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Markets are called lower this morning. This is what's happening today:
China’s longest streak of expansion below 8% in at least 20 years is sending a message to suppliers and investors around the world to get used to slower growth in the second-biggest economy. The 7.7% increase in first-quarter gross domestic product from a year earlier marked the first time in data going back two decades that four periods in a row have seen growth of less than 8%. The figure released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing was also the worst miss of analyst estimates since the third quarter of 2008. A sustained shift to a lower-growth gear would affect everything from iron-ore demand in Australia to the fortunes of companies including carmaker General Motors Co., who are counting on China to drive profits. It increases challenges for global policy makers contending with Europe’s debt turmoil and Japan’s record monetary easing, with BHP Billiton Ltd. saying GDP gains will moderate toward 6% later this decade.
Venezuelans faced the prospect of extended political instability as the country’s electoral council proclaimed Nicolas Maduro president-elect while opposition supporters marched in the streets to demand a full recount of the April 14 election. The government dispatched anti-riot forces in Caracas yesterday as Maduro, who received 50.8% of the vote, was declared the winner. Tear gas was used to disperse protesters who didn’t accept the government refusal to recount the vote as demanded by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA reported first-quarter sales in line with forecasts as gains at beauty retailer Sephora and DFS duty-free stores helped offset worse-than-expected fashion and leather goods growth. Revenue climbed 6% to 6.95 billion euros in the three months through March, Paris-based LVMH said today in an e-mailed statement, meeting the average of 13 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 7% excluding exchange-rate fluctuations and acquisitions, compared with 14% in the first quarter of last year and 8% in the final three months of 2012.
Stock to watch: Gilead Sciences (Price $50.67, Price Target $69)
Our Buy rating is based on our assumption that Gilead's base business & HIV franchise will not erode significantly starting in 2018 when some of their marketed products start to go generic. Our thesis is also contingent on the success of two key assets in HIV Stribild and TAF and Sofosbuvir, Gilead's acquired pipeline Hepatitis C (HCV) asset from Nov 2011.
For more information on Gilead Sciences, contact our offices on 25688688.
Good day and happy trading!
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