What’s the Story?

by CC April 9, 2012 8:50 am • Commentary


U.S. stock index futures traded lower on Monday after last week’s much weaker-than-expected report on U.S. job creation for March.

U.S. non-farm payrolls grew by 120,000 last month, far below the forecast gain of 203,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.2 percent, down from 8.3 percent in February.

The report casts doubt over the ability of the United States to help boost the global economy as Europe’s debt crisis resurfaces and worries remain whether China’s economy will avoid a hard landing.

Expectations that a cooling Chinese economy has eclipsed inflation as the government’s biggest near-term worry were reinforced by surprisingly soft producer prices that sparked concerns of waning demand.

A lack of major U.S. economic data on Monday will keep investors focused on Friday’s payrolls report, which came in on an equity market holiday.


Oil for May delivery fell $1.53, or 1.5 percent, to $101.78 at 7:58 a.m. in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after dropping as low as $101.61. The contract gained 1.8 percent to $103.31 on April 5, the latest settlement. Prices have gained 2.9 percent this year.

Brent crude for May settlement slid $1.63 to $121.80 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The premium of the European benchmark to New York futures was at $20.02. Markets were closed in New York and London on April 6 for holidays.

Iran and the five permanent United Nations Security Council members plus Germany will meet for nuclear talks starting April 14 in Istanbul, Michael Mann, a European Union spokesman, said yesterday. Their last meeting was in January 2011. The government in Tehran is under increasing economic pressure from trade, financial and energy sanctions, including U.S. penalties on banks that process payments for Iranian crude.


Asian shares fell on Monday after data showed the rate of inflation in China rose faster than expected, prompting speculation that Beijing might delay further easing of monetary policy.

The sharp slowdown in U.S. jobs growth also raised concerns about the strength of the world’s largest economy, further weighing on sentiment.

The FTSE CNBC Asia 100 Index, which measures markets across Asia, declined 0.6 percent. Volume was thinner than usual, with markets in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand closed for public holidays.

China shares ended down 0.9 percent, led by property shares after inflation came in higher than expected, prompting speculation that Beijing may delay further easing of monetary policy.

WSJ- This Week’s Tape



Nothing of note


NFIB Small Business survey, Job Openings and Labor Turnover


Import Prices, EIA Petroleuum Status Report, Beige Book, Federal Budget


Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index, International Trade


Consumer Price Index, Reuters/UMich Consumer Sentiment




Greenbrier, Healthcare Services, Regis (sales), Zep


Adtran, Alcoa, Cargill, Chevron (interim), Levi Strauss, Mattress Firm, Standard MicroSys, Supervalu


Apogee, Biomet, Dollarama, Progressive, Titan Machinery


Bank of the Ozarks, Commerce Bancshares, Fastenal, Google, iGATE, J.B. Hunt Transport, Layne Christensen, LDK Solar Rite Aid


JP Morgan, Shaw Communications, Wells Fargo