Good morning,

Markets are called to open higher this morning. This is what's happenign today:

  • Japanese stocks surged, extending a three-day rally that pushed the Nikkei 225 Stock Average up by almost 10 percent, after Haruhiko Kuroda announced unprecedented stimulus in his first policy meeting as Bank of Japan governor;
  • Jobs report out of the US today for the month of March;
  • German Feb. factory orders rise from Jan., a survey shows;
  • Companies in Europe reporting results today: Industrivarden, EasyJet, Punch Taverns, CPP Group, Aer Lingus, Bang & Olufsen

The European Central Bank president said yesterday policy makers “stand ready to act” to bolster the flagging economy. While they discussed lower interest rates and more long-term bank loans, they failed to reach a consensus, according to three euro-area officials familiar with the talks. The Governing Council didn’t consider a plan to boost company lending because it isn’t ready, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

The ECB hasn’t introduced any new stimulus since announcing an as-yet-untapped bond-purchase program last year. With the 17-nation economy entering a second year of recession and last month’s bungled Cyprus bailout renewing investor anxiety about the region’s debt crisis, the central bank is under increasing pressure to foster growth.

Food for thought – “It has been seven months since Draghi pledged to do everything he can to save the euro, and what do we have to show for it?” said David Madden, an analyst at IG in London, which provides trading services for retail customers. “Unemployment is standing at a record high of 12 percent, and yet another country has received a bailout. Sooner or later traders are going to want to see action rather than just words.”

German 10-year yields dropped to their lowest since August in the wake of the ECB meeting, declining 4 basis points to 1.25 percent. France’s 10-year borrowing cost dropped as much as 10 basis points to 1.893 percent, the lowest since Bloomberg began compiling data on the securities in 1990.


Transocean Ltd.’s management “destroyed approximately $11 billion of shareholder value” by buying Global Santa Fe and Aker, billionaire investor Carl Icahn said.

The company’s current plan to pay down debt and invest in building new assets will destroy another $3.6 billion in shareholder value, Icahn wrote in a letter to shareholders today.

Icahn, who said he controls about 5.43 percent of Transocean, is urging fellow shareholders to support his proposal to increase the company’s dividend to $4 a share and elect three new board members. The Vernier, Switzerland-based offshore drilling company has proposed a $2.24 dividend and defended its 13 board members.

Samsung Electronics Co.

Samsung Electronics Co. posted first-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates as the world’s largest maker of mobile phones boosted sales of cheaper Galaxy handsets in emerging markets. Operating profit rose to about 8.7 trillion won ($7.7 billion) in the three months ended March 31 from 5.69 trillion won a year earlier, the Suwon, South Korea-based company said today. That compares with the 8.38 trillion-won average of 39 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose to about 52 trillion won from 45.27 trillion won a year earlier.

Samsung, which will announce audited results later this month, rose 0.6 percent to 1,515,000 won at 9:35 a.m. in Seoul trading, compared with a 0.7 percent decline for South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index. The company’s shares have declined 0.4 percent this year.

For more information on Transocean or Samsung or other stocks and bonds we follow, contact our offices on 25688688.

Good day and happy trading!

Kristian Camenzuli