NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Oops...China did it again.
Quick markets snapshot: Stocks are weaker in Europe in the morning and U.S. stock index futures are indicating a lower open. Asian stocks, however, climbed due to China's central bank's intervention. The dollar is strengthening given the continued Greece debt uncertainty.
Over the weekend, China's Central bank cut its benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.1%, marking the third time since November that China has taken action to goose its ailing economic growth. The central bank also reduced the one-year benchmark deposit rates by 25 basis points to 2.25% as it looks to respond to a recent spate of lackluster economic reports.
Investors have been anticipating such a response out of China and we believe further weak economic reports would lead to continued stimulus actions. Interestingly, recent data show that China officially became the world's largest crude oil importer in April, taking the title from the U.S. as the emerging market continues to voraciously consume commodities of all kinds to fuel its economic growth (weak as it may be) and as the U.S. reliance on crude wanes as more energy comes out of the domestic shale plays.
It is Greece though, that will attract the attention in the international spotlight this week as representatives from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund meet with Greek officials to try and finalize a deal on Greece's debt. The country stands to repay 750 million euros ($840 million) to the IMF on Tuesday.
Some notable earnings reports today include: Dish Network (DISH), Actavis (ACT), Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR), Sotheby's (BID), Dean Foods (DF), Rackspace Hosting (RAX), DryShips (DRYS), McDermott (MDR), Hillenbrand (HI), and MasTec(MTZ).
With the excitement from earnings season slowing down, the hunt for new ideas can ramp back up.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is working with some of the countries that are most exposed to Greece in southeastern Europe on contingency plans in the event of a default. Greek banks are big players in some countries in the region such as Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and Romania. Later today the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers will discuss the Greek bailout, but no solution is expected to emerge.
- The People's Bank of China cut its interest rate for the third time in six months as the Chinese economy has slowed down. The central bank lowered its benchmark, one-year lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.1% and cut the benchmark deposit rate by the same amount to 2.25%.
- The U.K. government may be selling part of its stake in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) at a loss later this year, now that the Conservatives have won the elections, Reuters reports quoting sources.
- Five U.S. companies are hoarding nearly half a trillion of dollars in cash overseas, according to a report by Moody's, quoted by the FT. Over the past year, the cash on the balance sheet of the companies that Moody's covers increased by 4%.
- Banks are plotting a gradual retreat of their operations from London in order to escape the bank levy, a tax which was imposed by the government in 2011 and has been increasing since then, the FT reports.