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Tuesday November 4, 2008 - 18:09:32 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Today 11:38am

US Market Update

Dow +260 NASDAQ +47 S&P +33.5

- Indices are benefiting from an election-day bounce as voters head to the polls and the uncertainty of the extended presidential contest begins to ebb away, with the S&P500 above 1000 for the first time since mid October. Historically indices have rallied in the 12 months following a democratic win and fallen after a republican victory, although market watchers generally believe that this year's result will have little impact on its own given the severity of the current global crisis. Besides the election the major theme this morning is investors around the world are seeing their willingness to take on risk return. Front-month crude is up four and a half bucks in early trading while gasoline traded up nearly 12% at one point. Each helping the energy patch post gains, with the OIH up 8% mid morning. Dec copper is working back towards $2 and Gold is up more than 4.5%. The Dollar is under real pressure against the European currencies while the Yen is giving ground across the board. Three-month USD LIBOR took another step lower, declining 14 bps to 2.70%. It is now more than 200 basis points from its highs during the height of the crisis.

- Archer-Daniels Midland blew out earnings estimates, beating the Street by impressive margins. Net earnings were up 168% y/y, thanks to higher profits as well as a change to the company's method for valuing inventories, as well as higher commodity prices. On the conference call, ADM's CEO warned that given the decline in crude gasoline prices are now lower than ethanol prices, which will likely slow the overall biofuels industry. ADM also said that the company would announce a new $500M sugarcane ethanol JV with a Brazilian partner later this afternoon. ADM+15% is making strong gains, helping to boost biofuels competitors CZZ+8, BIOF+15% and especially PEIX+40%. Marvel surprised with big EPS and revenue wins were well ahead of analysts' estimates. The firm boosted its guidance for the full year, although investors seem to be concentrating on FY09 guidance that is well below targets. MVL-6% is under water mid morning. Mid-cap healthcare names Health Net and Tenet Healthcare are both down more than 15% in early trading after weak earnings reports. HNT-22% missed EPS targets by a wide range and slashed its FY08 view, and although THC-18% earnings were in the black, its revenues came in lower than expected. Anadarko reported very strong earnings and revenue yesterday after the close; APC+8% is strong in early trading. MasterCard also reported yesterday. While MA+12% had an excellent quarter, the CEO expressed concern that the economic slowdown will hit consumer spending. Visa, American Express and Discover are all up 4-7% in early trading

- The Wall Street Journal reported overnight that the Treasury may open the TARP recapitalization program a broad range of financial companies, not just banks and insurance companies. Specialty finance firms GE Capital and CIT Group were mentioned by name in the article; this morning a CIT executive confirmed that the company would participate in the program. The WSJ article noted that the Treasury may scrap early plans to buy distressed assets via auction, purchasing them directly instead. The leading financial names are making gains this morning, with Citi leading the pack up 5%. Goldman is up 3%; overnight the FT reported that a $6B GS hedge fund launched back in January had lost close to $1B through Sept. Morgan spiked 6% but is off its best levels after Landeburg's Dick Bove raised his 2008-09 earnings estimates for MS.

- In currencies, the bounce in risk appetite ahead of the US election results is being complemented by growing hunger for the expected European interest rate cuts later this week. Fitch noted in a recent report that it expects a severe global recession in 2009 in the United States, the UK, the Euro Zone and Japan. Fitch noted that these areas could experience their steepest decline in GDP since World War II, with global GDP growth fall to around 1% next year. A Citigroup analyst complemented this grim view with by noting that emerging markets would grow around 4.5% (well off earlier views) and putting global economic growth at 1.2%. The two global growth forecasts suggest that global growth could its slowest pace since the early 1990s. Dealers are noting that recent figures derived from the euro overnight index average (the Eonia) show interest rate traders almost fully pricing in a 75bps ECB cut to 3.0%, while British interest rate futures are suggesting that the BoE could cut rates by 75bps to 3.75%.

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