As expected, the ECB and the Bank of England left interest rates unchanged; the ECB at 4.0 percent. Futures dipped a bit at 8:50 am ET as Mr. Trichet began talking, giving his usual speech on the importance of combating inflation.
Retail sales, very encouraging. In general, April looked better than March, even if you include the early Easter and better weather. There are more beats than misses. The question is whether oil trumps better sales.
Beat: Wal-Mart ,Kohl's , and teen retailers like Abercrombie ,American Eagle , Buckle and Aeropostale . Aeropostale was terrific, sales up 25 percent, better, far better than up 7.1 percent expected, and they raised their earnings estimate for the first quarter. American Eagle backed first quarter guidance. Bulk sellers like BJ's Wholesaleand Costco were also strong.
Worse than expected: Limited ,Gap ,Dillards , Chico's .
JC Penney guided down for May comps.
Toyota sees a 40 percent fall in operating profit for the first half of the year. Partly this may be due to higher material costs and a stronger yen, but much of it is also due to worries about a slowdown in U.S. sales growth. They're talking 1 percent growth for the year up to March 2009, well below the growth of previous years.
Yamana Goldreported earnings better than expected.
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