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Friday October 23, 2009 - 15:46:39 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

US Market Update

Dow -91 S&P -10.3 NASDAQ -3.5

- US equities opened higher this morning as corporate earnings continued lifted indices in the premarket, extending yesterday's enthusiastic rally, although indices have headed straight down from the opening bell. The September existing home sales data rose 10% over August levels and beat expectations, although the NAR warned that median sale prices continue to decline and that this would impede a firm economic recovery moving forward. Front-month crude is reacting strongly to equity moves, heading straight down to below the $80 handle in mid morning trade. Treasury prices are a little lower but futures are off the worst levels. Sellers came into the market during the European trading session following a FT article suggesting the Fed is getting close to changing the language of the rates statement. The 2-year yield has climbed back towards 1% and is now yields 9 basis points more than the 2-year GILT; after
UK bonds rallied following a disappointing GDP reading in England.

- Microsoft offered an unusual pre-market quarterly report today after officially announcing its new Windows 7 operating system yesterday. In its Q1,
Redmond came in respectably ahead of consensus expectations, and said it would have done even better if not for some revenue deferral and charges related to the Windows 7 release. Note that yesterday CEO Steve Ballmer said the company is seeing "buoyancy" in PC mark and forecasted Microsoft would buy 10-20 small tech companies in the next year. In other tech earnings, Broadcom missed bottom line expectations by a wide margin, and shares of BRCM are down 9% in early trading. Juniper Networks was largely in line with expectations, as was its view for next quarter. JNPR opened in the black but has declined to -2%.

- Credit card name American Express beat estimates and reported sequential declines in write offs and loss provisions. Rival Capital One missed estimates and reported increasing write offs and loss provisions, but shares of COF are on fire this morning, up around 10% after Fox-Pitt hiked its rating to a buy. Shares of AXP are up in the very low single digits. Note that MA and V are both in the red in early trading.

- A mixed bag of industrial firms offered strong earnings and less positive revenue performance. Honeywell's EPS was slightly better than expected, while revenue missed the consensus view somewhat. The firm's CFO said top-line performance will remain challenging. HON is around even. Railroad Burlington Northern also had solid earnings but underwhelming revenues, while its forecast for next quarter was weaker than expected. Oil services name Schlumberger was in line with expectations, but it should be noted that revenue was a hair below expectations. On its conference call, Schlumberger's CEO warned that customers not ready to increase budgets due to higher oil prices. BNI is down 7% and SLB is down 3%. Construction vechicle manufacturer Bucyrus buck this trend, roundly beating the Street on top and bottom lines, and increasing its full-year revenue forecast. BUCY was up as much as 15% at the open, before trading off to around +12%. Note that Agrium is down 8% after warning that Q3 earnings would be down 90-95% y/y, due to collapsing prices for fertilizer.

- The trends that evolved throughout the European morning maintained momentum in currency markets. The GBP and JPY pairs were softer against the other major pairs. GBP/USD tested below the 1.6350 level in follow-through selling from the negative Q3 UK GDP data, which will have implications for the debate over expanding the BoE's £175B QE program. USD/JPY tested the 92.00 handle following the better headline
US existing homes data. Overall yen weakness was attributed to chatter the BoJ will forecast a decline in the 2011 core consumer price index, making for the third consecutive drop. Dealers were saying that this is just one more indication that the central bank would be leaving interest rates near zero for a long time. EUR/USD was holding steady just above the 1.50 level, with price again being directed by equity moves.


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