Global stock markets had a pretty good month with many indices climbing to approach or break through all-time highs. The month is ending on a mixed note, however, with indices consolidating their gains and starting to fall back slightly as traders react to overnight data and prepare for a flood of news next week. In Asia Pacific trading, the Nikkei closed lower with the main Japanese economic numbers meeting expectations, while the S&P/ASX was dragged down by the resource sector (like the S&P/TSX was yesterday) and broke 5,500 former support. The Hang Seng closed higher amid rumours of possible increased fiscal stimulus and/or potential monetary easing (lowering reserve requirements for some banks). European trading has been mixed with the FTSE and DAX lower while the IBEX and MIB are rallying. Inflation for Spain and Italy came in soft again, keeping the pressure on the ECB to do something at its meeting next week. SEK is weakening again after Swedish GDP came in below expectations keeping the pressure on the Riksbank to cut rates at its next meeting. In North America today, US indices appear to be heading for a lower open although the S&P remains above its recent 1,900 breakout point. CAD has dropped back a bit after Canadian Q1 GDP came in well below expectations. Although the result is likely to be blamed on the weather and discounted once traders get over the initial shock, April GDP rebounded but not as much as hoped which is perhaps in some ways more disappointing and could have a bigger impact over time. With month-end approaching, we could see some volatility through the day as traders square positions and get ready for next week with kicks off with global manufacturing PMI and wraps with Canada and US employment numbers with a ton of other news in-between, particularly the big ECB decision on monetary stimulus. Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: Canada Q1 GDP 1.2% vs street 1.8% and previous 2.9% Canada Apr GDP 2.1% vs street 2.3% Canada industrial prices (0.2%) vs street 0.4% Canada raw material prices 0.1% vs street 0.5% US personal income 0.3% as expected US personal spending (0.1%) vs street 0.2% US PCE core inflation 1.4% as expected vs street 1.2% Japan unemployment rate 3.6% as expected Japan consumer prices 3.4% as expected vs previous 1.6% Japan industrial production 4.1% vs street 4.5% Japan vehicle production 3.4% vs previous 14.0% Japan housing starts (3.3%) vs street (8.3%) Japan construction orders 104.9% vs previous (8.8%) NZ building permits 1.5% vs street (3.5%) Germany retail sales 0.9% vs street 0.2% Spain consumer prices 0.2% vs street 0.3% Sweden GDP revision 1.9% vs street 2.3% Greece retail sales (3.4%) vs previous (2.2%) Italy consumer prices 0.4% vs street 0.5% India GDP 4.6% vs street 4.7% Brazil GDP 1.9% vs street 2.0% Economic reports due later today include: 9:45 am EDT US Chicago PMI street 61.0 9:55 am EDT US U of Michigan consumer conf street 82.5 6:00 pm PDT Sat China manufacturing PMI street 50.7 4:30 pm PDT Sun Australia manufacturing PMI previous 44.8 5:00 pm PDT Sun South Korea manufacturing PMI previous 50.2 6:35 pm PDT Sun Japan manufacturing PMI previous 49.9 10:00 pm PDT Sun India manufacturing PMI previous 51.3