Stock market indices in the US were down again, following a downbeat US advance GDP release and pessimistic remarks from renowned investor Carl Icahn. The Dow 30 index slid 210.79 points to 17,830.76 (-1.17%), the S&P 500 index is down 19.34 points to 2,075.81 (-0.92%), and the Nasdaq fell 57.85 (-1.19%). The S&P 500 VIX, which is considered a gauge of market uncertainty, rose 1.45 points to 15.22 (+10.53%) to indicate a return in risk aversion.
In an interview with CNBC, Icahn mentioned that he was “still very cautious” with the US stock market and that there would be a “day of reckoning” unless there was additional stimulus. The US advance GDP reading printed a growth figure of 0.5%, its slowest pace of expansion in two years, versus the estimated 0.7% figure.
On the earnings front, Amazon shares rallied 13% upon seeing better than expected profit and revenue for the first quarter. Revenue rose 28% to $29.13 billion, chalking up its fastest pace of revenue growth since 2012, mostly due to its cloud services division.
Expedia shares also posted strong gains on stronger than expected earnings data. Sales soared 38% buoyed by strong performance from its Hotels.com division and gains from a recent acquisition. Speaking of acquisitions, Comcast announced its plans to purchase DreamWorks for $3.8 billion.
European stock markets mixed on lack of catalysts
The German DAX closed 21.32 points higher to 10,321.15 (+0.21%) and the London FTSE advanced 2.49 points to 6,322.40 (+0.40%) while the French CAC 40 slid 2.04 points to 4,557.36 (-0.04%) and the Euro Stoxx 50 was down 9.26 points to 3,121.17 (-0.30%).
There were no major reports released out of the euro zone or the United Kingdom on Thursday, and there wasn’t much news on the Brexit front. Today’s set of economic reports could have a stronger impact on price action as the euro zone flash CPI estimates, German retail sales, French preliminary CPI and consumer spending reports are lined up.
Asian markets still reeling from lack of central bank action
Asian equities sold off yesterday when the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand refrained from adding to their easing efforts. Even though the RBNZ shared a more cautious outlook and reiterated that further Kiwi depreciation is appropriate, their decision to keep rates on hold at 2.25% on housing market concerns kept the currency supported.
The Nikkei is down 624.44 points to 16,666.05 (-3.61%), the China A50 index is down 16.21 points to 9,580.13 (-0.15%), and the Hang Seng is down 349.03 points to 21,039.00 (-1.61%). Chinese PMI readings are up for release over the weekend.
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