China’s GDP disappointing on Thursday night. Expectations were for a print of 8.4% and the actual number was 8.1%. More importantly that is down from 8.9% last quarter. So, now it is clear that China is slowing and much more than anticipated.
It would not be a surprise to see some wacky announcement of monetary policy easing before the day is through. Governments are unable to consider allowing markets to flush out their problems and self-correct. This is actually why the problems with global economics will not come to an end anytime soon.
That put a crimp on the recovery from earlier in the week. Of course the rocket launch by North Korea – even though it apparently exploded before leaving the atmosphere – was enough to spook some government officials in South Korea. More blathering from the officials that they are watching markets closely. When are they going to shut up?
Aside from the news in Asia, Europe continues to nag and that isn’t going away anytime soon. So, we have blathering and nagging. What else for a Friday?
How about a load of *%@^#$ out of Google (GOOG)? It appears that there is a quasi stock split that is an approach being used to keep power and control in the hands of management. So much for shareholder fairness doctrine that was suppose to be part and parcel of the the Google mantra? This is material change (the new class will not have voting privileges) and we believe that while the stock saw a decent quarter, there will be many institutions that will be looking to dump shares as they have lost the ability to shape the future of the company.
On to earnings. JP Morgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) both beat expectations as was to be expected. Both were down about 1.5% in the early hours.
More importantly was the CPI and consumer confidence numbers. CPI came in close to expectations and still growing modestly.
Confidence was still rising in April, but fell below expectations. Notice that the current conditions, a coincidence index, was sloping hard to the downside. At the same time, the expectations component continues to rise. This is a sign that consumers are feeling the pinch now, but hope that things will get better some time in the future.
Maybe I am over-analyzing. Perhaps it is just Friday the 13th and this kind of action should be expected…
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