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U.S. Market Update
Dow +7 S&P +1.7 NASDAQ +21
- U.S. Treasury markets have stabilized after yesterday afternoons drubbing that was precipitated by a poor 30-year bond auction. Prices have firmed but the curve remains steeper with the benchmark spread still above 170 basis points. Rate cut expectations have come in marginally but have recovered some from yesterday''s levels. The April fed fund future is projecting close to a 30% chance of a 75 basis point cut. March crude is making new session highs up close to 2% re-approaching $90 as Middle East delegates call for an OPEC cut at the March meeting. Copper continues to make new multi-month highs up another 2.5% at $3.55. April gold is adding 1.5% to $923 wile spot palladium has made new 6-year high. Equity markets have moved into positive territory in late morning trade. The NASDQ is getting a boost from Amazon +4% after they announced a stock and bond buyback. McDonalds''s +3.5% is the best performer in the Dow after announcing Jan SSS while shares of TIF have added 8% after providing some 2008 guidance. Stocks moving lower following earnings and or guidance include: MGM -4.25% WY -3.3% CVH -3% BW -14%.
- In currencies, the USD maintained a consolidating tone ahead of the weekend G7 in Tokyo. EUR/USD holding 1. 4450 to 1.4520 range. Dealers are noting that Gold and European currencies seem to be entering a decoupling phase. The CAD pairs exhibited strength after stronger Employment and Housing starts. USD/CAD tested back below parity while EUR/CAD fell over 170 pips to 1.4440 area. Higher commodity prices were also aiding the CAD. The main activity in the session was seen in both the Fixed-income and European burses as speculation increased that credit-market losses would worsen. Rumors have circulated in the credit market of a significant CDO structure being forced to unwind. Fitch Ratings downgraded GlaxoSmithKline Plc''s credit grade and speculation grew that Premier Foods would have to issue shares to pay off debt. Dealers continue to weigh the recent ECB tone on slowing growth on the timing of any ECB rate cut. ECB''s Garganas noted that a further deterioration of world output is possible if market turmoil persists. March Bunds are up 7 ticks at117.29, March Gilts are near their best levels, but down 9 ticks at 110.84 Euro Stoxx +0.25% at 3,711, FTSE 10 +0.8% at 6,770, CAC-40 unchanged at 4,723 and DAX firmer by 1% at 6,800
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