Friday was a bit of a curveball as overseas events impacted U.S. markets. The S&P 500 fell 1.13% and the NASDAQ 1.52%. Chinese futures sunk over news of coming government regulation to expand short-selling and limit over-the-counter margin trading. Regulators in China banned the margin trading businesses of brokerages from taking part in umbrella trusts. Investors in China have ramped up wagers on stocks by borrowing through umbrella trusts, which allow for more leverage than brokerage financing. Greece is also back in the news as it seems to be every 3 months – we know the story here… raise a lot of fuss, everyone kicks the can down the road – rinse, wash, repeat!
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis met with IMF officials on Friday, as investors became increasingly nervous about the funding crisis in Greece.
In economic news, the consumer price index showed an increase of 0.2 percent in March, below expectations of 0.3 percent. However, the figure marked the second-straight month of gains and matched February’s 0.2 percent gain. Core CPI, excluding food and energy, came in slightly above expectations at 0.2 percent, the same level as in February.Continue reading