There was not much economic news. In the US the initial claims for unemployment were much better than expected, mortgage applications rose, the consumer confidence dipped a bit after the big rises, consumer credit disappointed, the trade deficit was worse than expected (but according to the deteriorating trend). In the VS agreement was reached about help for mortgage holders that are under water (a drop on the plate of $ 700B of mortgages with negative equity at the current house prices.
In Europe the industrial production growth numbers disappointed in Germany and France, but new orders improved in Germany. In Italy the industrial production rose (and JP Morgan revised growth up for 2012 to only -1.7%).
In Japan the numbers were better than expected (leading indicators, trade deficit, consumer confidence, credit growth). But today’s -.06% GDP growth over Q4 disappointed.
In China the inflation rose from 4,1% to 4,5%, more than expected.
Romney lost surprisingly in three states from Santorum and is now saying he will be much more of a conservative in the future, he is born again as a conservative.
The problems for Greece accumulate, but the markets almost don’t care for the time being. It last long before agreements are made and this caused a bit higher ineterst rates in Southern Europe.
The equity markets showed small declines, because of worries about Greece and Chinese inflation. Also all those publications that Israel has to strike Iran this spring didn’t help either.
The underlying trends are still quite good: macro indicators are improving, much less recession fear in the US and the belief is growing that QE3 will arrive even while the economy is improving, as Bernanke told to the senate last week again.
The optimism can get dented because optimism is quite high (even Roubini is a bull) and some brokers are communicating mildly warning sounds about overoptimism for the growth in the US (high gasoline prices, Greece and inflation now central banks print money like never before.