Wall Street closed up, fake tweets notwithstanding. The S&P 500 rose 1.04 per cent, ending at 1,578.77. It fell 0.85 per cent in minutes on Tuesday on a hacked, faked Associated Press tweet about explosions at the White House (Reuters).
Apple unveiled “the largest single share repurchase authorization in history”. It added $5obn to its existing stock buyback plan, boosting a now-$100bn programme to return cash to investors by the end of 2015 (Apple capital return statement). Apple also boosted its dividend 15 per cent, to $3.05 per share. “In conjunction with the expanded return of capital program, the Company plans to borrow,” it added, promising details at a later date. Apple will not repatriate offshore cash as part of its plans, executives said in the earnings call. Read more
1.) Steal headline from Lorcan. On Twitter.
2.) Multiple choice test to decide your condescending lede!
Question: When a fake (hacked!) Associated Press tweet about a White House attack moves the stock market down, then it recovers really fast — but maybe not making anyone much money — this is a referendum on the credibility of:
b) Associated Press
c) The stock market
d) How FT Alphaville makes a living
e) All of the above
f) None of the above, shut up and get off Twitter
Following their absolutely stellar advice to short gold on April 10, Goldman Sachs announces on Tuesday it is now time to take profit on that position:
We have closed our recommendation to short COMEX Gold, as prices moved above the stop at $1,400/toz. We have exited the trade significantly below our original target of $1,450/toz, for a potential gain of 10.4%. The move since initiation was surprisingly rapid, likely exacerbated by the break of well-flagged technical support levels. Our bias is to expect further declines in gold prices on the combination of continued ETF outflows as conviction in holding gold continues to wane as well as our economists’ forecast for a reacceleration in US growth later this year.
Nothing like taking the long view – such as this snapshot of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian 10 year paper, over 150 years. Click to enlarge
Bond yields in the eurozone are hitting new lows not seen since 2010…
Live markets commentary from FT.com
China & Eurozone PMIs disappoint || Europe hits political limits for austerity, says EC president || EU warns on US bank ‘protectionism’ || Twitter signs biggest ever ads deal || Share of US oil imports from top suppliers rises || Tie-up in tertiary education in Brazil || Netflix beats forecasts || News Corp to reap payout on settlement || Walmart’s audit committee pay boost || Italian president warns of political deadlock || Market update Read more
In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio increased from 87.3% at the end of 2011 to 90.6% at the end of 2012, and in the EU27 from 82.5% to 85.3%.
Full eurostat stats here. Read more
Depressing eurozone and German prints below. The eurozone composite was bleakly steady at 46.5 while the German comp hit 48.8 from 50.6 in March — its worst level in six months. The only real good news is that this might increase the chances of an ECB refi cut in the near future.
But since France came out first…. Read more
The China flash HSBC PMIs missed for April, staying barely positive at 50.5 and providing little encouragment for those hoping that the first quarter GDP growth was an anomaly. Here’s the table of main index components:
Elsewhere on Tuesday,
– Abolish deposit insurance, please.
– An iTunes analogy for Legal Entity Identifiers.
– The illustrated US economy. Read more
Asian stocks fall || China flash PMIs for April disappoint || EU austerity at limits, says Barroso || EU warns US on bank capital rules || S&P says Japan downgrade risk rises || News Corp to win up to $139m over settlement || How much will a weak yen help Japan? Read more