Here is what you need to know.
The Bank of Japan stunned. Japan’s central bank shocked many by announcing only a small tweak to policy. The BOJ said it would increase the amount of exchange-traded funds it buys to an annual pace 6 trillion yen, up from its previous pace of 3.3 trillion yen. The Japanese yen is stronger by 1.7% at 103.45 per dollar.
Euro-area GDP slowed. The preliminary flash estimate showed that gross-domestic-product growth in the euro area slowed to 0.3% in the second quarter, down from the first quarter’s print of up 0.6%. Growth was higher by 1.6% on a year-over-year basis.
The S&P 500 just did something for the first time since Richard Nixon was president. The S&P 500 ended Thursday’s session inside a 1% trading range for the 11th straight session. This really is the “dullest market in decades,” as Tom Leveroni and Shourui Tian of Nautilus Investment Research called it.
The IMF caved to political pressure during the 2010 Greece rescue. That’s according to an audit conducted by the International Monetary Fund’s Independent Evaluation Office. “The Fund too readily accepted the ECB and EC decision to not restructure Greece’s massive debt, which would have lightened Athens’ financial burden, before embarking on the first 110 billion euro bailout,” AFP said, citing the audit.
Google beat on the top and bottom lines. The search giant earned $8.42 a share on revenue (ex-TAC) of $17.5 billion. Google saw its cost per click fall 7% year-over-year (versus an expected fall of 6%), and its paid clicks surge by 29% year-over-year (versus 27% expected).
Amazon posted a record profit. The online retailer earned $1.78 a share as revenue climbed 31% to $30.4 billion. The company earned money for a fifth straight quarter on the way to a record profit of $857 million. Amazon Web Services revenue grew at 58% year-over-year to $2.88 billion.
Microsoft is laying off workers. The tech giant says it will lay off 2,850 employees over the next year, according to a 10-K released after Thursday’s closing bell. The layoffs will include employees in the sales group and elsewhere in the organization.
Stock markets around the world trade mixed. Overnight, Japan’s Nikkei (+0.6%) led and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-1.3%) lagged. In Europe, Spain’s IBEX (+1.4%) paces the gains. S&P 500 futures are down 2.00 points at 2,162.75.
Earnings reporting remains heavy. AutoNation, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, and United Parcel Service are among the names announcing their quarterly results ahead of the opening bell.
US economic data flows. GDP will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before Chicago PMI and University of Michigan consumer confidence cross the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET. The Baker Hughes oil-rig count is due out at 1 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 2 basis points at 1.52%.