¬∑In equity news overnight, Yahoo's (YHOO) CEO Yang says Microsoft (MSFT) has a
lot of interest in a deal with YHOO, and that they are listening. Yang said
that he feels that a combination with MSFT has a tremendous amount of power.
KMG Chemicals (KMGB) guided FY08 revenue ‚Äúabove $135M‚ÄĚ v $148.6Me; Furthermore
KMGB said that they expect 2008 EPS to be 10%-20% below 2007's $0.80, implying
$0.64-0.72 v $0.99e. GE Energy (GE) signed contracts for more than $500M to
support projects in Saudi Arabia Costco (COST) reported Q3 earnings of $0.67
overnight, above estimates of $0.65, and revenue of $16.61B, above estimates of
$16.35B. Total same store sales for the quarter were +8.0%. Infineon (IFX)
guided Q3 revenue flat sequentially, noting that they expect Q3 EBIT to post a
sequential decline. The company cited lower volumes in some wireless platform
projects for the revised outlook, adding that results in Q4 are expected to
improve from Q3.
¬∑In the newspapers overnight the Wall Street Journal wrote that General Motors
(GM) is expected to announce new cost cutting measures. The measures will be
announced at GM's annual shareholder meeting on June 3. According to the
Independent Barclays (BCS) Bank has revised down its calculation of analysts'
consensus for its FY profit for the second time this month. Barclays cut the
figure for 2008 by nearly 8% after a drop of 15% two weeks ago.
¬∑In energy news overnight Petroleos Mexicanos said that they will miss their
production target of 3.1M barrels of oil per day. The UAE's OPEC Governor said
overnight that the UAE is ready to raise crude production if needed. The
Governor added that oil markets are satisfied and that no extra demand seen,
asserting that he sees no good explanation of why oil prices are so high. The
New York Times noted overnight that record gas prices are causing some gas
stations to price gasoline by half- gallon increments. The equipment of some
gas stations is too old to calculate prices above $3.99/gallon. According to
the Wall Street Journal the US DoE said that oil exporters cannot keep up with
demand. The amount of petroleum products shipped by the world's top oil
exporters fell 2.5% in 2007, while prices rose by 57%. The reasons for the
declining exports include aging oil fields and low investment levels. The
article notes that Saudi Arabia has become a major energy consumer and
since 2004 its oil consumption rose by about 23% to 2.3M barrels. Energy
Intelligence wrote overnight that the volumes of Iranian oil in floating
storage will start decreasing in June as customers who deferred liftings over
the past two months because of refinery turnarounds, especially in Asia, begin increasing nominations, a senior
Iranian oil official says. NIOC's Hojatollah Ghanimifard adds that shipping
agents' reports that over 30 million barrels of crude are being stored on 17
VLCCs are exaggerated and that the current total is less than 20 million
¬∑On the speaker front overnight the Fed's Fisher said overnight that the Fed
will not let inflation get out of control, adding that the Fed could hike even
if the economy is still weak. Furthermore Fisher said that if inflation worsens
he expects that a rate hike could come sooner than later. In the Q&A
session Fisher said that he is not forecasting a recession, but rather a
slowdown in the economic cycle. Fisher added that inflation expectations and
pressures are too high, noting that inflation remains a big risk. Finally,
Fisher noted that worst-case scenarios for the economy have not played out. The
ECB's Trichet said overnight that the Euro acts as a shield against global challenges,
adding that the Euro seems more necessary today than 10 years ago. Trichet
added that the job of central banks is to preserve medium-term price stability.
The Russian Central Bank Head said overnight that conditions are favorable to
lower inflation in the near future, adding that they may widen currency band.
The Spanish Economy Minister said overnight that the 2.3% growth forecast this
year may not be met. The French Finance Minister said overnight that the April
jobless results are probably very good, adding that the French deficit will not
be above 3.0% in 2009. The finance minister also reiterated that the strong
Euro is hurting competitiveness, but helps cope with higher oil prices. The
Norwegian Stats Agency revised some of the forecasts that they had issued in
February. The Stats agency forecasted 2008 non-oil GDP growth of 2.9%, up from
the previous forecast of 2.8%, and forecasted a money market rate of 6.3%, up
from the previous forecast of 5.7%. The Stats agency also boosted its forecasts
for the 2009 money market rate, core CPI, non-oil GDP, and wage growth. An
Icelandic central bank economist said overnight that the Sedlabanki may resume
rate increases as the weaker Krona is fueling inflation faster than was
forecasted. The economist noted that Icelandic inflation may exceed the
forecast rates in Q3 and Q4.
