What We are Reading

by CC May 16, 2011 9:11 am • Commentary

S&P Futures

1329.8  -4.20

Last Updated: 09:04:41 AM


Business Insider

Asian indices were down in overnight trading with the Nikkei down 0.94%. Major European indices are in the red and U.S. futures indicate a negative open.
Eurozone inflation came in at 2.8% in April up from 2.7% in March. Inflation was pushed up by a rise in fuel costs with core inflation higher too.


Sales of gold coins are on track for the best month in a year amid the worst commodities rout since 2008, a sign that bullion’s longest bull market in nine decades has further to run, if history is a guide.

The U.S. Mint sold 85,000 ounces of American Eagle coins since May 1 as the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials fell 9.9 percent. The last time sales reached that level, bullion rose 21 percent in the next year. Gold will advance 17 percent to a record $1,750 an ounce by Dec. 31 and keep gaining in 2012, the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 31 analysts, traders and investors shows.


Eastern Europe’s economic recovery may be scuttled by any Greek debt restructuring, which would curb lending by western banks and undermine investor bets that have propelled the region’s stocks, bonds and currencies.

While the region has three of this year’s 10 best- performing currencies and five of the 10 equity indexes that rose the most, 76 percent of its banking market is controlled by western European lenders still threatened by the euro’s debt crisis.


Analysts are cutting European earnings forecasts by the most in almost two years just as equities in the region trail U.S. shares by the widest margin since the bull market began.

Estimates for Stoxx Europe 600 Index profit growth dropped by as much as 4 percentage points this year, including the biggest three-month reduction since September 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Should analysts’ lowest projections for 2011 prove correct, companies would earn about 24 billion euros ($34 billion) less than expected at the start of the year, the data show. Projections for earnings in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index have risen 4 points in 2011.

Lower forecasts are adding to investor concerns that also include the biggest plunge in commodity prices since 2008 and speculation that Greece will default on its loans. At 797 days, the 75 percent advance in the Stoxx 600 has lasted 93 percent as long as the average bull market since 1986, data from Birinyi Associates Inc. show.


No. 2 US home improvement chain Lowe’s reported a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by a slow start to the spring selling season.


Yahoo, Alibaba and Softbank issued a joint press release Sunday saying they’re trying to make up and play nice in a dispute surrounding Alibaba’s ownership of Alipay, the Paypal of China.


CAIRO — Muslims and Coptic Christians clashed with bullets, rocks and Molotov cocktails here for the second time in seven days on Saturday night, sending at least 55 people to the hospital, officials with Egypt’s Interior Ministry said.


JERUSALEM — Israel’s borders erupted in deadly clashes on Sunday as thousands of Palestinians — marching from Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank — confronted Israeli troops to mark the anniversary of Israel’s creation. More than a dozen people were reported killed and scores injured.


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