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Monday August 11, 2008 - 16:26:36 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Dow 0.00 NASDAQ +15 S&P +3.5

- Markets have been restrained this morning as traders digest last week's action while the dollar and commodities hold relatively steady. The DJIA is about where it was at the open, while the Nasdaq is making gains thanks to strength at Amazon and Ciena. Few major names are left to report as we head into the tail end of earnings season this week, although traders are anticipating quarterly results from retail majors Wal-Mart and Kohl's on Thursday and Macy's on Wednesday. In today's earnings news, SYY+8% is strong after beating EPS estimates. FEED+14% is surging after stomping the Street and guiding higher. On the downside, investors are hammering PEIX-20% after the ethanol manufacturer reported unexpectedly large quarterly losses. FTEK-5% is weak after missing both EPS and revenue estimates. AMZN+9% is getting a lift from Citigroup, which was out with a note to clients earlier today praising the Kindle ebook product, saying that it was poised to be a big hit over the 2008 holiday season. CIEN+9% is also benefiting from positive analyst coverage, after being upgraded at Morgan Keegan. CHIP is up more than 40% after declaring a special dividend of $1.35/shr. Fertilizer names AGU, POT and MOS are all down around 5% as labor strife continues at POT plants and AGU cuts a deal with Egypt to give it a small stake in a project earlier taken away from the company and given to a state-owned firm. In M&A action this morning, WMI raised its offer for RSG to $37/shr from $34/shr, while ITWO said it was being acquired by JDA software for $14.86/shr in cash in a deal valued at $346M. Treasury futures have ticked lower has equity markets recoup small early losses. Crude futures have been unable to find any traction despite last weeks plunge and continued conerns regarding the
Georgia conflict. Sep crude remains close to unchanged at $115. The 2- year yield has drifted back above 2.5% while the 10-year offers 3.97%.

- In currencies, dealers continue to assess the recent technical damage in various European and emerging market pairs against the USD. The EUR/USD cross tested below the 1.4970 level, which was a key pivot point last November. A sustained break is opening up potential at 1.44. The dollar managed to fend off renewed hawkish ECB sentiment regarding inflation as the ECB's Liebscher said overnight that the recent drop in oil prices were welcome but that it remained difficult to predict whether the lower oil prices were here to stay. Dealers also shrugged off the higher
UK and Norwegian inflation data, rather appearing to focus on the growing view that growth outside the US will continue to droop. Thursday's release of the German Q2 GDP reading will be the economic highlight of the week, with the current consensus looking for a -0.8% reading. Other European officials are contributing to the emerging slowdown scenario, with the Norwegian Finance Minister saying that Norway has prepare itself for a soft economic landing as growth has likely peaked. Meanwhile, Swedish Think Tank NEIR lowered its 2008-09 growth estimates for Sweden by at least 0.2%.

- The situation in the Caucuses remains a concern. A proposed Georgian cease-fire was rejected by
Moscow, while the European Union prepared to send a peace mission to help resolve the matter. Russian President Medvedev stated that the military operation was “to a large extent complete,” but oil and gold were unable to gain much traction from the Russian military operation. Spot gold is down $2/oz to $855 while front- month oil is hovering around $115.50 area.

- Sept Bunds -11 tick at 113.47; Sept Gilts -25 ticks at 108.13, Euro Stoxx 50 Index +0.6% at 3,427; FTSE 100 Index +0.6% at 5,523; CAC 40 Index +0.6% at 4,517 and DAX +0.3% at 6,584.


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