Dow +25 NASDAQ +9.3 S&P +1 - Markets are attempting
to put a wild October behind them as November begins on positive note, with
indices posting early gains on continued signs of the possible return of risk
appetite. With a very long 2008 election season drawing to a close tomorrow,
market participants are eager to put the uncertainty surrounding the outcome in
the rear view mirror. The EU Commission reinforced
the notion of a difficult year to come when they said that the Euro Zone
probably entered recession in 2008 and said growth would stagnate during 2009.
Offsetting some of disappointment from the bleak EU outlook the three-month USD
LIBOR dropped below 3.00, falling 17 bps to 2.86%, its lowest level since mid
- In earnings this morning, food service giant Sysco reported in line with
consensus estimates, showing solid y/y growth in its major businesses. Heavy
truck specialist Oshkosh beat the
Street but offered cautious guidance for next year. Goodyear reported in line
with expectations. Rockwell Collins came in a bit ahead of estimates, but cut
its full year guidance thanks to fallout from the Boeing strike and the heavy
turbulence in airlines. Rockwell's CEO said "Clearly, conditions have
changed since we announced our fiscal year 2009 financial guidance on September
- Hartford Financial is making strong gains today, up 35% in early trading.
Before the open the company reassured investors about its capital position,
noting that company is well capitalized, saying that its capital margin would
be approximately $2B at the end of 2008. AIG is also up 10% after negative
stories in the national press on the company over the weekend. The Washington
Post wrote that the government rescue package could be less effective at
protecting shareholders and taxpayers than a bankrutpcy filing. A related
article in the WSJ noted that AIG risk management operations raises questions
about the run-up to the financial crisis. Other insurance names are catching a
bid from all the enthusiasm, up around 7% each in early trading.
- Friedman Billings made cautious comments about iPhone output in a note
overnight, saying production could fall approx 40%, pulling down AAPL in the
premarket; the name is back in positive territory in early trading. RIMM+6% is
rising on the steady drumbeat of news regarding its new Storm and Bold models.
Meanwhile MOT-3% is down a bit after Merrill cut its price target for the
- Risk aversion has crept back into currency markets throughout the New
York morning as traders fret over the prospects of
global recession. The EU Commission's official declaration of a Euro Zone
recession was compounded by softer PMI data from various European nations, with
a few countries (Spain,
Italy and Hungary)
reporting all-time record low readings. These developments come on the heels of
PMI reading on record. Then the US October ISM manufacturing data hit markets,
showing weaker employment and rising inventories. The Baltic Dry Bulk Index
fell for the 21st time in a row to its lowest reading since February 1999 while
October trade balance came in below expectations. For Brazil
both exports and imports were below expectations, adding further doubt that
emerging markets are actually decoupling from anything. In any case, traders
will spend the next day and a half watching the US
elections, waiting on results of the presidential and Congressional contests.
Overall dealer sentiment is viewing the event as USD negative in theory.
- On the bright side, hopes are growing among traders for interest rate cuts in
Europe later this week, with speculation noting that the
ECB could cut by 50bps and the BoE by 100bps on Thursday. So far the USD is the
prime beneficiary of this speculation, with GBP/USD well off overnight highs of
1.6399 testing 1.5890 while EUR/USD is probing the mid-1.27 neighborhood after
testing 1.29 in early Europe. JPY strength has
complemented risk aversion concerns, with EUR/JPY testing back below the 126
area after trying for 128.40 overnight. Although the weaker global growth
picture is weighing on energy and commodities, CAD and AUD are maintaining a
firmer tone: USD/CAD has risen by 170+ pips to test 1.19 00 and AUD/USD is up
marginally around 0.6730 ahead of the Australian central bank rate decision
later today. The RBA is expected to cut its key rate of 6.00% by at least 50bps.
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