Monday was a fairly quiet day after the release of lackluster Chinese data in the wee hours of the morning, there was very little market data until the release of ISM services data in the North American session. London and Tokyo markets were closed yesterday for local holidays. After recovering from an early move to the downside, US stocks moved modestly higher over the course of the trading day on Monday. The initial weakness on Wall Street was partly due to news of continued clashes between Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian militants in the eastern part of the country. However, an upbeat report on service sector activity from the Institute for Supply Management showing that service sector activity expanded at a faster than expected rate in April contributed to the rebound in the US markets. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index rose to 55.2 in April from 53.1 in March, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector. Economists had been expecting the index to show a more modest increase to a reading of 54.2. Meanwhile, European stocks managed to trim steep early losses on Monday, but finished the choppy session in negative territory after weak Chinese data.
This morning Asian markets are trading on a mixed note on the back of favorable economic data from the US in yesterday’s trade supporting an upside in the markets. While on the other hand, conflict between Ukraine and Russia has intensified after four Ukrainian troops were killed and 30 wounded by rebels in Slavyansk a city in eastern Ukraine which acted as a negative factor.
Monday saw a lot of events in the stock markets. A surprise announcement from the CEO of Target upset the stock prices. Target dropped more than 3% on news that CEO Gregg Steinhafel had stepped down. He was under fire for the handling of Target’s data breach last year. JPMorgan weighed on the Dow, falling more than 2%. The company said it expects fixed-income and equities trading revenue to slump 20% in the second quarter after declining 17% in the first quarter.
This afternoon social media giant Facebook will give the markets an update A lot has happened with the company recently. In February, they bought WhatsApp — a hugely popular texting service — for $19 billion in cash and stock. WhatsApp had 450 million users at the time, and has now hit the half-billion mark. Just one month later, founder Mark Zuckerberg announced they were spending another $2 billion to buy Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset maker.
Global traders continue to react to Friday’s nonfarm payroll data. U.S. employers added a robust 288,000 jobs in April, the most in two years, evidence that the economy is picking up after a brutal winter slowed growth. The Labor Department also said Friday that the unemployment rate sank to 6.3 percent, its lowest level in years.
In other market news, a jury has awarded Apple $119.4 million, far less than it demanded, in a patent battle with Samsung over alleged copying of smartphone features — and the jury made the victory even smaller by finding that Apple illegally used one of Samsung’s patents. Google has been sued for allegedly abusing its market power by forcing makers of handheld devices that use its Android operating system to also provide its applications.
Google’s requirements that manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics adopt less popular applications in order to use consumer favorites such as YouTube are “designed to maintain and extend its monopolies,” according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in San Jose, California.