Stocks opened the trading week on a mild low volume day losing 8 points at the close to finish at 17,492. Trading volume was very light indicating this was a throw away day.
Global economic reports today reveal that Japanese manufacturing fell as exports declined 10.1% and imports tanked by 23%. This puts more pressure on the Abe gubment to “Do Something!”. Meanwhile Eurozone business growth slowed down to its lowest level in a year and a half. Chief economist at Markit, Chris Williamson aka “Son of William”, called the European news an all-around disappointing picture and said that while there are pockets of growth, producers across the region are struggling.
German drug giant Bayer today confirmed a $62 billion all cash bid for St. Louis based Monsanto. This could be like a reverse inversion where a foreign company buys a US company and pays for the deal in part by giving the US Company a lower tax structure. It will be interesting to see how the US politicians react to this news. So far the market is skeptical as the shares are up only slightly and still 13% below the buyout cash price of $122 per share.
Boeing today landed an order for 100 737 Max 200 airplanes from VietJet as a results of President Obama’s trip to Vietnam which included the lifting of a 50 year old ban on the sale of military gear. One point of contentiion regarding the sale of military gear was that “C rations” and “MRES” (Meals ready to eat) not be included. Good call! Constipation does little to further international relations. The President was in Hanoi and the trip is seen as part of an effort to unite smaller countries in the region against recent Chinese aggression.
Gold today was a bit soft as the US dollar was firm thanks to rising odds that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates June 14-15 when it holds its next FOMC meeting. Gold closed at $1,249 off $3.40 per ounce. Oil closed down 0.6% at $48.11 per barrel.