Today is the final day of the first quarter and the S&P 500 is up 5.8% on the year, representing the best Q1 performance since 2013.
This week has been a positive factor toward that performance, as the S&P 500 is up 1.0% on the week and 2.0% from Monday's lows, which followed the failure of the House's health care bill.
Equity futures are fractionally lower this morning, following a mixed performance overseas. Asian trading got off to a shaky start overnight and Japanese and Hong Kong markets closed out the day with 0.8% losses. China was among the bright spots in Asia with a 0.4% gain. European stocks are now mixed, with Germany's DAX trading flat while the UK's FTSE is off 0.5%.
There was plenty of data released overnight, with Eurozone core consumer price inflation falling to 0.7% year/year, its lowest level since last April. Germany's job market grew more than expected in March and the United Kingdom's economy grew by 0.7% quarter/quarter in Q4 of 2016, as expected.
There were also a few U.S. economic data points released this morning and there are a few more due after the open. February core PCE Prices, which gives a read on inflation, came in as expected at +0.2%. Personal Income was also in-line with expectations at +0.4, while Personal Spending came in just shy of expectations at 0.1%. The data didn't have much of an impact on pre-market trading. After the open, we get a look at March Chicago PMI at 9:45 ET, and the final revised University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment reading at 10:00 ET. The Chicago PMI report could see a market response.
In earnings news, BlackBerry (BBRY) is trading higher by 7% after it beat earnings and revenue estimates and said it expects to be profitable with positive free cash flow on a full year basis.
In M&A news, engineering and construction management company TRC Co (TRR) announced it will be taken private by New Mountain Partners in an all cash transaction valued at $17.55/share. The deal price represents a large 47% premium to yesterday's closing price, so it could spark some interest in other construction and engineering peers today.
The second quarter starts with a busy week of employment data, culminating with next Friday's Employment Report for the month of March.
After that the focus will shift toward Q1 earnings season, which begins in mid-April. First quarter earnings are currently expected to grow around 9% with sales up around 7%, a big improvement from last year's Q1 earnings and sales declines of 7% and 1%, respectively.