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Five Things to Know in World Business Today


Apr 18, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly

(Bloomberg)

Sluggish

German manufacturing remains a weak spot for the euro area, with this morning’s Purchasing Managers Index for the sector coming in at a lower-than-expected 44.5 in April. A measure for services rose to 55.6, keeping the composite gauge in expansive territory. PMI for the region overall slipped to 51.3 — again below expectations – casting doubt on an economic recovery story in the second half of the year. Similar data for the U.S. economy are published at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time.

Mueller time

Attorney General William Barr will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. before he publishes a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report. It’s expected to be delivered to Congress before noon, with Bloomberg planning to make the report available soon after the Department of Justice release. A limited number of members of Congress will get a “less-redacted” version.

Good, bad and getting ugly

Pinterest Inc. raised about $1.4 billion in an above-range initial public offering, with the San Francisco-based company the latest in a series of tech IPOs. Uber Technologies Inc. is likely to list in May, with Slack Technologies Inc., Postmates Inc., Palantir Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc. all considering going public. The fallout from Lyft Inc.’s  dismal post-IPO performance continues, with investors taking their case to court claiming that the ride-sharing company overstated its market position as it hyped up the public offering.

Markets mixed

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.6 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 1.0 percent lower with pharmaceutical companies leading the losses. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent higher at 5:50 a.m., though retailers were hit by disappointing results ahead of the Easter break. S&P 500 futures were unchanged, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.561 percent and gold was higher.

Retail sales

Headline retail sales for March are expected to show 1 percent growth at 8:30 a.m, with the ex-autos and gas number also likely to return to expansion after February’s disappointing number. At the same time, weekly initial jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed business outlook are released. American Express Co. and Blackstone Group LP are among the big names reporting earnings today.



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