- US equity indices are making fresh lows, bringing last week's intra-day lows
back into play following record lows in new building permits and the first
negative CPI reading since 1982, raising the ugly specter of deflation.
Initially Treasury yields rebounded following the CPI data the 10-year yield
has since moved back to lows approaching 3.4%. The two-year traded at its
lowest level since 2003 before firming. Better buying remains at the long end
of the curve though, as curves both here and in Europe
have seen some substantial flattening. Commodities blipped higher post data as
well, but oil has since returned to negative territory. Dec gold at one point
traded up $30 before giving most of that back.
- In equities, discount retailers BJ's and Ross Stores both reported solid
third-quarter results that met consensus estimates while offering come cautious
comments on the future. BJ's raised its outlook for FY08 results, and although
it also warned that while it is preparing for negative general merchandise
same-store sales next quarter, it said it sees overall same-store sales up
around 5% y/y. BJ's believes it is capturing a bigger share of members grocery
budgets, benefiting form a decline in consumer casual dining. Discount apparel
retailers Ross Stores cut its full-year view slightly. Solar manufacturers
Trina Solar and LDK Solar both exceeded revenue and earnings estimates by wide
margins, but diverged on their longer-term outlook. TSL guided Q4 results well
below the consensus view and cut its FY08 guidance on lower shipments.
Alternatively, LDK sees its revenue in the coming quarter and the full year exceeding
- Major players in the global chemical and semiconductor industries offered
negative news illustrating the continuing impact of the emerging world
recession. BASF, the world's largest chemical company, said it was slashing
output, shutting plants and laying off workers due to massive declines in
demand among key industries. The company plans to shut down 50% of its
production capacity, shuttering nearly 80 plants worldwide and reducing
production at another 100 plants. Interestingly, BASF said that customers in
the automotive industry have canceled orders at short notice and noted that
volumes are being negatively impacted by increased reduction of inventory due
to a lack of credit in customer industries. Over in tech, the Semiconductor
Industry Association (SIA) projects that 2009 semiconductor sales will fall by 5.6%
y/y, making for the first decline since 2001. The SIA sees 2008 sales of $261B
and 2009 sales of $246B. Sandisk cut its 2009 CAPEX guidance to $900M from
$1.3B prior. This comes after the company cut the 2009 CAPEX to $1.3B from $3B
back in mid October.
- Executives from GM, Ford and Chrysler are testifying (read: begging) before
Congress this morning as various government player continue to wonder how,
whether or why the taxpayer should bail out the auto industry. Senate Majority
Leader Reid believes the Senate can pass an assistance package within the week,
while Rep. Frank believes the aid is justified by the industry's impact on the
broader economy. Earlier this morning German Solar World offered to buy GM's
Opel unit for â‚¬250M in cash and â‚¬750M in credit, with the requirement that Opel
be completely separated from GM and paid compensation of â‚¬40K per German
worker. Solar World said it wanted to use the Opel facilities to develop high
efficiency, low emission engines. A GM Spokeman responded by saying Opel is not
- The greenback moved lower ahead of the equity open on what appeared at first
to be a technical correction or maybe some kind of intervention. Dealing desks
later decided that the USD sell-off was just a reaction to the morning's spike
in gold and oil prices following the weak US housing and CPI data. GBP/USD
broke above 1.51, electing some buy stops, and other European pairs followed.
Dealers noted that the five-week euro downtrend line was broken above the
1.2690 level while other added that "real flows" accounted for much
of the price action, given that currencies, equities and commodities all seem
to be making coordinated movements. In regards to suspicions of intervention,
one dealer noted that the USD weakness was complemented by good demand from
â€śsupra nationals,â€ť prompting speculation that the moves could be some kind of
stealth action to calm recent extreme FX moves. In any case, alleged hedge fund
liquidations helped to exaggerate the move.
- This morning New
latched on an earlier report that China's PBoC was considering boosting its gold reserves.
Back on 11/13, it was reported in the HK Standard that China might seek to buy gold in a move to diversify its
currencies reserves. The article added that China currently holds about 600
tons of gold and might increase this amount to as much as 4K tons. Looking at
the big picture, the EUR/USD continues a broader consolidation after hitting
lows back on Oct 27 at 1.2330 with 1.24 to 1.2850 seen continuing.
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