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Friday January 15, 2010 - 16:32:31 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update (Trade the News)

Friday, January 15, 2010 11:13:44 AM

 US Market Update

Dow -102 S&P -11.7 NASDAQ -22.2

- (RU) Russia Dec Official Reserve Assets: $439.0B v $441.8Be
- (CL) Chile Dec Copper Exports: $3.2B v $2.9B prior
- (IS) Israel Dec Consumer Prices M/M: 0.0% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 3.9% v 4.2%e
- (PD) Poland Nov Trade Balance: -€292M v -€750Me; Current Account: -€1.2B v -€975Me
- (CA) Canada Nov New Motor Vehicle Sales M/M: -7.0%e v 3.5% prior
- (US) Dec Consumer Price Index M/M: 01% v .2%e; CPI Ex Food&Energy M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e; CPI NSA: 215.949 v 216.000e
- (US Jan Empire manufacturing: 15.92 v 12.00e
- (BE) Belgium Nov Trade Balance: €1.9B v €0.9B prior
- (US) Dec Industrial Production: 0.6% v 0.6%e; Capacity Utilization: 72.0% v 71.8%e
- (US) University of Michigan Confidence: 72.8 v 74.0e
- (MX) Mexico Central Bank Interest rate leaves Overnight rate unchanged at 4.50%; as expected

- JP Morgan's disappointing earnings report is hammering US indices this morning. Investors have all but forgotten Intel's hot quarterly report from yesterday. The final
CPI reading of 2009 showed that consumer inflation was tame last year, with prices rising 2.7%, following at 0.1% increase in 2008. The January Empire Manufacturing was better than expected, with very strong growth in the prices paid (hit a one-year high) and new orders components. Front-month crude continues the slide seen all week long, with the contract off another $0.75 to trade below the $79 handle. US Treasury prices continue to be aided by sovereign debt jitters in Europe, soft equity markets at home and the coattails of three strong reopenings this week culminating in yesterday's 30-year bond results. The 10-year yield is now a full 10 basis points below what the $21B reopening drew. The curve has flattened a little with the benchmark spread back below 280 basis points.

- JP Morgan offered a mixed Q4 earnings report this morning, which included strong bottom-line outperformance, a big revenue miss and disturbing trends in mortgage and card loans. Revenue was off primarily due to a big sequential decline in investment banking revenue. Losses were seen in both mortgage and credit card lending. The firm expects losses at Chase card unit to only increase next quarter, while losses at WaMu unit could climb dramatically. CEO Dimon said that "while we are seeing some stability in delinquencies, consumer credit costs remain high, and weak employment and home prices persist. Accordingly, we remain cautious." Citigroup was out with a similarly dire outlook, warning that it expects $1B in credit card losses in the first half of 2010. Shares of JPM are down more than 3% and falling further this morning, while the rest of the largest banks are down 2-3% as well. Note that the WSJ reported today that top financial firms in the
US may pay out a record $145B in bonuses in 2009, up 18 y/y.

- Intel is the other big earnings story this morning, with the firm reporting what the WSJ called one of the most profitable quarters in its history. The semi giant beat earnings and revenue targets and reported a stunning gross margin of 65%, with similar results expected next quarter as well. On the conference call, Intel's CFO said consumer demand has returned to normal levels and is driving PC demand, while also warning that businesses are not purchasing PCs. Despite the outperformance, INTC is down more than 2% in early trading. AMD whipsawed from +2% to -2% and is trading around even mid morning. Verizon launched a range of less expensive voice and data plans. Shares of Verizon and AT&T were in the red on the news, as well as WSJ piece that asserted the two names would trade in "the dead zone" for foreseeable future. Sprint was up as much as 3% just after the open, before trading down with equities overall.

- As noted earlier today concerns over a potential debt crisis aided the USD and JPY currencies in the session as risk aversion sentiment continued to simmer. A blunt acknowledgment from ECB's Trichet that
Europe had a debt problem sent the EUR/USD below the 1.44 handle through the NY morning. A heavy tone in equity sentiment continues to build the risk aversion sentiment.



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