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Wednesday June 25, 2008 - 16:36:48 GMT
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Forex Blog - U.S. Market Update

U.S. Market Update

Dow +60 S&P +11.6 NASDAQ +33.3

- Stocks are rising in early trading as oil falls on higher weekly inventories and investors await this afternoon's FOMC rate decision. The Fed is expected to keep the fed funds rate unchanged at 2%; markets are waiting for commentary in the FOMC statement that could indicate whether the Fed will raise rates in coming months or not. MA+5.5% is moving higher after settling a lawsuit with AXP-1% for an estimated $1B. American Express's CEO expressed satisfaction with the settlement, while also warning that "So far this month, we have seen credit indicators deteriorate beyond our expectations." DFS was down as much as 4% on the news, though V was up 2% or more in early trading. Elsewhere in the financials, most of the investment banks are up 2-3% as bargain hunters are finally looking to take advantage of the multi-year lows. The Wall Street Journal published an article today commenting on the possibility of higher fuel prices lowering demand for planes from Boeing and Airbus, noting that one third of Boeing and Airbus' orders could be delayed or canceled due to higher fuel prices. BA-5.7% fell on the news and a cut to “Sell” at Goldman, while EADS was up 2%, helped along by news of potential orders. Tech is looking good in early trading, led by JBL+18% after it guided higher for the coming quarter and full year after the close yesterday, while MRVL and BRCM are up 3% or so after Cowen initiated the names with “Outperform” ratings. SLAB has added more than 9% after upping its guidance as well. MON-3.5% is falling despite a relatively positive earnings report and higher guidance for the year which has led to broad weakness in the fertilizer goup. ROK-11% after cutting its earnings guidance for the coming quarter and stating that it will likely miss on its full-year EPS goals. NYNY+15% jumped after the
New York legislature approved a $1B new resort development. Stock gains accelerated after weekly oil inventory data sent the August crude contract down $5. The weakness there as well as continued profit taking has pressured the OSX -3% lower for the second straight session. Gold is following oil lower giving back more than 1% re- approaching the 200-day moving average that served a solid support level earlier this month and back at the beginning of May.

- Treasury markets are experiencing some weakness ahead of the FOMC meeting. The 2- year yield has recovered from the move it made lower following yesterday's better than expected auction results. The curve is flatter today with the 10-year yield at 4.15% and the 2-year at 2.91%. Fed fund futures still see nearly a zero chance of a rate move this afternoon but continue to project 50 bp worth of tightening looking out to this fall.

- In currencies, the USD is maintaining a tight range ahead of the FOMC interest rate decision. EUR/USD has been straddling the 1.56 level throughout most of the NY morning, with the dollar maintaining its steady tone despite a continued barrage of hawkish ECB comments on inflation ahead of its policy meeting next Thursday (July 3). The USD off its worst levels that resulted following the downward revisions in the Apr durable goods data despite the expected headline figures for May. The dollar gained a bit following the DOE crude inventory data, which showed the first weekly rise in inventories since May 14. Echoes of some dollar verbal intervention emerged, and the ECB's Trichet reiterated that the
US favors a strong USD. Russian President Medvedev added that a weak USD is an international problem. ECB's Wellink stated that he believed that EUR/USD above 1.60 level was above equilibrium. These comments are coming at the same level where Chairman Bernanke noted the Fed's attentiveness to implications of the dollar's decline on June 3.

- Elsewhere in FX, the BoE's Gieve said that the "worst is not over for the
UK economy," noting that he expects economic slowdown throughout the rest of 2008. The USD/CAD broke below the 1.0100 option barrier level during the NY morning for fresh three-week lows. Iceland's PM Haarde noted in reply to a question about global currencies that adopting the USD as a currency rather than the Euro was an option.

- Sept Bunds -15 ticks at 110.43; Sept Gilts +14 at 104.32. Euro Stoxx 50 +1.7% at 3,461; FTSE 100 Index +0.5% at 5,664; CAC 40 Index +1.45 at 4,536 and DAX Index +1.4% at 6, 626


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