After a day of stocks falling and treasury yields falling even faster, US markets look set to open higher today with all eyes on the release of the US GDP report expected to show a contraction in the first quarter. Futures suggest the S&P500 will open 2 points higher at 1,911 with the Dow Jones expected to open 22 points higher at 16,655. Economic forecasts have swirled around violently with this upcoming GDP release, only a month ago they were as high as 1.1%. The first estimate was 0.1%, forecasters now average -0.6%. With the bar set so low, bias would appear to be for an upside surprise. The first quarter is largely being swept under the “cold weather” rug so even with the US economy having contracted in the first quarter, there’s a good chance the S&P 500 could again push into new territory on any positive surprise. Apple will likely be in focus after its purchase of Beats Electronics. Investors will also be looking for a response from the Allergan management after Valeant Pharmaceuticals offered another $10 in cash per share over their first rejected offer. It seems likely management won’t budge on the sweetened offer with concerns on Valeant’s tax and debt levels still abound. It may well be left to shareholders for a hostile takeover, but with Valeant likely looking to cut R&D levels, shareholders may well stick with Allergan for the higher growth potential. We might be looking at pharmaceutical mega-merger failure 2.0.
S&P 500 eyes new all-time highs as US eyes economic contraction
19:00, 28 May 2014