Current Futures: Dow -56.00, S&P -7.00, NASDAQ -7.25

Asian equity markets closed the trading session barely above the break-even line, while European markets are currently posting very small gains. This comes after China announced a weaker than expected Q1 GDP. U.S futures fell during the European session, reversing the gains seen during the Asian session. 

Despite gaining almost 3% during the overnight session, the Nikkei and the other major Asian indexes fell sharply after a report showed that the Chinese economy grew at the slowest pace in a decade. China’s Q1 GDP expanded 6.1%, less than the 6.3% growth rate projected by analysts.

“The Chinese GDP data points out that the global economy is still not out of the woods. The biggest drag on the quarterly numbers was foreign demand, while internal demand stood strong.” Trade Team members said.

NYSE Euronext’s Chief Executive Duncan Niederaue declared in an interview that the March rally was led by short-term traders, while institutional and other long-term investors stood on the sidelines. Additionally, most of the volume came from a relatively small number of stocks, while the overall volume was still modest.

“These were unexpected comments from one of the most important people in the market. In order for a long-term rally to be sustainable, institutional traders must join the rally. However, it looks like they were only spectators to the event.” Trade Team notes.
The market is bracing for some very important earnings today. The most two important earning that are likely to move the market will come from JP Morgan and Google. At the same time Nokia, Harley-Davidson and Polaris might provide further clues on how the companies weathered the first quarter. 

Overnight, the Nikkei rose 12.30 points (0.14%) to 8,755.26. The Australian S&P/Asx rose 28.20 points (0.75%) to 3,775.70. The U.K. Ftse gained 15.31 points (0.39%) to 3,983.71, while the German Dax added 0.35 points (0.01%) to 4,550.14

Crude oil for May delivery was recently trading at $50.16 per barrel, up $0.90.

Gold for May delivery was recently trading down $4.10 to $890.40.