Good morning,

Markets are called to open lower this morning. This is what's happening today:

  • G-20 finance ministers and central bankers gather in Washington before the IMF spring meeting;
  • U.K. retail sales decline, according to economists;
  • Italy’s parliament starts voting for a new president;
  • Nestle, Diageo, L’Oreal, Syngenta, Akzo Nobel, SABMiller among companies reporting results.

US stocks have closed sharply lower in the wake of disappointing earnings reports and a 5.5 per cent plunge in Apple shares, along with dreary economic sentiment in Europe.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 138.19 points (0.94%) to 14,618.59 points. The broad-based S&P 500 sank 22.56 (1.43%) to 1,552.01, while the Nasdaq Composite Index dived 59.96 points (1.84%) to 3,204.67.

The losses came after a disappointing earnings report from Bank of America sent it and other banking shares lower. Apple also fell considerably after a supplier slashed its profit guidance, suggesting, analysts said, slow iPhone and iPad sales at Apple itself.

The US retreat also followed a day of losses in Europe amid speculation of a German credit rating downgrade and commentary from the head of the Bundesbank predicting that the European economic slump would last a decade more.

Stock to watch: Intel ($21.94, Price Target $26)

From Deutsche Bank Research – While investment spending is elevated at Intel in the NT, we expect these investments to begin genearting returns in 2H13/2014. As INTC leverages these investments, we see potential upside to the company's earnings power and valaution. Combined with an above-average dividend yield, this merits a Buy rating.

For further information on Intel, Bank of America and Apple, contact our offices on 25688688.

Good day and happy trading!

Kristian Camenzuli