Atlanta, GA 6/6/12 (StreetBeat) -- Stocks in Asian trade were mostly higher. The Nikkei was among the best, it rose 1.8%. The Hang Seng was up 1.4% while Australia increased 0.3%, but Shanghai was down a slight fraction. European indexes are quite strong this morning. The Footsie is open again and currently up about 1.5%, the Dax is better by one and three quarters percent this morning. US stock futures are up about one percent as I write.
*The Q1 reading of Australia’s GDP was +1.3% on a quarterly basis, more than twice the expectation.
*Earlier today Moody’s cut the ratings for six German banks and banking groups. Deutsche Bank was not among the group because the rating agency has yet to complete their review.
*The Q1 reading of Euro Zone GDP was unchanged on a quarterly basis, but -0.1% year on year.
*The April reading of German Industrial Production was -2.2% on a month on month basis; the decline was twice as sharp as forecast.
*The ECB kept rates steady at 1.00%. Bank president Draghi will tell us all about it at his 7:30am CDT presser.
*WSJ reports the Fed is considering more stimulus; “Disappointing US economic data, new strains in financial markets and deepening worries about Europe’s fiscal crisis have prompted a shift at the Federal Reserve, putting back on the table the possibility of action to spur the recovery.” John Hilsenrath writes they may not be set to act this month, nor is any course of action considered to be more likely than another. Chicago Fed boss Evans let it be known last night that he would probably be in favor of additional moves. He sees the need for “extremely strong” accommodation and reiterated his opinion that QE benefits the economy.
*US mortgage applications were up 1.3% in the week ended June 6, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The component for purchases was down 1.8%, but the Refinancing component rose two percent.
*The final revision to Q1 Non-farm Productivity is due out at 7:30. Productivity is expected to be revised down three tenths to -0.8% and the estimate for Unit Labor Costs is up one tenth from the previous release to +2.1%.
*The weekly report on energy inventories is due out at 9:30am CDT. Stocks of Crude Oil are forecast to decline 500k, Gasoline inventories are expected to increase 900k and the estimate for Distillates is -250k.
*The Fed is scheduled to buy Treasuries today that are due to mature between 2/15/36 and 5/15/42; the results of the operation will be announced just after 10:00am CDT.
*The Fed’s Beige Book is set to be released at 1:00pm CDT.
*Fed speak is rampant today. The list includes: Atlanta Fed’s Lockhart who will talk about the economy at 7:15am CDT; Governor Tarullo testifies about banking supervision at 9:00am CDT; San Francisco Fed boss Williams will speak on the economy at 2:30pm CDT; and Fed vice-chair Yellen gives her economic outlook at 7:00pm CDT.