A disappointing session on Wall Street, which was a little hesitant at the opening (the S&P500 settled for +0.1% and the Nasdaq remained heavy with a decline of -0.2%), but the US indices quickly set off on the upward path with +0.7% for the Dow Jones (which returned to the 38,000 mark), +0.5% for the 'S&P', +0.4% on the Nasdaq towards 15.750Pts), which enabled the European markets to perform well.

But the resurgence of interest-rate tension got the better of these bullish impulses: the morning's rally fizzled out, and the yield on US ten-year Treasuries rebounded by +5Pts to 4.636%, close to the five-month highs reached on Tuesday, while the '2-yr' was again close to 5.00% (at 4.995%)..
As a result, US indices closed lower, or at the day's low, with the Dow Jones barely surviving (+0.05%) thanks to the very defensive United Health.

On the other hand, the S&P500 fell back -0.25%, the Nasdaq -0.52% (to 15.600) and the Nasdaq-100 by -0.57%, once again in the wake of semiconductors and tech giants such as Micron -3.8%, NXP -3.3%, Applied Materials -2.8%, Cadence -2.7%, KLA -2.2%, Autodesk -2%, Broadcom, Intel and Microsoft -1.8%.
The Nasdaq seems to be heading for a 4th consecutive week of consolidation (and tomorrow would be the worst week since the end of October) and the 6th in a series of 7.

Outside the USA, note the -5.4% fall of Taiwanese giant TSMC.... after -7% the previous day for its Dutch competitor ASML.

Shortly after the close, Netflix fell by -5% following the publication of its quarterly results (fairly in line with expectations): investors were stunned by the announcement that the quarterly publication of new subscribers and revenue per subscriber will be suspended as of Q1 2025.

Despite the decline in the S&P, the VIX eased by -1.1% to 18.00, as the prospect of a conflagration in the Middle East receded somewhat.
On the other hand, trade relations with China will continue to be strained by Joe Biden's plan to triple taxes on Chinese steel imports.

The day's US macroeconomic data fuelled fears that rates will remain high for longer than previously expected (fewer than 20% of investors still believe a rate cut is possible in June, and just over 40% in July).

The Philly FED index, calculated by the Philadelphia Fed, climbed 12 points to 15.5 in April, its third consecutive positive figure and its highest level since April 2022.... while the consensus was for a decline of -1.5Pt.

'Nearly 38% of manufacturing companies reported an increase in overall activity this month, while 22% reported declines; 40% reported no change', say the surveyors.

They added that the new orders index rose by seven points in April, its second consecutive positive figure, and that the current deliveries index increased by eight points to 19.1.

The number of registered unemployed remained stable at 212.000, while a slight weekly increase in the number of claimants was expected (to 215,000).

The index of leading indicators, which is supposed to forecast the evolution of economic activity in the United States, fell again in March, announced the Conference Board, which sees this as a sign of slowing growth.

The precursor index fell by 0.3% last month, to 102.4, after rising by 0.2% in April, the employers' organization said in a press release on Thursday.

The ConfBoard cites a "fragile", even "recessionary" outlook for the US economy, which it considers penalized by rising household indebtedness, high interest rates and persistent inflation.

From his point of view, growth should therefore tend to slow down in the second half of the year, leading him to anticipate a deceleration in GDP growth in the second and third quarters.

Sales of existing homes in the United States fell by 4.3% between February and March, to 4.19 million annualized and seasonally adjusted (SAAR), according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The median sale price reached $393,500, up 4.8% year-on-year, and the stock of unsold existing homes rose by 4.7% to 1.11 million at the end of March, representing 3.2 months of inventory at the current clearance rate.
The few signs of weakness in the US economy are not impressing IMF boss Kristalina Georgieva, who is revising upwards the growth outlook for the United States, which is accumulating record levels of debt.

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