March durable goods data comes in today as a complete disaster: instead of dropping modestly by 1.7% as the consensus expected, the March actual print was a massive 4.2% decline, worse than the worst Wall Street forecast and the most since January 2009!
- Are overseas revenues in nominal USD helping juice US corporates: Soft-drinks in Brazil or Germany are over 690% of New York prices, beer in Japan is 192% of US prices, and exercise in Russia (sports shoes) are 221% of US prices.
- Coca-Cola Co. said its board voted to recommend a two-for-one stock split to shareholders and said the split will be the first in 16 years.
- Christy Romero, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, said 351 small banks with some $15 billion in outstanding TARP loans face a “significant challenge” in raising new funds to repay the government.
- Spain’s 10-year yield dropped three basis points to 5.83%, after bouncing off a low of 5.71% while Italian 10-year yields dropped to 5.64%, France’s 10-year yields slid to 2.98% (falling below 3% for the first time since April 18), and the US 10-year continues to sit under 2% at 1.99%.
- Yields on Argentine government dollar bonds due in 2017, rated B by S&P, surged 231bps in the past month to 11.35%.
- Zhu Hongren, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China, said Industrial output rose 11.6% in the first quarter of the year.
- Wegelin & Co., the 270-year-old Swiss bank charged with helping U.S. taxpayers hide more than $1.2 billion from the Internal Revenue Service, was ordered by a U.S. judge to forfeit $16 million.
- Mortgage application volume decreased 3.8% in the week ended April 20, as refinancings dropped, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
- The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 4.04% from 4.05%.
- The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.32% from 3.33%.
- At the end of 2011, Irish banks held just 895 owner-occupied homes, equivalent to 0.12% of loans in arrears, according to the Central Bank.
- By contrast, U.K. lenders have been holding as much as 12% of their problem mortgages in repossession, according to Glas Securities, a Dublin-based fixed-income firm.
- About 14% of private home mortgages in Ireland were either more than 90 days in arrears or had been restructured as of the end of last year, and that’s likely to rise according to the Irish Central Bank.
- U.S. corporations executed $489 billion in stock buybacks last year, the most since the record $762 billion in 2007, according to data compiled by Birinyi Associates Inc.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation agents last week arrested Dixon, Ill., Comptroller Rita Crundwell for allegedly defrauding the city of more than $3.2 million in public funds since last fall and misappropriating $30 million since 2006, federal prosecutors in Chicago announced.
Sources: Morningstar, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Moody’s, S&P, Financial Times, Telegraph, and many others. DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein is based on various sources considered to be reliable; however, we do not represent that the data is complete and its accuracy is not guaranteed.