The Day at a Glance | April 15 2024

The Top

*Retail sales in the U.S. surpassed expectations in March.

*Industrial production in the Eurozone rebounded in February.

*Europe joins the U.S. in urging Israel to show restraint following Iranian attacks.

*The World Bank sounded the alarm regarding a “historic setback” in development among the poorest countries.

*Oil falls as risk premium decreases following Iran’s attack.

*Stocks in the U.S. are up following strong earnings from Goldman Sachs, retail data, and hopes that the conflict in the Middle East won’t escalate further. 

Economic environment

In the United States, retail sales exceed expectations in March. In March 2024, retail sales increased by 0.7%, above the 0.3% anticipated by analysts, although they slowed down from the revised 0.9% a month ago. Excluding the most volatile categories, such as autos and gasoline, retail sales rose by +1.0% m/m in March 2024. On an annual basis, retail sales increased by 4.0%, while sales excluding autos and gasoline grew by 4.9%. These figures include annual growth of +11.3% in online sales, +6.5% in restaurants and bars, +2.8% in autos, and +1.4% in clothing. Overall, retail sales in the U.S. pleasantly surprised with greater than expected growth. 

In the Eurozone, industrial production rebounded in February. Industrial production in the Eurozone increased by 0.8% m/m in February 2024, returning to expansion territory (-3.0% prev.). February´s figures set in line with consensus estimates. Within the figures, there was growth of 0.5% in intermediate goods, 1.2% in capital goods, and 1.4% in the production of durable consumer goods. On the other hand, production in energy and non-durable consumer goods fell by 3.0% and 0.9% respectively. On an annual basis, industrial production in the Eurozone logged a decline of -6.4%, driven by contractions in all its components

Markets and companies

Stocks in the U.S. are up following strong earnings from Goldman Sachs, retail data, and hopes that the conflict in the Middle East won’t escalate further. Iran launched drones and missiles against Israel on Saturday night, marking the first direct attack on Israel from Iranian territory. Although most of the threats were intercepted, concerns about retaliation persist. Gold reached a record level last week and has risen by around 15% so far this year; investors seek security amidst persistent inflation and geopolitical tensions. On the other hand, U.S. crude oil prices are down as investors took a breather after Israel repelled the large-scale aerial assault by Iran; and the U.S. emphasized its desire to avoid a broader war in the Middle East. In Europe, stocks are up despite heightened geopolitical tensions. The Stoxx 600 index rose by 0.8% by 2:20 p.m. London time, with most sectors trading in positive territory. Auto stocks led gains, rising 2%, while oil and gas fell 1.2% due to increasing risks in the Middle East. In Asia, markets fell amidst tensions between Israel and Iran. Investor attention will also focus on key economic data from China and Japan in the week ahead. In Mexico, the IPC is up (+0.13%) and stands at 56,640 points. Cryptocurrencies are also up.

During the weekend, the exchange rate fluctuated between a minimum of 16.56 and a maximum of 16.73, currently trading at 16.56.

Corporate news

Goldman Sachs shares were up +3.3% pre-market. Goldman reported earnings of $11.58 per share (vs $8.56e.).

Lockheed Martin shares increased +2% following an upgrade to overweight at JPMorgan. Although the shares have underperformed this year, the bank expects a better outlook from now on as the company receives additional funding due to geopolitical events abroad.

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