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Wednesday July 22, 2009 - 15:31:45 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Today 11:08am EST/03:08pm GMT

US Market Update

Dow +12 S&P +1 NASDAQ +6

- Uncertainty seems to be interrupting the earnings season rally that has been under way for the last seven or eight sessions, with a big miss from Morgan Stanley unsettling investors this morning and US equity indices zigzagging in and out of negative territory. Bond prices are lower after yesterday's rally as Fed Chairman Bernanke's second day of testimony on the hill appears to have much less of an effect. Oil is recovering some early declines after weekly inventory data from the Department of Energy.

- Morgan Stanley has proved to be the laggard among the top five bank holding companies. The firm reported a quarterly loss that was bigger than expected, and more than twice the expected figure once charges for repaying TARP were factored in. Results were also significantly hampered by an accounting rule related to the value of its debt. Strength in the firm's wealth management and investment banking revenues was not enough to offset declines in trading revenue and real estate losses. Shares of MS opened down 4% but have recovered somewhat in mid morning trading.

- Four leading regional banks reported better-than-expected results, including Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, SunTrust and Bank of New York. KeyCorp's loss was greater than analysts' estimates. Note that results from Wells Fargo and Bank of New York were well below expectations after additional charges for TARP, various write downs and merger expenses were taken into account. Shares of WFC are down 5%, while BK is down 8%. STI's loss was less than expected, although its non-performing loans keep increasing. USB remains firmly profitable, stating that deposit growth is strong while its commercial real estate portfolio is under pressure. Shares of STI and USB are making modest gains this morning. KEY's loss was somewhat offset by revenue that beat expectations and big improvements in ROE and ROA.

- Yesterday evening boldface tech names Apple and Yahoo both blew out analyst estimates, although Apple's guidance for next quarter was notably lower than expected on top- and bottom lines. On the conference call, Apple's CFO said the company has been unable to meet demand for the new iPhone 3G-S, and warned iPod sales are continuing to decline over time. Yahoo's CEO said she is seeing "less fear in the marketplace" and advertisers spending more actively. AMD's results contrasted dramatically with Intel's results, with AMD reporting yet another quarterly loss. AAPL is up 4%, YHOO in the red but off its worst levels and AMD is down 14%.

- In other earnings, Boeing managed to exceed consensus estimates in Q2 and its FY09 guidance despite the recession and ongoing trouble with the 787 Dreamliner. Executives said the firm is still assessing the schedule for 787 test flights and first deliveries more than a month after announcing yet another delay due to problems with a body component. PepsiCo offered results that were more or less in line with expectations and reaffirmed its full-year forecast, noting that it has begun to see the return of consumer spending, even in developed markets. Pfizer also reported in line, and increased its 2009 forecast by a hair. Mid-cap industrials WHR and ITW offered solid results and better-than expected guidance.

- The consolidation in EUR/USD seen throughout the European morning continued into the
New York session as option expiration chatter tamed the price action. The 1.4200 strike remained a magnet for choppy price moves ahead of the NY cut. The USD looked like it would initially gain some upward momentum as risk aversion appeared in the wake of Morgan Stanley's poor quarterly results. Dealers noted that the EUR/USD almost broke an eight-day string of higher lows with the 1.4150 level cited as pivotal support. Thus far, market has paused above just above the 1.4150 area. CAD eventually reacted to better retail sales data for May with the 1.10 handle again tested during the morning in USD/CAD. Dealers are noting that prospects for softer equity markets and lower oil prices could cap further gains in the CAD-related pairs. Looking ahead, the Brazilian Central bank is expected to cut its SELIC target by 50bps to 8.75%. The decision usually comes after the value date change (5:00pm ET).


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