Investors are looking through the same storm clouds that have hovered
over markets for more than a year, and focus is squarely on Washington
and the hopeful expeditious passage of a relief package. Reports
suggest Congress has nearly settled on the details of a bailout bill,
most likely including the full $700B amount discussed over the last
several days. Stock markets moved higher in the pre-market as a whiff
of a settlement began circulate among trading desks, and indices headed
straight up from the open. Crude has fallen below the $105 handle on
demand concerns. GE lowered its earnings guidance for the quarter and
the year before the open, as well as suspended its buyback program and
cut GE Capital's dividend. As one of the largest companies in the US,
the move could be seen as another disturbing sign that the financial
crisis is contaminating the rest of the economy, although investors
should keep in mind that the trouble seems to be coming out of the
firm's financial business, GE Capital. In the release, GE insisted that
its industrial earnings are expected to continue to be strong in the
quarter, led by excellent performance in the infrastructure and media
businesses. GE opened down 4%, but has rallied sharply following the
CEO's appearance on CNBC. The Commerce Department reported that durable
goods orders fell 4.5% in August, more than twice the decline expected.
Traders are noting that the transportation component is weighing
heavily on the data, thanks to the disastrous performance among auto
companies and aircraft manufactures of late. First-time filings for
unemployment benefits rose more than expected to, the highest level
since September, 2001. NKE+9% has been sprinting ahead of the pack this
morning thanks to its earnings slam dunk, beating EPS and revenue
estimates on health demand. DFS is making incremental gains mid morning
after coming in ahead of the Street on both EPS and revenue, although
troubling signs were evident in the company's rising delinquency and
charge-off rates. In other news, TMTA+18% after announcing it was
looking for a buyer for the company. PPC-30% remains weak after saying
yesterday that it expect significant losses in Q4 due to high costs,
falling demand and fallout from grain hedges. Related names TSN+6% and
SFD+4% are recovering from the sell-off sparked by PPC's sudden decline
yesterday mid day.
- Congressional consensus over the final
shape of the bailout bill (which has now been christened as the Trouble
Asset Relief Program, or TARP) may or may not be on track, depending on
who's speaking. One critical point seems settled: the total package
will include a $700B lump sum, without too many â€śextras,â€ť although some
sort of limitation on executive compensation for firms engaging in the
program will likely stay in. Just before the open CNBC's Liseman said
his sources were telling him the total package will be $700B. Rep
Barney Frank said House and Senate Democrats have agreed on the details
of the bill, and are presently negotiating with the Republicans, while
House Majority Leader Hoyer said passage of the bailout package is
possible in the near term, "maybe even today." Rep. Bachus, the top
republican on the House Financial Services Committee, countered by
saying the House is not close to a deal, while White House Advisor
Lazear told CNBC he doesn't think the deal is done but progress is
being made. Speaker Pelosi noted that the White House has agreed to the
broad details of the plan, while House Republicans are the final
obsticles to the package. A meeting between Congressional leaders, the
Administration and the two presidential candidates is scheduled for
- The USD was softer in early a NY whippy
trading environment as rumors circulated regarding the bailout. The
rumor mill was in full force, including one story making the rounds
that a coordinated central bank rate cut would complement the passage
of the bailout package. The fixed income market continues to highlight
credit stress as the three-month USD Libor, Libor OIS and the TED
spread hit all time highs. The ECB's Weber insisted that Europe must
quickly coordinate its policy actions for dealing with the financial
crisis. The lending market has ground to a halt as dealers realize that
nobody will lend for one or three months when they can get the same
returns on overnight funds. Meanwhile, European central bankers are
continuing to express concern about the inflation picture. BoE's Barker
stated that UK inflation has not peaked and that real dangers are posed
by the economic downturn.
- As the morning has progressed the
Greenback has rallied back as equities have made new highs on hopes a
deal will come out of Washington before this afternoon's powwow at the
Whitehouse. The soft housing and durable goods figures are having
little effect. USD/JPY is making fresh session highs above 106.50 and
cable is near new lows at 1.84. The Euro has also moved back into
negative territory after being up more than 130 pips. Gold and Silver
moved sharply lower as the Dollar caught a bid.
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Mon 18 Dec
10:00 EZ- final HICP Tue 19 Dec
09:00 DE- IFO Survey
13:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
13:30 US- Current Account Wed 20 Dec
15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
15:30 US- EIA Crude Thu 21 Dec
03:00 JP- BOJ Decision
13:30 CA- CPI & Retail Sales
13:30 US Weely Jobless
13:30 US- GDP Fri 22 Dec
09:30 US- GB- GDP
13:30 US- core PCE Deflator & Presonal Income
15:00 US- New Homes Sales
15:00 US- final University of Michigan
17:00 US- early Closes Mon 25 Dec
00:00 Christmas Holidays
Potential Trading Opportunities
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Mon--10:00 GMT-- EZ- final November HICP. flash data are rarely changed.
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium Tue --09:00 GMT-- DE- IFO Survey. Key report but usually not a market-mover
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium- Tue --13:30 GMT-- US- Housing Starts and Permits. Leading indicators of activity
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH-Medium- Wed --15:00-- US- Existing Homes Sales. Top Housing statistic
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