US indices has been climbing through the day but the NASDAQ in particular started to slide in the last hour before exchanges closed and have continued to retreat afterward, weighed down by mixed bag of reports from a number of senior technology companies. Although the headliner, Facebook, beat the street by a penny and kept up its subscriber growth, most other reports were disappointing, particular on guidance with a number of shortfalls relative to expectations or outright cuts. The strong USD continues to attract much of the blame, although soft business conditions in some areas isn’t helping either. For the last several weeks traders have been trying to figure out if soft economic figures for March were a one-time event due to weather or not. Last year the US struggled in the winter then roared back to life in the spring. At the same time, traders have also been trying to determine how weak China’s economy may be to spark so many stimulus moves out of the PBOC in recent months. Today may be the day where the rubber hits the road with the release of flash PMI reports, the first significant indicator of how April has been going so far. The Chinese and Japanese figures could provide a headwind or a tailwind for indices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore which have been soaring in recent weeks and trying to throw off the shackles of a recent correction. AUD, NZD and copper may also be active on the PMI reports. Tomorrow morning’s US flash PMI report, meanwhile, could spark another round of speculation on when the Fed may start raising interest rates. I’m currently thinking not before September at least unless we see a major turnaround in April. A soft report could weigh on USD and enable other currencies to rebound. Today, GBP, AUD and CAD made some headway against the greenback. Sterling pairs could be particularly active as GBP appears to be turning a corner even with the UK election only two weeks away now. Corporate News Facebook $0.42 vs street $0.41, daily active users 936M above street 920M, mobile users 798M up 31% over year. EBay $0.77 vs street $0.70, lowers full year sales guidance to $18.35-$18.85B from $18.60-$19.10B Qualcomm $1.40 vs street $1.33, guides next Q to $0.85 to $1.00 below street $1.14. cuts Sep 2015 year guidance to $4.60-$5.00 from $4.85-$5.05 Texas Instruments $0.61 vs street $0.62, expects continues pressure on business from USD and weakness in the communications equipment and persona electronics sectors. Citrix Systems $0.65 in line with guidance, guides next Q to $0.80-$0.83 below street $0.86 F5 networks $1.59 vs street $1.50, guides next Q sales to $475-$485M below street $489M blaming impact of higher USD Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: Bank of England minutes 9-0 to maintain current interest rate and QE level. Most members still think next move could be a rate hike but 2 members think it could go either way, wage growth weak, GBP decline could offset oil price impact on inflation Swiss National Bank reduced the number of accounts exempt from negative interest rates Germany GDP Government raises 2015 forecast to 1.8% from 1.5% Greece GDP Greek IOBE foundation cuts 2015 forecast to 1.0% from 3.0% US house price index 0.7% vs street 0.5% US existing home sales 5.19M vs street 5.03M US crude oil inventories 5.3 mmbbls vs street street 3.2 mmbbls US gasoline inventories (2.1 mmbbls) vs street (1.0 mmbbls) Upcoming significant announcements include: 11:00 am AEDT NZ consumer confidence previous 124.6 11:35 am AEDT Japan flash manufacturing PMI street 50.7 11:45 am AEDT China flash manufacturing PMI street 49.6 3:00 pm AEDT Singapore consumer prices street (0.5%) 3:00 pm AEDT Singapore core CPI street 1.1% 8:00 am BST France flash manufacturing PMI street 49.2 8:00 am BST France flash service PMI street 52.4 8:30 am BST Germany flash manufacturing PMI street 53.0 8:30 am BST Germany flash service PMI street 55.5 9:00 am BST Eurozone flash manufacturing PMI street 52.2 9:00 am BST Eurozone flash service PMI street 54.2 9:30 am BST UK retail sales street 5.4% 9:30 am BST UK retail ex auto street 5.5% 8:30 am EDT US jobless claims street 287K 9:45 am EDT US flash manufacturing PMI street 55.7 10:00 am EDT US new home sales street 515K 10:30 am EDT US natural gas street 84 BCF