Trade Deficit

Oil Fireworks Unsettle Global Markets Ahead Of Payrolls Report

With all eyes on crude, following last night's mini flash crash which sent WTI lower by 3% from just above $45 to under $43 in under 10 minutes, equity markets, generally quiet overnight, have taken on a secondary importance ahead of today's key risk event, the April payrolls report. In global equities, Asian and European stocks are lower, while S&P futures are little changed.

March Trade Deficit Shrinks To Smallest Since October

The US Trade Balance shrank to $43.7 billion in March, from an upward revised $43.8 billion in February, marking the month's deficit the smallest since October and less than the conesnus estimate of $44.5 billion. Imports declined by $1.7 billion, or 0.7%, to $234.7 billion, while exports dipped fractionally more, or 0.9%, even as the recently weaker dollar did little to boost US exports. Notably, the US trade deficit with China was $31.4 billion, followed by the European Union at $10 billion.

Key Events In The Coming Busy Week: FOMC, Payrolls, 131 S&P Companies Report

Besides the upcoming FOMC meeting on May 2-3, and French & Italian politics - the decisive runoff round of the French election takes place this Sunday - this week's releases are dominated by US payrolls expected to come around 170k. The busy release calendar continues with Norges bank and RBA meetings as well as global manufacturing PMIs.

The Relentless Push Towards War

"The only real constant to be found in both European and US politics is war. It doesn’t seem to matter who’s in office in the US - Republican/Democrat, conservative/liberal - there’s a war machine constantly running. My concern is that there's a building risk that one day that war machine is going to bust apart."

Weekend Reading: Trumponomics – End Of 100 Days

So, here we are at the end of the first 100-days, with little progress being made toward the things that count the most with investors. With asset prices currently priced for perfection, the real risk is that of “disappointment.” It will likely pay to “err to the side of caution” for now as the risk is clearly tilted against reward for now.

Global Stocks Pause Ahead Of GDP Report; Nasdaq Hits Fresh Record High

Despite yesterday's whopping beats by Amazon and Google which sent the Nasdaq to new record highs after hours, this morning futures S&P futures are little changed ahead of the closely watched Q1 GDP report, European stocks and Asian equities are slightly lower, oil is higher after Russia said it had reached the 300kbpd oil cut per the OPEC pact, and the dollar was modestly in the red.

China Surge, Rising Oil Push Global Stocks Higher; S&P Futures Flat As Fed Minutes Loom

European stocks rebounded after a downbeat start, aided by a return to the post-Euro open momentum ignition in the USDJPY while Asian stocks rose after China shares surged 1.5%, the most since August. For now S&P futures are fractionally in the red, although we expect them to turn progressively higher as US traders get to their desks to frontrun the now traditional "post open" ramp.

February Trade Deficit Shrinks, Smaller Than All Estimates

The US Trade Balance shrank to $43.6 billion in February (the smallest deficit since October and smaller than all economists' estimates). Imports fell modestly (-1.8%) and exports inched higher (+0.2%) as it seems a notably weaker dollar did nothing to help. Notably US' trade deficit with China is down 4.9% on a year-to-date, year-over-year basis.

Rand Tumbles After S&P Downgrades South Africa To Junk: Full Text

While CDS markets had largely priced in a downgrade (with levels approaching those of Brazl), FX markets seemed surprised when moments ago S&P downgraded South Africa to junk, cutting it from BBB- to BB+, in the aftermath of last week's sacking of finance minister Gordhan by president Zuma.