozone flash PMIs for the month of May are out Thursday morning. It’s got us thinking about how the eurozone PMI should be interpreted, but more on that later. First, the highlights:
Flash Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index at 45.9 (46.7 in April). 35-month low. Read more
Thursday’s FT declares “the end of a six-decade passion for equities”. Quite a claim.
Institutional investors, from pension funds to mutual funds sold directly to the public, have slashed holdings in the past decade. Stocks have not been so far out of favour for half a century. Many declare the “cult of the equity” dead. Read more
Live markets commentary from FT.com
Here’s the spread between the 30 year bund and its 30 year Japanese counterpart over the past 12 months. It’s just about ceased to exist.
Elsewhere on Thursday…
- Bail-ins: damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Read more
Not much came out of the informal EU summit on Wednesday evening and apparently not much will happen at the June summit, either. No decisions were made regarding the region’s bank, but EU institutions were asked to draw up proposals relating to closer fiscal co-ordination, “including plans that could include a path towards a Europe-wide deposit guarantee scheme and, in the longer term, commonly-backed eurozone bonds,” reports the FT. Hermann van Rompuy said the June meeting would be similarly limited to integration-related “building blocks” and “working methods” rather than specific measures on banking union or mutualising eurozone debt.
China’s May flash PMI was 48.7, indicating this will be the seventh month of contraction on the HSBC index, and at a faster rate than April’s 49.3. (Statement) Read more
Asia markets steadied on Thursday after Wednesday’s slide with investors looking for hopeful signals that Europe can remedy its debt crisis despite no breakthrough from the informal EU talks, says the FT. But wobbly sentiment was compounded by figures showing China’s manufacturing activity continued to slow in May.
The euro fell to a 21-month low against the dollar overnight. Read more
[Updated] The number for May is 48.7, compared to 49.3 in April. This is the seventh straight month of contraction and the more important components of the index look fairly bad.
Here’s a summary of the direction and speed of movement of each component: Read more
Tonight’s text on Greece from the EU summit. Not much, to be honest.
(Click to image for full doc – more/less from Van Rompuy, here)