Market Snapshot

Asia: Japan +1.3% to 19641. Hong Kong +0.8% to 25276. China +2.5% to 3961. India flat at 28517.
Europe: London +1.3%. Paris +1.3%. Frankfurt +1%.
Futures: Dow flat. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude -1% to $51.63. Gold -0.7% to $1210.10.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps at 1.895%.

Economic News

8:55 Chain Store Sales
10:00 Job Openings Survey
3:00 PM Consumer Credit

Key earnings before the open



Wall Street could struggle to repeat strong gains on Tuesday, with just a smattering of data and mergers-and-acquisitions news to break up the day.

European shares rose sharply today following the long Easter weekend break, as have Asian stocks, driven by yesterday’s strong U.S showing. The poor U.S. jobs report increased expectations that the Fed will put off its rate hike thus boosting sentiment in equity markets.

Adding to Europe’s momentum was a bit of positive economic data; Eurozone business activity posted gains in March, with services PMI rising to 54.2 from 53.7 in February, while the composite figure increased to an 11-month high of 54 from 53.3. U.K. services PMI jumped to a seven-month high of 58.9 in March from 56.7 in February, boosted by a stronger rise in new business.


Axalta Coating Systems (AXTA) were higher in Tuesday premarket trade after the coatings company announced that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B, BRK.A) was taking a nearly 9% stake.

American Express (AXP), has been downgraded to underperform from perform and its price target set at $68 by Oppenheimer & Co.

Clovis Oncology (CLVS) announced the Food and Drug Administration granted a “breakthrough therapy” designation to its ovarian cancer drug rucaparib. The designation is given to drug candidates that may offer a substantial improvement to other drugs in serious or fatal illnesses.

The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers has withdrawn its application to organize flight attendants at Delta Air Lines (DAL), saying some authorization cards submitted by workers contain insufficient information or questionable signatures. The union intends to resume organizing and refile for a vote in 12 months. The IAM is also seeking to organize workers at Boeing (BA) facilities in South Carolina, with a vote set for April 22.

FedEx (FDX) has agreed to acquire struggling TNT Express (TNTEF) for €4.4B ($4.8B) in a deal that will give the U.S. company access to the Dutch package-delivery firm’s European road network. FedEx hopes to succeed where United Parcel Service (UPS) failed two years ago, when the EU moved to block a bid of almost €7B due to antitrust concerns. It’s worth noting however, that unlike FedEx, UPS already had a significant European presence when it tried to acquire TNT.

Canada plans to exit its position in General Motors (GM) by selling more than 73M shares to Goldman Sachs (GS) in an unregistered block trade that is due to close on Friday.

Informatica (INFA) is nearing a deal to be taken private by Permira Advisors LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The government intends to increase Medicare Advantage payments by about 1.25% in 2016, reversing a proposal to make a cut of 0.9%. The change is mainly connected to adjustments in estimates of how fast Medicare spending has been rising rather than any significant change in policy. The move should benefit insurers such as UnitedHealth (UNH) and Humana (HUM).

Samsung Electronics’ Q1 operating profit slumped for a sixth straight quarter, down a preliminary 31% to 5.9T won ($5.4B), although the figure represents a slowdown in the company’s earnings decline and topped analyst forecasts of 5.5T won. Sales dropped 12% to 47T won, below consensus of 50.1T won.

Viacom (VIAB) will take a $785M pretax writedown for Q2 in connection with its layoffs and restructuring. Viacom is also pausing its buyback program until October. The company expects the actions to save $175M in FY 2015 and $350M a year on an ongoing basis.

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