***Economic Data*** - (BR) Brazil Jan PMI manufacturing: 57.8 v 55.8 prior - (BR) Brazil Jan Trade Balance: -$0.2B v -$1.0BMe; Exports $11.3B v $10.7Be; Imports: $11.5B v $11.9Be - (US) Dec Personal Income: ).45 v 0.3%e; Personal Spending: 0.2% v 0.3%e - (US) Dec PCE Core M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 1.5% v 1.5%e; PCE Deflator Y/Y: 2.1% v 2.2%e - (US) Jan ISM Manufacturing: 58.4 v 55.5e; Prices Paid: 70.0 v 62.4e - (US) Dec Construction Spending M/M: -1.2% v -0.5%e
- The strong ISM manufacturing data (the series grew at its fastest pace in January since August 2004) is inspiring a modest improvement in risk appetite as traders snap up equities in the wake of the big declines seen in Friday's session. Personal income increased more than expected in December, for the sixth increase in a row, providing additional support for equities. White House Budget Director Orszag confirmed this morning that the administration would propose a FY11 budget with a deficit of $1.27T (around 8% of US GDP), in line with weekend press reports. Commodity prices are also enjoying a moderate bounce as well after last week's drubbing. March crude is up 1.5% while copper and gold are each up more than 1% too. Treasury prices are losing some ground ahead of this afternoon's financing estimates from the US Treasury.
- Exxon is up 2% in early trading this morning after beating top- and bottom line estimates. Much like competitor Chevron, Exxon saw big growth in its upstream operation, while the downstream business reported a small loss. Healthcare giant Humana was in line with estimates in its Q4 and said next quarter would exceed expectations. However, the firm's slightly soft full-year earnings forecast is spooking investors, and shares of HUM fell as much as 4% in early trading, before recovering somewhat. Shares of Sysco spiked as much as +4% right after the open on slight outperformance, although SYY is back down to a more reasonable +1%. MDU Resources is down 6% after missing revenue expectations and offering a very weak FY10 forecast. Media firm Gannett missed analysts' earnings expectations and saw significant revenue declines across its major businesses. Smart Modular Technologies is up more than 10% after nearly doubling its Q2 earnings forecast, on the positive DRAM pricing environment and continued strong end user demand from both the PC and enterprise markets. Note that small-cap Valassis Communications is up 15% after settling litigation with a News Corp division and winning a big payout.
- The greenback continues to consolidate its gains as the dollar rises hand in hand with equity markets. EUR/USD hovered around the 1.3900 level as dealers took the US deficit in stride and surmised that the ECB was not concerned over recent weakness in euro currency . Dealer chatter did circulate that the ECB might be concerned over possible spillover of Greek debt problems to other states. The formal EU Commission reply to the Greek budget proposal is slated for Feb 3rd.
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