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Morning Market Roundup: JPMorgan's Massive Misstep, Dreadful China/India Data, EU Contracts


Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

JPMorgan: U.S. stock futures are heading lower led by the financial sector in the wake of huge losses at J.P. Morgan on trading bets gone wrong.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 56 points to 12,778. The Standard & Poor's 500 is down 6.8 points to 1,350.00. The Nasdaq composite index is sliding 6.25 points to 2,612.5.

JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, said Thursday that it lost $2 billion in the past six weeks in a trading portfolio designed to hedge against risks the company takes with its own money.

Germany's DAX fell 0.3 percent to 6,498. The CAC-40 in France is slipping 0.7 percent lower to 3,107 and Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6 percent to 8,953.31.

U.S. banks shares are falling in premarket dealings, with J.P. Morgan off almost 8 percent.

China & India: Dismal data from China and India on Friday may signal a further weakening of the global recovery, undermining hopes the dynamic emerging economies of Asia can help prop up growth.

China reported its industrial production rose 9.3 percent from a year earlier in April, below expectations and down from nearly 12 percent in March. Investment and retail sales also slowed, though easing inflation offers leeway for fresh moves to boost growth.

India's industrial output fell 3.5 percent in March from a year earlier on weak manufacturing and investment. Output for the fiscal year ending in March rose 2.8 percent, down from 8.2 percent the year before.

The anemic indicators suggest Asia's ability to counter slowing growth in Europe may be limited. It also shows that the brief burst of vitality partly fueled by European stimulus late last year is likely wearing off.

EU: The European Union estimates that the economy of the 17 countries that use the euro is in recession in the wake of a debt crisis that has prompted savage spending cuts and a jump in unemployment to record highs.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, forecasts that the eurozone economy will contract by 0.3 percent in 2012 and grow by 1 percent next year. Its prediction for 2012 is far weaker than the one it gave last November, when it predicted growth of 0.5 percent. A year ago it was predicting growth of 1.8 percent.

Friday's forecasts provide clear evidence of the impact of Europe's debt crisis on the eurozone economy over the past year as governments have struggled to introduce deficit-reduction measures and business and consumer confidence has taken a dive.

Japanese Auto Industry Roaring Back: Nissan Motor Co.'s January-March profit more than doubled to 75.3 billion yen ($941 million) as the Japanese automaker achieved record sales despite production disruptions from last year's tsunami.

Nissan annual global sales reached a record 4.85 million vehicles, showing a remarkably quick recovery from the March 2011 earthquake that ravaged much of northeastern Japan, the Yokohama-based manufacturer said Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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