Dow +93 S&P +10.3 NASDAQ +27.5 - US equity markets are posting solid gains this morning on broad-based equity strength, with investors positioning themselves ahead of Thursday's key advance Q3 GDP reading. Consensus estimates are calling for a +3.2% reading. Shares of select tier-one US banks are losing ground this morning, with BoA down 3% as CNBC discusses a new bank resolution fund that would be controlled by the FDIC and paid for via a new levy on banks. Note that just last Friday, the FDIC closed down its 105th bank of the year, making 2009 the worst year for bank failures since the height of the S&L crisis in the early 90s. Oil prices continue to trend higher with the Dec WTI holding above $80 while gasoline continues to be the leader up more than 1.5%. Treasury prices are under pressure ahead of a week with another record, $123B of supply coming onto the market. The benchmark yield sailed through 3.5% ahead of the open of floor trade in Chicago to move out and test its highest levels in 2 months.
- Dow component Verizon was largely in line with expectations in its Q3 report this morning. Investors were concentrating on the big sequential declines in new FiOS customers and moderately higher churn. Shares of Verizon fell into the red in early trading, before returning to positive territory, with VZ tracked very closely by shares of Sprint. High-tech manufacturer Corning reported moderately ahead of expectations, warned that pricing and volume for glass would be flat. GLW is up in the low single digits. The report from S&P parent McGraw-Hill was more or less in line with the Street. MHP also cut its revenue outlook for FY09, although the firm's projects remain slightly above the consensus view. Shares of MHP are flat on the day. Radio Shack beat revenue targets slightly and tightened up y/y same-store sales comps noticeably. Shares of RSH are up 14% in early trading, while competitor Best Buy is up 3% or so. Healthcare name Amerigroup is down 4% after warning that it would report earnings that significantly miss the consensus view and withdrawing its full-year guidance.
- The FX price action in New York is seeing a rotational theme unfold, with funds fleeing bonds for equities. Dealers are wondering whether higher US yield would actually turn out to be a dollar positive factor or not. EUR/USD is maintaining a firm hold above the 1.50 level, below last week's 14-month high of 1.5069. USD/CAD took another stab at the 1.06 handle after BoC member Carney reiterated his position that a stronger CAD is adding headwinds for a Canadian economic recovery. The firmer energy and metal prices helped to contain the CAD losses. Sterling regained its composure following last's week surprise negative Q3 GDP in the UK. GBP/USD is moving back towards the 1.64 neighborhood this morning.
- People's Bank of China governor Li commented that currency reserve diversification would be a long-term process, noting that diversification should not lead to short-term FX volatility. The comments seemed to clarify earlier headlines from the Asian session from a newspaper sympathetic to the PBoC. The paper wrote that China should increase the proportions of Euro and Yen currencies in its FX reserves but should also maintain the US dollar as the main part of its forex reserve holdings. The yen was weaker during the New York morning following Li's comments.
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