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By Jason Stipp and Jeremy Glaser | 04-19-2013 06:00 AM

The Friday Five

Five stats from the market and the stories behind them. This week: the 18% dent in gold, the disappointing data on earnings, and more.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar, and welcome to The Friday Five: five stats from the market and the stories behind them. Joining me as always with the details is Morningstar's markets editor Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, thanks for joining me.

Jeremy Glaser: You're welcome, Jason.

Stipp: So, what do you have for The Friday Five this week?

Glaser: Well, we're going to look at 7.7%, minus 18%, $7 a share, 0%, and 6%.

Stipp: 7.7% sounds good on an absolute level for GDP growth, but not for China. It came in lower than expectations.

Glaser: Most countries, I think, would kill for 7.7% GDP growth, but it was a disappointment for China. It was a sequential decline, and it also was below expectations. And what's happening here is, China is trying to navigate somewhat of a tricky transition from being an investment-led story--we're building new roads, building new housing blocks to really drive growth--to one that's more consumer-driven, and that's not something that's going to be easy.

And I think there have been quite a few worries about how that was going to be handled. Will it be kind of a soft landing? Will they be able to slowly tick down that growth? Or is it going to be more of a hard landing, and they're going to see growth slowed down pretty considerably.

And the 7.7% growth is hardly a disaster. It doesn't say we're definitely having that hard landing scenario, but being below expectations, I think, raises more concerns about what Chinese growth is going to look like. When we look at potential threats to the economic recovery here and across the entire world, one of the big ones is a slowing China and a slowing emerging-market story. If that really takes hold, and we see growth slow more permanently--that this isn't just a blip--that could have some potentially troubling consequences for the rest of the world.

Stipp: 18% is the drop in gold prices this year as measured by gold ETF GLD. What should gold investors be thinking about this precipitous decline?

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