***Economic Data*** - (BR) Brazil Dec Retail Sales M/M: -0.4% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 9.1% v 10.4%e - (BR) Brazil Feb IBGE CPI IPCA-15 M/M: 0.9% v 0.9%e - (US) ICSC/GS weekly chain store sales w/e Feb 20th: +2.3% w/w, +0.9% y/y - (BR) Brazil Jan Current Account: -$ v -$4.9Be; Foreign Investment: $ v $800Me - (US) Redbook Retail Sales for the week ending Feb 20th: 1.9% y/y; MTD 1.6% v Jan - (BE) Belgium Feb Business Confidence: -7.0 v -6.5e - (US) Dec S&P/CaseShiller Composite-20 Y/Y: -3.1% v -3.1%e; Home Price Index: 145.9 v 146.3e - (US) Q4 S&P/CaseShiller Composite-20 Y/Y: -2.5% v -1.2%e v -8.9% prior; Home Price Index: 136.1 v 137.6 prior - (US) Feb Consumer Confidence:46.0 v 55.0e ; lowest reading since April 2009 - (US) Feb Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index: 2 v 2e - (MX) Mexico Jan Trade Balance: -$332.6M v -$541.5Me - (MX) Mexico Dec Retail Sales: 1.6% v 1.5%e; First positive increase since Aug 2008
- The February consumer confidence data and the FDIC's quarterly troubled bank data are amplifying the risk aversion seen during the European session. The double whammy from these two reports forced equity indices and commodities lower post the release. February consumer confidence the made lowest reading since April 2009, as concerns about the economy and the job market pushed the Present Situation sub index down to its lowest level in 27 years. The FDIC released its Q4 troubled bank list, with the number of institutions being monitored swelling by 27% and total problem assets up 16% sequentially. The FDIC's deposit insurance fund is now deeply in deficit, at -$20.9B compared to -$8.2B q/q. US Treasury prices are benefiting from traders uneasiness ahead of this afternoons $44B 2-year note auction. The 10-year yield has come in some 5 basis points following the data to trade back below 3.75%. Long bond rates are now sub 4.70%. Crude prices are off 2% moving back under $80 while copper is down 2.5% below $3.25.
- A raft of retail names offered quarterly results yesterday after the close and this morning. Home Depot reported Q4 results that were modestly ahead of consensus estimates and raised its quarterly dividend by a hair. Executives were cautious about 2010, warning that no robust growth was seen as the US housing industry remains at distressed levels. HD is up a modest 1%. Department store names Target, Macys and Sears Holdings were all more or less in line with expectations. Shares of M and SHLD are still in positive territory, although TGT is down 3% after executives warned next quarter's results might miss expectations. Results from upscale department store name Nordstrom's were somewhat soft, although the firm's impressive y/y recoveries in comps and margins are worth noting. Office Depot's quarterly loss was smaller than expected, while executives said on the conference call said that profits would be lower next quarter. Barnes and Noble met analysts' targets in its Q3, but warned that it would report as much as twice the expected quarterly loss next quarter and full-year results would be well under par. BKS is down 5%. Liz Claiborn's loss was in line, although its revenue missed targets. On the conference call, Liz executives promised a big improvement in earnings this year. LIZ is down 4%. Radio Shack was in line. RSH is down nearly 7%.
- In other earnings, network storage name Brocade beat earnings expectations, but lowered its full-year earnings outlook by a hair and offered weak earnings guidance. BRCD is down 22%. Online travel firm Orbitz's quarterly loss was huge, while its revenue beat expectations handily. The company explained that its cost of revenue jumped considerably, mainly due to much lower revenue per transaction. Note that yesterday Priceline's CEO said he would consider buying online travel companies. OWW is down 18% or so.
- Risk aversion sentiment from numerous developments on both sides of the Atlantic continues benefit the USD and JPY related pairs. Slumping US consumer confidence, Fitch's downgrade of Greece's four largest banks to "BBB," the FDIC's troubled bank list and more comments from the BoE are all factors. The BoE's Tucker warned it would be several months before it was clear whether the economic recovery was strong enough to absorb the slack in the UK economy. The JPY received additional support on chatter that the pending Dai-ichi Life IPO (set to be largest in Japan since 1997/98) is receiving overseas interest. EUR/USD is just off its session lows of 1.3540 in mid NY morning with USD/JPY at 90.30.
***Looking Ahead*** - 12:30 (UA) Ukraine to sell bonds - 12:30 (MX) Mexico to sell MXN2.55B in 5-year FRN - 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $44B in 2-year notes - 14:00 (AR) Argentina Jan Trade Balance: No est v $1.3B prior - 15:00 (BR) Brazil Jan Tax Collections (BRL): 68.7B v 73.9B prior - 16:00 (KS) South Korea Feb Consumer Confidence: No est v 113.0 prior - 17:00 (US) ABC Consumer Confidence w/e Feb 21st: No est v -49 prior
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