Mar 25, 2019

Global manufacturing data is contracting

Factory activity in the eurozone contracted at the fastest pace in nearly six years.

The state of play: The bloc's aggregate PMI fell to 47.6 in March from 49.3, well below the 50 threshold that is the baseline for whether the sector is expanding or contracting. In Germany, Europe's largest economy, new orders fell to the lowest level in a decade. And, in France, both manufacturing and service sector PMIs are now in the red.

  • Japan's manufacturing PMI also has fallen into contraction territory, following China's weakening readings that started falling below 50 late last year.

What's next: The market will likely be on pins and needles for the rest of this week awaiting readings on the U.S. economy. February's core PCE report will be released on Friday and other major U.S. data releases won't come until the week of April 1.  

  • February retail sales, the ADP private sector jobs report and the March U.S. jobs report will be released next week. March's ISM manufacturing PMI report will come out the following Monday, followed by March CPI and PPI data the week of April 8.

The dramatic fall in bond yields can be traced back to the Fed's incredibly dovish March meeting, says Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, because investors "need to see confidence emanating from policymakers to feel confident as well."

  • "Markets are left wondering 'what does the Fed know that we don't?' Thus, it all comes back to the data."

Go deeper: A new warning about the manufacturing labor shortage

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

A combine in Rippey, Iowa harvests soybeans in October 2019. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. U.S. soybean stockpiles expected to drop as exports rebound, USDA says
  2. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  3. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins
  4. Reports: Facebook offers up to $5 for voice recordings
  5. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps