A clear divergence is materializing on both sides of the Atlantic.
US indices are preparing in the best possible way for the "3 Witches" session (tomorrow, Friday) with a flurry of new all-time highs, notably the Dow Jones (+0.3%), which broke the 40,000Pts barrier.000Pts, while Europe looks rather gloomy (CAC40 -0.6%, Euro-Stoxx50 -0.5%) following a flamboyant Wednesday session and a deluge of absolute records.

Profit-taking is underway without any real catalyst, as the funicular rise that began on April 30 (USA) or May 2 (EU) could just as well have continued in Europe, given this morning's poor news (inflation falls in Italy, to +0.8% year-on-year).
9088 vs. 8,240 at opening (session high), the Euro-Stoxx50 -0.5%, in the wake of the DAX (-0.7%): these 3 indices had set new records the previous day, in the wake of an unexpectedly large easing in interest rates (the biggest since January 31).
Yields stabilized on Thursday, with our OATs and Bunds posting +2pts (versus -11pts the previous day), 10-year T-Bonds pulling back by +1pt, and the 2-year by +4pts to 4.774%.

The deterioration in T-bonds was slightly amplified after the release of a sharp rise in US import prices, due to a virtually generalized increase in the cost of imported goods.

The Labor Department reported a +0.9% rise in import prices last month, following a 0.6% increase in March. This is their biggest increase since March 2022... a far cry from the 0.2% expected.
While rising petroleum product costs were the main reason for this stronger-than-expected statistic, various categories of goods saw their prices rise, which could rekindle fears of persistent inflation.

Prices of imported petroleum products rose by 2.4% in April, following a 5.4% jump in March, but the increase also concerned industrial materials (+2.7%) and agricultural food products (+2.2%).

The Philly Fed manufacturing activity index unexpectedly fell by -11pts to 4.5 after 15.5 in April (down towards 8 was anticipated), due in particular to the -20Pts plunge in the 'new orders' component, which fell to -7.9fell to -7.9 from 12.2 in April.
The 6-month business outlook remained relatively stable at 32.4, after 34.3 the previous month.
The employment sub-index improved to -7.9 from -10.7 in April, while the paid prices sub-index fell to 18.7 from 23.

On the real estate front, the Commerce Department reported a 5.7% rebound in US housing starts in April compared with the previous month, to an annualized rate of 1,360,000, following a 16.8% decline in March.
On the other hand, U.S. building permits - thought to be a precursor of future housing starts - fell by 3% to 1,440,000 last month.
Lastly, weekly jobless claims contracted by -10,000 to 222,000, a score that suggests a situation of 'full employment' which could push up wages.
Oil prices continue to rally in the wake of last week's announcement of a slight weekly decline in US crude oil inventories. Brent gained 0.5% to around $83.4 a barrel.
On the FOREX, after testing a high of $1.09, the euro retreated -0.15% to $1.0870.

In French corporate news, automotive supplier Valeo reported that it had acquired 2,175,683 of its own shares on May 13, at an average price of almost 11.50 euros.

Vallourec reports first-quarter 2024 EPS of 0.43 euros, down from 0.66 euros a year earlier, and EBITDA (gross operating income) down 27% to 235 million euros, representing a margin down 0.2 points to 23.7% of sales.

Finally, Eurazeo announces assets under management (AUM) of 34.8 billion euros at the end of March 2024, up 8% year-on-year, including fee-generating assets (FPAUM) of 25.6 billion (+8% year-on-year).

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