¬∑In currency news overnight the Slovakian Koruna was revalued by 17.6472%
overnight, with a new band to the Euro at 25.6071-34.6449. Following the
Slovakian Central Bank's revaluation the ECB said that the revaluation was
justified by ongoing improvements in underlying fundamentals and is based on a
firm commitment by Slovak authorities to maintain price stability in a stable
manner. Furthermore the ECB said that Slovakian anti-inflation measures include
adopting an even tighter fiscal stance if warranted by inflation. Some recent
dealer chatter began re-circulating overnight that Russia may revalue its currency in an attempt
to combat inflation. Recall that on Tuesday the Russian Central Banks said that
they were not ruling out a Ruble revaluation as an anti-inflation measure. The
Ukraine Central Bank said overnight that they are prepared to buy dollars at a
rate of 4.84 Hryvnia to the dollar. Without any further explanation the Polish Economy
Minister Pawlak said that the Polish Central Bank should avoid Zloty
appreciation. In trading the USD maintained a firm footing against the majors.
European currency dealers focused in on hawkish comments from the Fed's Fisher
after the NY close on Wednesday. Most notably Fisher said that the Fed will not
let inflation get out of control adding that the Fed could raise interest rates
even if US economy remained weak. The yield on the US 2 year was broadly higher from
yesterday, up 13 basis points. The Spread between the US and German 2-year
notes narrowed back down to low 150 basis point area from the 170 basis point
area on Wednesday. The EUR/USD was also hampered by re-circulated chatter that Russia may revalue its currency to combat
inflationary pressures. There was similar talk on this topic in early May.
Dealers noted that under the Russian inflation scenario, the Russian Central
bank would often set off a procedure in which it bought USD/RUB then purchased
EUR/USD to maintain a ''balance'' in its currency basket. This neutralized the
USD and helped to firm the Euro. Under the Russian revalue scenario, dealers
noted that the operation would diminish for the time being.
¬∑In new supply overnight Italy sold ‚ā¨2.5B in 3. 75% 2011 bonds with an
average yield of 4.49% and a bid-to-cover of 1.57x, as well as ‚ā¨3.0B in 4.50%
2018 bonds with an average yield of 4.86% and a bid-to-cover of 1.42x, and
‚ā¨750M in 2012 floating rate notes with a bid-to- cover of 1.89x. The Wall
Street Journal wrote in an analysis piece overnight that various banks have
been reporting significantly lower borrowing costs for the Libor rate than what
another market measure suggests they should be. The banks include Citigroup,
WestLB, HBOS, JP Morgan and UBS. The lower borrowing costs is having an impact
on Libor and has led the benchmark to act as if the banking system was doing
better than it was at critical junctures in the financial crisis. The BBA is
expected to on Friday report on possible adjustments to the system, but that
report is not expected to recommend any major changes.
¬∑On the data front in the UK overnight Nationwide House Prices
declined by much more than expected, with both the m/m and y/y readings at
their lowest levels since records began in February of 1991. The average home
price was ¬£173,583 in May. According to Nationwide's Chief Economist, weak
economic news along with tighter credit conditions added to the negative
housing market sentiment. Preliminary harmonized y/y inflation in Spain rose to 4.7%, its highest level since
records began in January of 1997. As has been the case of late, higher food and
energy prices were are being cited for the rise in inflation. In Spain, home-building permits declined by 70.2%
y/y in March to 35,513. Euro-Zone M-3 data for the month of April was mixed
with the Y/Y reading coming in a 10.6%, above estimates of 10.3%, while the
3-month average was in line with expectations at 10.7%. The data was
accompanied by slight revisions to the back month reading.
¬∑Looking ahead, on the data front preliminary Q1 annualized GDP, personal
consumption, core PCE, and price index data, along with the weekly initial
jobless claims, and continuing claims are all due out at 8:30 ET this morning.
Shortly thereafter the April help wanted index is due out for the month of
April is due at . In new supply the Treasury is scheduled to sell up to $19B in
5-year notes. On the earnings front US notables Big Lots (BIG), HJ Heinz (HNZ),
and Sears Holdings (SHLD) are due out in the pre-market this morning.
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