China's GDP growth slowed to its lowest level in 18 months in Q1, moderating to 7.4% on year from 7.7% in Q4 but topping forecasts for 7.3%. The figure is below the government's target of 7.5%, although the country's leaders have indicated that the goal is flexible as they try to implement reform. "Growth is going to continue to slow," says Standard Chartered's Stephen Green. "We expect a mix of moderate monetary easing...and more aggressive reform measures."
Ukrainian troops have entered the center of Kramatorsk in the eastern part of the country after retaking the town's airfield yesterday from pro-Russian militias. Ukraine's action in multiple areas has prompted Vladimir Putin to describe the country as being on the "brink of civil war." Russia's Micex index was -0.3% at the time of writing even as European shares rose strongly.
Intel's profit fell 4.8% to $1.95B in Q1 despite revenue edging up 1.5% to $12.8B, as expected. EPS of $0.38 topped forecasts. Gross margins were slightly better than Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) midpoint forecast of 59%. For Q2, Intel projects that margins could climb to 63% on similar sales growth. Revenue from Intel's PC chip group, which has suffered from the slump in the market, fell just 1%, while unit chip volumes rose 1%. Share were +1.05% premarket.
Alibaba Group could file the prospectus for its U.S. IPO on Monday, Reuters reports, adding that the listing could be worth $16B or more. The report comes after major shareholder Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) disclosed that Alibaba's (ABABA) Q4 net income surged 110% to $1.35B as revenue jumped 66% to $3.06B.
Credit Suisse's Q1 net profit dropped 34% to 859M Swiss francs ($976M) and missed consensus of 1.09B francs. Net revenues declined 8% to 6.47B francs. Pretax profit at Credit Suisse's (NYSE:CS) investment bank slumped 36% to 827M francs, with revenue from debt trading falling 25% and from equities trading 7.4%. Earnings at Credit Suisse's private banking and wealth management unit increased 15% to 1.01B francs. Shares were -2.05% premarket.
Google, IBM and American Express are among the major companies that are due to release their earnings results after the bell today. Analysts expect that Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Q1 EPS rose to 6.40 from $5.79 as revenue climbed 11.1% to $15.52B. IBM's (NYSE:IBM) EPS is seen falling to $2.54 from $3 and revenue 2.1% to $22.91B. American Express' (NYSE:AXP) EPS is expected to have risen to $1.30 from $1.15 and revenue 6% to $8.36B.
Is Yahoo finally turning around? The Internet portal's revenue from display ads, excluding the traffic costs, increased 2% to $409M in Q4 after falling 6% in Q4 and 7% in Q3. Overall net revenue edged up 0.9% to $1.08B and was in line, while EPS of $0.38 beat expectations. However, net profit fell to $311.6M from $390.3M. Yahoo's (YHOO) shares jumped 7.8% premarket, boosted by Alibaba's results.
Moelis' shares are due to debut on the NYSE today after the boutique investment bank raised a lower-than-expected $163M in its IPO by selling 6.5M Class A shares at $25 each, giving it a market cap of $1.36B. Moelis (NYSE:MC) plans to use 80% of the proceeds for one-time payments to founder Ken Moelis and his partners; via B shares, which are given 10 votes each, Moelis has retained 97% of the voting power in the bank.
ASML's Q1 net profit soared to €249.1M ($344M) from €96M a year earlier and exceeded forecasts of €230M. Sales jumped 57% to €1.4B, as expected, lifted by the acquisition of light-source maker Cymer in 2013. ASML (NASDAQ:ASML) downgraded its H1 sales outlook due to slowing revenues in Q2, saying it expects turnover of €3B including extreme ultraviolet (EUV) systems for producing smaller chips. The company's prior guidance was €3B excluding EUV products.
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In Asia, Japan +3% to 14418. Hong Kong +0.1% to 22696. China +0.2% to 2105. India -0.9% to 22277.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.9%. Frankfurt +0.9%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow +0.5%. S&P +0.5%. Nasdaq +0.6%. Crude +1% to $104.75. Gold -2.15% to $1298.90.
Ten-year Treasury Yield +2 bps to 2.65%.
Today's economic calendar:
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 Housing Starts
9:15 Industrial Production
10:00 Atlanta Fed's Business Inflation Expectations
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
12:15 PM Janet Yellen speech
1:25 PM Fed's Fisher: Economic Outllok
2:00 PM Fed's Beige Book
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