JPMorgan posted disappointing net interest income, Citigroup’s earnings beat expectations, Wells Fargo’s net interest income fell more than expected, while BlackRock saw its assets under management in Q1 reach of record $10.5 trillion. These are pretty mixed, so we’ll have to wait for more results to get a clearer picture of the economy. The pace of earnings reports releases will accelerate in the next few days.

Yesterday, Wall Street ended on the high despite the higher consumer price reading on Thursday, while Europe suffered a setback despite a speech from Christine Lagarde that hinted at a rate cut in June.

Tech stocks are once again on the move and more traditional sectors remaining on the defensive. In concrete terms, it was the US indices packed with digital companies that benefited, while the rest of the market was rather cautious. The STOXX Europe 600 was down 0.4%, the Dow Jones -0.01%, while the Nasdaq was up 1.65%.

The rise in US consumer prices in March called into question the Fed's monetary easing scenario, one of the pillars of the rise in equities in recent months. A rising dollar, a surge in bond yields, a fall in rate cut forecasts... all the signs are that the financial markets are taking the matter very seriously. But some investors remain incorrigibly optimistic, causing a rebound in tech stocks yesterday following the publication of US producer prices (PPI), which rose more moderately than expected, and in a way mitigated the impact of Wednesday's CPI data.

But the Nasdaq 100's reaction seems over-enthusiastic. The fact that the Dow Jones remained flat is a sign of caution. It's also worth noting that the Nasdaq and S&P500 have benefited from Apple's awakening, thanks to a rumor published by Bloomberg: the group is said to be preparing a vast overhaul of its Mac range, incorporating a new chip doped with artificial intelligence. Apple has finally been linked to the magic word, AI. Balance sheet +4.3% at the bell.

Europe closed in the red, despite the prospect of an ECB rate cut in June. Yesterday, Christine Lagarde and her team left rates unchanged, in line with expectations, while sending out a few messages. it's worth noting that the ECB mentioned the possibility of a rate cut in its press release for the first time since it began tightening policy. There's a BUT, though, as the ECB draws attention to the fact that domestic prices are under severe pressure, which is causing it to adopt a cautious stance.

The dollar is rising, boosted by the weakness in the yen and the yuan after the release of weak Chinese trade data. China's March exports and imports contracted sharply, taking markets by surprise, as both figures were well under expectations. Shipments from China dropped 7.5% year-on-year in March, while a 2.3% decline was forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

The Japanese market is the only index ending in the green today in the Asia-Pacific region. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.2%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng lost 2.1%, while the Korean KOSPI shed 0.9%. India fell 1.0% and the other main markets (Australia, Shanghai, Singapore, Taiwan) are down by zero to 0.4%. European leading indicators are mostly up, expected for the French CAC 40 and the Swiss SMI.  Futures on the main three Wall Street indices are well in the red.

Economic highlights of the day:

The second reading of March inflation in Germany and France, as well as the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index are on the agenda

The dollar is up 0.8% against the euro to EUR 0.9400 and up 0.8% against the pound to GBP 0.8030. The ounce of gold rebounds to USD 2395. Oil is firm, with North Sea Brent at USD 90.75 a barrel and US light crude WTI at USD 86.20. The yield on 10-year US debt stands at 4.57%. Bitcoin is trading at USD 70,200.

In corporate news:

  • BlackRock climbs 1.7% in pre-market trading. On Friday, the group reported record assets under management of around $10.5 trillion in the first quarter and posted a 36% rise in profit, as the rebound in global stock markets boosted its investment advisory revenues.
  • JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup advanced 1.1% and 1.2% respectively in pre-market trading ahead of the publication of their quarterly results.
  • Southwest Airlines expects to receive only 23 BOEING aircraft this year, compared with 46 previously, according to three sources close to the company.
  • Alphabet - Epic Games, publisher of the video game "Fortnite", has asked a federal judge in California to force Alphabet subsidiary Google to open up its Play Store app store more widely to competition in enforcement of a court ruling against the tech giant's undue monopoly.
  • Applied Digital - The data center operator reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday evening after power outages affected operations at one of its sites in January. The share price fell by 10.7% in pre-market trading.

Analyst recommendations:

  • Corteva, Inc.: JP Morgan downgrades to neutral from overweight with a target price reduced from USD 58 to USD 57.
  • Ecolab Inc.: Mizuho Securities upgrades to buy from neutral with a price target raised from USD 216 to USD 260.
  • Uber Technologies, Inc.: President Capital Management Corp maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from USD 62 to USD 93.
  • Western Digital Corporation: Goldman Sachs maintains a neutral recommendation with a price target raised from USD 58 to USD 76.
  • Enphase Energy, Inc.: Huatai Research initiates an Accumulate recommendation with a target price of USD 135.70.
  • Coinbase Global, Inc.: Mizuho Securities maintains its underperform recommendation and raises the target price from USD 84 to USD 145.
  • The Coca-Cola Company: CICC initiates an outperform recommendation with a target price of USD 66.
  • BP Plc: Morgan Stanley maintains its overweight rating and raises the target price from USD 46.80 to USD 49.90.
  • Barratt Developments Plc: JP Morgan upgrades to overweight from neutral with a price target raised from GBP 3.70 to GBP 5.60.
  • Glencore Plc: AlphaValue/Baader Europe upgrades to buy from add with a price target reduced from GBX 626 to GBX 623.
  • Mondi Plc: BNP Paribas Exane upgrades to neutral from underperform with a price target raised from GBX 1190 to GBX 1330.
  • Redrow Plc: JP Morgan upgrades to neutral from underweight with a price target raised from GBP 4.10 to GBP 7.60.
  • Shell Plc: Morgan Stanley maintains its market weight rating and adjusts the target price from USD 66.20 to USD 76.30. Morgan Stanley maintains its equalwt rating with a target price raised from GBX 2585 to GBX 2980.
  • Canadian Natural Resources Limited: Jefferies maintains its hold recommendation and raises the target price from CAD 86 to CAD 110.
  • Cenovus Energy Inc.: Jefferies maintains its buy recommendation and raises the target price from CAD 28 to CAD 36.
  • Persimmon Plc: JP Morgan upgrades to overweight from neutral with a target price raised from GBP 11.90 to GBP 15.10.