* Uncertainty hammers regional bank stocks as confidence wavers
* US Q2 GDP nowcast ramps up to solid +2.7% via Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model
* Global manufacturing activity remained slightly negative in April
* German factory orders plunged in March
* Growth in China business activity eased in April via PMI survey data
* US jobless claims rose last week, but remain low by historical standards:
Fed Chair Powell expects that the US economy will avoid a recession this year. Responding to a question at Wednesday’s press conference about the outlook for economic contraction, he said: “That’s not my own most likely case,” he said, citing a strong labor market as a reason for cautious optimism.
Gold’s safe-haven allure is back in vogue as the precious metal flirts with a record high. “The same flight to safety buying that pushed us over $2,000 is still in this market,” says Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.