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Springtime for the Nasdaq   April 20 - April 24
Fri, 24 Apr 04:29 PM EST/09:29 PM GMT
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The March quarter earnings season hit its stride this week, and just about half of the S&P500 components have released quarterly results. Global indices remain at or near all-time highs: in Asia, a PBoC RRR cut helped neutralize fears of a Chinese selloff after last Friday's regulatory crackdown (although there was another round of similar fears regulators would be tightening the screws), while in the US a few rounds of strong earnings propelled the Nasdaq above its March 2000 all-time closing high and kept the S&P near its March all-time highs. In Europe, Greece missed another deadline to present its European partners with reforms to unlock funding, but equity and bond markets seem to be reacting much less severely to the story. Leading manufacturing indicators in Asia showed a difficult start for Q2, as advance PMIs for China and Japan saw significant deterioration. Beyond the unending Greek drama, Europe was looking slightly better, with a 10-month high in the Germany April IFO survey and another month of expansion in the preliminary Eurozone manufacturing PMI data. For the week, the DJIA added 1.4%, the S&P500 rose 1.7% and the Nasdaq surged 3.2%.

There was next to no progress made in resolving the Greek crisis at Friday's Eurogroup meeting and yet another deadline for Athens to unveil its reform proposals was missed. With Europe's patience running very thin, there was talk the ECB was mulling a plan to cut off the Greek financial system from ELA support and ECB President Draghi said the council would examine the issue at a May 6th meeting. In public statements, Greek and European officials continued to talk about the need to reach a deal and Greece made a few concessions, but press reports suggested talks were very heated and Greece's creditors were considering a "final ultimatum" for Greece, with no funds released short of a comprehensive deal. The next big payment faced by Athens is a €1.4 billion bill redemption on May 8th. EUR/USD tested lows around 1.0660 on Tuesday and Thursday then rose to its highs of the week at 1.0900 on Friday. ...
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