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Friday June 26, 2009 - 15:51:46 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Today 11:37am EST/03:37pm GMT

US Market Update

Dow -57 S&P -5 NASDAQ -2.7

- Stock prices are giving back some ground in New York, but Indices remain near their best levels for the week after yesterday's surge. Investors have been mulling over May personal spending, personal income and savings data while awaiting the much anticipated final House vote on the climate bill. This morning's data exhibited growth across all categories in May, although the savings rate soared to a 15-year high of 6.9 percent, deepening fears about the squeezed consumer and the overall potential for recovery. Front-month crude is trading just above $69, way off its overnight highs that peaked above $71. Note that the annual rebalancing of the Russell indices becomes effective after the close of trading in US markets today temporarily boosting volumes.

- Treasury prices remain firmer as markets continue to view this week's strong note auctions as an all clear sign on the supply front at least temporarily. Prices are also being helped by month and quarter end flows as well as the hiatus in scheduled new supply through the end of the month. The 10-year yield is nearing 3.5% and a close below that level would be a first for June. The curve remains flatter with the benchmark spread narrowing towards 240 basis points.

- It remains unclear whether the cap and trade climate bill will reach the floor of the House for voting today or not. Last night there were reports that the Democrats did not have the votes they need to pass the legislation, which was confirmed this morning by White House advisor Valerie Jarrett. House leaders will likely delay voting if they don't feel they have enough votes.

- The fallout from Boeing's latest 787 Dreamliner delay is beginning to hit home. Last night Australia's Qantas said it would defer delivery on 15 Dreamliners to 2013 and cancels orders for another 15 787s scheduled for delivery in 2014-15. Qantas used to be Boeing's largest customer for the Dreamliner. Later Air Berlin quashed press rumors that it was planning to cancel its own Dreamliner orders.

- In earnings, KB Home offered tantalizing Q2 results. Although the company's quarterly loss was nearly twice the expected amount (thanks to various non-cash charges), its revenue was much better than analysts' estimates while its new orders grew by nearly 60% over last quarter and its backlog grew appreciably. These hopeful statistic echo Lennar's results yesterday, as did comments from KBH's executives that housing trends seem to be moderating and buyers are taking advantage of bargain prices. Shares of KBH are down 8%, while other homebuilder names make small gains. Micron's Q3 loss was slightly smaller than expected as the company's gross margins turned positive for the first time in a year, providing one more sign the semiconductor industry is healing. Palm's quarterly loss was also shrank as its margins improve markedly, although the firm's phone sales declined more steeply on a y/y basis than last quarter. On the conference call, PALM's CFO said margins would surpass 30% soon, although profitability would not return until late 2010. Shares of PALM are up more than 10% in early trading. Shares of small-cap tech name Gerber Scientific are down 15% after surprising investors with a second big quarterly loss in its Q4.

- Potash Corp cut its Q2 guidance to $0.70 from $1.10-1.50 on lower potash sales volumes due to deferral of purchases by customers around the world. Note that earlier this week German fertilizer name K+S cut its sales forecast by 1/3 and then slashed its global demand outlook. POT is down a few percent this morning, although the name has declined by 20% or so over the last few weeks.

- In currencies, the dollar has consolidated in the lower end of its session trading range this morning, weighed down by a PBoC financial stability report that mentioned the reserve currency issue. EUR/USD tested above 1.4100 as New York traders got their hands on the Chinese report. The dollar managed to stabilize on some risk aversion concerns as a pronounced increase in domestic savings rate highlighted consumer spending declines due to unemployment and fears of more job losses. CAD remained choppy and followed the price action in oil. USD/CAD tested 1.1450 as oil probed $71.30 but moved towards 1.1550 after the Chinese central bank reiterated its cautious outlook on the sustainability of any economic recovery.


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