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Friday September 11, 2009 - 17:03:48 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Today 11:05am EST/03:05pm GMT

US Market Update

Dow +6 S&P +2.4 NASDAQ +3

- US equity indices are more or less flat this morning despite the better-than-expected preliminary University of Michigan Confidence reading and FedEx's impressive guidance. Spot gold is making fresh 2009 highs above $1,010 level but has been contained below its all-time high of $1,032.40 made back on
March 17th, 2008. There was chatter traders were hunting buy stops in gold. Front-month crude continues to pivot around $72 in the wake of OPEC decision to remain on hold. Treasury prices are building on yesterday's rally after the strong 30-year reopening. The curve continues to flatten out with the benchmark spread back below 245 basis points. The 10-year yield is below 2.30% while the long bond is sub 4.15%, testing the lowest levels of the summer.

- FedEx became the latest, most consequential name to offer guidance ahead of Q3 earnings season this morning, raising its Q1 EPS outlook well above its prior view and crushing Q2 EPS estimates. The CFO cited strong international volume and strict cost management for the raise, while also warning that the company faces a "very competitive pricing environment." Shares of FDX are up more than 5%, while UPS is up more than 3%, pushing out to nine-month highs. The steel industry is seeing improving prospects as well. Steel Dynamics raises guidance range for its Q3 significantly, noting strength in orders for flat-rolled steel and stronger volumes in metal recycling. However, the company warned the outlook for Q4 remains uncertain. Cliffs Natural Resources raised its iron ore production and sales volumes guidance for the year. Shares of CLF are up more than 6% in early trading, while STLD is flat. In the solar segment, shares of SunPower are up 4% after the CEO reaffirmed the Q3 outlook and said the company would be opening new plants in the US and Europe.

- In earnings, National Semiconductor crushed EPS and revenue targets in its Q1 report yesterday evening and beat estimates in guidance for the coming quarter. The company said results were driven by increased demand and gross margin improvements. Paradoxically, shares of NSM are down 6% on the news, although the results only reinforce the good news heard from semi names all week long. Campbell Soup offered a warm bowl of slightly better than expected results and guided FY10 in line with its long-term outlook. Shares of CPB are off their best levels around even. Note also that American Axle is up nearly 30% this morning on rumors that it will shortly announce a breakthrough with its creditors - Buckingham rated the name a strong buy this morning, while Barclays bumped their ratings up to Overweight.

- In currencies, early
New York trading has mimicked Thursday's action. Early in the New York session the greenback encountered initial selling pressure and pushed out to fresh 2009 lows against the euro and Swiss Franc pairs and seven-month lows against the yen. The move was largely NY dealers reacting to earlier comments from a mid-level US Treasury official's comments that it made sense for China to diversify its reserves with a variety of currencies. The dollar staged a moderate comeback just after the equity open with Far Eastern selling of euros again cited as the catalyst. EUR/USD pulled sharply away from the 1.4635 area to test the 1.4550 level while USD/CHF bounced off its quarterly pivot point of 1.0350 area.


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