1. Global market overview: Investors are still in an anxious and indecisive mood, with stock markets showing no clear trend in either direction.
“There’s an abundance of angst this morning, stemming from weak U.S. car data, the explosion in the St. Petersburg subway, the prospect of Donald Trump meeting [Chinese President] Xi Jinping at the end of the week and the rapidly approaching French election,” noted Kit Juckes, a strategist at Societe Generale.
Bond markets are equally mixed. Yields around the world are falling Tuesday with the exception of the U.S., where 10-year Treasuries are ticking higher.
2. Shudders in South Africa: The South African rand continues to fall as traders react to S&P downgrading the country’s debt rating to junk status.
President Jacob Zuma ousted his respected finance minister last week, causing analysts and investors to worry about the future health of the country’s economy.
The rand has dropped by 10% in reaction to the political turmoil.
S&P warns that “political risks will remain elevated this year, and … policy shifts are likely, which could undermine fiscal and economic growth outcomes more than we currently project.”
3. Economics: The Census Bureau will announce U.S. trade deficit data for February at 8:30 a.m. ET.
And on the other side of the world, Australia’s central bank left interest rates unchanged at 1.5%.
4. Coming this week:
Wednesday – Earnings from Monsanto(, )Walgreens Boots Alliance( and )Bed Bath & Beyond(; World Economic Forum on Latin America begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina )
Friday – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report for March.